Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Daikin : Complete Silence

Brand : Daikin
Company: Daikin Shriram Ltd
Agency : Dentsu

Indian A/c Market is growing at a scorching pace and more and more international players are lining up to take their share of the pie. The Indian domestic A/c Market is estimated to be around Rs 3600 crore is dominated by Window A/c's. The market is dominated by LG with a market share of 30% followed by Voltas (16%) and Samsung (13%).

Daikin was launched in 2000 as a joint venture between the Japanese Major Daikin and Shriram group. Daikin was initially not concentrating on the home market. With the upwardly mobile Indian family started shopping heavily, Daikin was not able to resist the temptation of tapping this market.

In India A/C is always considered a luxury owing to the price and the cost of maintaining the machine. The entry barrier was removed by our home grown Voltas with the launch of India's first sub 10000 A/C. The product was a block buster and took away the price barrier from the mind of the Indian consumer. A/C became more affordable. But the popularity is restricted to upper class because of the electricity cost associated with A/C's.

Although Voltas changed the rules of the game, much of the action is taking place in the premium segment. It is interesting to see the positioning of the major players in the value added category

LG is positioned on the basis of its time tested health platform
Voltas on the basis of pricing.
O'General on Cooling (lousy ad)
Hitachi is positioned on the size ( Hitachi Atom range)
Samsung on Breathing safe
Blue star on Fresh Air
The new entrant Onida is focusing on the cooling power telling the customer that an A/C that does not cool at 45 degree is just a cooler ( smart positioning given the fact that Samsung have models that cool even at 54 degree).

Given that most of the players have taken on one feature or another, Daikin differentiate on the basis of the " Silence " factor. The A/C taking the feature of its "Silent working " as its USP. Launched with this USP, the brand is now extending the Silence to being Calm. The latest ad clearly shows this USP. The ads of Daikin stands out from the other A/C ads since it is devoid of any noise. These ads are critically acclaimed and gives the brand a premium touch. Daikin also boasts of "Variable Refrigerant Volume " technology which allows the A/C to be more flexible in its installation.
The positioning has to be relevant to the consumer so as to influence his purchasing decision. It has to be seen how much is the relevance of "Silence" feature in the purchasing decision of a functional product like A/C. In the hierarchy of importance in the case of features, Silence plays second fiddle to Cooling and Fresh Air. That may be the reason Daikin have changed the Postioning from Silence to a much more flexible "Calm" option.
Daikin have upped its share of voice in the Indian market, with smart campaigns backed with good product, this brand is worth watching.