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.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...