There are many instances in consumer products, where the benefit of a product changes from what it is originally known for. Such a case is Bayer Aspirin. Bayer created aspirin in 1900 and thus created the pain relief market. However, as more advanced drug technology took hold, more effective pain relievers (ibuprofen, acetaphetamine, etc.) came on the scene and took good old aspirin out of the lead. Then the generic and store brands took another shot at the category, wiping out any chance for branded aspirin to compete, no matter how trusted the brand name. But in 1988, it was found that aspirin helps when you have a heart attack or stroke. It has a blood thinning property that can be very helpful when taken immediately during an episode.
Of course, Bayer aspirin is happy to be a remedy for other illnesses and touts heart health on its website. For pain relief, it is trying to raise the bar to compete against the entrance of Advil over the counter and has therefore launched Bayer Advanced Aspirin. But the magic is the new Fast Acting formula from Bayer. The package touts faster pain relief with Pro-Release Technology which gives it a significantly faster breakdown in your blood stream. Critics say that Bayer will have trouble competing with stronger pain relief competitors, even with a fast acting formula. This, of course, misses the entire point.
Bayer makes no claim to the fast acting nature of its aspirin in helping someone during a heart attack, and has a crystalline product just for that reason, but if you are of a certain age where you or loved ones have suffered heart attacks or strokes, the importance of fast acting aspirin in your household cannot be underestimated. When a stroke or heart attack hits, minutes count. Bayer is smart to play on “speed” even though it is tying this to pain relief but the likely consumer target is not purchasing it for pain relief at all. The perception of speed solidifies Bayer’s dominance in this new “heart health” first aid category and distances itself nicely from store brand aspirin that cannot make the fast acting claim.