Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Raymond Whites : 100 Styles, One Color

Raymond, the premier textile brand, has launched a very interesting marketing move- launching of Raymond Whites. Raymond Whites is a collection of  white shirts and the brand has smartly made it a very interesting proposition. ( Hat tip - blog from my colleague Prof. Padmanabhan).

Now every formal menswear brand has a collection of white shirts. White is a preferred formal wear color and is in every executive's wardrobe. What Raymond has done is to make it a talking point for the brand. The brand has done it by launching the collection with an astounding proposition - 100 styles. Can you believe it ? 100 styles of one color !!  It is not difficult but Raymond has smartly marketed ( and owned) it. 

Now I am not saying that this is going to be a game changer move. But for Raymond, this campaign would help in many ways. 
Primarily this collection and campaign will reinforce the position of Raymond as a very Stylish Corporate wear brand.The emphasis of 100 styles will also project Raymond as a brand which is innovative and stylish - both these traits are very critical in this business. 

The Raymond brand is facing stiff competition from Madura Fashions The competing brands like Van Heusen and Louis Philippe are moving ahead with a focus on innovation. Van Heusen is focussing on innovation and Louis Philippe is positioned as Perfect Shirt. So Raymond has to up the ante. 
The Raymond Whites has definitely succeeded in capturing the attention of consumers. The launch campaign is well made and creates a premium feel for the collection.
 Watch the TVC here : Raymond Whites ad
With a price range of Rs 2500, Raymond Whites is well set to own a very important color in the corporate work wear category. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Brand Update : Thums Up in a Celebrity Trap

Thums Up which is one of the most resilient brands in the Indian market was in the news recently when the parent Coca-Cola decided to drop Salman Khan as the brand ambassador. ( source). The reports also suggest that the brand is in talks with actor Ranveer Singh
to replace the Khan. That points  to a celebrity trap which this brand has fallen into.
It is true that Thums Up has always been promoted using a celebrity, be it Akshay Kumar or Salman Khan, but the fact is that Thums Up has moved into a position where it cannot think of a promotional strategy sans a celebrity. That is why the news report announcing  Salman's exit also suggest the search for new celebrity.

Soft drink brands are always after celebrity as if there is no existence without a famous personality endorsing it. While there are a lot of advantages of using a celebrity, the fact remains that slowly but surely, the brand and the brand manager loses confidence to go without the support of celebrity. 
It is sad to see the same thing happening for Thums Up. The brand doesn't need a celebrity. In the brand's early years, the equity of the brand was built  from within. Now the brand is trying to find a celebrity so that it can depend on the celebrity for equity which, at least theoretically, is bad for the brand. Thums Up has the innate strength which made it overcome the existential crisis when the owners decided to kill it. That strength was not from any celebrity endorsement but the image of a rough resilient brand. Coca-Cola should at least try making the brand stand on its own rather than going the easy way out. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Colgate Pain Out : Crafting a New Segment

Indian oral hygiene market is huge with a market size of Rs 7000 crore. Colgate dominates the market with a share of over 55%. The market is witnessing a new wave of competition with the entry of Patanjali brand.

Although the market is live with competition, not much action is happening with respect to product innovation. Except for  some incremental innovations like new flavors/variants, nothing much has happened in terms of new product development.

In this context, the launch of Pain Out stands out. Colgate Pain Out is a new product that aims at express pain relief from sudden tooth pain. The product is a gel form which has ingredients like camphor, Eugenol, and menthol. The product gives a symptomatic relief from tooth pain. 
The brand is interesting because it aims to satisfy an unfulfilled need in the market. Tooth pain comes unexpected and often the fear of going to a dentist forces people to suffer the pain till it becomes unbearable. Then they try using home remedies, then paracetamol and if everything fails , then they go to a dentist. 

So it makes sense to have a product that gives instant relief to pain. The challenge for the brand is to create brand salience where consumers remember the brand when there is a need. It would be optimistic to believe that consumers would stock this product in anticipation of a toothache. So the natural communication choice would be to have top of mind recall which is a costly proposition. 
The brand is currently running the launch ad which focuses on its USP of express relief . Watch the ad here : Colgate Pain Out , The silver line is that the incidence of a toothache is very high and a powerful relief would be welcomed by the consumers. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Kwid : Live for More

Brand : Kwid
Company : Renault

Brand Analysis Count : #567

Kwid is a good example of a successful strategy to challenge a well-established market leader. We have seen many so called flagship killers in the market but also have seen these celebrated launches biting the dust soon. In the highly competitive car industry in India, many firms have been timid to challenge the monopoly of Maruti Suzuki in the small car segment. Maruti holds around 45% share in the car market.

Alto has been a bestseller for Maruti all along. The  brand had a strong equity in the market and unmatched value proposition. No competitors dared to compete with the brand because of the low-cost base of Maruti. Since the small car market is driven by price ( value), unless the challenger can match the cost of Maruti Suzuki, it is unviable to take on a volume brand like Alto. 

It is in this context that Kwid becomes an interesting brand. The brand which was launched during September 2015 has really shocked the market with the huge interest generated among the customers. Since its launch, the brand was able to garner around 1,50,000 orders and has managed to clock a sale of over 9000 units per month. According to company reports, the brand has grabbed a share of around 15% within 10 months of the launch.

The most affected brand with the launch of Kwid is Alto. So what made Kwid generate positive consumer interest ? 
  • Differentiation - Renault changed the game of small car market by launching Kwid with a very bold design derived from its successful SUV - Duster. Kwid doesn't look like a small car but looks like a micro-SUV. This has appealed to many buyers who get the feel of an SUV at the price of a small car. This (IMHO) is the single major factor that aided such a positive response to Kwid. Many small car buyers are the first-time car buyers and Kwid never looks like a compromise at least in terms of design, 
  • Localization : According to reports, Renault has ensured that  Kwid has 98% localization in terms of the parts. This ensured low-cost base for the Kwid. So the high volume of Kwid is not going to bleed the company and the low cost is a deterrent against a price war by the market leader- Alto.
Besides these factors, Alto as a brand has been around for a while. So customers are pretty bored with the product. While the value proposition is still unmatched, Kwid brought in a lot of freshness to the design of the car. 
At the branding front, Renault roped in the star Ranbir Kapoor as the brand ambassador. The brand is not positioned as a cheap car but as a city car. The ad focuses on the accessories and the easy maneuverability of the car. The smart positioning  along with the brand ambassador ensures that the customer perceives the brand as a quality brand rather than a cheap brand ( lessons from Tata Nano).The brand has the tagline " Live for More" which talks about the value proposition of the brand. 
Watch the ad here : Renault Kwid

One of the complaints that many auto reviews highlight was the lack of power of the Kwid. Kwid was launched with an 800 cc engine that was not meeting the expectations many opinion leaders. This month, the brand launched 1000cc version of Kwid which the company feels would address the issue of lack of power. 

So far Kwid has been doing everything right in its challenge against the market leader. The brand has been able to check the right boxes and is rightly rewarded by the consumers. 

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Honda Navi : Whatever it is, It is Fun

Brand : Honda Navi
Company : Honda
Brand Analysis Count : # 566

Marketing enthusiasts like me get thrills when we come across brands which take the road less travelled. We get thrilled when marketers take the unconventional routes to create new product and customer segments.

Recently I came across one such brand - Honda Navi. Honda which has the tradition of upsetting the established market parameters is going to do it again. Earlier when every market pundits wrote the epitaphs of Scooter segment in India, Honda revolutionized the Indian market with Activa. Now the scooter sales growth  is more than the motorcycle sales growth in India. Now Honda is attempting another experiment in the Indian market.

Honda introduced the Navi at the Auto Expo 2016 and generated a lot of buzz among the enthusiasts. The brand was launched in select cities in March 2016.

According to a report in India Today, Navi stands for New Additional Value for India ( link) . The product is essentially a crossover between a bike and a scooter. The company has created a bike out of its best-selling Activa. 

Targeted at the youngsters aged 18-25, Navi is a unique product which offers a lot of customization. The brand also is going to create a new segment of "gearless bikes" in the Indian market.

The brand is positioned as a fun bike which offers practicality. The company has also priced Navi at a very tempting price point around Rs 40,000.
Having said that, this brand is also an experiment. Not every youngster would be interested in buying a crossover bike ( read under-powered) and Navi cannot replace a powerful bike which is often the first choice of youngsters. 
However, this will appeal to youngsters who want a unique bike which is also customizable and fun to drive. According to another report, 25% of the current sales are from women customers which probably indicates the emergence of another segment of customers in the Indian market - women bikers. 
It is too early to predict the success of  an experiment like Honda Navi but surely this brand has the capability to generate a lot of curiosity among customers. I can honestly tell that the brand is really tempting. 
 Big applause for the marketers in Honda Motorcycles.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Brand Update : How Colgate is fighting Patanjali

Colgate holds around 54% market share in the Rs 6000 Crore Indian toothpaste market. Of late, the brand is facing tough competition from Patanjali Ayurveda. Patanjali which is a brand which is closely associated with Yoga guru Baba Ramdev is touted to be a disruptive force in the consumer products market.

Patanjali which recently got aggressive in the market has garnered around Rs 5000 crore within a short span of time. It has overtaken firms like Jyothi Lab, Emami etc in the turnover. 
According to business news reports, Colgate is expected to face the toughest challenge with Patanjali's Dant Kanti cornering a Rs 450 crore turnover in 15-16. 
Colgate is a very aggressive marketer and is not expected to take competition lightly. Even with a market share of 54%, the brand is not known to be complacent in the addressing of competition. This case also Colgate took pro-active steps in countering the onslaught of Patanjali Ayurveda.

Colgate chose to fight  Dant Kanti using the variant Colgate Active Salt Neem. It is interesting to see that Colgate Herbal was not aggressively promoted rather it chose the Active Salt variant. Secondly, Colgate chose to rope in Priyanka Chopra to endorse the variant.

Watch the ad here : Colgate Active Salt Neem
While the neem + salt combination brings the brand parity with Dant Kanti, the celebrity endorser enhances the strength of the counter attack. 
Since Dant Kanti's main positioning is the Natural Platform, Colgate now has three variants - Herbal,Active Salt , Active Salt Neem in its portfolio. 

With the aggressive counter attack, Colgate expects to arrest the growth of  Dant Kanti. Some damage will be done since Patanjali uses price as the major strategy for market growth. But with the natural attribute neutralised, Colgate expects to retain its current customer base  with the Colgate brand portfolio.