Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cough, Cough - MABUSHI in the Consumer Package Goods Space

WARNING: This is a Grumpy-gram.  This kind of MABUSHI is yet another example of how marketers get lumped into the slimeball, low-life, scourge of the earth category.

Two weeks ago my son brought home a nasty summer cold and couldn't sleep at night.  Off to the medicine chest to see what we had.  He was in Cub Scout camp all day long so he needed to sleep at night.  The selection at right is what we had.  I settled on the Children's Tylenol in the end because it was multi-symptom and he got the rest he needed.

What got my blood boiling was the deception in the packaging.  The contents of over the counter cold remedies are all the same (read the labels) so the CPG companies spend a lot of time and money on brand awareness and perceived value - and I'm okay with that.

What I'm not okay is with this garbage, especially from Delsym:

 Big package.  "New Family Size" All implying that I'm going to get more for my money.  What I got was a box that takes up twice the cupboard space and a single fluid ounce more than the Tylenol.  One OUNCE!

Anyone with kids knows that one more ounce is not going to provide much more value as you can blow through a bottle in a few days.  I wonder what the Product Manager and Product Marketing Manager were thinking when they proposed new tooling to build the bigger box, rejiggering the production line to handle the bigger bottle and then requiring their channel to fundamentally change their shelving to accommodate this deception.  I don't know but it leaves me with a bad impression of Delsym.  I'll just stick with the house brand generic stuff from here on.

As marketers, we need to call "Hogwash!" (or your other favorite invective) when we see things like this proposed and kill them off before they see the light of day.

Do you have any examples like this you'd like to share?  As the CPG space is too easy of a target, I'm most interested in FISERV, hi-tech and other areas.

Key Take Away:
  • Ensure the value delivered matches the value promised.
Please join me Monday, 8-August at 4PM PDT on the Global Product Management Talk tweetup.  I'll be going through these questions and looking for your input.  Let's elminate MABUSHI.
  • What are the two must-ask questions in your PMM toolkit?
  • What techniques do you use to understand the value chain?
  • When is your sales team a customer/persona and when are they a partner?
  • What makes your sales tools REALLY effective and how do you measure that? 
  • What self-checks do you use to eliminate MABUSHI?
  • What are your favorite examples of bad product marketing?

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