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Head & Shoulders Shampoo: Media Strategy Differentiating Between Paid, Own, and Earned Media

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All three elements, owned, earned and paid are important to a digital media strategy. It’s up to you to evaluate these three themes and decide where to allocate your resources to make the most sense for your brand. Owned media sites are an extension of your brand and create additional avenues for people to interact with your brand. When it comes to owned media, as long as you can keep up with the maintenance, the more the merrier

Earned media is the equivalent of online word of mouth and is the vehicle that drives traffic, engagement and sentiment around a brand. While there are different ways a brand can garner earned media, good SEO and content strategies are the most controlled and effective.

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In the Product Mix, Head & Shoulders has increased a certain product line’s depth with more than ten types of shampoo and conditioner, which have different functions and sizes. In the Place Mix, in order to provide product at a place which is more convenient for consumers to access, Head & Shoulders use vairous strategies such as intensive distribution, selective distribution, so it is easy to find the products in every grocery shops, medical shops as well as stationary shops. Also, Head & Shoulders makes good use of the web marketing to sell products online. In Price Mix, at the time of launching, it used price-quality reference strategy while now it use references pricing. In the Promotion Mix, Head & Shoulders uses TV advertisements, print advertisements, sponsorship, sales promotion and social media and it also hired famous star for their promotional activities. Head & Shoulders, positioned as a world’s No.1 anti-dandruff shampoo, identified multiple segmentation bases on the shampoo product line and still try to expand the market share by amplifying different needs and desires of the different consumer segments. The core segments of Head & Shoulders are shiny hair, anti dandruff and reasonable prices. Head & Shoulders used to focus on the male consumers but rencent year, it changed to introduce itself as a premium brand and uses charming models and start as its new brand ambassador, which to emphasized it not only gets rid of dandruff and flakes, but also gives soft and beautiful hair. Before Head & Shoulers was launched to the market, the product R&D department did the research for nearly a decade in order to make a professional dandruff shampoo. Head & Shoulders has a unique feature that is it is rich in Pyrithione Zinc (PTZ), the only active ingredient, which is highly effective at fighting and also preventing dandruff symptoms because of its anti-fungal properties (Our formula, 2011)

Head & Shoulders used to be a medicated shampoo image to consumers, which discorange the development of the product. After doing some maketing research, the company transfered the image of Head & Shoulders by sponsoringg some TV programs and changing the packaging of the products and finally transfered Head & Shoulders to be a more vibrant brand.

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As it can be seen from the analysis of the chosen advertisements, the branding strategies used by shampoo companies reflect the views of marketers on the segmentation, targeting and positioning of their products and effectively apply the communication theories and branding strategies. The main strength of the advertisements under analysis is their compliance with the main requirements of modern consumers and focus on their desires instead of basic needs. Additionally, the creative approaches used in some of the commercials make them entertaining and produce a positive impression upon the audience. A fresh idea with dummies on the production line which was used in the commercial of the VO5 made this brand to stand out from the crowd and produced a long-lasting impression upon the spectators (Hammond, J., 2011). Thus, by combining creative ideas and consideration of the current trends in the market segment, marketers can add value to products and improve their branding. Among the weaknesses of the discussed commercials, there is the lack of attention to the male consumers and prioritizing the push distribution strategy used by vast majority of the shampoo brands

Even though women tend to pay more attention to self care products than men, the shampoo brands could pay more attention to potential male consumers who would not be interested in damage therapies offered by modern advertisements. Concentrating their efforts on female audience and neglecting the interests of men in their marketing strategies, the marketers understate the extra revenues which could be brought by male clients. Another recommendation for all the brands is to pay more attention to pull strategies and communication between consumers and producers of shampoos (Hooley G., Saunders J., Piercy N., & Nicolaud, B., 2008). Even though consumers may frequently skip the stage of information search in their purchase decision making process, they may have certain questions concerning the products and printed advertisements and commercials can be insufficient for answering them.

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Altogether, H&S is positioned as anti-dandruff product which clear flakes with one wash. As the market leader it has successfully acquired the niche market of anti-dandruff segment

The effective distribution channel and deep penetration in the rural market has boosted up the sales in past year making it a leader. According to annual report of H&S 2011 the quote states “H&S was relatively small, primarily north American brand a decade ago. We invested in combination of marketing and product innovations and began to expand the brand globally. Since then w have more than tripled sales and H&S is now the largest shampoo brand in the world.

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Boone, L.E., & Kurtz, D., 2007. Contemporary marketing. 13th ed. Boston: South-Western College Pub.

Datamonitor, 2010. Haircare industry profile: United Kingdom. Datamonitor Research Web.

Ferell, O., & Hartline, M., 2010. Marketing strategy. New York: Cengage Learning.

Franzen, G., & Moriarty, S., 2009. The science and art of branding. New York: M.E. Sharpe.

Hammond, J., 2011. Branding your business: Promoting your business, attracting customers and building your brand through the power of emotion. Philadelphia: Kogan Page Limited.

Hooley G., Saunders J., Piercy N., & Nicolaud, B., 2008. Marketing strategy and competitive positioning. 4th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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