Inogen watches as others follow suit

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

GOLETA, Calif. – It will only help Inogen that more manufacturers are deciding to raise awareness among consumers for their own POCs, CEO Scott Wilkinson says.

Invacare plans to spend $2 million to $3 million in the third and fourth quarters to build brand awareness among consumers for its POC, the Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator with connectivity.

“Anything that anyone does out there, whether it’s Inogen or another manufacturer, that helps drive awareness of POCs, we believe will benefit us,” said Wilkinson, also during a conference call last week to discuss the company’s financial results for the second quarter.

Inogen isn’t even bothered that Philips recently decided to start selling its POCs, the SimplyGo and SimplyGo Mini, to cash customers on one of its own websites.

“It’s still the same product, so the value and how it stacks up against our product is unchanged,” Wilkinson said. “We still believe that we’re the most patient-preferred product.”

And right now, Inogen, a trailblazer in advertising and selling to consumers, has the numbers to prove it. The company reports that direct-to-consumer sales increased 74.3% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.

Inogen is making several moves to ensure that growth continues. The company has increased the number of employees that it plans to hire in its new Cleveland office to 500, two-thirds of which it expects to be sales reps. It originally planned to hire 240 employees.

“Given our recent success, our strategy is to continue to hire additional sales reps and invest in advertising activities to increase consumer awareness, as we believe this is still our most effective means to drive growth of direct-to-consumer sales,” Wilkinson said.

Inogen also reduced the price of its Inogen One G3 and G4 by $200 on June 1, after a price elasticity trial.

“We routinely run pricing trials to develop a representative demand curve for our products and, in turn, an optimal pricing structure to maximize total gross margin dollars,” Wilkinson said.

Additionally, Inogen has plans to give consumers even more options with its forthcoming G5.

“We’ve been working on the G5 for two years,” Wilkinson said. “We are not ready to talk about the G5 in detail today, but we will talk about the G5, as well as our connectivity plans, before the end of 2018.”