Commentary: Soft soap in a hard sell
Friday 21 August 1992
For some years Fairy Liquid, a P&G brand, has gradually tightened its grip on the pounds 120m washing-up liquids market. But as the actress Nanette Newman gushed about Fairy's gentleness on hands and its longer-lasting qualities, Lever was plotting revenge.
Out came Robbie Coltrane, with his bottle of Persil Liquid so powerful that it could wash the grease off his bike. Less than two years after its launch, Persil Liquid has won a 6 per cent share at the expense of its much older rival.
Stung by the upstart's success, P&G is hitting back with a new, stronger formulation to protect its 45 per cent share. The name has been changed to Fairy Excel, backed up by a pounds 10m advertising campaign and, unusually, a recall of the old version from supermarket shelves.
It is unlikely that Lever will stand idly by. Market share is critical to success in big-selling household products such as baked beans and soap powers. A swing of a few percentage points in one brand's sales can mean millions won or lost in profits. In a fast-moving world, consumers' loyalty to brands is a bulwark against rivals.
Launching new brands, particularly in a recession, is also becoming dearer. That has prompted the use of existing names with 'cross-branding'. Lever has achieved this by extending the Persil brand from detergents into washing-up liquids. So far it is succeeding, but wait for the media blitz from P&G.
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence witness contradicts athlete version
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
South Korea ferry: Captain Lee Joon-seok could face criminal investigation as over 280 remain missing
Peaches Geldof dead: Private funeral for the family and friends of the socialite will take place next week
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
iJobs Money & Business
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...