Ariel Egypt: From Market Penetration to Fierce Competition

Ariel Egypt: From Market Penetration to Fierce Competition

Ahmed Tolba
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-583-4.ch013
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This case study examines the past and present challenges facing Ariel, a long-time market leader in the detergent sector in Egypt whose market share has started to slip. In particular, it examines the marketing strategies and performance of Ariel High Suds, which is witnessing a declining market share as well as a decline in the overall high-suds market due to fierce competition and the growing low-suds market in Egypt.
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“Ariel ranks number one top-of-mind brand in Egypt, ahead of even Coke and Pepsi! That’s an incredible success story,” said Hany Farouk, Ariel Egypt Brand Manager, beaming at Waleed Azmy, Account Manager of Saatchi & Saatchi, the promotional company of Procter & Gamble (P&G), and at Hamed Ibrahim, its General Manager. Ibrahim nodded in satisfaction, saying: “Ariel will always be the brand of the people that provides superior cleaning no matter what happens in the market, thanks to 13 years of road shows and events that have brought Ariel so close to the hearts and minds of Egyptian consumers.” Smiling, Azmy added: “And don’t forget that Ariel was the pioneer in introducing the reality concept in its campaigns, and competitors are just trying to replicate our ideas.” Farouk took a deep breath and added: “But we need to save the position of Ariel Hand Wash in the market. We have lost significant market share to competitors and to Ariel Automatic Wash as well.”

After Azmy and Ibrahim left, Farouk returned to his office. He glanced quickly through his Ariel High-Suds file, pausing for a minute as it opened on one of the office’s most prized documents, a one-page memo addressed to the head of P&G’s Board of Directors about Ariel Hand Wash (High Suds) Egypt. The memo was included in a book on P&G’s success stories, honoring the brand as one of the major successes in P&G’s history. Farouk had spent the last 8 years at P&G and had witnessed a great part of Ariel’s success story. As he reflected on the evolution of Ariel in Egypt, he pondered its future. “Will Ariel be able to maintain its lead position, both in the market and in the minds of consumers?” he wondered. He believed that saving the brand from the various challenges in the market was a serious responsibility.

Taking the file with him, Farouk left his office to go to a very important meeting with Ahmed Samy, P&G Egypt General Manager. The meeting had been convened to discuss the future of Ariel High Suds in Egypt. Samy recognized the urgency of the problems facing the brand and wanted a detailed discussion and analysis of the situation in order to take quick action.

As Farouk made his way to the meeting, he mentally reviewed Ariel’s history and Ariel High Sud’s marketing strategies and performance.

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