16 January 2009

The floozy in the bath

It was a temptation too far for one newspaper sub.

Given a story about a wife returning home early and finding her husband 'bathing' with another woman, the sub followed his natural instinct and gave it a headline that rhymes floozy with a well-known brand of whirlpool baths.

And then the sky fell in.

Jacuzzi goes to great lengths to protect its cherished brand name. It does not want it to become the generic name for all whirlpools, for not all whirlpools are created equal.

The last thing it wants is a sub-standard whirlpool going wrong and someone then complains about their "jacuzzi" letting them down. Jacuzzi is a high-end brand it argues, and it doesn't want its reputation damaged by cheaper products.

At first glance, the decision by Jacuzzi UK to run two lines of Jacuzzi products - the Jacuzzi Designer Range and the Jacuzzi Bathroom Collection - looks set to cause a few such problems.
The Jacuzzi Designer Range is high end, supplied directly to appointed retailers who meet a very high standard. The Jacuzzi Bathroom Collection is a mid-market offer, supplied by a distributor, The PJH Group.

This gives Jacuzzi the possibility of an additional 2000 accounts!

But what is that going to do to the ‘exclusivity’ of the brand?

Jacuzzi, it has to be said, has been rather clever. The Designer Range will continue to only be available to bathroom studios that meet the brand’s tough conditions for display and after sales.
The Bathroom Collection will be available to a wider number of outlets where it will provide a superb brand offering in the middle market, sweeping up sales from those who have always wanted a Jacuzzi bathroom but who could not afford the high-end offer.

As for the high-end offer? It will still be high-end, but the studios must surely benefit from the additional attention the brand will get, and from those customers prepared to stretch themselves for the Designer range.

Think BMW.

What we have here is a Series 3 and a Series 5 situation. A Series 3 may not be a Series 5 BMW, but it is still a BMW.

Jacuzzi could, if you will pardon the expression, really clean up!

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