NEW YORK An acquisition of second-tier brands like Efferdent and Luden's can only be good news for the health of each of these brands, especially as Blacksmith Brands breathes some new life into each of these franchises.
And you can expect them to be successful. But don’t take our word for it - look at the last few issues of Drug Store News’ Niche Brands Report (published annually in May), where you’ll find that the success of many niche brands is predicated by being managed by a company that doesn’t outspend the competition, but better knows its buying demographics and better targets that demographic.
You’ll also find that companies described as master brokers, a moniker that in the past had been applied to such companies as The Emerson Group, really no longer accurately capture the breadth of offering -- including marketing/merchandising or the vetting of the business from a mass capacity point-of-view -- that these kinds of companies provide. And Blacksmith Brands will be armed with that Emerson pedigree right out of the gate.
Indeed, even though it’s a new company, it’s got a lot going for it. For starters, The Emerson Group is more than just a marketing/merchandising solutions firm, it's an equity partner. And then you have senior management at Blacksmith, all with decades of experience in mass. There’s Peter Mann, former chairman and CEO of Prestige Brands, who now is heading up the Blacksmith team. Also from Prestige is Eric Millar, now Blacksmith COO. Prestige Brands has had a lot of success buttressing the performance of brands such as is now in the Blacksmith stable. And Michael Fink, former co-CEO of Nutrition 21, has assumed the reigns at Blacksmith as chief marketing officer for OTC products. Also, Gerry Butler, formerly co-CEO of Nutrition 21, has joined as chief sales officer.