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Warner – Lambert Ireland : Niconil Essay

Warner-Lambert Ireland is an international pharmaceutical and consumer products company. Its product portfolio includes Dentyne chewing gum, Listerine mouth wash and Hall’s cough drops. It was going to launch Niconil in the market. Niconil was a product that would help smokers who wanted to quit smoking. It was an innovative product that that promised to be more effective than other products which were in the market. In 1989, 30% of the adults smoked cigarettes in Ireland. Survey showed that Irish smokers smoked average of 16.5 cigarettes per day. Mounting pressure of legislation restricting tobacco advertising put pressure on Irish smokers to quit. Niconil was the first product to offer a complete solution for nicotine addiction of smokers.

It was circular adhesive patch of 2.5 inches containing 30 mg of nicotine gel. Niconil patch effectively helped smokers to quit. 30 mg of nicotine was equivalent of 20 cigarettes. Although it had some side-effects like it caused skin irritation, sleep disturbance and nausea it promised to be far better and effective than the other products in the market like Accudrop, Nicobrevin and Nicorette. However, the prescription nature of Niconil posed great marketing challenges as a prescription product could not be advertised directly to the consumers. It had to be prescribed by the doctors to their patients so that people could buy it from the pharmacy. The case highlights how WLI tackled these issues and devised a successful launch campaign for Niconil Main Problem

Whether to price the product at par or premium to cigarettes. In what quantity it would be sold. Which advertising concept would be most effective. Should the support programme be integral component of Niconil. Analysis Niconil was a product that would help smokers who wanted to quit smoking. It was an innovative product that promised to be more effective than other products which were in the market. However, the prescription nature of Niconil posed great marketing challenges as a prescription product could not be advertised directly to the consumers. It had to be prescribed by the doctors to their patients so that people could buy it from the pharmacy.

The competition was tough as there were some similar products which were available in the market without a prescription. These were some pressing issues which were directly related to the production capacity of Niconil. A comprehensive analysis of these issues could be done by SWOT Analysis Strengths

Ranked sixth in the Irish market.
Niconil is the first product to offer solution for nicotine addiction. Provided a special toll free telephone service.
Fewer side effects.
Weaknesses
Still with side effects (skin irritation, sleep disturbances and nausea) Needed prescription.
Advertising restrictions
Not reimbursable product.
Opportunities
Government policies pressurising smokers to quit.
Few competitors in the current market.
Focus on GPs to market their product.
Threats

High cost of purchasing new machine to increase production.
Patients have to pay “additional” fee to purchase this product. The prescription nature created marketing challenges.
They faced competition from Accudrop and Nicobrevin .
Keeping these issues in mind, a comprehensive marketing program was developed to promote Niconil. This program included advertising through medical journals as it would create awareness about Niconil among the medical fraternity, development of support program, training and promotional materials, direct mailings to GPs, press releases and round table meetings.

Suggestions
1. Apart from the above mentioned strategies, some other marketing strategies could also be considered like direct visits to the doctors to create awareness about Niconil and placing informative material about Niconil and its benefits at the doctors’ clinics.

2. It should be priced on a par with cigarette as people Without strong commitment to quit smoking, a premium price might scare some smokers.Perhaps they are unwilling to pay such high price and give up quitting smokinng.

3. Niconil seems to have competitive advantage over the current competitors so try to eliminate side effects and guarantee better cure in the future.

4. When the first market testing becomes successful, WLI might have the power to argue with governments to let Niconil become “reimbursable”. At that time, a premium price would be able to apply because the government would pay for it. Smokers will pay less as well.

5. However, if in the future Niconil is still not reimbursable, WLI could use innovation to increase the price because of better performance.

6. Distinctive logo is not enough. Try to work out a slogan perhaps is better. Creating deep images into customers’ minds.

7. Efficient distribution should be done so that accessible to every domestic region.

8. When smokers or patients come in the pharmacy, perhaps the first product they see is Niconil.

Conclusion
Implementation of these marketing strategies could increase product acceptance for Niconil.


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