SOURCE: Phoenix Marketing International

Phoenix Marketing International

February 10, 2016 04:00 ET

Phoenix Marketing International Study Reveals the Challenges Private Label Painkillers Pose to Brand Owners in the UK Analgesics Market

Research Suggests That Although Private Label Analgesics Command a Strong Position There Are Still Opportunities for Branded Analgesics to Potentially Grow Market Share

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - February 10, 2016) -  Phoenix Marketing International (PMI) (, a global marketing services firm, today announced results from the company's recent UK Over The Counter (OTC) Analgesics study. The study revealed that private label/generic analgesics command a strong position in the UK OTC pain relief market, where they accounted for over 50% of claimed usage. The Phoenix study also found that 84% of consumers who use a Topical analgesic to treat joint or muscular pain were using a System analgesic as well to manage their pain. The research suggests that while Private Label (PL) analgesics command a strong market position there are still opportunities for Branded analgesics to potentially grow market share -- in both the oral and topical markets.

From expert articles by leading UK consumer groups like Which? to sensationalist headlines in the mainstream UK media about "the branded painkiller rip-off," consumers are increasingly being encouraged to buy cheaper generic over the counter (OTC) pain relief products whenever possible as they claim to be just as effective in fighting pain as their more expensive branded counterparts. Add to that the Federal Court in Australia ruling that Nurofen misled consumers with its targeted pain relief variants, prompting product withdrawals down under, and it would appear that branded OTC analgesics are facing an increasingly tough time.

"All of this negative media coverage helps strengthen the view amongst consumers that private label analgesics are as good as brands when it comes to dealing with pain and can only help drive Private Label usage rates higher," said Keith Gunn, SVP at Phoenix Marketing International. "However, insights from our recent UK OTC Analgesics study would suggest there are still opportunities for OTC brand owners to fight back and hold onto their share of market."

Unsurprisingly, the key driver of consumer choice when it comes to an OTC analgesic is that it effectively deals with pain. There also appears to be a pretty equal group of people who believe branded products also effectively deal with pain according to current usage rates. However, PL brands underperformed when it came to consumer perceptions of their ability to effectively deal with strong pain, where branded products tended to perform better. This highlights an opportunity for branded products to use marketing and advertising to leverage this underlying belief and reassure consumers that when it comes to tough pain, only branded products can really deliver.

The UK market also suffers from a lack of clearly defined differentiation between brands, with more than one in three consumers stating none of the main brands really offered anything unique or different. This lack of perceived differentiation provides an opportunity for brand owners to further educate consumers and drive clearer points of difference versus their generic counterparts. With "Fast Acting" and "Easy To Take" rated as the second and third choice factors by consumers, the opportunity to drive greater differentiation is in highlighting the brand's end benefits in these areas, whether it be from additional or superior inactive ingredients, the format/delivery system or something in their manufacturing process that makes the branded product faster acting, longer lasting, easier to swallow, more convenient, etc.

As mentioned above, 84% of consumers who use a Topical analgesic to treat joint or muscular pain were using a System analgesic as well to manage their pain. This highlights potential for brand owners to innovate with complementary or integrated Topical and System treatments that can help consumers with their joint and muscular pain needs.

"Amongst Topical users who were also using a System analgesic to treat their joint/muscular pain, the level of Private Label System usage was also significantly lower than seen with mainstream System usage. This suggests a greater faith in brands when it comes to this type of pain management, which we think presents an interesting opportunity for brand owners," said Keith Gunn, SVP at Phoenix Marketing International.

About Phoenix Marketing International

Phoenix Marketing International is a premier global marketing services firm providing its clients with tailored, unique insight into their customers and markets via a wealth of existing proprietary data. Coupled with custom research products and the latest qualitative and quantitative techniques, Phoenix has extensive research experience across the Automotive, Financial Services, Healthcare, Converged Technology and Media, Restaurant, and Travel/Leisure sectors. From the strategic definition of consumer needs to effective marketing program implementation, PMI provides profit-driven market solutions and is committed to maximizing a client's Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) by leveraging the ability to attract and retain new business through cost efficient data acquisition and statistical modeling techniques. Founded in 1999 by Chairman and CEO, Allen R. DeCotiis and President, Martha Rea, Phoenix Marketing International has established its global presence with offices in major locations such as New York, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Detroit, and London.

Phoenix Marketing International will be speaking at The Quirks Event on February 24th @ 10:45 AM ET: Programmatic Research: Real-Time Consumer Insights at Scale that You Can Take Action on Now.

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