Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dove : The Mildest One

Brand : Dove
Company: HLL
Agency: O&M
Brand Count: 102
Dove is a $2 bn brand waiting to spread its wings in the Indian Premium soap market. Dove was globally launched in 1957. This brand came to India in 1995. Internationally this brand has a cult status and is a major player in the global premium soap market.

The brand is positioned as the Mildest Soap. Dove is PH neutral and this makes the soap soft on all kind of skin types. Internationally this brand is positioned as a brand that celebrates the " Real Beauty" . Dove defines real beauty as " beauty is not about how you look but about how you feel". The Dove's official site "" highlights this brand value. I think this is one of the best brand values a beauty product can have.

In India, the brand did not had the success of its global counterpart. One reasons are the small " Premium " market and another is the price barrier. Dove's initial price was around Rs50 that put off even the premium customers.

The brand has undergone some repositioning in recent times. Earlier the brand was positioned on the platform of " Trial for Results" idea. Later it was changed to the moisturizing platform.
The brand is claiming that it is milder than the 25 leading soaps thus proving its legitimacy to being the mildest soap in the country. Globally also this brand is positioned not as a soap but a cream bar.

Although the "Campaign For Real Beauty" and the mildness are excellent selling points, the brand is still not able to catch the fancy of Indian beauties. With lot of sales promotions happening with the brand like 1+1 free , there is a possibility of brand value erosion.With the brand now priced at Rs 28, the price has somewhat become reasonable.
I feel that still the brand does not fit into the " value for money" proposition for the Indian consumer. It is a truth that Indian consumer looks for " Value " even in premium products. Dove have a negative point in that the soap usually does not last enough ( partly because of our bathroom habits). This have reduced the value proposition for this brand.
With the emergence of an attractive market in the premium cosmetic market in India, Dove have lot of potential to become a key player, it has got the positioning right, now it has to set the " Value" right for the Indian consumer.