Orabrush Case.pdf - Orabrush Jeff Harmon didn’t know if...

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1 Orabrush Jeff Harmon didn’t know if he felt more elated or relieved when he saw the email from Wal -Mart. Jeff, the 27- year-old Chief Marketing Officer of Orabrush, had been working for two years to sell the Orabrush by any means possible, and nationwide distribution in Wal-Mart stores would guarantee sustained sales. He had just received an email from Wal-Mart headquarters ordering 700,000 Orabrushes to be carried in stores across the country. It was the conclusion to an improbable journey. Jeff considered all the factors that had contributed to the unexpected success of the Orabrush marketing campaigns, and wondered if he’d been lucky, or if he had invented a new go-to-market strategy that could work for other new products. Orabrush Origination In 2005, Dr. Bob Wagstaff was living in the Philippines coordinating the efforts of non-profit organization. He was in charge of coordinating the efforts of 200 nineteen- and twenty-year-old American and Filipino volunteers who had been assigned to reach out to community members and help them with their needs. Being in a position of authority, he often received phone calls from community members. Sometimes, they would report about the behavior of these 200 volunteers. One night, he received a phone call from a community member who reported that many of his volunteers were offending people. As was his custom, he politely asked for specifics, knowing that this member was likely to report some mundane behavior that would not be worth addressing. “They are offending people with their bad breath.” This was not what Dr. Wagstaff expected to hear. About half of the volunteers in his charge were from the United States, where most if not all had been taught to brush and floss their teeth twice per day. He was not as certain about the oral hygiene habits of the Filipino volunteers, but he surmised that most of them had similar habits. To address this problem, Dr. Wagstaff began doing research on the causes of halitosis, or bad breath. The most compelling fact he found was from the American Handbook of Dentistry, which stated that 90% of bad breath comes from the tongue. This explained why his volunteers could have bad breath even with the standard oral hygiene regimen. Dr. Wagstaff investigated available tongue cleaning methods, and to his surprise, found that no currently available tongue cleaning implement did a good job cleaning the tongue of bad breath-causing bacteria. Tongue scrapers were basically dull knives that scraped residue off the top of the tongue’s surface, meaning that it would miss the majority of the residue residing in the tongue’s crevices. Toothbrushes, on the other hand, were meant to polish the smooth tooth surface, and thus also did a poor job cleaning the craggy tongue. And Dr. Wagstaff further knew from his previous professional career that mouthwash alone, without a scrubbing implement, would also not clean bacteria from the tongue. Prior to his retirement from professional work and his subsequent volunteer service, Dr. Wagstaff was a product development specialist in the food industry. In one project, he had been
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