| | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | | | |
| | |
No one knows how to build a business better than the entrepreneurs behind some of Canada's most successful companies. These are their most powerful lessons.
W.K. Buckley Investments Ltd.
Find your point of differentiation
"I came by my bad taste honestly," gibes Frank Buckley. "I inherited it from my father." That quip was first featured on advertising placards in buses and streetcars in 1986, along with Buckley's picture and the now famous slogan: "It tastes awful. And it works."
The ad was risky on two fronts: it put Buckley's face in front of his products, while drawing attention to the cough mixture's negative aspects. But Buckley says he never really worried much about the downside of the concept. "At that time, we were competing with the giants and we weren't doing very well," says Buckley. "I thought it might be worthwhile taking a chance."
Defying conventional marketing wisdom made the ads distinctive and memorable, which helped differentiate Buckley's within the traditionally banal cough-remedy category and burn it into the minds of consumers. The ads used the product's bad taste to communicate proof that it worked. And consumers appreciated the straight talk about the product's weaker aspects.
From the moment the bad-taste ads were launched, W.K. Buckley Ltd.'s fiscal health steadily improved. By the time pharma giant Novartis acquired the firm in 2002, Buckley's share of the country's $300-million cough-and-cold medicine market had grown from 3% to 18%. Boasts Buckley: "We were second in sales across the country — first, if you leave out Quebec." —RW
Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com