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Superbrands case studies - Elastoplast

Elastoplast offers uncomplicated and innovative solutions to everyday problems and pains to helping people to get on with enjoying their lives.

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The brand has built a solid reputation as the most recognisable and trusted first -aid dressings brand in the UK, with 97% of people recognising the brand and 81% of people having bought an Elastoplast product (Source: IPSOS Brand Image Monitor).

Offerings and Values
While the traditional adhesive fabric plasters remain the brand's most recognized product, Elastoplast now encompasses a portfolio of wound care solutions, ranging from core plasters to advanced wound care.

The core range of Elastoplast plasters includes everything to meet the needs of an everyday cut and graze. From traditional fabric plasters, water resistant plasters, and cushioned plasters for extra padding, to plasters for sensitive skin.

With children being the most susceptible to cuts and grazes, Elastoplast was the first brand to introduce the character plaster to the market -- designed to ensure that small misfortunes are quickly forgotten -- with the launch of Mickey Mouse Disney plasters in 1989. Over the years, a series of character plasters has followed, including other familiar faces from Disney.

Following the success of new additions to the Elastoplast range such as Burn Relief Spray and Burn Plasters as well as Scar Reduction Patches, Beiersdorf has extended the Elastoplast brand into the Sports Supports market with the launch of Elastoplast Sport in September 2003. Less than two years after its launch, the Elastoplast Sport sub-range was one of the leading brands in the Sports Supports market, with its range of tapes, elasticated and adjustable neoprene supports.

Innovations and Promotions
As market leader, Elastoplast is seen as a strong innovator, thanks most recently to the Elastoplast Spray Plaster, launched in February 2006. The Spray Plaster delivers a transparent, breathable film that seals the wound to block out water, dirt and germs. The formulation dries quickly to provide a safe and flexible means of covering cuts and grazes on awkward areas such as knuckles and elbows, as well as other parts of the body for more than two days, gradually disappearing as the wound heals. It has the added benefit of being waterproof and transparent, so that wounds can be observed without disturbing the healing process.

At the beginning of 2005, Elastoplast launched SilverHealing, the first range of mass-market plasters and dressings in the UK to harness the natural antiseptic power of silver. Adapted from silver technology used in hospitals, the wound pad contains silver under a polyethylene net. On contact with moisture in the wound, silver ions are released, destroying bacterial cell structures and inhibiting their functions, killing germs and bacteria.

Elatoplast has a strong promotional heritage with campaigns such as the hugely popular ‘There, there, there' campaign in the 1980s. In 2005 Martin Johnson was the ideal celebrity endorsement for the Elastoplast Sport range and the current Plasterman campaign supporting the launch of Silverhealing features the distinctive voice of Brian Blessed in its TV ad. While Elastoplast's brand values remain the same today, technological progression has led to the development of the advanced wound care market. This means that education is more important than ever in ensuring that consumers are fully aware of the scope of products available to treat their everyday wounds.

Consumer education is achieved via an integrated marketing strategy incorporating above and below-the-line advertising, PR, online, ambient media and point of sale.

The first aid dressings category, which includes plasters, dressings, bandages and tapes, is worth £60.9 million, with plasters or ‘strips' constituting 60% of all category sales (Source: IRI).

The market is seasonal, peaking during the summer months when children are most susceptible to injuries and people stock up to go on holiday. Although new product development accounts for a small proportion of the category -- around 5% of value sales -- innovation is key to driving growth and interest in what is already a mature market.

There is a high degree of overlap between first aid dressings purchasers and purchasers of antiseptics, foot care and supports (Source: IPSOS Brand Image Monitor Study).

Achievements and Future Prospects
Acquired by Beiersdorf from Smith & Nephew in 2000, Elastoplast has built an enviable reputation as the leading brand in the first aid dressings market and as such the brand is synonymous with plasters. Although own-label dominates the category, with a 47.9% share, Elastoplast is the number one brand in the market, with a 29.1% share (Source: IRI).

The brand's SilverHealing fabric plasters won the award for best health product at the 2006 Product of the Year Awards -- an award voted for by a nationally representative, independent survey of 12,593 individuals. In addition, 2005 saw the SilverHealing range win the Boots Health & Beauty magazine Customer Healthcare Award Scheme (first aid category).

2006 sees Beiersdorf UK celebrate its 100th anniversary.

1882: Paul Beiersdorf takes out a patent to protect the manufacture of his medicated plaster, which soon grows to a range of 105 products.

1886: Lohmann AG invents Elastoplast (Tensoplast) Fabric -- an innovative cloth spread with adhesive.

1927: The British patent and the rights to the trademarks of Elastoplast in all countries that were part of the British Empire are bought by Smith & Nephew.

2000: Beiersdorf buys back the rights to sell and manufacture Elastoplast products in the UK and Commonwealth countries.

Things you didn't know
The gutta-percha plaster (1882) was the first plaster to offer an accurate dosage of medication for skin treatments.

Hansaplast First-aid bandages -- the earliest available for consumers to treat their wounds without a doctor -- became available for the first time in 1931.

When asked, unprompted, to think of a first aid dressings brand, 42% of people named Elastoplast first (Source: IPSOS Brand Image Monitor).

To date, Beiersdorf has produced more than 16 billion metres of Hansaplast and Elastoplast plasters -- enough to circle the globe 400 times.

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