Sabco, an Australian cleaning products company owned by Libman in the USA, launched a new cleaning product called “Dust & Shine” which is similar to the “Swiffer” product that is popular in Europe.
The product was not selling as well as one of the competitive products from Vileda and the company wanted to remedy this situation.
There were deliberate differences to the competitive product and the key question was whether these differences were hindering sales relative to the competitor, or whether it was the very small price premium ($2) for the Sabco product
We had a small sample of consumers in the market for household cleaning evaluate both products on those dimensions of difference and then give an overall opinion as to whether they would buy either one.
The number of consumers making the evaluation is less important in this case, than the precision with which the comparison is made between the two products.
The RIGHT Answer
Consumers’ perceptions both products and the reasons they give for preferring one over the other suggested that the Sabco product was considered better than the competitor for a more specialized use. Thus, in a segment of the market where there is uncertainty among consumers about how they will use the product, the product that is perceived as having a broader range of uses is more appealing.
Our recommendation was to reduce the emphasis placed on some of the characteristics of the product that were seen to be restricting its perceived use and to increase the visibility of characteristics indicating versatility.