KISU is a tailored combination of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and proteins all in one capsule developed to be the first oral OTC cold sore medication that works from the inside out.

KISU is a tailored combination of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and proteins all in one capsule developed to be the first oral OTC cold sore medication that works from the inside out.

Background

In the case of KISU, we set out to create our own product and take on all the responsibilities necessary to bring that product to life and to market. Our objective was to entrench ourselves in the world of our clients. We started by understanding the needs of a dissatisfied market of cold sore sufferers.

A thorough assessment of available treatments and interviews with friends and family revealed a unique opportunity to develop and market a new medication to the 35 million people in America who suffer from the physical and emotional burden of cold sores. After months of R&D and market research we arrived at the optimal formulation, and KISU was born.

KISU was originally distributed among friends and family.

2nd Spark first introduced KISU to family and friends who suffer from cold sores during a number of “Cocktails for Cold Sores” House Parties. Based on the positive feedback received, it was decided that KISU would be made available to the general public.

Building a brand, starting with grassroots approach.

Doing research with friends and family provided solid beta testing for our product and allowed us to gather valuable feedback on our promotional materials. It also gave us an arsenal of educated, product advocates we could call on and deploy to help spread the news about the brand.

A “house party” is 2nd Spark’s unique spin on focus-group research where a small group of friends and acquaintances with similar conditions or concerns are brought together in a comfortable, intimate setting. This technique uncovers deep insights as participants express their personal feelings and stories with each other.

A “house party” is 2nd Spark’s unique spin on focus-group research where a small group of friends and acquaintances with similar conditions or concerns are brought together in a comfortable, intimate setting. This technique uncovers deep insights as participants express their personal feelings and stories with each other.

KISU: A name rich in meaning and associations Naming a product is an emotional business. KISU, which means "kiss" in Japanese, was chosen to serve as a visual and auditory reminder of the loss of intimacy people with cold sores face when afflicted.


KISU: A name rich in meaning and associations

Naming a product is an emotional business. KISU, which means "kiss" in Japanese, was chosen to serve as a visual and auditory reminder of the loss of intimacy people with cold sores face when afflicted.

2nd Spark brought KISU to market in early 2010. 

We ran KISU as an independent company with a separate P&L. Our employees took on all roles and responsibilities necessary to commercialize KISU. Responsibilities included naming the product, establishing positioning, setting a price, developing promotional materials, generating PR and identifying and executing a sales plan with local pharmacies. 

Social media and grassroots initiatives were implemented to spread the word about KISU as quickly as possible within the Philadelphia area. What quickly took hold in independent pharmacies was then expanded and executed in regional pharmacy chains.

 

Brand Website

Email Communication Stream

Email Communication Stream

Email Communication Stream

Personal Selling Aids

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Results

We successfully established the KISU brand in the marketplace. Through retail sales & e-commerce, KISU sold out of the first manufacturing run.  Based on market demand, a 2nd run of 100,000 units was manufactured. After experiencing continued uptake in sales, 2nd Spark sold KISU to a venture capital firm in 2012. 

 
The experience we gained was invaluable. Not many people can say that they’ve stepped in the shoes of their clients and built a brand from the ground up.
— Beth Crouse