The U.S. OTC market is characterized lately by slow, steady growth of anywhere from 1% to 3% annually. There are small, independent companies, however, that have recently recorded double-digit sales growth. These companies often outpace market growth by offering unique brands, uncommon and often natural ingredients, focused distribution, and a strong online presence, frequently combined with compelling digital marketing that resonates with today’s OTC consumers. Identifying these market disruptors and learning the factors that make them resonate with consumers and retailers is crucial.Continue reading
The top six branded OTC marketers in the United States hold 37% of the total market, and many of these companies have grown as a result of consolidation and acquisitions over the past five years.
Bayer’s acquisition of Merck’s consumer health unit bolstered its position from #3 in 2011 to now being the #1 marketer in the United States. GlaxoSmithKline’s rank improved from #6 in 2011 to #3 in 2016 with the addition of Novartis’ OTC unit via a joint venture. Sanofi’s acquisition of Boehringer-Ingelheim’s consumer health unit helped it jump from #9 in 2011 to #6 in 2016. Continue reading
As elaborated in a recent Kline & Company article from the November 2011 edition of the Harvard Business Review Brazil, commodity and specialty businesses have disparate needs and markets, and consequently a danger lies in attempting to consolidate these and falling into what authors Jonathan Goldhill, Sergio Rebello and Sunanda Desai deem the ‘specialty trap’.
The article points out that because of the major differences in competitive dynamics between these two types of businesses, management’s focus is also very different. Managers in commodity driven businesses rightly focus on cost minimization: low cost raw materials, operational optimization and efficient channels to market. Conversely, managers in specialty businesses focus on understanding and responding to customer needs, product innovation and targeted marketing and sales.Continue reading