Radion, the UK’s seventh-biggest laundry detergent brand, has been
culled by Lever Brothers following a review which sees sister brand Surf
promoted to power brand status.
The move will result in a significant increase in marketing for the Surf
brand, which is left as one of two laundry brands at Lever; the other is
market leader Persil.
’The resources devoted to Radion in terms of people, advertising and
investment will be moved to Surf, which is the fastest-growing brand in
the value based sector,’ said Helena Ganczakowski, Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers decision to drop Radion is part of a sweeping brand
consolidation by parent company Unilever.
In September, president of Unilever, Niall FitzGerald, said the company
aimed to slash about 75% of its brands - an estimated 600 products -
over the next five years in an effort to save money and hit growth
targets of 8%.
Ganczakowski said: ’The move supports Unilever’s strategy of focusing on
brands which give us the best return, but the decision to drop Radion
was made by Lever.’
Lever said it intends to increase the advertising spend behind Surf and
reposition the brand to appeal to Radion consumers by introducing a new
range with a stronger perfume.
Radion brand manager Patrick Kalotis will stay with Lever to work on the
Surf brand. The company said it would offer Surf promotions on Radion
packets to encourage consumers to switch.
Radion was launched in October 1989. The brand was supported by about
pounds 5.2m in adspend over the past five years and was the subject of a
series of innovative marketing campaigns, including the high-profile
scented bus tickets promotion in 1996.
Despite this investment, Radion has failed to perform as well as Lever’s
other laundry brands (see table).
Ganczakowski said that Lever had no plans to cull more brands in the
short-term. Radion advertising was handled by Ammirait Puris Lintas,
which also handles advertising for Surf.
MARKET SHARE OF LEVER’S BRANDS
Company 1999 1998 1997
1 Persil 26% 23% 20.1%
2 Surf 6% 5.2% 4.4%
3 Radion 2% 2.4% 2.3%
Source: Lever Brothers UK laundry market report