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Wrigley’s Eclipse Gum: Managing Brand Adolescence Case Analysis

Autor:   •  December 13, 2016  •  Case Study  •  2,977 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,383 Views

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 Wrigley’s Eclipse Gum: Managing Brand Adolescence Case Analysis

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Group 3

Ramandeep Kaur, Keyomi Jones, Stacie Lake

Marketing 5410, Professor S. Kim

California State University, Stanislaus

I.  Introduction

Wrigley’s Gum is an ideal brand that first started out in 1891 when William Wrigley Jr. was just selling soap and baking powder in Chicago. As he was selling soap and baking powder, he noticed that the sticks of chewing gum that he was giving out as an incentive were more popular than the products itself in the store. That is when William formed the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company and began to develop his line of gums. With the progressing years, his product development and advertising successfully broadened chewing gum’s appeal for generations. William Jr. ran the company until 1932 and his son, Matt Philip became the new rightful holder of his father’s inheritance until 1961. Both WIlliam Jr. and Philip were the innovators in advertising and helped expand the company’s advertisements to include sponsoring radio programs and placed advertisements in newspapers.

The company faced a difficult time when they stopped producing its primary gum products during World War II. That is when the company was struggling to obtain the necessary ingredients to maintain the quality of their products. Although, the brand was struggling at that time, it continued to advertise the brands. As a result, when the war was over, Wrigley’s brand once again had a commanding position in the market for chewing gum. On March 9, 1999, William died suddenly and unexpectedly left the CEO position for his son William Wrigley, Jr. II (alas Bill Jr.) as his rightful inheritor.

After seeing that chewing gum in the United States was a becoming a slow-growing consumer product, Wrigley’s started planning a new pellet gum called Eclipse in 1996. Based on the pre-launch concept testing, the Wrigley’s team decided to position Eclipse as a brand that promises to give its customers a powerful fresh breath and a product that eliminates strong mouth odors. Their product was first introduced in the United States in 1999 as its first entrant into the pellet gum segment. With the new product and its release, the goal for Wrigley’s Eclipse was to reach its Year 1 of selling 7.7 million standardized boxes. However, after one year, Eclipse’s performance in the market was very discouraging. Shipments were substantially below forecast, which caused Eclipse to not meet its year 1 goals.

Bill Jr. hired Gary McCullough as a member of Wrigley’s executive committee. McCullough then recruited Paul Chibe to replace the senior marketing manager who had been in charge over the launch of Eclipse. After seeing the disappointing results in its first year, Chibe had a week to finalize his recommendation for Eclipse gum and to bring the brand back on track. He had the weight of his responsibility to decide how to turn around the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company’s Eclipse brand.

Chibe was told by many executives from Wrigley’s that the brand would never be successful and that it should be dropped. Others warned and advised him to test the market before launching the gums out. Chibe then began to collect data to help him understand why Eclipse was failing in the market and what he could do to make the brand a success again. It was understood that he had the authority to do whatever was needed with Eclipse in order to bring it back on track. Through his research, Chibe noticed, “Wrigley’s [spent] more money on the Eclipse launch than on any other in memory.” He evaluated and analyzed all the data to see what had gone wrong with Eclipse during its first year that it did not meet its goals.

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