Monday, August 21, 2006

Sparsh :Long Lasting Goodness

Brand : Sparsh
Company: Marico
Agency: McCann Erickson

Brand Count : 116

Sparsh is a bold move by Marico in the baby care market dominated by none other than Johnson &Johnson. The brand which was rolled out initially as baby oil has extended itself to Baby Soap.

Indian Baby care market is estimated to be around Rs 3 Billion and in the oil, cream and soap category, the market is dominated by J&J. In the soap category, the Johnson's Baby Soap commands over 68% market share and 100% mind share.

Many companies have in the past tried to break in to this market. Wipro with their Baby Soft tried to break into J&J but is now looking at alternative segment by reducing the price. Wipro is now building the brand in the price conscious segment. Other players like Himalaya,Dabur and HLL is trying to enter the segment which has a huge potential to grow.

Marico entered this segment with the launch of Sparsh Baby Oil. The baby oil category is estimated to be around Rs 350 crore. The brand was launched after a careful market study and prototype testing in Andhrapradesh which is a huge market for baby oil. Buoyed by positive results, the brand was nationally launched this year. Also came in to the market Sparsh Baby soap posing a direct competition to the market leader J&J.
The greatest obstacle for Marico in this segment is the brand equity that Johnson's Baby soap enjoys. For over 59 years, this brand has been the favorite of mothers world over. The brand has already a generic status in this category. This equity is something that is a hard nut to crack. Infact J&J has a virtual monopoly over the Baby Skin care segment. Sensing this difficulty Wipro have changed the segmentation of their Baby Soft by reducing the price to attract the non users rather than directly competing with the leader. Sparsh is directly competing with J&J and Sparsh oil and Soap is priced at par with Johnson's.

Sparsh is initially banking on the equity of highly successful Parachute oil. Sparsh is endorsed by Parachute and the brand value of the Parachute : " Long Lasting Goodness" is extended to Sparsh also. Sparsh is based on the Naturals Platform . The oil is having natural ingredients of turmeric , tulsi and coconut oil . This gives the brand a clear differentiation to Johnson Baby oil which is more synthetic based or Non Natural. The baby massage oil market in India is dominated by Dabur with its Lal Tel with 22% value share. So the fight here is between Dabur and Marico.
Sparsh Baby Soap is also based on the Natural Ingredients like Turmeric and Natural moisturisers . The brand is positioned as India's only " No Tear " baby bath soap. The soap has a unique shape and is transparent and looks like Pears. So through Attribute and Appearance, Sparsh is differentiating itself from the market leader.
To promote Sparsh in South, Marico has roped in the Southern film diva Simran and for their national launch Ms Sonali Bhindre. Both are famous Young Star Mothers. Along with the high profile brand building, Sparsh is trying to influence the " Influencers" of these products like Doctors & Paediatricians through different campaigns.
Marico is an accomplished marketer who knows how to build a brand. Here in this market, this skill will be tested to the maximum.

Source: Marico website, Businessline, Agencyfaqs,