Problem Statement

The problem that has been identified in the case “Nielsen: Market Research for Pantene” is related to fact that ever since Garnier was launched in the United States market during 2003, it has been able to attain a market share of 5.1% within the first year. Pantene, the market leader in shampoo category after the launch of Garnier had to face a market share decline from 22% to 20.5%. During the same period, Garnier was able to attain an increase of 5.1% market share in the shampoo category (Seema, pp. 04).

The significant decline in the market share was a major concern for Procter & Gamble, the owner of the Pantene brand. The company was wondering whether the decline was due to lack of distribution, the higher prices of Pantene or the unfavorable consumer perception. To actually identify the reason for the decline in sales, Pantene hired leading market research agency – Nielsen to basically identify the cause of decline and eventually suggest the future market strategy (Seema, pp. 10).

Analysis

The research conducted by Nielsen, it was found out that the element of brand equity is the most important aspect and it helps in creating the desired brand awareness. In the Figure 3 and figure 4, the key drivers of brand awareness that have been identified integral are health/shiny, quality and emotional appeal. However, health/shiny is the most important aspect followed by quality and appeal respectively(Park, pp. 109).

Since, Pantene has been facing decline in the market share due to the increase in the Garnier market share, therefore, the focus of the analyses needs to be on the two brands respectively. The case study explains the fact that Pantene has been dominating in several regards and when compared with Garnier, the index of two brands is quite close and the element of hair care, cleans gently and better for colored hairs is the focus of Pantene whereas Garnier portrayed itself as natural ingredients, has better attractive packaging, therefore, the two brands have their own respective index which makes Pantene lack behind Garnier (Keller, pp. 12).

Moreover, it has also been evident within the case study that the overall brand equity for Garnier is much higher when compared with other brands which confirms the competitiveness for Pantene. However, it is important to understand that Garnier has a better potential of development and building brand equity and therefore the market share has been reasonable. Along with this, Nielsen also confirmed the fact that the difference between Garnier and Pantene has been the difference in the personalities of the two brands. Garnier is more outstanding, it is a symbol of fun, youth, attractive, fashionable, modern, trendsetter and feminine (Park, pp. 109).

On the other hand, the brand personality of Pantene as confirmed in the case is not the most efficient one. Along with this, another major factor of difference between the two brands is the packaging. Garnier has a modern look, smart bottle and very attractive colors whereas Pantene is dull and not very vibrant which can attract larger customer base (Keyvani, pp. 7767).

Along with this, another attribute that has been a major difference between the two brands is that Garnier basically positioned itself as a brand or shampoo that is for colored hairs and had a specific audience, whereas Pantene did not have any specific audience and it was basically confused brand where it did not target a specific audience in the shampoo industry.

Alternatives

Based on the issue presented in the case, Pantene needs to focus on alternative options so that it can regain the lost market share and become the market leader in shampoo industry.

Rebranding: The first alternative for Pantene moving ahead in the future shall be to conduct a rebranding strategy for Pantene. The reason is simple, the sales have been declining quite considerably for Pantene and the customers are switching brands quite rapidly, therefore, the company needs to do a rebranding of Pantene. The idea or the logic for this revamped strategy is to make sure that Pantene focuses on a specific audience and it should have a target market (Keller, pp. 10).

As the case confirms, Garnier was an instant success because it has a specific market, the same needs to be done with Pantene and the company needs to target audience accordingly. For instance, the packaging needs to change for the brand, Pantene needs to use more vibrant colors and the focus should be on the audience accordingly. The audience that can be catered by Pantene moving ahead in the future should be the adult females (Gatignon, pp. 352).

The focus of being able to target women of old age will be the exact opposite of Garnier which is committed to deliver shampoo products for dyed hair ladies. Therefore, the first alternative is to rebrand Pantene and it should also change the packaging to make it more attractive for specific class females in the society (Park, pp. 109).

Pricing Strategy: Another major competitive strategy to make Pantene sustain the market position which it had in the future will be achieved if the brand can revise its pricing strategy. For instance, the price penetration strategy will be the most well suited strategy to increase customer base for Pantene (Gatignon, pp. 350).

The price penetration strategy will help Pantene overcome the current market share loss and it shall help the organisation succeed within the shampoo market. In addition to this, having a competitive pricing strategy will help the brand become a preferred shampoo product in the market. It will also help the overall execution of strategies which will successfully help the next move of Pantene (Keller, pp. 12).

Recommendations

In the end, based on the issues presented in the case, the recommended strategy for Pantene moving ahead in the future shall be to conduct a rebranding strategy at Pantene. Since the sales have declined quite considerably, therefore, it is important for the company to attract customers by focusing on a specific market and should also revamp the packaging so that it can gauge in more customers for the brand. Finally, it can be said that, Pantene needs to constantlyfocus on innovation and customization to sustain its brand position and perception within the shampoo industry (Park, pp. 109).

References

Gatignon, Hubert, David Gotteland, and Christophe Haon. “Branding New Products and Services.” Making Innovation Last: Volume 2. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2016. 329-376.

Keller, Kevin Lane. “Reflections on customer-based brand equity: perspectives, progress, and priorities.” AMS review6.1-2 (2016): 1-16.

Keyvani, Seyed Mohammad Abdollahi. “A comparison of operational marketing and strategic marketing: An organizational perspective.” African Journal of Business Management 5.19 (2011): 7767.

Park, C. Whan, Deborah J. MacInnis, and Andreas B. Eisingerich. “Brand architecture design and brand naming decisions.” The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Brand Management (2016): 109.

Seema, Gupta Nielsen: Market Research For Pantene Indian Institute Of Management Bangalore, (2013), pp. 01-21.

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