How to make your whites whiter and your sales brighter – A Napisan case study

In most product categories there are two ways to increase sales
1. Get more people to buy your products
2. Get your current customers to buy your products more often

Napisan, aka The Great Unstainer, prefers the later.

Over the last decade, Napisan have educated customers to use their product more often, through the brilliant use of a variety of marketing methods.

Step 1: Establish your niche

Napisan started out by establishing itself as a soaking alternative to bleach, with the Klu Klux Klan tagline “brings them back to white”.

Here Napisan have used the classic advertising method of product demonstration.

This was later popularised in their ads featuring the “Napisan Challenge”, where John Harker barged into random victim’s homes smearing stains all over their whites, then asked them to use Napisan to see it work for themselves.

Thankfully for John Harker, Napisan always got the stain out.

Thankfully for us, the Chaser boys and Anthony Salame didn’t miss a beat in taking the piss out of these ads (warning strong language).

Step 2: Break out of your niche

Napisan had established itself as an effective soaker for whites. But that is a bit limiting isn’t it, so how can we expand sales of Napisan?

Well, how about all those coloured clothes that people seem to be wearing?

In this ad, Napisan introduce “Colour Smart” which helps keep colours true even after 20 washes! After which I guess, you say hello to fading.

Notice how they also have changed from white packaging to pink, to further accentuate that the product is safe on colours.

Step 3: Encourage your customers to use your product every time

In this execution, Napisan introduces “Stain Insure” which provides mothers with insurance against stains if they include Napisan in every wash.

Notice how they have effectively migrated Napisan from just soaking stained whites, to a product that should be added to every wash, for both whites and colours.

Step 4: When you have solved all your customer’s problems, create more problems

In this final ad, Napisan introduces another breakthrough called “Oxy Action Intelligence” which seeks out stains in the wash, even the ones you didn’t notice.

Even the stains you didn’t notice?

Now Napisan are encouraging you to wash your clothes even when they appear clean.

Clearly, a very smart marketer came up with that one.

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Categories: Advertising, Communication, Marketing Strategy


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6 Comments on “How to make your whites whiter and your sales brighter – A Napisan case study”

  1. IslandMeri
    July 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    This is a very interesting case study. What was the feedback like?

  2. July 29, 2009 at 9:33 pm #

    Well representative sample of one, but I use Napisan in every wash!

  3. IslandMeri
    July 29, 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    That’s great. I think it could work in neighbouring Pacific Is countries – perhaps my own country Papua New Guinea – Australia’s northern neighbour. There is alot of betelnut chewing there and the stains can be a devil to remove.
    On another note – could I share your Napisan article on my blog:
    Let me know if it’s ok.

    • July 30, 2009 at 9:33 am #

      Sure Meri, happy for you to share the article on your blog

  4. July 29, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

    There is a third way. You’ve covered 1. reach “more people”; 2. frequency “more often”, and the third, 3. engagement – customers who regard the product as having a higher value proposition, and will spend more per unit for the ‘privilege’. The trick is, can an FMCG product like Napisan afford to take the third option as a way of increasing sales revenue?

  5. July 30, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    I think Napisan can use the third method you mention. Firstly who are Napisan’s competitors? I cant really think of one, and that means they can have a pricing advantage. Secondly, diversification of product range to include premium options, like Colgate does with toothpaste.

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