Ever Ready vs. Duracell: The Battle for Portable Power
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At the turn of the '70s, Ever Ready was becoming aware of the threat from Duracell and the its new alkaline battery. The obvious response would have been the development of its own alkaline battery, but they felt that doing so would take away sales from their well-established business of zinc batteries. This was their first big mistake, since they were left with a "large share in a shrinking market". They should have stepped away from their tradition R&D efforts of making the zinc-carbon technology better, and promptly invested in the development of alkaline batteries. This strategy was not pursued since it would have caused short-term losses at the time of the growth of the term shareholder value, which focused on maximizing short-term profits to keep investors satisfied.
The Hanson Corporation acquired Ever Ready in 1981. Hanson undertook the rationalization of the company first by selling the European operations of Ever Ready to Duracell, than by focusing on the cash cows of the existing types of zinc batteries. Hanson, having recognized the threat and potential of alkaline technology, developed an Ever Ready alkaline battery calling it Gold Seal. One year later, the whole family of Ever Ready batteries were relaunched under the Seal brand names:
·Blue Seal: existing zinc-carbon technology;
·Silver Seal: medium life zinc-chloride technology;
·Gold Seal: alkaline battery.
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