5-1 Blog: Top Dog vs. Underdog

As an avid purchaser of batteries to power everything from remotes to animatronic  toy animals to flashlights for my kids so they can sleep better at night, I have chosen to write this blog on the brand rivalry between Duracell and Energizer. Currently Duracell has 29% of the market share while Energizer has 25%. Duracell’s brand strategy consists of sticking with the reliable and proven campaigns but also delving into new partnerships with marketing giants like Disney. “Batteries don’t exist without the devices they power and toys account for the main bulk of battery consumption,” says Tatiana Jouanneau, Duracell’s international CMO in a recent Marketing Week article by Lucy Tesseras (2018). While Duracell’s major partner is Disney, their target market is a completely different demographic. “Duracell has targeted males and professional workers as their target group because they generally have a higher usage of batteries because of their dependence on electronic items.” (Bashin, 2017) Something Duracell does on a remarkable level is advertise. Even though batteries are something that most consider a necessity, Duracell still markets their product and their brand with vigor. “Duracell is a world-recognised brand and it has a marketing team to promote its products in every nook and corner. Advertising is the best method to create brand awareness and the hence company has been an active participant in several commercials that highlighted its vital feature like durability.  In the United States, it released an ad campaign narrated by Jeff Bridges and this ad highlighted its durability and showed people using Duracell battery for long-lasting effects.” (Bhasin, 2017) Duracell’s CMO is mainly focused on digital marketing and “one-third of the brand’s new growth aims to come from e-commerce.” (Caffyn, 2017)

Energizer conducts their marketing in a similar fashion. They even copied a key marketing strategy put in place by Duracell, the bunny mascot. “The Duracell Bunny campaign was launched in 1973[1] and predates the Energizer Bunny, which was created in 1989.” – Wikipedia. Because Duracell failed to renew their trademark on the bunny, Energizer swooped in and made one of their own. A brilliant marketing move since, until this blog, I had no idea a Duracell bunny even existed. I associate a pink bunny with two things, Ralphie Parker from A Christmas Story and the Energizer bunny. “During the 1990s, Energizer heavily relied on TV advertisements and 90-95% of their promotional strategy included TV ads. But later, post-2000s, Energizer focused on another medium for their promotion. Although they got into digital marketing, social media marketing, TV ads still compose about 50% of their promotional strategy.” from this article. Unlike Duracell, Energizer utilizes digital marketing but has yet to fully adopt this marketing strategy the way Duracell has.

That being said, the first recommendation I would have for Energizer is to fully immerse themselves in their digital marketing efforts. By creating a stronger digital media presence, they will reach a much larger consumer group. This would also allow them to cater specifically to the target demographic of each digital platform.

Secondly, I would recommend some major partnerships. Duracell has Disney, Amazon and Logitech, while Energizer is partnering with the German Ski Association. This partnership isn’t a negative, it’s just clearly not enough to compete with brand giants like Disney and Amazon.

My final recommendation for Duracell would be to focus their first digital marketing push with a specific market segmentation in mind. If they were to market to new moms (seems to be a trend with my work, I know) for instance, they could very easily infiltrate a number of digital platforms with a mom-focused ad. Moms are great at re-posting/sharing things they see on social media. A couple touching/funny ads (maybe one where the mother constantly changes out batteries then discovers Energizer’s newest product) could see some serious consumer traffic very quickly. And, luckily for many marketers, those ads seem to filter back through every few months organically with new sets of moms viewing them for the first time.

I believe that consumers prefer Duracell because they have a more active presence on digital media platforms. Their digital marketing strategy is well above its competitors. Jack Neff stated in a 2013 Ad Age article “Duracell is focused on digital and social, racking up 4.7 million Facebook fans.” Their Facebook page currently has 6.5 million fans, while Energizer has less than 500k. There’s a clear disconnect on Energizer’s marketing department’s part when it comes to digital marketing.

If I’m being completely honest, my battery container is a mix of Duracell, Energizer and Rayovac products. Because my family goes through batteries like pieces of gum, I can’t seem to get an accurate measurement of which actually lasts longer for us. Not only that, but each toy/remote/flashlight/etc. is used at a varying rate. For instance, we change out the batteries in my daughters glow worm that she sleeps with about once a month, but rarely switch out the batteries in our remote. As far as which stands out to me, Duracell would probably the one I would choose. They are clearly more interested in making relevant partnerships with other brands that I consume. And, because I feel like it’s important, I think their bunny is cuter. 🙂

Image result for duracell bunny

References:

2016, May 27. Seeking Alpha. Energizer – Pure Battery Play Is Already Diversifying, Avoid Given The Structural* Headwinds. Retrieved from https://seekingalpha.com/article/3978285-energizer-pure-battery-play-already-diversifying-avoid-given-structrual-headwinds

  1. MBASkool. Energizer Marketing Mix (4Ps) Strategy. Retrieved from https://www.mbaskool.com/marketing-mix/products/17484-energizer.html

Altabet, Robert. 2017, April 27. Seeking Alpha. The Energizer Vs. Duracell Market Share Story. Retrieved from https://seekingalpha.com/article/4065865-energizer-vs-duracell-market-share-story

Bhasin, Hitesh. 2017, December 27. Marketing91. Marketing Mix of Duracell – Duracell Marketing Mix. Retrieved from https://www.marketing91.com/marketing-mix-duracell/

Caffyn, Grace. 2017, February 27. Digiday. How Duracell’s digital priorities have shifted. Retrieved from https://digiday.com/marketing/duracells-digital-priorities-shifted/

Klettke, Russ. 2017, December 12. Sync Magazine. How Duracell Became Free to Be a Battery Brand. Retrieved from https://sync-magazine.com/2017/how-duracell-became-free-battery-brand/

McKane, Jamie. 2018, January 14. My Broadband. Duracell vs Energizer – Ultimate battery showdown. Retrieved from https://mybroadband.co.za/news/energy/244152-duracell-vs-energizer-ultimate-battery-showdown.html

Neff, Jack. 2013, November 6. Ad Age. Duracell vs. Energizer — One Charges Up, One Sputters. Retrieved from https://adage.com/article/news/duracell-energizer-charges-sputters/245108/

Neff, Jack. 2016, March 1. Ad Age. Once-drained Energizer Business gets power surge. Retrieved from https://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/drained-battery-business-power-surge/302893/

Stone, Jasmine. 2018, January 16. 2 Oceans Vibe News. Time To Settle The Great Energizer Vs Duracell Debate Once And For All. Retrieved from http://www.2oceansvibe.com/2018/01/16/time-to-settle-the-energizer-vs-duracell-debate-once-and-for-all/

Tesseras, Lucy. 2018, January 18. MarketWeek. Duracell’s CMO on the 7Ps that are redefining the brand. Retrieved from https://www.marketingweek.com/2018/01/18/duracell-cmo-7ps-redefined-the-brand/

 

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