Makrolon: The High-Tech Material
What was the original motivation behind Bayer's decision to launch the Makrolon ingredient branding concept?
It can be difficult to communicate with the end users in regards to material quality. For example, in the eyes of most consumers, the difference between a polycarbonate and Makrolon polycarbonate would be indistinguishable. Therefore, when a materials company creates a new material that adds value to products it must do something to convey this value to consumers. In 2000 Bayer Polymers began a business-to-consumer marketing strategy.
Before that time the material was only marketed to manufactures who could understand the benefits that the material offered. However, for the company to continue growth in the polycarbonate sector, it realized it needed to engage with the consumer and create a "pull" strategy. There are many branded polycarbonates and if Makrolon was to develop a differentiated position then it would have to undergo branding efforts to this end.
What factors were responsible for the success and failure of the efforts?
One of the factors that made the branding efforts a success was the availability of ingredient branding partners. There were many manufactures that were willing to partner with the Makrolon label to add value to the products from the consumer perspective. However, Makrolon had to be selective with partners to be able to protect its image and maintaining is advanced materials image was another critical success factor. For example, Bayer did not...
If a consumer believes that the Makrolon ingredient is superior to other standard materials then it will actively look for products that are made with the material which adds value to Makrolon and all of its partners. Thus the brand promise represents a quality standard that must be maintained at all times. This level of quality materialized because Bayer maintained a strong reputation management stance and only partnered with manufactures that could uphold high levels of quality standards.
How did they manage the ingredient branding concept and what other options does the management have?
Bayer MaterialScience realized that its product was successful in many segments and wished to leverage this success. The material industry is a difficult environment to advertise to the end users. The ingredient branding concept allows material manufactures to create a value added factor to the consumer through the marketing partnership that is created. This strategy can increase the perception of value from the consumer in products that contain Makrolon.…
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