Wednesday, September 22

Clinical Strength Antiperspirant

I'll admit it, I sweat just as much as the next guy. OK, I'll really admit it, I sweat 10x more than the next guy. So when I noticed the proliferation of clinical strength antiperspirants, I just had to blog about it. Can't help myself.

Of course these clinical strength formulas were first available with a prescription, but hardly very accessible since you have to go to a doctor, talk about your sweating, and then go get a prescription filled. Not very user friendly.

So it was just a matter of time before the first brand would come out with a prescription strength, and then everyone followed. Men's brands and women's brands - there are many options out there including Gillette, Secret, Old Spice, you name it. But what makes them different? They are priced at a significant premium so clearly there is a benefit, but aren't they all just the same?

From a product perspective, pretty much. Like so many consumer categories, the differentiation is in the positioning and in the marketing. Sure there is a functional side to all of this, but the brands that really "get it" have cracked the emotional code to set themselves apart.

There are a lot of emotions tied up in sweating, and it's interesting to see those marketers walking on the emotional side:
- "Emotions make you sweat up to five times more than usual"
- "One in four people worry about excessive sweating"
- "Don't let sweating get in the way of being yourself"

And of course, the infamous: "Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman", that one's been around way before extra stength!

But do they really work? At twice the price and even more, they had better. But because sweating is in the arms of the beholder, I leave that up to you to judge. My only point here is that this is classic marketing in action ... create a new category within a category based on an emotional (and physical) need for efficacy, charge more, and then use creative positioning and an emotional benefit to differentiate. Then let the consumer decide if it's worth it.

What's your experience? Jim


  1. "Emotions make you sweat up to five times more." More than what? More than when you're...not having an emotion?

  2. I guess so ... proving once again that a claim is in the eyes of the beholder. Jim.