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Kent - Marketing Factors

Excerpts from Kent Review
Prepared by Kent Brand Group
December 7, 1981

II. Product

A. Summary

Since its acquisition by BAT, Kent product deliveries have been lowered twice with the objective of keeping it 1 or 2 milligrams of 'tar' below Marlboro in all markets. This action was in keeping with the smoker concern strategy mentioned in the advertising/positioning section.

B. Analysis

Such reductions should be viewed in the context of the competitive environment and should not be seen as good or bad decisions in themselves. Even though Kent?????s deliveries have been lowered, our competitors' 'tar' and nicotine levels have also been reduced. Kent remains what it has always been ????? a milder smoke than its full flavor competitors. However, as in the U.S., research tells us that international smokers find the product to be peppery, dry and with a bit too much irritation. By these smoking characteristics, the product invites criticism and dislike from sizeable portions of the total smoking population. It may be that the blend is too different from the mainstream.

C. Recommendation

Brown & Williamson International Tobacco should not reduce Kent deliveries further. It can maintain its current image with whatever smoker concern connotations are associated with the word "mild", at present 'tar' and nicotine delivery levels. Initiating further reductions would diminish whatever impact and satisfaction characteristics are already associated with the brand. Concerned smokers can choose Kent Golden Lights or Kent I as brands offering specific consumer concern benefits under the house trademark. Kent should be seen as a milder full flavor smoke.

There is, however, no need for Kent to be an overly spicy, dry or irritating product. The blend should be modified to reduce these product negatives. Such action would be in keeping with Kent?????s image of mildness. Brown & Williamson International Tobacco should make Kent smooth as well as mild.


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