Executive Summary Rain � X has been a successful product in the United States and the company expanded into the Canadian Market. However sales were low and public awareness was lacking. The company was using the majority of its funds on the products line extension and little on advertisement and product placement. This is the key factor in the poor sales in Canada because the public isn’t aware of Rain � X and its benefits. In order to make Rain � X a more successful and well known product, funds used for the product line extension need to be diverted to advertising in order implement a new positioning strategy in the Canadian market. The best way to implement a new positioning strategy would be through the marketing of Rain � X to first time buyers of vehicles. In order to do this Rain � X will need to promote sales, advertise, and become established in the public. Summary of Important Facts In July 1996, Blue Coral, Inc. and Slick 50, Inc. joined Quaker State and became the Consumer Products Division. The Consumer Products Division expanded more by purchasing new companies. They added MEDO and T-Plus Engine Treatment. Axius’ line of automotive accessories was added to the MEDO umbrella of air fresheners. In 1997 Quaker State purchased Rain-X. Rain-X provides a clear film over windshield glass, moisture beads and disperses. The result is better visibility. In the US, effective promotion has helped Rain-X become a success. Market awareness is upwards of 80% and brand loyalty is high despite the high price. Advertising is used in the US for promotion. Ads target general vehicle owners because the market is segmented more according to benefits sought rather than any demographic such as age, gender, or income. The major media is television using commercials with a humorous approach stressing quality and safety. Rain-X then decided to work on developing the product line, as well as branch into the Canadian market. As part of the line extensions Rain-X offered the original treatment in two new packages, a spray and wipes for more convenience. Cleaner and anti-fog treatments were also offered. Then washer fluids for both warm and cold weather were offered. Auto-body/paint protection products including waxes, easy to use auto wash products and a wash and wax combination format with carnauba were introduced. These line extension products were also offered in Canada as well as the original product. There was no competition for Rain-X because other companies didn’t enter into this new “unknown” category of car care.Over 5 years in the Canadian market and sales are low. The product is available in most key outlets like Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart, and also in smaller chains. There is low point-of-purchase materials or sales promotions, the website for Rain-X is where the sales promotions are but there is no awareness of the site. The same pricing strategy is used in Canada as in the US, but Rain-X has not worked on justifying the cost in consumer’s minds. Furthermore the product line extensions took the majority of the budget leaving no funds for advertising. Without advertising there is no brand loyalty in Canada like in the US. Too much has been put into the product line extension and not enough into the positioning strategy. As a result there is weak positioning and low awareness of this product. Statement of Problems The main concern is that Rain-X has an ineffective positioning strategy in that one was never established for the Canadian market. The product was introduced and the line extensions were added, however no effective marketing was done to target the market they were introducing the product into. The lack of establishing a new positioning strategy in Canada has lead to low product awareness, no brand loyalty and low sales. Also, no advertising has resulted in little product position in the consumers mind. Canadians are unaware of the product and its benefits because there have been no commercials or ads or promotion of any kind. Analysis Alternative #1 The current positioning strategy has no strengths and many weaknesses as demonstrated in the lack of sales. Therefore a new positioning strategy must be developed. A target market should be defined so that advertising, marketing and public relations can be more focused and effective. Rain-X is a great product in safety and car care, and with increasing prices in vehicles people are more inclined to care for there cars more because they want the longest life from them as possible. So by targeting the first-time buyers in the market, Rain-X could be effectively promoted as a great product to help drivers stay safe and for their cars to stay in better condition. This demographic is likely around the age of 25-35. Mainly people out of school, beginning a career or becoming more established, and are able to make a major purchase like a vehicle and want one that will last them for as long as possible. Promoting Rain-X as the product that will keep that brand new car looking brand new will increase product awareness, create brand loyalty, and ultimately increase sales. However, as many first-time buyers have been driving other vehicles or have used other products related to car care, introducing Rain-X as a premium product will be a daunting task because there is already an established brand loyalty to other products, even though they are not the same as Rain-X. With establishment of the original Rain-X product in the market the opportunities of the line extensions are limitless. Once the consumers are committed to Rain-X, introducing the waxes and washes in the market will take less promotion and advertising because the product position will already be in place. The only major threat is that another company, one that is already well know more then likely Canadian, will develop a similar product and since that company will have had a long standing position in the market, their sales could be greater then Rain-X, and the product could easily be accepted. A great way to promote Rain-X in the Canadian market would be through public relations. A great strategy would be to sponsor an event such as an auto show in a major urban center like Toronto or Vancouver. Auto shows attract thousands of consumers and are all about cars. If Rain-X were to sponsor such as event then the venue would be covered in Rain-X ads, people could canvas the area with flyers with product information, coupons for a discount on the purchase of Rain-X, and samples of the wipes to be used as a tester to prove the quality of the product and its effectiveness against moisture. Also throughout the event demonstrations of the product and how it works could be given. Showing first hand how the product works to bead moisture and disperse it will be more effective then any ad because consumers can witness it. Also with a major event like an auto show the media would certainly be interested, which means TV spots, news coverage and reporters that would be able to talk not only about the venue but Rain-X itself. The possibilities are great with such an event; it would create buzz and awareness of Rain-X and its superiority to just waxes or washer fluids. Such an event would cost a good deal of money to plan and run, and so the budget for advertising would have to be increased substantially. This would mean spending a lot of money before making any of it back. However the opportunities with presenting Rain-X to the market through this outlet are far greater then the threats that could result because of the impact. Having such a public display of Rain-X and its benefits will more then pay off in the Canadian market because of our weather and how such a product could decrease accidents due to limited visibility. Alternative #2 An effective means of marketing Rain-X to Canadians as a great product with quality safety benefits would be through car insurance companies. A deal could be established through a company, such as Allstate Canada, Inc., with Rain-X where the product would be displayed in the office and when customers wishing to purchase or upgrade their auto insurance could receive a discount or some other service if they purchase Rain-X because of the effects the product has with the increased safety for drivers. Large banners could be hung outside, flyers distributed through the local media and TV commercials created to promote the deal with the auto insurance by purchasing and using Rain-X. Then not only would drivers enjoy the benefits of more reasonably prices insurance, but they could become loyal customers of Rain-X because of the increased visibility and safer driving. Promoting Rain-X for its value and safety is the key goal. Not only will it protect your car and family, but your insurance rates will not increase because of accidents. Alternative #3 Advertising is the most obvious and effective choice to place Rain-X in the consumers mind, just as it has in the US. Through TV commercials, magazine ads, and banners on web pages, the name and product information relation to Rain-X would be widely visible. Since TV is a major media source, having commercials that target the demographic of first-time car buyers, would make the greatest impact for Rain-X. TV spots during primetime TV on major Canadian stations, such as CTV and Global, would be seen by millions of viewers. Creating commercials that are exciting and fresh and some the benefits of Rain-X will catch viewer’s interest. By using advertising funds to make these commercials appear more frequently, the better the chances of viewers watching them and becoming interested in Rain-X. However commercials can not be the only source of advertising since people tend to focus less on the commercials. The opportunities with TV are great because the response from them would be in a short time span, and viewer feedback can be almost immediate. Then the potential to create more commercials which are better able to target the audience can be developed. Commercials could take a serious approach showing how Rain-X can prevent accidents, or go for a family approach on how it protects your car so it will better protect your family, or go with the humour angle such as in the US.An example of a serious commercial:The scene shows the interior of a car in rainy weather with wipers that don’t help to clear the windshield enjoy and an accident happens. Then show how by using Rain-X on the exterior of the windshield the water beads and allows the driver to see clearer and the accident could have been prevented. Magazines, such as Auto Trader or Car and Driver, are also great places to have advertisements for Rain-X. These can be more descriptive and informative about the Rain-X product as well as offer details on where to buy. These would be effective since people who read auto magazines are interested in automobiles and would like to know about products that keep their vehicles working great and looking great. The ads can be colourful and eye catching and draw readers in to seek more information. However since such a product couldn’t really be advertised in other magazines such as In Style or People, the audience is limited. However, if the ads prove to be successful they could be places in more well known publications like TV Guide, and other magazines that are not necessarily about vehicles. An example of a magazine ad: The Internet is a major source for information. Placing banners on major websites like auto insurance companies, car dealership sites and other high traffic sites, would increase the product awareness considerably. Providing a clear link to the Rain-X website will interest people to gather more information about the product and where to purchase it. This would be most effective next to TV commercials because of the endless possible web sites banners can be placed on.Recommendation For best results with product awareness and sales, all three alternatives should be used. A mix of Public Relations, Sales Promotion and Advertising, would be most effective. By placing ads on TV, in magazines and on the web, people are most certain to hear or see something about Rain-X and become interested. By promoting Rain-X for its safety through insurance companies, the product can be used and the quality of it realized. As well as the benefits of working with other companies to market Rain-X. And most importantly, by making Rain-X known through something big, like an Auto Show, people will be able to see the product, learn about it and purchase it all in one place. These will most certainly instil the product in the market allowing for the line extensions to be re-introduced into the market. lacking. The company was using the majority of its funds on the products line extension and little on advertisement and product placement. This is the key factor in the poor sales in Canada because the public isn’t aware of Rain � X and its benefits. In order to make Rain � X a more successful and well known product, funds used for the product line extension need to be diverted to advertising in order implement a new positioning strategy in the Canadian market. The best way to implement a new positioning strategy would be through the marketing of Rain � X to first time buyers of vehicles. In order to do this Rain � X will need to promote sales, advertise, and become established in the public.