That’s the raw fact. But Cyvex was able to use that less than ideal circumstance to revisit the brand’s messaging and market positioning, in effect turning lemons into lemonade.
“We got to think out a clear differentiation with other cognitive products out on the market, not just theirs. We wanted to position this more as an anti-aging product for the brain,” Constance Ostler, director of sales and marketing for Cyvex told NutraIngredients-USA.
Name was too close to competitor's
The rebranding arose from an objection raised by Cyvex’s competitor Kyowa Hakko, which markets a cognitive health ingredient called Cognizin. Before the rebranding, Novusetin was branded as Cognisetin, and Cyvex was on the road to achieving registered trademark status for that name.
“It was actually considerate. They didn’t wait for us to get all the way to a trademark on the product before they served us an objection,” Ostler said.
“Because we were both in the cognitive space they felt it was causing confusion in the marketplace. It was just a straightforward request for us to rebrand,” Ostler aid.
“They launched in 2004 and we didn’t launch until 2008. They were the first to market with a name that was cognitive in nature. When we landed on ‘Cognisetin’ someone should have stopped it then, but they didn’t. That’s hindsight.
“It was what you would consider an amicable solution,” she said.
Confusion is a two-way street
Ostler said that the ingredients are quite different; Cyvex’s ingredient is based on the fisetin molecule, while Kyowa Hakko’s is citicholine. So if confusion existed, it could be damaging to both parties, she said.
“These ingredients have such different mechanisms of action,” Ostler said. “So yes, while it is a congnitive health competitor, we have very different products and we did want confusion either; that works both ways. If they felt that it was creating confusion in the marketplace, that is a two way street.”
And differentiation in this space is important, Ostler said. A host of ingredients clamor for market space and attention.
“One of the things that’s interesting when you get into the cognitive health category is there are so many ingredients that are being promoted, including our own omega-3 fatty acids,” Ostler said.
“There’s CoQ10. Vitamin D even has support in this area, or magnesium L-thereonate.”
Anti-wrinkle cream for the brain
So Cyvex decided to carve out a space for the renamed product next to the anti aging creams, figuratively speaking.
“Novusetin is more about rejuvenation. The positioning is much more about improving things where you are coming into your 40s or 50s and cognitively you are not as strong,” Ostler said.
Novusetin is marketed as a neuroprotective ingredient and also an a nootropic. Cyvex bases it messaging and patents on research done on fisetin at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies. Fisetin is one of the few ingredients that has a demonstrated ability to cross the blood brain barrier, Ostler said.
“We would like to position this as the beauty product for your brain,” she said.