Excerpts from Newport Lights Performance Review, 1999
Leveragability Study Overview
> For General Market Low-Tar Menthol smokers the most important variables in selecting a Menthol Low-Tar brand are product taste, brand name, and identification with the brand image. Color of tipping paper does not appear an important factor.
> The most important taste attributes are smoothness, refreshment and menthol taste. Newport Lights is perceived to be less smooth, less refreshing and having a somewhat lower level of menthol taste.
> Newport Lights is perceived as a younger adult, fun, hip, trendy brand which seems to be less appealing to the average menthol lights smoker who is somewhat older and more conservative than the Lofi smoker.
> Newport Lights and Kool Lights are perceived to be more associated with African American smokers than Marlboro Menthol Lights and Salem Lights, however, Newport is also perceived as a brand appropriate "for smokers of any ethnicity".
> Among General Market smokers in metro areas, Newport and Marlboro Menthol both have strong brand images that smokers enjoy, but in non-metro areas Marlboro Menthol has a stronger "more enjoyable" image than Newport.
The most significant barriers to Newport Lights General Market growth appear to be image and taste perceptions, which may be influenced by perceptions of Newport brand attributes and image as an Urban Center brand. The same may be true for Marlboro Menthol product attributes and image being derived from Marlboro Parent's perception as a General Market brand. Adjustments to Newport Lights imagery and product appear to be needed to position the brand for long term General Market growth.