Monday, December 27, 2010

How to brand your diphenhydramine

Challenge: Okay brand strategists, you've got a proven pharmaceutical compound – diphenhydramine – and you want to cut in on Benadryl's market share.
What do you call your discount version?
Answer: Everyone has a little twist of their own.

1 CVS doesn’t get cute. It uses its own CVS brand and labels its diphenhydramine with a big “ALLERGY” in italics and capital letters, just like the Benadryl package.

2 The most familiar brand is Benadryl – here fending off discounters with 12 free tablets. Benedryl is more expensive, and unlike the Walgreens house version, contains a long list of inactive ingredients: candelilla wax, crospovidone, dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, D&C red dye no. 27, aluminum lake, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethelene glycol, polysorbate 80, pregelatinized starch, stearic acid, and titanium dioxide. No wonder this is the high-priced brand.

Walgreens has a shameless chameleon called “Wal-dryl” – a clumsy but effective combo of its name with Benedryl's. It has the check-marks next to symptoms, but note: Like a school-kid disguising plagiarism, the checked symptoms are in a different order. Runny nose first, sneezing third. Also, “Wal-dryl” has fewer ingredients – which is turned into a benefit: “DYE-FREE”

4 Wegmans has an interesting approach. It offers this “Top Care” brand – which is used by non-Wegmans stores as well. The Top Care package – with its brand slung up along the left side – looks like a cheap, value brand – which is the point.

5 For its diphenhydramine, Walmart uses its own sub-brand called “equate” (equate, get it?) Symptoms with check marks are on the box – and in the Benadryl order! The package has nauseating circles and wavy lines – probably giving customers a reason to buy something for their stomachs.

6 Rite-Aid’s diphenhydramine has the discount look down pat. When they designed this package, Rite-Aid must have hired the same guys who pick their in-store music: “Just stack all the words down the middle, paint the thing hospital-wall pink, and call it a day.”

What's the point? I don't care what they call it, as long as diphenhydramine is handy when those damned yellow jackets attack me again.



Anonymous said...

My guess is that 10% of the cost of these knock-offs relates to the legal costs associated with their names. How close can you come to Benadryl without stepping on the land mine? Not quire sure how Walgreens got away with their name. It isn't as if the word "dryl" is part of everyday vocabulary! Unless it's some kind of Swedish hand tool. As you say, though, as long as it keeps you out of the emergency room...names don't matter.

brandsinger said...

Thanks, anonymous aficionado of knock-off packaging. The "Wal-dryl" approach opens up new avenues in copy-cat marketing. I'm thinking HPad... and Mc-mom-and-pops... and Wal-tyne chewing gum.


emlak said...

thank you so much emlak pencerem Emlak

brandsinger said...

Emiak Pencerem -
What a great name! We need to market that name as a brand!

And thanks for your kind comment.

- Brandsinger

Anonymous said...

I do enjoy reading this blog every few weeks. The remarks about tenure in a past post are especially good. Aren't you glad you escaped academe? Keep it up, man.