Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Brand Update : Snuggy invents SuSu Meter

 In an interesting move, baby diaper brand Snuggy introduced a feature called Susu meter which is a blue strip that tells mothers that it is time to change their baby's diapers. The feature comes as a result of the customer insight that it is worrisome for mothers to check frequently whether the diaper is wet and needs change. The brand is solving the problem through a yellow strip on the diaper which turns blue indicating the diaper needs change.

Snuggy was the pioneer in the baby diaper market in India. The brand changed hands from the founder R Mohan to Godrej consumer products to Noble Hygiene. The change of brand owners resulted in the brand losing its share in the market from a market pioneer to a laggard. The new brand owner is trying to revive the once-market leader. 

Many brands have used this technique to tell the customer to replace the product. Oral B had used a color fading strip in the toothbrush and Gillette had it in their shaving blades. The concept comes under the broader strategy called  Planned Obsolescence. Planned obsolescence is the strategy where the brand is designed in such a way that it becomes obsolete after a limited time. Many brands like Apple and Intel make their products obsolete by launching new versions even when the older versions are selling well. 

However, the Susu meter is a toned-down version of planned obsolescence and is helpful for mothers. The brand is running a campaign highlighting the feature in the Southern part of India. From being a laggard, Snuggy needs a clutter-breaking feature like this to regain the lost mindshare as well as the market share. The brand has succeeded in breaking the clutter for sure. 

Friday, September 30, 2022

Love Depot : The Pleasure is all yours!

 Brand: Love Depot
Company: TTK Healthcare

Brand Analysis Count: #618

This has to happen one day in India! India now has a homegrown pleasure product store in the form of an online store. TTK Healthcare has launched Love Depot which is an online store selling pleasure products  ( Sex toys to be precise). The changing consumer landscape, preferences, and cultural changes have brought about new opportunities for marketers. 

The Indian sexual wellness market is estimated to be around $1153 million growing at a CAGR of around 6%. Currently, there is no organized player in this market. The pleasure product market will be an interesting case study for marketing enthusiasts because of the nature of the market and the taboo attached to the products, especially sex toys. For TTK Healthcare, it would be a repeat of the efforts they had to make for making the condoms category popular among Indian consumers. 
There is no doubt that there is a huge market for such products in such a populous country. But the way of the Indian culture is that we are not very open to such products on the outside. Sex is seldom discussed in the open but all of us know the reality. 
Love Depot is trying to fill in a gap that I think can result in a gold mine of opportunities for the company to make money. It all depends on how well the company is able to break through the taboo.
TTK is marketing the new D2C initiative through digital platforms. The launch of Love Depot was through a digital-only campaign in line with the brand's promise of private pleasure. 
One of the major factors that will inhibit a consumer from trying out such products is privacy or in plain language - fear of getting caught while receiving the product. TTK is handling that issue by promising discreet packaging and even the option of self-pickup. However, it will take some time before the consumers trust the promise of discreet delivery. With the society getting more open to these categories, Love Depot will have the first mover advantage. 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Does brand's gender matter/ Brand Name Linguistics

Research says that how your brand's name is perceived as female/male will have an influence on brand attitude and performance.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Little Trees : Differentiation by Trade Dress

 Brand: Little Trees
Company: Car Freshner Corporation
Brand Analysis Count: #617

Little Trees was a brand I happened to purchase quite accidentally. I happened to browse through my usual online grocery app and saw this brand of car fresheners. I have seen this car freshener earlier and thought of checking it out. Then I found that it is " Made in USA". That hooked me and I bought the product. Again one more anecdotal example to prove the existing research findings that country of origin has a significant influence on brand preference and purchase intention. 

Research on this brand threw a lot of interesting stories about the brand. The brand is from New York USA and was created by Julius Samann. Samman was a chemist and he created this product in 1952 to solve a problem faced by his friend who is a milkman. His friend was bothered by the smell of spilt milk on his truck. Samman took on solving this problem and he extracted aroma from pine trees and designed a freshener in the shape of a pine tree with a string attached to it which can be used to dangle the freshener onto the car's rear-view windscreen mirror. He applied for a patent for this unique product. 
The product was a success in the market and later the company followed it up with a lot of related product extensions. 
There are a lot of lessons that can be learned from this brand. The most interesting lesson is with regard to product design which is the most powerful brand element of Little Trees. The product is designed in the abstract form of a pine tree which differentiates itself from the rest of the car freshener brands. The strategy of using the visual appearance of the product or packaging to signify the source of the product is known as Trade Dress. Another example is the coca-cola bottle. Trade Dress comes under the protection of intellectual property rights which makes this a powerful differentiator. 
Another lesson is that the very nature of the product design where the car freshener visibly dangles in front of the car gives this brand immediate promotion. Another factor is that this product is priced very reasonably given its rich branding history. 

Indian car freshener market is worth around Rs 250 crores and looking at the growth of the automobile market, the potential is there for many such brands. Recently the government has allowed the import of non-burning fresheners in India which may have opened the doors for these brands into the Indian market.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Brand Update : Jaquar self trolls for its brand extension

 Jaquar which is one of the premium bath fittings brands has extended itself to lighting products and in an interesting move, the brand self-trolls for this move. The brand had ventured into light fittings as early as 2018  and is now very vocal during the latest IPL season with some clutter-breaking ads.

The latest ad is interesting because the brand very much highlights the consumer dilemma when they encounter brand extensions. When consumers hear about Jaquar, the products that come to their mind are bath fittings and then the brand extension of lightings. Having said that marketing academicians are in two groups as far as brand extensions are concerned. There are contradicting research and real market evidence of brand extensions' success and failures. The driving force behind the decision is the savings on the cost of building a new brand. 

Jaquar needs to be appreciated for making fun of itself and through this campaign, the brand has made its communication clear and sticky.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Brand Update : Colgate targets diabetics with an ayurvedic variant

 In a smart and interesting move, Colgate has launched a variant for diabetic patients - Colgate Diabetics. Actually, the brand name runs long like - Colgate Toothpaste for the oral health of Diabetics. The somewhat interesting name is to prevent any legal issues arising out of the product. The launch is a natural extension of the brand to capture a largely untapped market in the oral health space- diabetic patients. India is considered a diabetic capital of the world with a large incidence of this lifestyle condition.

According to the brand's press release, oral issues such as gum decay, and tooth decay are prevalent in diabetic patients and as the leader in the oral care market, Colgate aims to cater to the needs of this large segment with a variant. Another reason is the possibility of entrants into this segment and Colgate doesn't want to concede a market as it once faced such an issue with GSK's Sensodyne. Another interesting fact is that Colgate chose to go the ayurvedic route as a solution to this issue. It seems that the brand is predicting a shift from the consumers toward natural products. For promotion, the brand chose the celebrity route through the famous Indian cricketer R. Ashwin. In fact, the brand has hit a bullseye with a testimonial theme from Ashwin and his father. It is very difficult to get such a combination. 

Colgate has been very proactive in launching new products and also promoting the brand to ward off the threat from the competition. The current launch is such an example of
the market leader.