Rohm & Haas

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Executive Summary
Rohm & Haas recently introduced a new product, Kathon MWX, in order to exploit an untapped portion (reservoir capacity under 1,000 gallons) of the biocide market. Even with limited competition within this segment, Kathon MWX has not been able to produce its annual target revenues, only capitalizing on roughly 6% of said target in a 5 month period. Large-scale distributors, who exhibit the most buyer power and influence over end customers in the industry, threaten manufacturer brand equity by relabeling all biocide maintenance products under their own brands. Even though Rohm & Haas does not allow distributors to change the label on Kathon MWX, the lack of end customer awareness for the manufacturer brands has
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The higher margin products also miss a benefit either in fungi or smell reduction. Why should Rohm & Haas expect large volume sales and scale economies on the industry quality leading product when it’s offered on the dollar menu? The distributors operate a toll-booth and the highest bidder gets to pass. Rohm & Haas needs a competitive value proposition that cannot be refused.

Evaluation & Recommendation
Little or no brand awareness of Kathon 886 currently exists. By rebranding Kathon MWX-- a brand extension of Kathon 886, Rohm and Haas Brand does not add any value to the brand nor to the positioning of the new product. We recommend that Rohm & Haas markets Kathon MWX under a different name that better describes the product and by which customers can recognize it. We suggest that that the new brand name suggests something about the benefits of Kathon MWX, but more than a name is needed.
To develop brand awareness for the rebranded MWX among end customers in the short-term, the company can continue its current strategy of pursuing distributors and have them include the new brand name with the package. However, the strong sell comes from raising prices (and margins) to distributors (see exhibit #2). Rohm & Haas can inherently raise its prices to a competitive level,

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