Friday, October 06, 2006

Cuticura: Leaving You Speechless

Brand : Cuticura
Company: Cholayil

Brand Count:135

Cuticura is an International brand which has a history of 200years. Once synonymous with talcum powder, this brand was pushed to oblivion because of marketing myopia or marketing laziness.
Cutucura came to India 80 years back.Cutucura was owned in India by Muller&Phipps. Globally this brand was owned by Keyline Brands which was acquired by Godrej Consumer products in 2005. Interestingly the brand is owned in India by Cholayil who are the marketers of Medimix soaps.Cholayil refuses to sell the brand to Godrej. Godrej hence have the rights to the brand outside India. It looks like a typical hindi film story script. Cutucura may be crying " Main kon hu, Main kahan Hu, Mera papa Kaun hai"?

Cholayil acquired the brand from Muller in 2002. The brand was given a make over and the new owners was trying to revive the brand. Cuticura was a leading brand of talcum powders in India in the 80's. Indian talcum powder market is estimated to be around Rs 600 crore. In the late 80's the brand faced competition from HLL and Cuticura was not able to sustain in the market.One major factors was that the Muller underestimated competition. The brand failed to change . Today the talcum poweder market is dominated by HLL's Ponds with 65% share.

Cuticura's stronghold is the southern market where it claims to have a share of 30%. The brand still holds equity in this market. So for Cholayil who markets Medimix, this brand gives a platform to get into personal care business.
Cuticura is known for its fragrance. The classic brand also famous for its orange and white packing which still has a huge recall. Cuticura while retaining its classic product launched a lavender variant in 2003. Reports suggest that the variant failed to make any ripples in the market. But these efforts helped the brand to post a decent turnover thanks to the brand equity. Now this brand is worth Rs 10 crore.
Although the Cholayil group has taken serious steps in reviving the brand, the campaign lacked the punch needed to propel the brand to new heights. The brand still retains the classic positioning based on fragrance. The new tagline talks about the brand leaving you speechless . Although creative idea is OK, the execution is horrible. The hyperbole fails to catch the imagination of new generation.

The biggest challenge that the brand face is that its core users have become old. The customers who liked and used this brand have now become old and the new generation does not know this brand. Hence the brand has to be relevant to the new generation competing with the power brands like Ponds.
2006 saw the brand extending to deodorants. The extension was branded as Cuticura DeO2.The main USP of DeO2 is its ingredient Farnesol. The brand has the tagline " Let your underarms breathe". Although a not thrilling tagline, to some this make sense because this product will help you smell good without inhibiting perspiration which is an important function of the body. Most of the deos inhibits perspiration to control the bad smell.
Unlike the talc ad, the DeO2 campaign is carefully executed to appeal to the newgen. Cuticura DeO2 will be pitted against Rexona, Fa, etc in this segment.

The brand has a potential to be a serious player in the personal care segment. The brand has to exploit its brand equity and strive to be relevant to the new generation who may have forgotten this brand
source:,, agencyfaqs, cholayil

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