Q&A: Doctor Easy’s Marsha Garcia discusses growing the ear care category
Ear care company Doctor Easy is looking to live up to its name by offering convenient products to keep ears clean at retail. Drug Store News caught up with Marsha Garcia, president of Doctor Easy, to discuss how the company has fared throughout the pandemic and what it’s doing to help retailers grow the ear care category.
Drug Store News: Given the events of the past year, how is your business doing?
Marsha Garcia: While we have seen an impact from COVID-19, overall, Doctor Easy is doing well. Initially, we saw substantial declines in our medical division, while our retail side held up. Most likely, these occurrences were related. As consumers were unable to visit their medical professionals for ear wax removal, they turned to WaxRx, our professional-grade, home-use ear wax removal system, for relief. That’s the beauty of being able to offer a self-care option at retail. Consumers can solve their own healthcare problems, even if they can’t get into the doctor, whether that’s due to a serious pandemic or just an everyday hectic schedule.
DSN: Doctor Easy is involved in some niche categories. What is the best way for retailers to merchandise and market your products?
MG: Ear care is a small category and, until recently, it was a bit of a sleepy one. It’s important for retailers to understand, however, that consumers have a real need for ear care and there’s a new kid in town, called WaxRx, to fill that need. WaxRx has invigorated the ear care category with its national advertising campaign and professional-grade quality. Stocking WaxRx in the ear care section, or near the hearing aids, is the best placement. A number of retailers have piggybacked off our national advertising by running in-store promotions. For the most part, however, we do the heavy lifting with our national advertising campaigns and by offering “where to buy” information on our website. When consumers see our TV ads, they can visit our website, learn which of their favorite retailers carry WaxRx and purchase the product locally. The main thing for retailers is to have WaxRx in stock.
DSN: What are you doing to help educate retailers about your categories?
MG: Since we entered the retail market a few years ago, we’ve continually participated in trade shows, such as NCPA and NACDS, especially the Total Store Expo. We strive to educate retailers about the demand for ear wax removal and our 20-plus years of manufacturing professional ear wax removal systems. We want retailers to know, if they add WaxRx or Earvana to their ear care offerings, they will be offering their customers quality products backed by decades of clinical experience, from the inventors of spray ear washing technology.
DSN: How are you educating consumers?
MG: Consumers who suffer from ear wax impaction, or itchy ears, are keen to learn about professional-grade products that can actually solve their problems. So many ineffective ear wax products have been pushed on unsuspecting consumers over the years. That’s why we entered the consumer market to offer our professional ear washing systems for home use. To educate consumers about WaxRx and Earvana, we run nationwide cable TV advertising and digital and social media campaigns to drive viewers to our website. There, they can learn about ear care, WaxRx and Earvana. Doctor Easy’s commitment to consumer education is ongoing.
DSN: Tell us about your product line and any new products on the way to market.
MG: Currently, we offer our WaxRx Ear Wax Removal System and the WaxRx Refill pack for professional-grade ear wax removal at home. This year, we launched Earvana Soothing Ear Rinse as the first clean, nonoily, natural solution for itchy ears. Doctor Easy has always been more focused on quality than quantity. So, while we do have other products in development, you won’t see us rushing to launch additional products until they are ready. We prefer to support our current product offerings with well-financed advertising campaigns and a commitment to quality.