CleanSpritz is part of the MJ Brenner group which sells different cleaning products for the house, industrial, and car market. Due to the bad results of the CleanSpritz brand, the executives of MJ Brenner think that there must be a reduction in CleanSpritz in order to invest these resources in other branches of the MJ Brenner group. As a result, CleanSpritz must present a strategic plan to the MJ Brenner executives that could convince them to keep supporting CleanSpritz´s brand.
John A. Quelch; Alisa Zalosh
Harvard Business Review (914537-PDF-ENG)
January 08, 2014
Case questions answered:
- Introduction to CleanSpritz.
- Issue Analysis.
- Alternative Solutions and Options.
- Recommendation and implementation.
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CleanSpritz Case Answers
I. Introduction – CleanSpritz
CleanSpritz is an important brand of household cleaning products, which, in 2011, had a 14% market share of the all-purpose cleaners market in the U.S. The CleanSpritz product line includes two basic products:
1. CleanSpritz all-purpose cleaner spray.
2. The 3:1 CleanSpritz concentrated.
CleanSpritz is part of the MJ Brenner group, which sells different cleaning products for the house, industrial, and car markets.
Due to the bad results of the CleanSpritz brand, the executives of MJ Brenner think that there must be a reduction in CleanSpritz in order to invest these resources in other branches of the MJ Brenner group.
As a result, CleanSpritz must present a strategic plan to the MJ Brenner executives that could convince them to keep supporting CleanSpritz´s brand.
The immediate problem is “What is the best strategy to reverse the declining sales trend of the CleanSpritz products”?
There must be taken into consideration different issues that could affect the decision.
First, the company finds that in the American market, people are more and more aware of the environmental benefits of products. This means that with education, customers will be willing to buy environmentally friendly products.
Secondly, it is important for CleanSpritz that the brand could give a “green” message to the public.
Third, the cost of creating a new product or even a promotion campaign must be deeply analyzed because the CleanSpritz brand does not have good results, and therefore, this investment is risky.
Fourth, in the All-Purpose Surface Cleaners Market, consumers were very responsive to price due to little product differentiation.
Finally, the cannibalization rate of the new product in the CleanSpritz line must be seen in order to realize what is the real impact on sales.
To solve the immediate problem, the CleanSpritz lead team has 4 different options:
1) Re-launch the existing 3:1 CleanSpritz concentrated: This option includes a heavy promotion of the 3:1 CleanSpritz concentrated, which will emphasize the environmental advantage of the product thanks to the small size of the package and the fact that it does not contaminate as much as the spray version.
The cannibalization rate must be compared with the small amount of inversion that this campaign requires (a 6% increase in ad spending over 2011).
2 and 3) The 4:1 concentrated to refill an existing 32 oz spray (bottle lightweight pouch or dissolvable packet): The idea of a new product to refill the spray could be important due to the differentiation it could mean. Additionally, it will exalt the environmental care of CleanSpritz.
The cannibalization rate of the new product in the CleanSpritz line and the outsourcing risks associated with the package must be taken into consideration.
Additionally, the high cost of creating and positioning a new product must also be evaluated. In case the new product is the best option, there must be a choice between the two packages of options, which is the one that gives CleanSpritz less risk with more advantages.
4) Make no change in the short term: This option means not creating any promotional campaign in the short term and waiting for almost 1 year for the creation of a new sprayer system that could promote concentrates and waiting approximately 2 years for the development of a 99% biodegradable spray. This option could mean a cut of resources to the CleanSpritz because the bad result will continue.
II. Issues Analysis
Taking into account the information given before, the most important facts in the case of CleanSpritz are the decline of sales from 2006 to 2011 of 7.5 %, leading to the consumption of financial resources that could be used for another branch of products owned by MJ Brenners.
Also, it is important to say that the all-purpose CleanSpritz spray is a product that for 20 years hasn’t been renewed in terms of packaging and design in a way in which the customer needs will be satisfied, but also this new change would help among competitor in order to take off and increase sales.
By mentioning the past fact, it is also important to say that this product was made by Salton & Sons and later on was purchased in 1985 by MJ Brenner.
During this time period, the carbon footprint wasn’t a big concern as it was during the 2010s, so the customers didn’t care as much if their product was environmentally friendly or not. Their only purpose was to find a good product that was price accessible, easy to use, and effective in cleaning the surface.
Moreover, relating both the packaging and the environmental changes, it is a fact that CleanSpritz hasn’t been successful in both.
First, it wasn’t successful in upgrading it as well when it launched the 3:1 all-purpose spray, which was environmentally friendly and reduced waste and pollution. It also wasn’t successful because they weren’t able to clarify and send the message to the consumer that this new product was really helpful with the environment.
Likewise, it was failing in another key aspect, which is promotion. CleanSpritz has not been able to hit this in the proposed solutions as an important aspect due to the big impact of eco-friendly customers in the past years.
Retail stores have been using the CleanSpritz, and products alike, as a ‘loss leader’ as an advertising tactic to attract consumers into their stores. And offering a higher-priced all-purpose cleaner would dissatisfy retailers.
Consumers have shown greater interest in the overall environmental impact or the impact household cleaners have on the environment.
In addition to that, consumers have said they would be more willing to try concentrated products because of the benefits they would have to the environment. However…
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