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Question 2: Why is Kathon MWX not selling?

Kathon MWX was not selling because of several reasons:
Inadequate market positioning- Rohm and Haas were industrial suppliers while Kathon MWX
was a consumer product. Thus, the distribution channel that was employed for MWX was not
suitable for the target customers.
Low Brand Awareness: The product was sold through formulators courtesy which they would
never get to see the name of the product.
Low Shelf Pricing: Customers may have had low perception of products value as it was sold for
only $2 per packet by most of the formulators inspite of the fact that it would easily sell for $6
per packet(as per the distributor perception).Also, the quality of the products was far superior
to all its competitors and hence need not be marginally placed.
Low product market: The market was underdeveloped in the individual segment where MWX
had been launched. People still preferred using substitute products as deodorants and
bleaches which practically have minimal effect on microorganisms.
Inadequate market segmentation: Formulators mainly dealt with users of large central
metalworking fluid systems and not with users of small individual metalworking fluid systems,
which should have been the target market segment for Kathon MWX.
No private Branding: Rohm & Haas has disallowed private branding of Kathon MWX and that
could have been a disincentive for the formulators to promote the product.
Distribution Flaws: Metalworking fluid formulators have been the primary distributors for
Kathon 886 MW. Though 90% of the formulators business is generated by the sales of their own
products, they distribute the biocide primarily in order to service the maintenance needs of the
Central Systems customers. Further, a few of the formulators use Industrial supply houses and
machine tools shops as
sub-distributors for their products.
Product Consumption: Kathon MWX potentially increased the life of metalworking fluid by 2-4
weeks; this reduced the potential frequency of purchase of product from the formulators.
Lack of awareness among small users about biocides and the need to use them. Moreover, initially
there was no primary demand because of lack of enough competition in the biocide market.
Reach of the product: Users had good business relationships with their local suppliers, but if they felt
the need to write to a large national distributor for supplies, that were not available locally. Thus, the
reach for the local users was less.
Laxity of Cutomers: Most of the disinfectants and biocides used did not actually seem to work, yet
people continued to use them. The users did not remember the names of the biocides that they used.
The attitude of users towards biocides was lax.
Apprehensions about product quality: People had some apprehensions regarding the safety of Kathom
MWX. Only 20% users saw the information packet that was given with the product.
Easy Alternatives: Some metalworking operators in small shops still preferred household leaches and
disinfectants for their small reservoirs, in order to control the odor released by bacteria in case of
metalworking fluids.