Situational Multifunctionality

Another dimension of multifunctionality is exemplified by products that claim to be functional in multiple situations. For example, consider a product whose primary function is to fight skin fungus. Yet, such a product may claim to cure both athlete's foot and jock itch. The function is the same (both maladies are caused by a fungus), but the situation of use is different, thus essentially making the product multifunctional.

In addition to the situational uses explicitly described by marketers, consumers tend to find alternate uses for products on their own. At least one published study [1] has indicated that consumers find multiple uses for products for three primary reasons: convenience, effectiveness, and cost. Savvy marketers have learned to exploit such alternate situational uses to help differentiate their products in the marketplace. An understanding of situational multifunctionality can help support advertising that promotes new uses for old brands. Wansink and Gilmore found that in some cases, it may be less expensive to increase the usage frequency of current users than to convert new users in a mature market [2]. Defining multifunctional benefits for a product can help revitalize mature brands, and there are numerous examples of brands that have energized their sales by advertising new usage situations. For example, Arm & Hammer Baking Soda was once primarily known for use in baking. But sales dropped as people began using more prepackaged baked goods. Church & Dwight responded by marketing the brand as a deodorizer for refrigerators, and sales skyrocketed. More recently the manufacturer has also promoted the use of baking soda in products such as toothpastes and antiperspirants in an attempt to make more compelling deodorization claims for these products.

It is interesting to note that consumers tend not to stray across certain usage lines when using products in alternate situations. They are not likely to use a household product for cosmetic purposes and vice versa. Wansink and Ray [2], «

who explain consumers' tendency to use products in similar contexts (i.e., foods ^

as foods and cleaners as cleaners) from a psychological standpoint, say there are mental barriers that consumers are hesitant to cross, particularly for products used t in or on their bodies, such as foods and beauty products. Consumers do not like to think that the Vaseline Petroleum Jelly they use to remove makeup can also work as a lubricatant for door hinges. Cosmetic scientists must be aware of these mental barriers when attempting to exploit situational multifunctionality.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
How To Deal With Rosacea and Eczema

How To Deal With Rosacea and Eczema

Rosacea and Eczema are two skin conditions that are fairly commonly found throughout the world. Each of them is characterized by different features, and can be both discomfiting as well as result in undesirable appearance features. In a nutshell, theyre problems that many would want to deal with.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment