In this week’s MBA Mondays blog, we’re highlighting another important and innovative international brand: CNS Breathe Right Nasal Strips. We’ve all seen them, whether having used them ourselves or having seen famous celebrities and athletes sport them on TV. Their international success is due in large part to the product’s groundbreaking nasal decongestant properties, which have helped it gain a strong foothold in its niche (kind of like Kleenex in the facial tissue industry).
Their effective treatment of congestion and popularity among athletes – particularly the National Football League – has helped them rise to popularity and expand into international markets. Breathe Right Nasal Strips are still very popular today, the go-to brand that people both consciously and unconsciously grab for over the competitors, and it is because they essentially created the market and are the trusted name in nasal decongestants. Their hold on the global marketplace is a great example for students of our online MBA programs and Hybrid MBA programs that business success is not rooted in complexity; rather, what entrepreneurs should do is find something that a lot of people need (i.e. nasal decongestion) create a product or service that is not already being offered (i.e. nasal strips), and find a vehicle for your product to be marketed and talked about in the mass media (i.e. Jerry Rice and other athletes).
Transcript of the Video
[Speaker 1]: We believe Breathe Right has great potential.
[Speaker 2]: Our product has appeal in many different markets.
[Speaker 3]: We look for where the biggest prize will be.
[Husband]: First ever decongestant more powerful than a stuffy nose, it’s Breathe Right nasal strips! Come on honey, my allergies keep me up every night; how is this gonna help?
[Wife]: The same way it helps my snoring every night.
[Narrator 1]: Until you try for yourself, it’s hard to believe the instant nasal congestion relief that comes from Breathe Right strips. Nasal congestion limits airflow; but Breathe Right’s patented reflex action gently lifts open nasal passages to help you get more air. Breather better, sleep better, with Breathe Right.
[Marti Morfitt, CEO, President and Director, CNS]: Inventor of the Breathe Right strip, Bruce Johnson, who had severe allergies and difficulties sleeping, had invented the Breathe Right nasal strip. Our Chairman, who is by training a neurologist, but by calling an entrepreneur, fell in love with the product, dropped everything, and he and a marketer and the inventor spent three years turning this product into a business.
[Dan Cohen, Chairman, CNS]: The inventor brought it into us, under the guise of, “Could you test it?” But he was really looking for somebody to license it. It was one of those nice, life insights, when you look at something and you know, “Hey, this is huge!” When we first began marketing the Breathe Right strip, what was so gratifying, particularly as a physician, were literally the thousands of letters and phone calls we received talking about how much better people slept at night. It was interesting that almost all the letters began with, “Thank you, thank you, thank you;” just three thank you’s, and it was, “I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep like this in ten years.”
[Marti Morfitt]: The first few years were really all about testing, clinical testing; ensuring that the product worked; developing a basis for claims; getting FDA approval for that; and then taking it to market.
[Narrator 2]: The Breathe Right strip opens the nasal passage, making it easier to breathe through your nose. Pro football players discovered a way to enhance their game. The National Football League’s Herschel Walker was the first to use the strip in front of a national TV audience. San Francisco 49er superstar vide receiver, Jerry Rice, was next.
[Nick Naumann, Senior Marketing Communications Manager, CNS]: Jerry Rice, his utilizing the strips, really was a big PR generator for us. It got a lot of pick-up, both domestically and internationally, and one of the things we immediately did was contact his agent to sign him to become an endorser so we could use him in advertising, promotion and consumer trade promotion.
[Narrator 2]: With a significant amount of NFL players using the strips, CNS took advantage of the free publicity.
[Marti Morfitt]: The Company at that time had done a very effective job of getting press kits in the hands of news commentators and sports commentators and the sports press, so when the people on television were asking, “What is that funny-looking thing on his nose?” – The press reporters all had the answers and how it translated into an effective consumer product for the masses.
[Jerry Rice, Former Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers]: I’m looking forward to a great season and I think we have a team that can really go back to the Super Bowl.
[Narrator 2]: Breathe Right strips are used by athletes hoping to play their best; snorers hoping for a good night’s sleep; and allergies, sinus and cold sufferers looking for a drug-free relief from nasal congestion. All over the world, users have the same reaction!
[Kevin McKenna, Vice President, International – CNS]: I have to say that every time you have the opportunity to put a nasal strip on someone who’s never used it before – no matter what the country, no matter what the culture or the language – the response is always the same, and it’s in perfect English: “Wow!”
Video Transcription by GMR Transcription