So I have a cut on my finger from yard work and I go to the local drugstore to get my adhesive bandage. Funny, but as I typed that, it doesn’t sound right. We call tissues- Kleenex®, just as we call mayonnaise- Miracle Whip® and even paper towels are Scot Towels®. It is only fitting to call adhesive bandages…Band-Aids®. The common statement from moms all around the country when their son/daughter has a boo-boo is, “lets go get a band-aid”. And my five year old daughter actually thinks it STOPS the pain.
Years and years of marketing has brought these brands into their own categories. But this is not what this blog is about. It’s about what Band-Aid has done with this outstanding brand. As I walked to the isle for my adhesives, I was overwhelmed at how many choices I have regarding the Band-Aid brand.
Seriously, lets just talk for a moment about Comfort-Flex®. The boxes are labeled, Plastic (60 count),Medium Adhesive Pads (10 count), Large Adhesive Pads (10 count), Sheer one size (40 count), Sheer multiple sizes (40 count), Sheer multiple sizes in long strips (40 count), Extra large Sheer (10 count), Sheer multiple sizes (80 count), Clear (30 count) and Clear spots (50 count)
The comfort-flex® seems to be the mainstay and most common purchases for concerned mothers everywhere. But this is where Band-Aid didn’t stop and asked the question, “what if”? The next line that was so simple and so current was partnering with license properties. I also can see these selling on ebay as collectables in 30 years for hundreds of dollars. Transformers™, Littlest PetShop™, Dora the Explorer™, Spider-Man® and Scooby-Doo™ are to name a few. It is so appealing to kids, that they don’t even tell what’s inside the box. These Band-Aids® are on the bottom shelf which is eye level for little hands and feet.
Nineteen brands overall. It seems overwhelming, but my eyes went down to the third shelf and noticed the Active Lifestyle line. That’s right, a line for people that are active. Variety Pack (30 count), Sport Strips® come extra wide and assorted. Next to this line was the Water Block Plus® Bandages. This comes in five different configurations, Finger-Wrap® (20 count), Finger-Care® (20 count), Clear, All One Size (30 count), Clear Assorted (30 count) and Large (10 count). Next to the Water Block Plus® packages were Activ-Flex™ packages. These are ultra-thin and ultra-flexible proven to heal wounds faster and minimize the appearance of scars. It actually molds to your skin which forms a 100% waterproof, germproof, dirt-proof seal that moves on with your day. There is Large, Regular and Finger-Wrap. I am assuming that many people cut their fingers like me since finger-wrap was very popular in every category. This seemed like the band-aid I was searching for but my eyes also told me to look at the shelf below. Flexible Fabric Bandages were sitting right there. Think about this, with the flexible line added, Band-Aid® has 35 boxes to choose from. Flexible Fabric are broken down as Assorted (30 count), All One Size (30 count), Knuckle and Fingertip (20 count), Extra Large (10 count) and the Travel Pack (5 count).
And then I saw what Band-Aid is calling their Advanced Protection line. Ultra-Strips™ offer superior protection and also mimics your skin’s natural surface for breathable protection. It stretches and conforms to your skin’s every contour to stay in place even when your wet. Plus the four sided seal provides more complete protection from dirt and germs. Did I just read that right? A Band-Aid® that mimics my skins natural surface. When did Band-Aid® expand so much? Technology is in the healing and Band-Aid® is owning the brand of HEALING. This is brilliant marketing.
You get the idea that Band-Aid® is inventing product categories. Three choices in the Ultra-strips, One size (20 count), Extra Large (8 count) and Assorted (20 count). You also understand that there is way to many choices but it doesn’t stop. The next line is the PLUS line which is a one step infection protection that heals wounds faster. It adds the antibiotic right inside the bandage. I thought to myself, maybe this is what I need. The choices here include, One Size (20 count), Assorted (20 count),Decorated (20 count) which comes in a variety of colors like purple and cyan, Extra Large (8 count) and Waterproof (15 count). I really need to check out at this point but what is the last category I see?
Durable Protection with Tough-Strips® is the answer. They are 100% waterproof and they shield out water, dirt and germs, even when wet. Fiber-reinforced like duct tape to be up to two times stronger than ordinary waterproof bandages. The super-stick adhesive stays on longer. There are six skus connected to the Tough-Strips® line.
To expand the product line Band-Aid also sell Hurt-Free® Antiseptic Wash, Friction Block Stick™, Advance Healing Blister, and the Single Step™ Liquid Bandage.
For all you marketers or business owners that don’t think you can expand your brand. I would guess again. For me to walk into a store and find 54 individually branded skus to help heal my finger was overwhelming, however after closer study, only eight pertained to me and my situation. Tough-Strips® won my purchase and they really are tough.
Advertising helps you do things you might not of done or purchased before. Band-Aid® will do just that the next time you need a simple adhesive to cover that cut. Pledge® will do that next time you need cleaning supplies. Jack Daniels® will do that when you want a sauce. Think of it, a whiskey company in the sauce business partnering with Fridays®. Band-Aid® got out of the tin box and into virgin bright white. Band-Aid has come along way since 1920, they have even moved away from the Barry Manilow classic, “ I am stuck on Band-Aid because Band-Aid’s stuck on me”. What they have done is re-invented themselves with the times. Johnson & Johnson knows how to develop a brand-does your agency?