Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Cadbury Crispello : Let Something Good Happen !

Brand : Crispello
Company : Mondolez India

Brand Analysis Count: #587

Cadbury recently launched a new brand Crispello in the Indian market. The new product is the company's second entry into the crispy chocolate segment, the first being Perk. The new brand will be fighting with the likes of KitKat, Galaxy etc. While this segment is dominated by chocolate covered wafer products like KitKat, Cadbury's Crispello is a wheat crispies covered with chocolate.

The Rs 8000 crore chocolate market is witnessing intense competition with global players fighting it out for the share of the pie. Now the who-is-who of the players are in the market and to be in the game, brands need to constantly innovate. 

Crispello is targeting the new generation of customer who is always looking for a variety of experiences. Crispello is targeting the customers who want light indulgence snacking options. According to company reports, the brand understands that customers of this generation want multi-textured and complex experiences and the brand aims to deliver that option. 

The new brand follows the same brand architecture of other Cadbury brands. The new product is endorsed by the category brand- Cadbury, followed by the family brand - Dairy Milk. 
The brand also follows usual positioning of Dairy Milk centered around the concept of " Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye ".
The launch advertisement is also in sync with the positioning. Interestingly Crispello is positioned as a healthy diet snack targeting women in Europe.

The strategy followed by Mondolez which has been ruling the Indian chocolate market is to keep the excitement going among the consumers. The Cadbury brand has seen a lot of product launches which had kept the brand in the limelight. Some of the launches have been highly successful in the likes of Dairy Milk Silk. 
With global brands like Mars, M&M etc stepping up the game, the market leader is also making aggressive moves to stay on top. Exciting times ahead in this market. 

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Brand Update : Welcome back Santro

This October saw one brand coming back to life. Hyundai decided to name their new entry-level hatchback as Santro. Indian market is witnessing an interesting brand name phenomenon of a resurrection of dead brands. After Santro, Mahindra is launching the Jawa brand. Ads of Dianora ( remember Dyanora brand ?) brand is there in some channels in Kerala. 
Santro in the earlier avatar had a dream run in the Indian market. It paved way for Hyundai to become the second largest car maker in the highly competitive Indian market. However, Hyundai decided to put the brand to rest and opted for a strange alpha-numeric brand i10 as the successor. Although the brand found acceptance, it was not a blockbuster brand like Santro. 
The new Santro has no similarity with the old models. Neither in looks or in the technical specification. The product looks like a car born out of i10 and Chevrolet Beat. 
In the brand communications, Santro tries to link itself to the old Santro's USP of a tall boy design, however, the new Santro does not look like a tall boy. 
 Just like the relaunch of Baleno, here the company has used a very famous brand name for the new launch. There is no need to be nostalgic about it. There was some nostalgia when I heard the news of Santro relaunch but that vanished when I saw the new Santro being totally different from the old. 

So why a sudden rush for dead brands. The only reason is the brand awareness that some of these brands carry across all these years. For example, Jawa and Yezdi still have huge awareness among the Indian riders. We also know that these bikes were real headaches in terms of mechanical failures and ride quality. You need extra-strong calf muscles to make a Yezdi start. But since those were the only options, consumers tend to buy it. When better bikes came, these brands died. 
In the case of Santro, it had strong equity created out of excellent product performance. Old Santros are still running without any issues. 
By launching the new product with an old brand which has excellent brand awareness ( recognition + recall) gives a  real boost to the launch efforts. There need not be any investment in building awareness by using an old brand. Since Santro did not have any issues in the previous life, it does not come with any baggage. Hyundai just had to fuel a hype of an old brand resurrected, the media will take care of the rest of promotion because of the news value. The launch of Santro had earned a lot of earned media space just because of the brand name. 
Hyundai had priced the new Santro in a sweet spot and according to auto-portals, the product offers excellent value for the price paid. Automobile market success heavily depends on product and service related attributes and less on brand-related attributes. Santro again depends on how the car works and with Hyundai's track record, it will not be a problem for the new brand. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Brand Update : Skoda lures with Peace of Mind

Skoda came into the Indian market way back in 2002 with the highly successful premium sedan Octavia. Ever since the brand has created an image of a premium brand with very sturdy cars. However, the brand was eclipsed when the Indian market saw the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes fighting it out with new models and brand promotion
. Somewhere down the line, the brand went into a slumber, my assumption is that when the Volkswagen brand was promoted heavily, Skoda went into sleep.
2018 is witnessing a comeback of sorts for this brand. According to newspaper reports, Volkswagen group is planning to put Skoda brand in the center of India 2.0 strategy. 

One of the issues that the brand is facing is the perception ( rather truth) of Skoda being expensive to maintain in terms of service and spare costs. This issue was faced by Ford who ran a big campaign trying to change the perception. 
To change the perception, Skoda is offering warranty and service package to the car owners and a celebrity-driven brand campaign. 

The brand has roped in Boman Irani as the celebrity endorsing the new campaign. Interestingly Boman Irani is also endorsing Cars24 portal. Seems like he is the new favorite of Auto brands. 
Skoda needs to change the perception of being expensive to maintain since the brand is expected to launch a series of products that will drive VW's share in the Indian market in the coming years. 
Because of this perception, Skoda cars are not in the consideration set of most of the customers who look for an upgrade in the mid-range segment. In my opinion, Skoda is a kind of squeezed in the Indian car market with the luxury segment being dominated by brands like Audi, Benz, BMW etc while the premium segment is witnessing the intense competition between the likes of Honda and Suzuki. 
The money that the brands like Skoda and Ford had to incur to change the perception of being expensive to maintain brand is a lesson to marketers. Perceptions are easy to create and often created without a thought. Once the perception is set in the mind of the target market, it will burn a hole in the brand's pocket for a long time. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Sting : Electrifying Energy, Ultimate Taste

Brand: Sting
Company: Pepsico India

Brand Analysis Count: #586

Sting is the Pepsico India's challenger brand in the Rs 200 Crore sports and energy drink market in India. According to Livemint, Indian sports and energy drink market are in a nascent stage with a consumption of 45.2 Million Liters in 2016. Redbull rules the market with a share of 64%.

The size of the Indian market and the growing interest of the consumers towards non-carbonated and less sugary drinks has made this a very attractive market for these products. Moreover, the government has come out with norms for energy drink market which makes a clear regulatory framework for the players. 

Sting is launched with the positioning of product performance. The tagline of the brand is " Electrifying Energy, Ultimate Taste". The launch ad is effective in communicating the positioning but cannot be claimed as anything creative because it reminds of the Center Shock ads of the past. The ad is targeting the health conscious young Indian consumers. 

The brand is priced almost 50% less than the market leader Redbull. I have not seen this brand in my city. I guess, the national rollout has not happened yet for the brand. 

Indian sports and energy drink market is still a niche market. Although there is a shift towards healthy drinks, consumers ( in my opinion) is little confused about the product usage. In marketing terms, the category lacks salience. The brands in the category need to educate the consumers about the product usage and usage situations in order to expand the category. Although we can argue that the product descriptor ( energy drink) is there in the product label, that will only help in category identification. If the category needs to expand, it should make more usage situations for the product. Currently, the category is popular among sports enthusiasts which restrict the growth of the market in terms of market size. 
The low price of Sting may induce more product usage for the brand and thus offer a challenge to the market leader. However, Sting needs more than the quirky launch campaign to challenge Redbull. 

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Brand Update : Is Santoor testing a new positioning ?

Santoor, one of India's largest brand has been on a roll these days. Recently, the brand became the second largest selling soap by volume, toppling HUL's Lux ( Source). The success of the brand is attributed to the consistency and focus in brand building.

Recently an interesting twist has happened in the brand's approach to positioning. The brand relaunched its Santoor Gold in a new avatar. Santoor Gold was launched in 2015 as a premium variant differentiated by the presence of Sakura extracts and saffron as the ingredient. The product was launched initially in the southern states like AP. Three years later, the variant is relaunched. This time the sakura extract is missing and prominence are given to the saffron and sandal ingredient.
More importantly, the ad of this variant does not follow the core positioning of the parent brand - the mistaken identity.

This is a drastic change in terms of the brand's positioning strategy.

Watch the old ad of santoor gold here

The earlier campaign of Santoor Gold followed the mistaken identity theme. The question remains as to why the brand chose to tread a new path for its variant? One scenario is that the brand is testing a new positioning different from the age-old one with the new variant. The second scenario is that the brand chose to have a new positioning for the variant targeting a much younger crowd.
However, theoretically, it is always better to have the variants following the positioning theme of the parent brand otherwise the synergy of the brand-line promotions will be lost.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Prepair : Be Prepared

Brand: Prepair
Company: Vini Cosmetics

Brand Analysis Count: #585

Recently Vini Cosmetics Ltd, which is famous for the Fogg brand, launched a new brand Prepair ant-ageing segment. The Indian anti-aging market is worth around Rs 1500 crore ( as per Business Standard) and around Rs 2600 crore as per IIFL. The market is at a nascent stage but is expected to grow owing to the aging population and expansion of the category by marketers. 

The market already has seen global brands like Olay in the past. However, Olay was skimming the market with its premium positioning. Later the market witnessed the entry of HUL with Ponds Age Miracle range and Nivea with Q10 Plus. But these global brands tried their luck in the premium space of the segment. 

Vini Cosmetics has probably spotted the gap in the market and has launched the brand Prepair aiming at the larger pie of the segment at a lower price point. Prepair is created as a family brand endorsing multiple products in the anti-aging segment. The company has launched Prepair regenerating skin cream for women as Prepair 4050. For men, the company has launched Prepair 40+; probably men won't mind if the brand says openly that it is for the age group of 40 above. The brand name is a compound brand name or Lexical brand name combining Prepare and Repair. The tagline is Be Prepared. 

The brand is launched with ads that are aimed at category development. The ads are plain-vanilla informative in its execution. 

There are separate campaigns for male and female segments.
The large FMCG market in India offers a lot of opportunities for niche products. The Indian market is such that these niche markets often grew to become large segments. Vini Cosmetics is betting on the anti-aging personal care segment as one which has the potential to grow big.