Early in 2011 the General Manager of the Light and Health Venture at Philips in Eindhoven asked me if I would help with the launch of their secret invention [know then by the project team, as the Litohealer], until a full time German speaking Product Marketing Manager was hired. Of course I would!
Although it was an invention [dreamt up and pieced together by the scientists and engineers at Philips] at that stage, it was obvious that it would be a headturning innovation with a big potential market. A market consisting of many segments of society, eager for a discreet, non chemical solution to their problem of back pain, as opposed to a temporary treatment for the symptoms of pain. I believed that the LitoHealer would open up a new category, and keep its first mover advantage for a reasonable amount of time, due to Philips expertise in both health/light and the synergies that have been created between these at Philips.
The LitoHealer, now know as the BlueTouch Pain Relief Patch has now been introduced [LED-in-textile platform enables effective, safe light therapies], check out the video of the product introduction at the ExpoPharm event:
What made this a very interesting assignment:
- Combination of B2B and B2C marketing - Influencers doctors/pharmacies PLUS the users of the product
- New category innovation launch, a big "I"Innovation [a combination of textile and LED light] - with limited indirect competitors
- Extensive research and insight generation were required to perfect product/packaging/messaging approach
- Broad segments of potential users, 3 key user personas, making desired positioning complex
- Lack of general knowledge of the healing properties of blue light, required phased messaging approach with education key
- A separate venture within the lighting SBU, that was highly efficient and teamed/collaborated with other departments within Philips
- Initial launch in German market, required selecting the local agencies with the right contacts, experience, plan and performance metrics
- Limited marketing budget and high sales expectations, required a measurable marketing plan with tracking mechanism
An incredibly interesting project assignment.