Research Paper of Axe

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David Steele
4-26-10
Final paper

Axe Deodorant and Body Spray: A Marketing Study
Axe deodorant is very well known. It is known just as much for its ads on TV that portrait it as a deodorant that guys use to attach women as it is for the deodorant itself. The smell seems to be well known to women; however, this particular paper will focus on the history of Axe and the deodorant market itself, as well as the marketing behind the product.

Market
The deodorant market in the United States is very large, with revenues of $2.4 billion in 2008 and it is expected to grow 18.4% through 2013. 2008 volume was 835.4 million units and is expected to grow 3% through 2013. Sticks and solid deodorants dominate the U.S. market, with a 63.23% share. Unilever, the makers of Axe, are the largest deodorant company in the U.S. with a 28.5% market share. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are the dominant sales outlets in America. The United States is the second largest deodorant market in the world with 23.3%, behind Europe’s 48.4% (deodorants industry profile).

One interesting number noted above is the fact that volume is expected to increase at a much lower rate than revenue. It can be expected that profit margins on brands are going to increase because of this, meaning that it is likely that either expenses will decrease or prices will increase on many brands. It is likely that prices will increase. Body sprays like Ax of which people use a lot should be especially profitable, since you run out sooner and buy more. If Axe is going to grow during this period, they will have to gain market from other brands, as new market will likely be small given the numbers that have been shown (deodorants industry profile). Axe is a body spray, which only has 6% of the U.S market. Judging by the fact that Unilever is the dominate player in the U.S. market, it can be assumed that the body spray market, while a small overall part of the entire deodorant market, is very much dominated by Axe. It should be noted that aerosol deodorant is a separate category, and currently has 12% of the market, which should be an easy crossover for expanding the Axe brand. Sticks are the dominate market, and axe has sticks available as well (deodorants industry profile).

History of axe
Axe uses a marketing campaign to differentiate themselves from other brands. While some brands like to make the perception of their products as “tough” and “working good,” Axe shows their product as working to attract women to men. When sprayed on a guy, the scent is suppose to attract women and lures them toward the guys. It plays to a known fact, that girls like it when a guy smells good. No girl has ever said “I like the stench coming from that guy,” or at least it is doubtful. So having a good, strong, masculine smell is important. Furthermore, the body spray makes all of you smell good, not just your underarms, giving the perception that you smell better. This appearance has given Axe a reputation that has enabled it to branch out into many other products, such as body wash and shampoo.

Axe began in France in 1983. Going on their success in France, they quickly expanded into the rest of Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world. It was launched in the U.S. in the early 2000s. However, they don’t play on the European aspect of the brand in the U.S. The brand seems entirely American and plays to American young guy’s minds with the attractive girls. Ads have shown guys getting confidence to get close to women. Other ads have shown “nice” girls becoming “naughty (Wikipedia_Axe).”

The scent has always been important. While marketing claims of these products helping guys become confident and helping them with women, if they don’t work, then guys might not be repeat customers. The different scents are available so that guys will find one that girls like. Different scents are released every year so that the product line remains fresh...
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