Branding: Old Spice Case Analysis

Topics: Procter & Gamble, Brand, Brand management Pages: 5 (1139 words) Published: March 13, 2013
One of the first mass market fragrances, Old Spice dates back to 1937. Its classic aftershave and cologne combination—with soap on a rope sometimes tossed in for good measure—was the classic Father’s Day gift for baby boomers to give, but was largely irrelevant by the time Procter & Gamble acquired the brand in 1990. P&G’s revitalization strategy was to abandon the old cologne business to focus on deodorants and other male grooming products. Facing tough competition from Unilever’s edgy line of Axe products, the firm reverted to its classic one-two punch of product innovation and new communications to target the 12- to 34-year-old male. New product development resulted in the creation of Old Spice High Endurance, Pro Strength, and Red Zone lines of deodorants, body washes, body sprays, and shaving products. Old Spice’s latest line, Ever Clear, arose from focus group participants’ “good-bye letters” to their current de- odorant. A technological breakthrough allowed Ever Clear to promise the protection of a dry solid without the uncomfortable waxy residue that left white streaks on clothing. All Old Spice products were backed by tongue-in-cheek advertising that stressed the brand’s “experience.

Brand Background

Old Spice was created by the Shulton Company in 1937. Interestingly, is was a woman’s fragrance in the beginning. Old Spice for men was introduced in 1938. The brand gained popularity during World War II and has been an icon in men’s grooming ever since. The early men’s products were dominated by shaving soap and aftershave lotion, marketed with a nautical theme. Sailing ships, in particular were used as a trademark.

Procter & Gamble purchased Old Spice from the Shulton Company in June 1990 seeking to extend its equity in aftershaves and colognes into the world of deodorants and develop them with the advantage of an established brand name. The intention was to shed the image of an older man’s aftershave, but keep the masculine and rugged attributes associated with the whistling sailor.

The clipper ship was replaced by the yacht logo in February 1992. In the late 2000s, Procter & Gamble introduced many forms of deodorant sticks, body washes, and body sprays in several scents under the Old Spice brand.

Reasons for brand repositioning:
many younger men apparently thought of the brand as a musky-smelling something for granddad—and not as a fleet of products they’d choose to groom with 1. Fierce competition in the body wash segment. While Old Spice sales remained strong, the brand’s share in the category began to deteriorate. 2. Expected launch of Unilever’s Dove Men+Care with a huge campaign on the Super Bowl in February 2010. Dove possessed a huge number of loyal customers and was likely to gain significant market share on the market. 3. Old Spice had an Old Man’s image. Most of the current consumers were older and used the product because their fathers did. Younger men were not interested in this stodgy image.


1. Protect the market share in the category
2. Appeal to new audience without alienating its core (Improve Key Brand Measures among 13- to 24-year-old guys preserving the core brand identity)


The competitive frame of reference

1. Target market and segmentation

P&G’s own research had uncovered a startling statistic: 60% of men’s body washes were actually purchased by women. This insight immediately prompted them to broaden their target. If they were going to increase Old Spice sales they had to win over female shoppers. This dual audience was a first for the brand, a strategic choice that they ultimately hoped would encourage the ladies to buy Old Spice for their guys.

2. Nature of competition (video?)

Market for men's grooming products is highly competitive. Several companies are shifting focus from women's grooming products to men's grooming sector. Key players include Procter & Gamble, Unilever,...
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