- STRENGTH OF BRAND: Maintains trusted image while also moving toward versatility and efficiency.
- MARKETING: Highly effective “Trusted Everywhere” campaign is in its seventh year.
- INNOVATION: New Smart Power initiative transitions the brand toward efficiently, meeting new power demands for on-the-go consumers.
DURACELL understands that energy can be useful without being wasteful. That's why the Proctor & Gamble-owned brand has developed an unwavering commitment to efficiency, both through marketing and through a lineup of cutting-edge rechargeable, low-impact products.
Duracell kicked things off last year by establishing an umbrella platform for this new philosophy called the Smart Power initiative. The company marked the occasion by announcing the rollout of several new products, including the myGrid on-the-go battery charger and an LED flashlight — products that the company described in marketing literature as providing “the right amount of power for whatever your device calls for.”
The company also began a new advertising campaign to associate the brand with the sustainable, versatile qualities that Smart Power embodies. One television spot, for instance, shows how Duracell powers the wind turbine technology used at Iowa Lakes Community College, a school that trains turbine technicians.
“Duracell's Smart Power is an evolution of Duracell's heritage that builds upon the reliability and performance that our batteries have and will always deliver,” said Rick June, Duracell vice president and general manager for North America. “This initiative will serve as an important lens for future product innovation as we expand the breadth of our offerings to address the evolution of personal power.”
Duracell has continued the transition by unveiling innovative products, like a 40-watt universal netbook adapter that's one of the smallest of its kind and only draws 0.5 watt of power when plugged into a wall outlet.
At the same time, Duracell has maintained the qualities that have made it the most trusted brand in the category. The “Trusted Everywhere” ads, which highlight the various services and institutions — including Iowa Lakes CC — that rely on Duracell batteries, have been running for seven years. And there are many innovations, like power readers on the side of its batteries that seamlessly blend the old with the new.
“Our new personal power solutions allow consumers the freedom to live their lives without the limits of staying tethered to today's power grid. It is charging made simple,” said June.
On top of investing in product innovation, P&G became aggressive on its pricing in the category this year. In July, P&G cut battery prices as much as 14% to gain market share, according to media reports.
COMPANY TO WATCH
ENERGIZER: With more than $100 million in sales during the most recent quarter — up more than 25% during the same quarter last year — Energizer, like its signature mascot, just keeps going. More than that, the company has worked hard to keep pace with consumer demands for efficiency and versatility. Energizer recently introduced a lineup of inductive chargers, which power up multiple devices on one platform, as well as devices that harness solar power and LED lighting. Beyond product innovation, the company has invested in and supported research that helps retailers understand and grow the battery category, said Jim Wisner, president, Wisner Marketing Group, Libertyville, Ill. At this rate, Energizer's innovative spirit, coupled with retailer support, will only keep going, and going, and going…