New OTC product: ‘Juci’
launch strategy and promotional activity
Eskayef Bangladesh Limited is the country‟s one of the leading pharmaceutical company with a controlling blend of skills and resources to offer a stage for bringing strong growth in today‟s quickly altering health care environment.
Lately there has already been much anticipation over the development of bringing pellets in the market. For the first time, in the market SK+F is bringing vitamin C supplement ascorbic acid in the form of juice called – “JUCI”.
The formerly Vitamin C supplement in juice form in Bangladesh. “JUCI” is a healthy juice which will be on the market in Sachets. Everyday our body needs immense amount of Vitamin C to keep us healthy by enabling our tissue growth, controlling our blood pressure, and also providing great help to the adrenal gland and to the coenzymes. It also makes our skin and hair healthy.
Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd (SK+F) is known as one of the top pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh. It is a part of the TranscomGroup, a fully owned subsidiary of Transcom Limited. From the start, the company was very much successful in generating increased demand for its products which ultimately justified local production. With capable, educated, and skilled professionals on its personnel and its concrete standards of quality control, the company has distinguished itself as one of the most respected names in the pharmaceutical industry. SK+F‟s manufacturing facility has transcended the frontiers after the accreditation of UK MHRA (United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), TGA Australia and UMD UK.
Eskayef Banglaedesh Limited (formerly Smith & Kline & French Bangladesh Limited) is a Bangladeshi Private company by shares engaged in manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products since October 30, 1990. Originally Smith Kline & French was incorporated in June 12, 1979 as limited company in Bangladesh. In April 1990 the shares were purchased by Bangladeshi shareholders and the business operation continued uninterrupted under the new name ESKAYEF BANGLADESH LIMITED. The registered office of the company is in Dhaka.The company is 99.99% owned subsidiary of Transcom Limited.
Eskayef Pharmaceuticals manufacturing facilities are spread across a 20-acre site situated in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The facilities encompass of a number of purpose-built plants, including an Oral Solid Dosage (OSD) plant. The site includes manufacturing facilities as well as a research laboratory and a number of warehouses. The plant and machinery of the facilities were procured and installed from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, United Kingdom (UK) and other countries.
It is growing more global since 2005, exporting bulk pellets, and finished products in Asia, Africa, and Central America and also in the development of exporting in the European countries. The company is also attached with the Allergan Inc., one of the world leaders in eye care solution. Current growth rate of Eskayef is 18 percent and ranked 6th among the local companies.
One of the essential requirements of the body are vitamins, a class of nutrients that are necessary for its various biochemical and physiological processes. However, the human body usually does not synthesize them; therefore, they must be provided by the diet in the mandatory amount. Vitamins are sectioned into fat-soluble and water soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are soluble in fat solvents. They are A, D, E and K. Water-soluble vitamins are soluble in water and include vitamin C and vitamin B series that are usually labeled as vitamin B complex.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a water-soluble antioxidant. It was initially isolated in 1928, by the Hungarian biochemist and Nobel Prize winner Szent-GyorGyi. It is unsteady and simply oxidized acid that can be damaged by oxygen with high temperature.
Humans cannot synthesize vitamin C contrasting animals, rendering its absorption from exogenous supplement or diet necessary. It has been projected that the reason of human incapability to synthesize ascorbic acid is the deficiency of the active enzyme, l-gulonolactone oxidize from the liver (Burns, 1959). For standard physiological functions body have need of vitamin C. It services in the metabolism of tyrosine, folic acid and tryptophan. It lowers blood cholesterol and contributes to the synthesis of the amino acids carnitine and catecholamine (Included are: epinephrine(adrenaline), norepinephrine(noradrenaline) and dopamine) that regulate nervous system. It is necessity for tissue growth and wound healing. It acts as a support in the formation of neurotransmitters and upturns the absorption of iron in the gut. As it is an antioxidant, it safeguards the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals and pollutants.
Massive doses of vitamin C is used in the treatment and avoidance of large number of disorders like diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, atherosclerosis, stroke, heart diseases and cancer.
Absence of this vitamin can lead to anemia, scurvy, infections, bleeding gums, muscle degeneration, poor wound healing, atherosclerotic plaques, capillary hemorrhaging and neurotic disturbances. Toxicity ordinarily does not occur.
Infections reduce the body stores of vitamin C, thus making the body immune system fragile. To have a durable immunity, body requires vitamin C. Optimal tissue stores uphold resistance to infections. Vitamin C therapy is valuable in the treatment of different infections and infectious diseases, for example hepatitis, HIV, H. pylori infection, common cold, flu and influenza etc.
Ascorbic acid, the recognized name for vitamin C, is obtainable in reduced form (L-ascorbic acid) and oxidized form (Ldehydroascorbic acid). It is originated in citrus fruits, green peppers, red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turnip and other leafy vegetables. Fish and milk also contain small amounts of vitamin C.
Description of Project
Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd. will soon be coming up with a Vitamin C supplement called “Juci”. I worked with the marketing department of SK+F to develop a business plan for Juci so that it can penetrate the market and become one of the few names that come up in the consumers mind when they think of Vitamin C supplements.
The objective of this project is:
- To create a marketing plan for Juci.
- To make Juci the market leader as a generic Ascorbic Acid supplement.
- To create an image in consumers‟ mind considering the product category
- To find an essential way to communicate with the target markets
The report has been prepared on the basis of secondary data collected from publications, and internet. The collected data were analyzed and consolidated. The data analysis procedure endorsed by the company, such as SWOT Analysis has been used to analyze data for the report. By selecting few target market the USP for Juci was also developed during the inception of the project. Markets were analyzed in regards to Philip Kotler‟s 4 Principles of Marketing and different ATL and BTL strategies were developed to ensure proper product communication.
To live a happy life our body should have a good immune system and be full with energy. The Citrus fruits and vegetables we take enrich our immune system, helps with tissue growth. However, on the current condition in Bangladesh where corruption is spread like a spider web, it is really hard to get fruits and vegetables without preservatives in it. On the other hand our seven major glands in the body mostly get empowered by fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits are one kind of fruit that provides ascorbic acid and helps few of the seven glands. Adrenal gland being one of the major glands needs ascorbic acid to function properly. Adrenal gland (divided into two regions: adrenal medulla and adrenal cortex) helps increase rate in blood circulation, preparing muscles for exertion and create carbohydrate metabolism. Nevertheless only citrus fruits cannot provide enough ascorbic acid needed and it cannot be produced by the body itself.
So, SK+F is coming up with a new product in the market called “JUCI” ascorbic acid USP 500mg Sachet. “Juci” comes in the color of green symbolizing nature to its every drop. It comes in the flavor of orange. Every sachet of “Juci” will cost 10 taka where a packet will contain 20 sachet means 200 taka per packet.
“Juci” will provide ascorbic acid and will help with developing the antioxidant which protects against harmful pollution, infection and reduce cellular damage. It also increases the activities of the coenzyme which will help in wound healing, metabolism of dopamine (Neurotransmitter), cholesterol and folic acid.
- Helps tissue growth repair
- Adrenal gland function
- Enhanced immunity &
- Healthy gums.
- Healthy capillaries, gums & teeth.
- Aids in iron absorption.
- Helps in healing wounds & broken bones.
- Prevents & treats scurvy
- Helps to treat anemia, especially iron deficiency anemia by increasing absorption of iron from the intestines.
- Helps to form collagen in connective tissues.
- Production of hemoglobin & red blood cell in bone marrow.
- Aids in preventing many types of viral and bacterial infections and potentiates the immune system.
- Aids in the treatment of prevention of the common cold.
- Protection against blood clotting
- Ensures healthy hair & skin.
Any excess amount of vitamin C that is consumed will be excreted through a constant turnover process.
Patients with a known hypersensitivity to vitamin C or any of its ingredients will not be preferred to take the product.
Avoid taking vitamin C supplements in case of a history of kidney stones or kidney disease.
MY PROPOSAL ON PRE-LAUNCH ACTIVITIES
As a matter of synopsis we will look at the structure of the market strategy below to get a bird‟s
eye view to understand the market regarding the consumer‟s decision.
Applying the marketing strategies:
Applying the marketing strategies we will dive into the micro level and analyze our target consumers, our proposition to them, differentiation from the competitors and our market segmentation.
In the market there will be success and there will be failure, but to have the ability to control that we need to understand our competitors. We need to figure out, who they are? What do they do and what are the policies they are taking?
Here applying the marketing principles we will get the knowledge of how our product will interact in the market.
Of all the tactics of marketing strategy I have selected “Product Differentiation” technique and “Unique Selling Proposition” to create a very concrete image in the consumer‟s mind.
The consumers should have a better reason to choose our product instead of the competitor‟s one. We will determine a difference between our product and the competitor‟s product. There is a notion that few will say that they are giving quality service, but this will work as a difference given that their competitors are giving zero quality assurance. Here we are the first to launch Ascorbic acid in juice form in the market of Bangladesh.
Unique Selling Proposition:
Of all the juices in the market ours are the best for health concerning issues. A very debating study in the market shows that few of the juices that are sold in the market has “artificial additive” in it. “Yellow Six” a very popular color additive has been used in many juices that are sold in Bangladesh. The FDA‟s website proved to be a valuable database for food coloring information. Their site provides precisely what is in each of the colors and is quite disturbing. Yellow six has been banned by the FDA, but in many countries like ours it is not banned. So, for that many of the food and juice item in the market consist of it. As a matter of great concern yellow six contains lead and mercury metal which is really poisonous for human body. It also causes cancer. However our unique selling proposition is that our product does not contain yellow six.
COMPETITORS’ PRODUCTS AND ANALYSIS:
- Price/ Product:
There are many companies selling the same generic products, many are selling in tablets, some are selling in capsule, some are selling in juice form and last but not the least in injections, but a point that can be noted is that juice form is still not been introduced in the market. From the companies that are enlisted below few shows that they have an idea of the juice form they are going to sell, and because the information of the product is available we can assume that they at least have a marketing plan on it.
Here, this is very visible that there is a price margin and all the products‟ MRP are the same with their respective quantity.
Given here is the top five companies‟ promotional activities on OTC product and the reason behind the product to be a threat. These companies have the most capability to respond using their financial resources and marketing strategies. At some point they might even start advertising their product with new and different BTL/ATL marketing strategies.
PRICING & FORECAST:
Pricing of the product is done bearing in mind two factors: Gross Profit and competitor‟s price. Considering the competitors price, the price of the product is not very different. Significantly higher or lower price than the competitors is highly uncommon in pharmaceutical industry. Only in case of some premium or originators products, price is set at a premium. Since „JUCI‟ is an OTC product, the straight pricing policy was operated to be set considering the generic price. The one contributing influences: COGS is the determining parameters here. The price while set identical to the opponents‟ price showed to generate nothing significant. Finished calculation of it was lastly obvious that the price will not be varied from that of the competitors.
Constructed on SK+F‟s internal standard, profit and loss analysis has been done. Previously our product was of 250mg per sachet but lower amount of production of the product brings out loss for the project. Now it has been determined to be marketed in 500mg more in quantity. The organization‟s main cost in this project is the fixed operational cost. Even though the company is making a 25% profit on the gross margin, the high fixed operational cost is resulting in a loss per product. The only way to cover this loss is to increase the sales in subsequent years. As units of sales will increase, the total fixed cost will be distributed by a larger number of units and fixed cost per product will decrease resulting in some profitability for the product.
MARKETING PLAN FOR NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH:
Since “Juci” is a new product and have not yet reached the market exposure, our plan will be to engage ourselves with the consumers, anticipating by creating awareness. Now we will see a chart concerning the Analysis of the variables that will put impact on the product characteristics, later we will see another chart on the analysis of the Target market.
SELECTING TARGET CUNSUMER:
We can understand that “Juci” is a product which mostly has more importance to the people who are concerned with their health. So, the question here would be which type of person would most likely be attracted to the product. The target market obviously has to be literate to understand the benefits of the product. Our target consumer will use our product because it takes less time to prepare a juice by simply pouring the mixture in a glass full of water than to go into a longer procedure to prepare the citrus food. Since it‟s a product which improves our immune system it will be preferable to the athletes and as it seems it ensures healthy hair and skin it will be also preferable to the young generation who are concerned about their complexion and beauty. Here is the list of our target consumers with the respective reasons.
- Khulna &Barishal.
- Weak, proactive, guardians (High potential)
- Status driven, sensitive, trend friendly (High potential)
- Health conscious, serum friendly (High potential)
- Contemporary, informed, confident women (High potential)
- Traditional motherly (Low potential)
- Family-oriented, not self-oriented (Low potential)
- Simple, practical pessimists (Low potential)
- Independent, living for the moment (Low potential)
- Uninformed and unconcerned (Low potential)
Physicians are kept in the list to make minor influence on their patients. Surely a medic will write the vitamins at the last line of the prescription which will not make huge importance concerning an average person.
- Passive conservatives
- New students
- Proactive revolutionary
- Dependent child/ woman on parents (High priority)
- Adult women who are “investing in their future” (High priority)
- Higher class
- Middle class (most priority)
- Lower class (the next area of concern)
“Juci” is a product of reputed company SK+F which is doing business under Transcom group for many years in Bangladesh. As SK+F is already holding a position in the consumer‟s mind, a new product penetration will be easy as the distribution channel of Transcom, TDCL will be managing the product to reach the consumers hand.
Since this is a product under OTC category, many other companies can come up with the same product category. However we have seen that the price will not differ from the competitors, so pricing strategy will not be an effective area to work on.
The opportunity of the product over here is that the form of the product is new in the market. There are no other companies selling the same product in juice from. So, we have the upper hand to set a brand position of this product on juice form with no other competitors taking the primary stage in the consumer perception.
Keeping in mind any threat of new entrants, there is a high possibility that usually consumers going to the physicians will not provide importance to the product if it is prescribed with many other important drugs. They will probably ignore the product if it is written in the last line of the prescription. However there is a big question. If the competitors come up with a strategy robust enough to withstand the activity of ours with the same form of product?
MY PROPOSAL ON PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
Promotional activities are different concerning the area of product. Over here our product is an OTC product so we shall have to exclude traditional promotional techniques. We made a promotional mix based on the product category concerning the target consumers.
Here is the ‟Promotional mix‟ influenced mostly by BTL marketing. This is a set of tools that we can use to communicate effectively on the benefits of its products or services to its customers. The promotional mix includes the following tools.
- Free sampling
- Supply of promotional gifts related to the product
- Sales promotion to doctors
- Creating concerns through agents.
- Free sampling:
We will provide free samples to one of our target consumer group. This consumer group contains school, college and university students.
For schools and colleges we will rent few pickups and hire two person to operate the activity. Then we are going to send them in front of the schools and colleges. There they will give them one free juice with one T-shirt and one of the operator will take feedback from the consumers. The t-shirt on the other hand will have our product logo. This will be very good in the sense of getting exposure immediately since summer is coming.
For universities, we will make stalls in the cafeteria and provide free sample of our product for one day in every university in Bangladesh. We will need two person to operate that, one will provide the juice in a glass and another one will be taking feedbacks.
This way we will make consumer under the age of 25 aware about our product. All feedbacks will be analyzed to figure out the coming development of the product, but this analysis will take longer period as the data list is huge.
- Supply of promotional gifts related to the product:
We will supply mugs, diaries and calendars to the doctors, the chemists and the young medical students. All the materials over here will have our product stickers. Through them other people will get to know of the product. Why mugs on the first place? Because our product is a thing to drink, every time someone‟s drinking something with our mug he/she will subconsciously will think about „Juci‟. Next time this he/she might also buy the product just because he/she remembered that he/she has a glass of the same product sticker.
- Sales promotion to Physicians:
We will ask the doctors to not to write it in the prescription rather hang a calendar or poster of our product behind them and to point at it when preferring Juci to the patients. This way the consumers of this criteria will pay extra attention to the product. The type of doctors we want to keep in hand are given below.
- Passive conservatives:This kind of doctors are very easy to pursue. They always want to taste better things. We can facilitate them with a tablet pc or an android for them to activate themselves in the so called social network.
- Optimists:Optimistic doctors are good listeners and they are ready to hear anything that make sense. We just have to talk to some optimistic doctors to get the ideas of our product flowing in the selection of logical products list.
- New students:New medical students are very new in the field, so there is a higher probability that their mentality can be manipulated easily. We will start listing the most loyal doctors in the field from a very earlier stage of their career.
- Proactive revolutionary:Lesser spending on promotion increases the ultimate profit. Now, over here we will try to rationalize our product with the doctors who think of them as a revolutionary figure, saving life, playing god etc.As they think automatically in a righteous way, we just have to push our product into the righteous part of his/her brain.
- Creating concerns through agents:
In every university, football team and social gathering there will be this one guy/girl who will attract people and make them listen to him or her. To most people they are like the most logical human being living and has answers to all the questions. This kind of ability now a days is not a special one. Good reactive skills achievers are the one who can make a huge impact by channeling information in front of few audience. He/she will not accidently start talking about our product instead will talk about it channeling through information from a different topic. I would like to call them the RMA “Reactive Magnet Agents”. We will select this kind of personality when we will go for the promotion with the free samples. The guy who will take the feedbacks from the two will observe such personalities. Then will call and manage them to talk about our product in the social gatherings and for that we will compensate them.
Bangladesh pharmaceutical market is growing in a remarkable rate. In Six years (from 2010 to 2015) the scope of the market nearly doubled. Rivalry is aggressive in the market, but there is a growth potential in the market. Eskayef Bangladesh Limited is no exclusion. Sideways with other plans like bringing up their own studied product to Bangladesh market, they are also demanding to win greater share of the generic market. Deciding to launch the pellets portfolio is one large step in attaining a better position in the generic drug market.
It is such a multifaceted job that for every marketer in the pharmaceutical segment it is a stimulating experience as pharmaceutical marketing is an important task and the product launching is even more. The interdepartmental environment of the jobs makes it enormously collaborative. The product manager has to manage this many stake holders that he has to be very cautious about upholding the equilibrium.
Beginning from the early market investigation and profit-loss analysis, thorough particular and impartial decision making capabilities are mandatory. Meeting the target is always significant but it needs extra effort in case of product launching. A well-organized communication track has to be continued among the retrograde stakeholders (supply chain & production) to the accelerative stakeholders (distribution & sales). Also the task of handling external stakeholders, is involved in many steps of launching.
The liability of initiating a new OTC product is serious in the intellect that, for the business, it is a phase onward to capitalize growth opportunities. Introduction of a new product is also an acute involvement for a product manager. It necessitates collaboration with almost every division of a pharmaceutical company. This is possibly the finest technique of receiving an in depth understanding of the pharmaceutical marketing job. Presence in the product launch procedure at Eskayef Bangladesh Limited was an inspiring involvement.