Just as the great Jedi Anakin Skywalker had the opportunity to use his powers for good but chose to join the dark side so has the pharmaceutical giant Reckitt Benckiser. The makers of Nurofen, has chosen to deceive their customers through the art of segmentation and targeting of vulnerable people seeking assistance from pain.
The case against Reckitt Benckiser is only a another story that provides more ammunition against pharmaceutical companies but also illustrates how much influence marketing can have on the consumer.
The ACCC have raised an action against Reckitt Benckiser in the Australian Federal Court stating that they have misled consumers by stating that their specific pain products are specifically designed to combat specific types of pain. Where this is not the case.
Reckitt Benckiser has segmented their market around the common ailments of:
- Back Pain,
- Period Pain,
- Migraines, and
- Tension headaches.
Reckitt Benckiser held the belief that their product was sufficient in satisfying all these common ailments listed above. And having not developed any additional products which specifically addressed these ailments decided to repackage their standard product into separately distinct products.
From a marketing point this campaign appears to be an effective example of Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning. And it would also appear that it was highly successful as the strategy had been in place for a number of years.
However, the ethics and morales of Reckitt Benckiser comes into question when pricing the various product lines. Reckitt Benckiser doubled the retail prices of the specific pain relieving products in comparison to the standard Nurofen Pain Reliever. Remembering that the each package was the same product.
I for one believe that this practice is deceitful and hope they are found guilty of misleading the consumer and required to pay the maximum fines. Preying on the vulnerable leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Reckitt Benckiser …. Deceitful company or clever marketer?