If Precision is positioned as a niche product, it would primary be carried by food and drug stores which was estimated in 1992 to account for 74% of total retail toothbrush sales. In contrast, if Precision is positioned as a mainstream product, sales would mainly be conducted by mass merchandisers and club stores which was estimated to only account for 24% of toothbrush sales in 1992.
Cannibalization on Colgate Plus would be relatively more serious if it is positioned as a mainstream product as compared to if it is positioned as a niche product.
Target Market Decision
Based on the above factors and reasons, Precision should be positioned as a niche product. The overall positioning strategy to adopt in this case would be “more-for-more” This value proposition involves providing a product that is of higher quality to cover the higher costs. The Precision toothbrush was an innovation that required much research, design and resources. This innovation is reflected in the claims from 77% of test consumers that Precision was more effective than their current toothbrush. The higher quality is also reiterated in initial clinical trials where the brush achieved an average 35% increase in plaque removal compared with other leading toothbrushes. The increase in quality is matched with an increase in price, as demonstrated by the 15% premium over Oral-B.
However, we recognize that Precision should be positioned as a mainstream product after some time as the lead time for production capacity is 10 months.