Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ujala : Char Boondom Vala

Brand : Ujala
Company: Jyothi Lab
Agency: Situations Advertising and Marketing

Ujala is a brand that revolutionized the fabric whitener industry. I consider Ujala as a super brand(although it is not considered by Super brands ) because
1. It changed the usage habit of the target market.
2.It dislodged the leader
3. It created a category for it self.
4. It has become a generic name.

You can seldom see such brands.

Ujala was launched by Jyothi Lab in 1993 in south India and its national launch was in October 1997. At that time liquid fabric whitener was non existent category. The category that was existent was the powder blue and was created and dominated by Robin Blue from Reckitt and Coleman. Robin Blue was generic brand at that time .

Ujala was not seen as a competition for Robin by Reckitt -a typical case of marketing myopia. The reason was that Robin commanded a huge market share and the liquid form required customer education and that is a hell lot of money to be spent on ads.

Reckitt was wrong. There was a customer need waiting to be satisfied.Powder blue had its inherent disqualification. Customers were not fully satisfied with the product. Ujala provided the solutions. Powder blues were messy, had to be used in large quantities hence less value for money, even after rinsing, there were traces of blue on the clothes etc. Reckitt was also slow in responding to competition. The liquid variant of Robin came very late.
Ujala carefully positioned itself as a
1.Reasonably priced
2. Conveniently packaged
3.Superior whitening
alternative to Robin Blue. Mr. Ramachandran who is the Chief Executive of Jyothi Lab was a marketing genius . He spent a lot of money on smart advertising. During 1990's the jingles of Ujala was all around in the radio.
From 26% in 1998, Ujala commands a market share of 70% in the category now.

Ujala campaigns executed by Situations Advertising is known for its simplicity and effective use of jingles to promote the brand. The Jingle " Aya Naya Ujala Char boondom Vala" effectively communicates the brand attributes.
It is also interesting to know that the consumers use around 3-5 drops of Ujala. That shows the trust that customers have in the brand.

Although we say that changing the usage habits of Indians is the most difficult things to achieve, Ujala is a brand that showed it is possible