Alkaline batteries aren’t exciting. They aren’t advanced. And they aren’t a growing market. But batteries also aren’t going away. Devices like remote controls, smoke alarms, flashlights and toys still use plenty of battery power.
P&G’s Duracell looked on the bright side and deployed a market strategy designed to grow share, including product innovations, new partnerships and marketing campaigns. This year, Nielsen named new product Duracell Quantum one of its 12 Breakthrough Innovation Winners, recognizing the brand for delivering distinctiveness, relevance and endurance in the market.
Jeff Jarrett, Duracell Marketing Director explains:
“We're just sticking to a very simple strategy, which is building strong retailer partnerships, innovation and brand building. When retailers have gotten behind the Duracell brand, their business has grown.”
The strategy may appear simple, but competitors seem to have difficulty keeping up. In 2014, Duracell topped market share, with a combined 39.5% for its brands, compared with 27.3% for nearest rival Energizer.
A ‘Simple’ Market Strategy: Partnerships, Innovation and Brand Building
An important part to Duracell’s market share growth came from building the brand’s partnership with Sam’s Club with larger packs—at the expense of Energizer’s shelf space.
Product innovation with the Quantum line allows Duracell to grow profit margins, even when the market itself isn’t growing. Touted as “the World’s Most Advanced Alkaline Battery,” Duracell Quantum promotes better performance through its “revolutionary Hi-Density Core and proprietary PowerCheck power indicator.” This premium product line is priced at up to double Duracell’s Copper Top product.
Over the last three years, Duracell has built and expanded marketing campaigns that inspire consumers to have meaningful emotions surrounding the brand. With the launch of Duracell Quantum, the brand donated one million batteries to first responders and released the Quantum Heroes video series.
During the 2014 Super Bowl, ads shared the personal success stories of key players, with the message Trust Your Power.
And this year, Duracell partnered with the USO to help support children with parents deployed in the military. This associated commercial shares the moving story of a girl and her deployed father, with the message The Ones You Trust Are Always There.
Duracell’s pursuit of growth in a lackluster market shows the brand’s innovation, creativity and discipline. And that’s something to get excited about.