Friday, November 17, 2017

Cutting Edge in Marketing - Brand Trust

Brand Trust is an important concept that is of interest to both practitioners and professionals. The brief video highlights the basics of brand trust and its important dimensions.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Bajaj Dominar : Go Hyperriding

Brand: Dominar
Company: Bajaj Auto

Brand Analysis Count: #580

In December 2016, Bajaj Auto launched a new product line under the brand Dominar. Dominar was Bajaj Auto's challenger for the market leader in the 250- 500 cc premium motorcycle segment  - Royal Enfield. Royal Enfield commands almost 96% share in this segment. According to reports, Royal Enfield managed to sell 3500 - 4500 units every month. 

And Dominar arrived in style. The launch was marked by a campaign which made fun of the market leader. 

The advertisement had two objectives. First is obviously to create attention and it does with perfection. The second objective is more subtle. The objective is to establish a competitive frame of reference in the mind of the consumer. Dominar doesn't want to be seen as a sports bike in the same class of the best selling Pulsar. If the customer categorizes Dominar in the same category as Pulsar, it can lead to cannibalization. Hence Dominar wants the consumer to consider the brand as a competitor for Enfield even though the brand looks very different from the market leader. 
Another objective is the create a comparison with the exemplar - in this case, Enfield, and thus make the consumer compare the brand with the market leader thus making an entry into the choice set of the consumer. 
Dominar is positioned on the performance platform. The brand is positioned as a bike which is fast and powerful. The launch campaign " Not for Babies"  was intended to position the brand as the fastest of the lot. 
The results during the launch were very good for Dominar. It even closed the gap with the market leader in some months, but later the sales plummetted which prompted Bajaj to refresh the product line with new launches. Some decline is attributed to the GST effect. 
Although the initial advertisement campaign was superb, the brand failed to sustain the creative onslaught. Dominar's current campaign " Dominar vs Social Media " is IMHO a dud campaign. 

The campaign totally looks unbelievable and kiddish. From comparison with Enfield, the brand started its comparison with Social Media ?? This hyperbole not only misses the mark but also dilutes the positioning and image built around challenging Enfield. Probably this lack of creativeness caused the decline in the sales of the brand. 
As per the news reports, Enfield continues the dominance in the segment. In a market where one player holds substantial share, there is always room for other players. But whether Dominar will be able to dominate the segment would largely depend on how the brand is consistently positioned against the competitor. 

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Brand Update : Is India Post missing out of e-commerce boom ?

Indian e-commerce industry is on a song these days with Big Billion Days and Great Indian Festivals and products flying off from the web-shelves. According to KPMG, on an average, there are 1-1.2 million transactions happening in India every day. Indian e-commerce industry had done business worth $12 billion GMV in 2016. Analysts paint a bright future for this industry in years to come. 
The backbone of the e-commerce boom is the logistics. According to KPMG report (Link), the logistics industry driving the e-commerce is worth $ 0.46 Bn and expected to touch $2.2bn in 2020. 

With all these actions happening, our very own India Post seems to be taking a backseat in the whole festival. While Flipkart and Amazon have already built their own logistics arm, there are scores of entrepreneurs who want a reliable logistics partner who can reach the nook and corner of a vast country like ours.  
Look at India Post, no one can beat the reach and equity of this institution. At the same time, the institution is also not in good shape financially. One year back the department has scaled down its post offices and closed down a lot of unviable post offices. In a country where last-mile connectivity is a bottleneck for many firms, India Post scales down its reach to become financially viable. Irony. 

 According to this report in ET (link) India Post is taking actions to reap the benefits of this e-commerce boom but not enough. By this time, it could have been the largest beneficiary of the boom. But sadly the institution failed to capitalize the opportunity. It could have geared up the infrastructure and technology to match the speed of the market. I think the game is not over yet with many new formats are being explored in the Indian market and lot of small shops are getting on the bandwagon. Hope that India Post can become the preferred partner for those firms who desperately need a reliable last-mile partner. 

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Monday, October 02, 2017

Marketing Funda : iPhone 8 and the Osborne Effect

"My iPhone 7 is broken but am going to wait for iPhone X. I will manage with my broken phone till then " reads an instagram post of a celebrity. IPhone now has an Osborne effect moment. Osborne effect is when the announcement of a future product affects the sale of current product. Osborne effect happens when the future product is announced at the launch of current product itself. 
This September Apple announced the launch of iPhone 8 and 8 plus. Along with the iPhone 8, Apple also announced iPhone X which is a most awaited product launch. IPhone X will be available from November.  The announcement of thr next generation iPhone X will prevent many potential customers from going for iPhone 8 whose flagship status will have a short life of two months. 
The interesting question is how the 8 and X versions co-exist? 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lever Ayush : Sahi Ayurveda

Brand: Lever Ayush
Company: Hindustan Unilever

Brand Analysis Count: #579

It took Patanjali to wake the giant from slumber. The Rs 36,000 crore HUL has been disturbed pretty hard by the Rs 5000 crore Patanjali resulting in the relaunch of Ayush brand. It seems like a replay of the epic battle between Nirma and Surf, however, the outcome of the current fight remains unpredictable. 

Ayush was launched by Hindustan Unilever in 2001. The brand at that time was launched to tap into the premium space in the Ayurveda personal care market. However, the plan failed and Ayush was sidelined in the huge brand-lines of the company.
Patanjali which was established in 2006, began aggressively marketing from 2015 and virtually ignited the growth of Ayurveda based personal care market in India. But what is surprising is that the multi-national giants like HUL, Colgate etc were probably in a state of Marketing Myopia. They failed to see the rise of Patanjali and could not counter the challenger. The result is that within a short span, Patanjali rose to a higher level of brand awareness and reasonable equity in a certain category of products. 

The reaction of HUL was also on predictable lines, take an old brand, dust it off and relaunch. Thus launched the revised version of Lever Ayush. The next challenge is to counter the source of Brand Equity of Patanjali. Patanjali heavily draws its equity from Baba Ramdev. Lever Ayush chose the celebrity route. Along with the celebrity, the brand has chosen to partner with Arya Vaidya Pharmacy for the development of this product. However, the campaigns don't really promote this association which is a big mistake. Arya Vaidya Pharmacy has excellent equity and could have given more firepower to the brand in countering Patanjali. 
In the relaunch, Lever Ayush has roped in Akshay Kumar as the lead brand ambassador. The brand is currently running the relaunch campaign across various media. 

For personal care products targeted at the female segment, the brand has chosen Tamanna as the brand ambassador. 

Lever Ayush is positioned as an authentic ayurvedic brand. The tagline of the brand is - Sahi Ayurveda - translated to ' True Ayurveda'. 

It has to be seen whether the customer would buy that positioning endorsed by the celebrity. 

In the pricing front, Ayush has shed the premium tag and is taking Patanjali head-on by launching the products in the price range of Rs 30 - 130. According to newspaper reports, HUL is promoting the Ayush brand in the Southern States. 

The fight between HUL and Patanjali in the personal care space would be a good fight to watch for.