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Energizer Acquires Hawaiian Tropic


Excitement over the acquisition of Hawaiian Tropic by Energizer, the parent company of Banana Boat   had the sales team poised to celebrate the merger announcement at the upcoming ECRM Suncare trade show. Held yearly, ECRM is the suncare industry’s most important trade event. Of paramount importance was a twofold focus: to announce the union of these two great brands, and to simultaneously emphasize the strong, separate brand identities of Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat.

With these goals in mind the Banana Boat team called upon their long-standing relationship with Impact Strategic Marketing. Our successful history of developing and producing a wide spectrum of national sales, marketing and training programs together, provided them with the confidence to approach us with to raise their profile for this important event. What they were looking for was “a unique experience”

The Plan
ECRM, (Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing) is an industry event which provides a setting in which vendors and retailers meet with the express purpose of viewing new products and developing strategic marketing plans. ECRM does not feature an open trade show  floor, with manufacturer booths, common to traditional trade expositions. Instead, separate meeting rooms are made available to exhibitors, allowing them to interact privately with retailers without disclosing new product to the competition. 

Retailers and manufacturers meet according to a rigorous schedule, which made it necessary for us to develop an exciting means to captivate and hold their attention. The Banana Boat team demanded a strong visual component and we ran with the idea. We took Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic to a new level by creating two separate immersive trade show environments. Through the use of numerous video displays, dramatic props and set design, the brand identities of both Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic would be unmistakably presented by immersing the retailer within the brand’s essence from the second they entered each room. The Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic rooms provided an arresting, compelling departure from the simple, flipchart and PowerPoint aesthetics of the other exhibitor meeting spaces.

The Strategy
With a just short period of time in which to work, we presented several options to the Banana Boat team. Once the designs were selected, our team refined the sketches; and created CAD renderings to assist the client and our vendors to visualize the concept. 

The Results
The immersive environment approach proved to be a powerful way to drive the message home to retailers. From intricately carved Tiki statues flanking the entrance to the Hawaiian Tropic room to numerous live palms, colorful surfboards and authentic thatched beach huts, there was no mistaking the exotic, tropical vibe of Hawaiian Tropic’s sun-worshiping brand.

On the other side of the brand spectrum, a laid-back beach shack, cool white and pastel beach chairs and nautical accents played up Banana Boat’s credo of celebrating the sun while protecting one’s skin. To highlight Banana Boat’s sponsorship of the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) we even managed to erect a volleyball court right in the room.

Although both brands provide exceptional skin protection, their approach varies greatly in philosophy and technology. For enhanced brand clarification, ISM produced informative videos specific to each brand, explaining and detailing the different sunscreen technology used. To further reinforce separate brand identity, we designed all sales, marketing and display materials to be visually consistent and reflective of the brand.

Our immersive approach proved to be highly successful, setting into motion far more sales than even we predicted. Our client, Banana Boat, and their parent company were extremely pleased with the results, and are looking ahead to utilizing our expertise in planning their next sales event.