Listerine is a popular brand of mouthwash sold by Johnson & Johnson. The product which claims to kill 99 percent of germs is a highly popular oral care product in all markets it is sold in. The products are sold in close to 90 countries across the world under the same name. An oral care product which has multiple benefits like strengthening gums, taking care of gingivitis, prevents teeth from getting damaged, address bad breath, helps in controlling sensitive teeth and prevents tooth decay.
The product which is recommended by dental care professionals was launched as a cure for halitosis and went on to become a popular product which addressed multiple issues in oral care.The product which was launched for the first time in the year 1879 was named after the famous English surgeon Joseph Lister and it was first used as an antiseptic solution.
Strengths in the SWOT analysis of Listerine
The following are the strengths of Listerine are:
- Multiple Benefits: Listerine offer, multiple benefits to customers such as removal of gingivitis, curing halitosis, preventing the formation of cavities, strengthening the teeth, making the breath fresher, whitening teeth and removes sensitivity of teeth and gums.
- Marketing of halitosis: Bad breath or halitosis was never considered to be a medical problem till the day Listerine transformed it into one and positioned itself as acquire for it. The mouthwash made bad breath look so critical and associated it with self-esteem and showcased people with halitosis as low on self-confidence. This resulted in increasing the brand value of Listerine.
- Expert testimonials: In addition to positioning Listerine as a retail product, the company also tried to push it through dentists to whom the product was positioned as a germ killer. These testimonials positioned Listerine as a medicine that even dentists considered to be a cure for bad breath.
- Daily use: While creating awareness about Listerine adequate care was taken to ensure that it was positioned as a daily use product. In fact, in the advertisements as well as by dentists it is showcased as something which is effective only if used every day.
- Advertising Strategy: The product through a medical one uses fear as the trigger for advertising. The fear of not being accepted or of not having friends or being considered for a job because of bad breath or smelling mouths was so high that people wanted the sure shot solution for addressing the problem.
Weaknesses in the SWOT analysis of Listerine
Weaknesses are used to refer to areas where the business or the brand needs improvement. Some of the key weaknesses of Listerine are :
- Limites scope for innovation: In a mouthwash like Listerine there is limited scope for innovation and the product needs to remain more or less the same if it needs to get the required effect. Though the company has tried to launch new variants for kids which are less potent, innovation has been limited to just that in the case of Listerine.
- High cost of advertising: To get an edge over its competitors, Listerine has tried to reposition itself as a lifestyle brand for which it released a new advertising campaign in US, UK, India, China and certain countries in Europe titled “ Bring out the bold”. This is an expensive move but the brand has not been able to register returns which are in tune with the money spent.
- Low penetration: The penetration of Listerine is just about 16 % in households with an average of 25 % in the entire category. This is not very high in comparison to other products in the oral care segment which indicates that very few people perceive mouthwash as must have in oral care.
- Confused positioning: Listerine was initially positioned as a medical treatment for bad breath and tooth decay. However, as Johnson & Johnson decided to move into the mass market with it they repositioned themselves as a retail product and what was once available in only pharmacies is now sold in even small shops. However, consumers are still confused on whether Listerine is a medical product or a cosmetic product like toothpaste.
Opportunities in the SWOT analysis of Listerine
Some of the opportunities include :
- Low self-esteem: People especially women suffer from self-esteem since they are judged excessively based on their appearance in professional circles today. Numerous brands have gained overwhelming success in the recent past feeding on the insecurities of millennials and Listerine is one such brand. The growing need for higher self-esteem is a huge opportunity for products like Listerine.
Threats in the SWOT analysis of Listerine
Threats are those factors in the environment which can be detrimental to the growth of the business. Some of the threats include:
- Need for ayurvedic products: There is a lot of negative communication on the side effects of chemicals in consumables and cosmetics and Listerine is completely chemical in its composition. This can negatively impact the sales as the balance tilts in favor of ayurvedic products.
Alternatively, check out the Marketing91 Academy, which provides you access to 10+ marketing courses and 100s of Case studies.