Saturday, March 19, 2011

The incredible power of a brand

Have you ever heard of Glyphosate? I hadn’t until I went to the hardware shop looking for something to kill weeds. I knew Roundup would do the trick. I’d heard the name and used it occasionally over the years. I can remember ads for Roundup where weeds ‘push up daisies’ (Get it?). The Roundup brand has almost become a verb in the landscaping industry. To ‘Roundup’ is to clear grass off a patch of ground.

I was about to reach for the Roundup when I paused and read the active ingredient. It’s Glyphosate. Just below the Roundup was another brand of weed killer called Pestmaster. Pestmaster’s active ingredient is also Glyphosate. Well, I thought as long as they are both the same I’ll take the cheaper of the two.

Working in advertising and marketing I expected the branded product to be more expensive. What I didn’t expect was that the difference would be 550%!!! That’s right. One litre of Pestmaster was $8 and one litre of Roundup was $44.

Not only can the makers of Roundup charge a 550% premium for their Glyphosate, they can and do have the worlds most popular weed killer. Farmers, Landscapers and Gardeners would rather pay $44 a litre than $8 a litre to have a well known and trusted brand do the job.

So next time someone suggests your brand is strong enough to have its marketing or advertising budget cut back shout, “Glyphosate!”

If you have a creative advertising problem call Tony Richardson on (02) 9929 0588 or visit Tony Richardson Advertising or

You are welcome to reprint any AdNotes article on your website and in your e-newsletters for FREE. All I ask is that you attribute me, Tony Richardson and include a link to


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