Neptunus was established in 1989 with its headquarters in Shenzhen, China. It expanded rapidly and by December 2006, the company had nine subsidiaries and five pharmaceutical manufacturing bases. Its total assets amount to over 7 billion Yuan (USD 1.025 billion). The company produces approximately 400 types of pharmaceuticals, traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) and healthcare products. It has strong R&D and manufacturing systems, efficient marketing and logistics networks as well as rich social resources. As a result, Neptunus is the leading company in China’s pharmaceutical industry. In the beginning, the company placed an emphasis on technological innovation and product development, creating many new products and winning various awards for their products. For example, their Golden Oyster Extract product launched in 1989 was awarded the Gold in the China Excellent Product award in 1991. Neptunus went on to produce countless award winning products such as the Neptunus KingDrink and the Neptunus Ginkgo Tablet. Change in Marketing Strategy
Despite the success of Neptunus’ products, sales and revenue figures did not reflect this success. Neptunus believed that economic success was affected by their ability to establish effective advertising, marketing and promotional programs, responding to competitive pressures as well as driving demand from the target market. In 2000, the company undertook an intensive objective diagnosis of the brand and introduced the “21st Century Neptunus Branding Strategy Implementation Plan”. Under this plan, they developed the core brand value of “health creates the future”. They also established the strategic aim of developing Neptunus into the leading brand in China’s healthcare market. In early 2001, Neptunus started a large scale TV commercial campaign promoting their products. This included the top 4 products, as well as products such as the Neptunus Oyster extract. Although each of these commercials promoted a different product, they all carried the central theme of “Neptunus – Health Creates the Future”. This was the value that Neptunus hoped to bring across to the consumers in order to boost their brand name. Therefore, it can be interpreted that Neptunus’ communication objective in 2000 was to promote their brand name to all segments of the market, hoping that a strong brand name will boost sales of all their products. There was an obvious shift away from product development to branding. Neptunus strength and core lies in its prescription drugs as they have strong research and development capabilities. However, the heavy regulation of advertising for prescription drugs prevented Neptunus from fully exploiting this potential. To overcome this problem, Neptunus started to get more involved with the healthcare sector, manufacturing products like the KingDrink and the Colostrum Nutrient. Such products did not require any prescription and could enjoy a greater demand. Neptunus hoped that when customers fell sick and required any over the counter drugs or prescription drugs, they will turn to Neptunus. Total Health Marketing Strategy
By shifting their focus to “total health”, Neptunus was able to broaden their consumer base and reach out to a greater market, ultimately increasing awareness of their brand. They wanted to help individuals remain healthy in all stages of their life. Their brand value of “health creates the future” is also in line with this focus of total health. Products for all ages
This was reflected in their product line. For example, they have the Xiao Er Zhike Tangjiang, which is a cough syrup targeted at young children. There is also the Jianbaoling Pian, which is a health supplement for children. For growing children, there is the Neptunus Colostrum Nutrient which is an enriched milk powder. Neptunus also has products catered for adults such as Xiyangshen, a ginseng based health supplement to boost the immune system, or the popular KingDrink, targeted...