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Expanded: Bringing a Beloved Brand Back to Life

By: Brian Budzynski
Posted: April 6, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“The brand hadn’t been advertised for years,” says Klisanich, “but the old advertising [tagline: “Makes Getting Clean Almost as Much Fun as Getting Dirty!] was strong and memorable, and that benefit carried over.” In light of recent concerns about both the efficacy and safety of children’s products, TVC took the opportunity to improve on a good thing. “We saw no reason to makes changes to a brand that had such a strong and positive quality,” says Klisanich, “but today’s moms are very concerned about the safety of the products they purchase for their kids. We [knew] we should also be communicating those improvements.”

All Mr. Bubble bubble baths were reformulated with gentler ingredients and were, for the first time, both dermatologist tested and pediatrician approved, the result of safety-in-use tests vetted by board-certified doctors. Furthermore, TVC was able to drop the initially estimated price point by instituting a more efficient production process—purchasing ingredients individually and formulating themselves, as opposed to purchasing more costly premixed ingredients at small quanities—which again reinforced the EPGP axiom.

The promotion and marketing campaigns remain in their beginning stages, yet results are already being realized. Says O’Connor, “Our first job was to get the brand integrated as quickly as possible, and get back to filling orders. [We] needed to better understand the expectations of the consumer and get the product and the communication just right. After all, the vast majority of purchase decisions are made at shelf. Now that that’s in place, it’s time to take the next step.”

“In 2010,” adds Klisanich, “we will be focusing on social marketing to build a community of users, as well as more traditional marketing tools—including consumer promotions, couponing and retail promotion.” Jenna Thomas, marketing coordinator for the brand, echoes Klisanch’s statement, adding, “Social media is good for generating conversations. We can respond to favorable comments and then gather information from those commenting. We’ve [again] used it for coupons, reviews and giveaways to blogs, too.”

The future of The Village Company sees expansion within the category and reinforcement of existing product lines. Most notably, the company is set to unveil a line of Mr. Bubble Hand Soaps, formulated to moisturize and deeply cleanse without the use of triclosan, a decision made in response to studies by both the American Medical Association and the Center for Disease Control that conclude that the chemical contributes to antibiotic resistance in both children and adults without a demonstrable increase in cleansing results over soaps without it. A Mr. Bubble Body Wash lingers, as well, on the horizon.