It appears that CNS may be learning that old adage "stick to your knitting". They may have been diverting too much time and money to the latest and greatest new product when, by their own admission, their primary product has less than 3% penetration.Every NFL game day CNS gets "free" advertising of sorts when their strips show up on NFL noses. Why not lever that coverage, as well as expand it into other sports? Maybe lower-cost non-star players can be used to tell America how great the strips are....NOT just for the game, but also at home ( nighttime, snoring, colds, etc.)There is something powerful when the "regular" ( non-star ) players in lots of sports get a chance to tout something simple and effective. I can envision quite a long running campaign which features the " working class " of all the sports leagues talking about one thing that makes their life "RITE" in a small way.The key is to start the idea with sports, but "surprise" the viewer with the non-sports ( i.e. mainstream ) uses for the strips.Using non-stars ( "nobodies" ) could become quite a trademark over time....if cast correctly, it could generate a reverse-star appeal...and be WAY cheaper than the standard "star" endorsement routine.The idea could also go beyond sports...to unknown, older out of date ( i.e. low cost ) stars of anything ( stage, screen, whatever ).All that is needed is the proper advertising "hook"...the line or slogan that makes it work together....that spells out what/why these folks have in common.Since I'm not getting paid for this, I'll leave that to the advertising agency and Marketing Department ;-)Well, enough "back-seat driving" from an old Marketing Man who is long on CNXS!Regards,Murph
Hi Murph -Come great thinking! And a great analysis.A suggestion: as a shareholder, write this up and send it (via snail mail) to the CEO, copy Sharholder Relations.I think you actually might get some impact out of your backseat driving. Remember we are "owners" (don't know why I am putting that in quotes, because it is a fact) and we have a right to give input on how our business is being run.Yours,Jordan
Every NFL game day CNS gets "free" advertising of sorts when their strips show up on NFL noses. Why not lever that coverage, as well as expand it into other sports? Maybe lower-cost non-star players can be used to tell America how great the strips are....NOT just for the game, but also at home ( nighttime, snoring, colds, etc.)There is something powerful when the "regular" ( non-star ) players in lots of sports get a chance to tout something simple and effective. I can envision quite a long running campaign which features the " working class " of all the sports leagues talking about one thing that makes their life "RITE" in a small way.I think this is an AWSOME idea. They get free stuff from NFL. They can get "fake" "average joe" athletes to emphisize that the strips make everything "RITE" in their life, in a funny sort of way.:-)Greg
I've been an endurance athlete for the past twenty years. Countless hours have been spent training and racing, the last 10 yrs of which I've focused exclusively on cycling. Now that I've become a registered Fool and shareholder I can't think of a better group athletes to embrace this product en masse.Cyclists will do just about anything (under the governing body's guidelines, of course) to get even the slightest performance increase from their bodies. I can't begin to quantify the amount of money we (cyclists) blow anually on performance enhancing products such as energy gels, drink mixes, antioxidants, protein mixes, etc...the list goes on forever. A BreatheRight strip seems a much simpler concept for cyclists to accept...there's no "finding the one that works for you" as is the case with most energy products...since "oxygen" (and more of it) works for everyone!Well I haven't seen much penetration into this sport (at least not in the Northeast) so I'm going to run a little test this racing season. I'll start by pulling up to the start line of each race wearing a BreatheRight strip (racing is a weekly activity throughout the summer). If I know my teammates as well as I think, they'll all be wearing BreathRight's by mid-summer. Then I'll see how the rest of the group reacts. We usually have about 100 guys lining up for our race on any given weekend, and that's just one group. I think there's anywhere from 300-600 racers that toe the line on any given race day. Maybe by the end of the summer it will have caught on...who knows.I think there's a lot of potential for this product in cycling. I do have one confession though....I haven't tried one yet (What can I say, I'm an optimist). I'll buy a box this week and try it out on a training ride this weekend.Breath on!Duff
A suggestion: as a shareholder, write this up and send it (via snail mail) to the CEO, copy Sharholder Relations. ( jordan )Jordan: Done deal! Sent it ( my post and the related ones ) directly to Marti ( President )As a former Exec. VP of Marketing, I used to wonder what the authors of these type of outside marketing submissions really wanted....many times just hucksters out for a quick buck.I assured Marti that my motives were nothing more than a successful CNS and a great return on my stock investment.Let's see what kind of response we get!Thanks for the idea of sending it "upstairs"!Murph
Duff:Great idea!Some of the most powerful marketing ideas come in the form of "human chain letters" like your cycling example.Hey! Going one step further, maybe CNS just pays people to " be seen " in the crowd in an unexpected setting......remember the guy with the "rainbow hair" and the Bible quote in the background at many golf events?There is more than one way to get awareness when you don't have the marketing muscle of a big media budget!Love it when ideas "piggyback" on each other!Breathe On!Murph
Just a quick update...got an E-Mail reply from CNS's CFO asking me to cut and paste our posts, as he could not access them since he wasn't a TMF member.Regardless of the outcome, I am impressed with their speed of response.Breathe On!Murph
Hey Murph,Why not send him an HG membership application? I don't know if sending him our posts would technically violate any copyright laws. Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing that to somebody posting HG exclusives on Yahoo, just watching out for technicalities.Ciao,Greg
thetates:Good idea....but the horse is out of the barn....oops!Thanks!Murph
Hi Duff, I think you've got the right idea:Cyclists will do just about anything (under the governing body's guidelines, of course) to get even the slightest performance increase from their bodies. I can't begin to quantify the amount of money we (cyclists) blow anually on performance enhancing products such as energy gels, drink mixes, antioxidants, protein mixes, etc...the list goes on forever. A BreatheRight strip seems a much simpler concept for cyclists to accept...there's no "finding the one that works for you" as is the case with most energy products...since "oxygen" (and more of it) works for everyone!I'll bet the same goes for many other sports as well. There are lots of people willing to spend money on "gear". And the visibility of this product is great. You see a cyclist (or runner or skier or ...) sporting a Breathe Right strip and you just *have* to ask. And people *love* to talk about their gear. Pretty soon, everyone's wearning 'em.This got me thinking. The standard tan Breathe Right strips aren't very attractive (it's like a band-aide on your nose). Now CNS wants to re-launch the clear strips which are much harder to see. Although the pitch is "for sensitive skin", the original intent was probably to make it less obvious that you're wearing one. But that's not what we want. If we want to experience a tipping point (http://tinyurl.com/3x636), the strips must be bold.So how about a new line of Breathe Right strips in bold colors: "Breathe Right Sports", available in blue, green, yellow, and black. (We'd just have to make sure they don't interfere with your vision.)Sleeps.
I will be running the Boston Marathon next month, so I feel I can speak a little to the motivation of highly aerobic atheletes. If a runner or a cyclist believes that a product helps with their performance (and it does not have health or ethical downside)they will use it end of discussion. That being said I have never used breathe right-though I intend to try partly because I own a few shares. I have howevever asked other runners in my club if they have tried it-and a couple told me that they had found no benefit from the product. Why that it is I do not know. I will observe though, that at least for runners, and at least for runners that are performing towards the top-end of output-they breathe through their mouth. In fact I have read advice that goes something like this: Do not even bother trying to breathe through your nose, let you mouth hang open, relaxed like a fish.Yet, breathing its cadence, efficiency, the difficulty of.... is so vitally important to a runners sense of well being, that anything that helps will win converts. I run a fair number of New York Road Runners events, and I have to say although I see a few people wearing breathe right strips, they are not at all a common sight. I will try to pay more attention in the future, runners are obsessed with shoes. Finally, cyclists are the prima donnas of gear. Beginning with their bikes, through to clothing, they have to have the right stuff. They also average considerably lower aerobic output, and might be more likely to breathe through their noses. I will buy some breathe right strips and share my experiences in the near future.cheers,marc
I bought some shares a while back based on my liking the idea that the product is popular with athletes and was extending its applications. I later (a mistake, perhaps) looked at abstracts from clinical studies in athletes and saw nothing to suggest that there is any real enhancement in cardiovascular performance using the strips. I don't think consumers look to clinical studies to support their decisions regarding non-prescription purchases (herbal medicines, running shoes, mega-dose vitamins, etc.), but I'm a little concerned that trainers are more savvy than the average consumer and that the news will eventually get to the athletes that they're simply wearing a fashion item. I don't watch a lot of sports on TV, but I don't think I've seen basketball or baseball players using the strips yet - if not now, when? Will the fad run out of breath, or will the fad breathe right?Is anyone aware of evidence of clinical efficacy that I haven't seen? Are we banking on a fad here or something more? BTW, as far as I can tell, menthol vapors have no real clinical utility either.Bob
I would think the product could be of some benefit to people that lift weights. Towards the end of a set, I'm personally huffing and puffing through my mouth pretty hard, but once I put the weights down and I've had a few seconds to recover, I tend to close the mouth and breathe hard through my nose.
Hi Murph -Heard anything since the email reply? Any thoughts? Yours,Jordan
Hi Jordan!Sorry to say that after the initial contact......nada, other than an acknowledgement of receipt.I sort of expected some follow-up...but, none so far.On a totally different note:1. Congrats on your TMF status..well deserved!2. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw your "stocks you own" list......I didn't think anyone but me was crazy enough to own 85+ stocks/funds! :-)By the way, since I sold 2 holdings today to free up some cash, you now beat me by ONE in the number of different holdings....and, I guess our subscriptions to HG, SA and II are showing, because we own 41 of the same entities! I suppose we now qualify as true "stock collecters".It's nice to know that I'm not insane!Regards, and once again..way to go on the TMF promotion!Murph
Any thoughts?( Jordan )I was so busy counting stocks/funds that I almost forgot to reply to this part of your post! ;-)The "Breathe Right" product is a good one....they need to focus on building market awareness that it exists and what it does.....how it makes life more "right". The stumbling block for a company the size of CNS is the lack significant "big-media" marketing budget...it would simply cost too much for them to saturate the airwaves with traditional :30 or :60 TV spots.That's where non-traditional thinking must take over....get the strips in plain site using "free media"...public events that are covered by the media....( remember the rainbow-colored hair guy with the Biblical quote at all the PGA golf tournaments? )Just look at the number of non-traditional sports uses already mentioned on this board! A cheap way to get exposure! For example,there is a world famous "Cooper River Bridge Run" in Charleston this weekend...I'd put a couple of strips in each runners packet with a note about their benefits.....if only 1 in 100 of the 10,000+ runners expected to run wear one, that's 100 running advertisements!!....and it's a lot cheaper than going the star endorsement avenue.And don't just focus on the NFL and NBA.....go for the lower cost sports ( like cycling, running, track, swimmers,etc )....also college sports/athletes....hey, even high school. Would the USOC take free samples? Worth a phone call!On the higher-cost front....it may be more attention getting to pay for someone famous to wear the strips in a totally non-traditional way.....or in non-traditional situations... like the old joke about how fast you have to run to get away from the bear chasing you and your friend.....just faster than your friend....so whip on a BR strip!Ok, my tongue is in my cheek a little...but the principle here is to think of non-traditional ( non-athletic ), humorous situations where you need maximum performance from your body ( "feet, don't fail me now!").....and the BR srip becomes part of the solution to the problem.I'm just rambling now...I probably should sit down and really think this through "by the numbers"....but then, that would be a step back toward my previous life as a consumer products marketer...not sure I want to get caught up in that again ;-).Anyway, it's fun to play with ideas...who knows, maybe CNS will read them and get the seed of an idea that will take them to the next sales level.Last thought...the lowest priority I would have, given a product with the proven potential of BR Strips (they work!.. and only have 3% penetration...and I'll bet very low awareness levels ), is development of new products.The marketing of new products at this stage takes the very limited energy of a relatively small company which should...at least for the immediate future ....be devoted to getting a proven winner sufficient usage to create "critical mass"...enough people use them that they are common place versus the exception.Rambling again.....senility next!Regards!Murph
I would like CNS to get some famous singer or rap star to wear one to help their singing. The singer would do it to be different and then hopefully it would become FASHIONABLE to wear a BR strip. Oh wait a second, what day is it today?
I would like CNS to get some famous singer or rap star to wear one to help their singing. The singer would do it to be different and then hopefully it would become FASHIONABLE to wear a BR strip. ( tomFoolery )Hey! Let's go for "designer strips" !!Stranger things have worked!Regards,Murph
tomFOOLery,Maybe if rapper Nelly would just move his bandage from his left cheek to over his nose that would get things started:http://www.biggeststars.com/n/nelly/8.htmRich
I would like CNS to get some famous singer or rap star to wear one to help their singing.Two words: Martha Stewart.
I would like CNS to get some famous singer or rap star to wear one to help their singing.Two words: Martha Stewart. Ahh! And we have come full circle and are now back on topic, as this thread is titled "Stick to Your Knitting".Martha Stewart for CNS spokesperson!!
At least she should be cheap...
Hi Murph -Great to see another "stock collector" out there! It is good to have someon in the same boat, so that I can compare notes with them.Thanks for your kind words on the TMF promotion!Yours,Jordan
Well, I've been out of the loop now for about 8 months. It's taken me that long just to get over marcarlo calling me a prima donna! (post 278). Just kidding!...he's right on target relative to the vast majority of cyclists (excluding me, of course). Anyway, as I try to get back into the Fool frame of mind I feel like it's about time I gave everybody a follow-up of my BR "experience".Unfortunately, my season didn't develop as I had wished. Fatherhood and homeownership really put a pinch on my training time. Believe it or not 3500 miles of pedaling for the year is not nearly enough to stay competitive in the sport of cycling. Nonetheless I did try the BR strips in training as well as in the dozen or so races I competed in. Result: I'm a believer. Truth be known I have a pretty slim nose...not Morgan Fairchild slim but slim compared to the average adult male. I can really feel the BR strip opening up my two nostrils. Conversely when I take it off I can feel the airway getting smaller. I did find it absolutely critical that your nose be clean and dry prior to application. My first couple of strips I threw on without any prep and they started to peel off after a couple hours of hard riding. That was alleviated with a little soap and water to get all the oil off the skin.I loved the idea cocomurph1 had about putting a strip or two in each entrant's packet at any aerobic event. Athletes love free shwag and that would be a sure-fire way to get people to try them. Anyway, I hope I get to "advertise" much more next summer. I'm still long on the stock and I've actually seen television commercials for BR strips here in Connecticut.Now maybe marcarlo can come back with the runner's perspective.Take care,Duff
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