Friday, October 15, 2010

ArmorAll For Delicates?

Some may call it niche marketing, I call it brand confusion.  Remember heading to your local hardware store and grabbing some ArmorAll "protectant"?  It did a great job on the dashboard, leather/vinyl, and even made your tires look new (that is, as new as any tires with Al Capone whitewalls can look).  There are now 12 categories of ArmorAll, and numerous products within each category.  The same with Tide, Crest, Windex, and virtually every other major brand out here.  Just how different is Tide (only 6 categories of products) "Free and Gentle" from Tide "With a Touch of Downy"?  I don't know.  (I know Downy gets a cut from the cross-marketing though.)  I don't doubt that the formulation of the two detergent powders is different, I just wonder if there's a discernible difference in softness/gentleness/freeness.  Of course all this niche marketing is a double-edged sword; what if the niche doesn't buy it?  I read some time ago that one major brand was discontinuing a range of niche products due to poor sales in order to concentrate on its core product line.  I hope it wasn't ArmorAll, not because we need an ArmorAll for Delicates - but because I'm still waiting for my ArmorAll for Vehicles Covered In Tree Sap and Bird Shit.