Case Studies

Weathering the Storm...

Crafting a go-to-market strategy for a manufacturer of insulation products

SITUATION

A global manufacturer of insulation products for both commercial and residential marketplaces was faced with a pressing challenge. A secondary ingredient in one of its most strategically important products had recently been deemed carcinogenic. Even though the product’s low level of the ingredient was considered safe for consumers, public perception was a real issue that could not be ignored. The ingredient was not essential to the product, but it did provide several important performance- and price-related benefits that the company would prefer not to forego. At the same time, the manufacturer was in the process of developing and launching its next generation of insulation solutions that would not include this ingredient. The challenge facing the company was how to go to market with this new line in such a way to ensure its commercial success, but without denigrating the perceptions and performance of its highly profitable current product line -- a line that would remain strategically important even after the new product launch.

ACTION

A current FullSurge partner in a previous role led an engagement team to develop a go-to-market strategy for the client. It was clear that the absence of the ingredient would not in, and of, itself represent a meaningful positioning, or even be considered “new news” in the category. As such, five potential go-to-market strategic alternatives were identified to address demand for both insulation products lines -- the current product line and the pending new launch. Each scenario contained the following strategic components: product, positioning, manufacturing, messaging, pricing, and risks/contingencies. For each scenario, the project team assessed the benefits and the potential “worst possible outcomes” that could result if the company pursued that scenario. After careful evaluation of these scenarios, the optimal go-to-market strategy was determined—one that balanced the near-term threat/urgency with long-term plan for the company’s ongoing success.

RESULT

The go-to-market strategy was considered a success by all measures. The company closely followed the blueprint we created for both product lines, current and new. The new product line was a marketplace success, significantly exceeding first-year financial expectations. Importantly, this success was not at the expense of the existing product line, which suffered very little in the way of consumer fall-out or cannibalization from the new product launch.

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