Project Description


Category authority is not always best achieved by shouting the loudest. At the time Boots were brand owners of both Strepsils, already the dominant category leader in sore throats and Dequadin a highly efficacious brand with a long if somewhat over-looked heritage in the same category. Boots recognised the potential for leveraging Dequadin’s pharmacist recommendation heritage as a brand equity for encouraging customer engagement with the pharmacy team in-store. Boots wanted to enhance and broaden it’s perceived authority within the sore throat category and saw Dequadin as a valuable and trusted asset. Its challenge was one of portfolio management. How to achieve synergy between the Strepsils and Dequadin brands which would allow a re-positioned Dequadin to act as a facilitator of professional engagement without being seen merely as fighting for attention with the mainstream Strepsils brand.


Our first task was to understand Dequadin’s sources of authenticity and trust. What were it’s sources of positive equity? How had it survived so long without significant support, yet maintained such respect from pharmacist professionals continuing to be recommended in moderate to severe sore throats. Our insights came from the pharmacists themselves. Often patients are unsatisfied with self-selection and look to the pharmacist to recommend a more ‘specialist treatment’. It is here the Dequadin brand excels. Pharmacists understood the efficacy and therapeutic advantages of Dequadin. It enabled them to provide a professional recommendation that added value to their pharmacy visit experience, engendering store loyalty and re-enforcing the status and expertise of the pharmacist. A powerful elixir of brand benefits. Dequadin’s new positioning had to reflect these positive relationship dynamics requiring a brand image that would set it apart from the power-brand imagery and brand packaging iconography of Strepsils. Our solution imbued Dequadin with a distinctive and powerful clinical brand image that differentiated Dequadin from Strepsils to create a authoritative ‘professionals choice’ persona for the brand.


Dequadin had spent most of its life in the pharmacy drawer. Out of sight unless recommended. In its new role as the professional choice, Dequadin was positioned as a potent mainstream choice for moderate to severe sore throat, comfortable as both the choice of the pharmacist professional and as a  potent alternative for the informed consumer looking for an alternative to the Strepsils brand.