We set a unique challenge for our Magic Gel brand; to produce a market leading product where we could compete primarily on product design and differentiated creatives. But finding space for this innovation was difficult; the hot and cold gel packs niche is an established market with high demand and intense competition.
All of the existing incumbents were satisfying the market and there was a continual downward pressure on pricing.
This is the story of how we navigated this crowded space and hit the jackpot with our Migraine Relief Caps, spurring the launch of a $100 million industry.
In the health and wellness category, relatively unknown brands such as our Magic Gel and Medcosa brand often struggle to compete against established brands unless they are able to bring forward some kind of competitive advantage.
Take a simple example like paracetamol, or acetaminophen in the US, a generic pain reliever.
So without a brand that is known to the customer before searching we were unable to compete on branding, and we wanted to avoid the price war that plagues the market. We needed to focus instead on product innovation.
One of our team members is a chronic headache and migraine sufferer; during a meeting she had one of our Magic Gel ice packs balanced on her head the idea was sparked; “what if we manufacture an ice pack specifically for migraine relief?”
This is a tight fitting lycra cap that contains 18 individual ice pack segments; you simply place it in the fridge or freezer and place it on your head before or during a migraine attack.
We iterated on the on the design for around 6 weeks; using a modern glycerine and water combination to avoid freezing at low temperatures; producing several size variations before we began testing.
The responses were spectacular; every single person who tried it on loved it; giving us every single aspect of a great ecommerce product:
Moreover, apart from over-the-counter drugs, there were hardly any other legitimate migraine relief options available. Most of the products that appeared in search results for ‘migraine relief’ were essentially placebos with no proven effectiveness.
Because Magic Gel is a relatively new brand, it doesn’t command strong brand loyalty. Brand affinity must exist before the search takes place in order for it to influence click through rate and conversion rate.
This means when customers search for “Migraine Cap,” they find themselves overwhelmed with over 100 virtually identical offerings from unfamiliar brands. In this scenario, marketing strategies become a contest of price and promotions, as both the product and fulfillment methods are easily replicated.
This eventually led to a dilution of the market. Prices dropped, and sales got distributed across a multitude of competitors. At the time of this writing, Amazon features 334 different variations of migraine caps, with prices ranging from $6.99 to $49.99.
We found ourselves just another fish in a vast sea, playing by the same rules as everyone else.
However, it’s worth noting the significant impact we’ve had on this market. Before our entry, it was virtually non-existent. Now, at least 100,000 units are being sold every month, a trend that has held for the past four years.
Despite the growing competition and falling prices, the Migraine Cap remains a monumental success for us. We’ve sold over 250,000 units, and the product was a major contributor to the sale of our brand in 2021.
Should an established medical brand—let’s say, the UK’s NHS—decide to enter this market, they would likely experience only slightly better performance when the market is in its infancy. . However, as the market matures as it has now, the brand equity of an established name could translate to more consumer trust, resulting in more clicks, more sales, and the ability to command higher prices.