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Marketing strategy : how Tic Tac uses downsizing to make you buy

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Tic Tac is a brand of the Italian group Ferrero that has a been on the market for more than 40 years. Literally everyone knows the little transparent box containing a few dozens of hard mints.

In its country of origin (Italy, where it was introduced in 1969), Tic Tac is now also sold in a new packaging that fits with its time.

Downsizing trends in packaging

With the crisis we’ve witnessed a general downsizing of packaging to reduce the price. The price per unit of volume stays the same (or even increases), but the price tag goes down. We reported this phenomenon with Tropicana and if you are a smoker you know that small packages have existed for a few years. Bowes of 10 cigarettes are now present in the product portfolio of all cigarettes manufacturers.

Despite its modest price tag, Tic Tac has done the same and proposes (in Italy at least) a 0,30€ box containing less than a dozen mints. The marketing slogan used to promote these tiny box is original : it proposes consumers to get rid of little coins invading their wallets and to get a box of Tic Tac instead.

A marketing slogan that refers to a 40-year old situation

For sure 99,9% of Italian consumers will not see what’s actually behind this slogan. But for those who know a little bit of Italian modern history the story starts to be more interesting (this is a personal interpretation ; I don’t even know whether Tic Tac marketers were aware of that when setting up their marketing strategy).

There was a time indeed when getting the change in Italy was hard ; some 40 years ago banknotes of 10 lira were in short supply and retailers used to give the change with candies. Moreover today’s Italians are still very much in love with cash and use to have a certain quantity of notes and coins in their pockets (I remember to have seen a few years ago a cross-country analysis of credit card usage and southern countries were definitely at the bottom of the table).

Advice for your marketing strategy

The strategy used by Tic Tac is a clever one I find. It’s based on the first hand on a very low price (who would really think about spending 0,30€) and on a country specificity, namely the love for cash.

Not sure you’ll be able to activate both if you want to create a similar strategy. But at least the downsizing is an easy recipe to feed the sales funnel.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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