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Winter 2002 CalBusiness  
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Keep it Simple, Marketer!


Replace is developing and positioning products as replacements either for multiple products, or for more complicated products or processes. To reduce customer stress, Replace may be as basic as substituting a simpler product for a more complex one, or it may focus on consolidating the number of products or steps required by the customer to accomplish a particular task or goal.

One of the simplest, most obvious examples of Replace among more firmly established categories predates the digital age: conditioning shampoo. For consumers who use hair conditioner, conditioning shampoo provided the opportunity to simplify by substituting one product for two - and save time both in purchasing and using hair care products. Until Procter & Gamble introduced Pert Plus in 1987, shampoo and hair conditioner were two separate purchases, two separate packages, and sometimes even two separate brand choices for the same customer. Yet the two products are largely co-dependent and almost always used together. For that substantial (and growing) market segment that is more concerned with saving time and effort than with purist fashion and cosmetic sensibilities, conditioning shampoo has become a must-have staple and is now a $5 billion-plus category worldwide that accounts for more than 30% of the total shampoo market.

In supermarket produce departments, the phenomenal success of packaged salad, or salad kits containing fresh, pre-washed, pre-cut lettuces and other salad vegetables, takes the Replace strategy a step further. Where conditioning shampoo replaced two products with one, packaged salad replaced several different fresh produce purchases and also eliminated the time-consuming processes for cleaning, chopping, and mixing different salad ingredients. This product was such a time-saver/stress-reducer that it truly revolutionized the fresh produce category in just a few short digital-age years, spawning all sorts of fresh pre-cut fruits and vegetables in both stand-alone and combination convenience packaging. Time-starved consumers have sustained this "value-added fresh produce" category well beyond 20% growth per year through the late nineties, and it is expected to account for nearly $20 billion - almost a quarter of the entire fresh produce market - by 2003 as stress continues to mount.

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Intro / Replace / Repackage / Reposition / Replenish

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