Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Essilor : Seeing The World Better

Brand : Essilor
Company: Essilor International
Agency: Orchard

Brand Count : 142

Essilor is a Euro 2.4 billion company which is a world leader in Ophthalmic products especially lens. India is a big market for ophthalmic lens. With an estimated population of more than a billion people and more than two billion eyes, this is a market that cannot be ignored.
As discussed in the RayBan case , the Indian eyecare market is estimated to be around Rs 1200 crore.
The ophthalmic lens category is different because these are prescription lenses and is mostly unbranded. Usually the customers are unaware of the brand of lenses which they are wearing and it is decided by the opticians as to which brand need be used. Hence this category is a B2B category and the influencers are doctors and deciders are the opticians. The users have no idea about the lens.

Essilor came to India as a joint venture between Essilor and SRF in 1998. Later the joint venture was converted into a 100% subsidiary of the French parent. Essilor ,as reports suggest has been able to garner a fair share of the Indian market.
Essilor came into the User's radar during the high profile campaign for Varilux range of progressive lens; lenses used by people aged above 45. Essilor used the famous cricketer Shrikanth to endorse the brand. The company is using TVC, print and outdoors to promote this brand.
Essilor was also marketing savvy in developing a corporate brand. The ads were catchy and I would say it is a bold initiative to brand a B2B product at the userlevel.
There are certain issues as far as marketing person is concerned.
a. Should Essilor needs to go in for consumer marketing? Mainly because the users till now does not have a role in selecting the lens brand. Essilor is trying to make the consumer ask for this brand ( at a premium price) . That calls for a significant investment in brand building.

b. Will the consumer believe the Ads or the Optician who is considered to be an expert?

Essilor is trying to bridge a huge gap that the users face in this category. ie the issue of quality. We all know that we don't know what we are wearing over our eyes . We are not sure about the price of the lens or the price of the frame ( they say that the margin for the frames can be upto 1000%) . Hence there is a space for a branded player to establish standards and set prices. Essilor is doing just that. The brand is trying to take the power from the opticians to the company. It may not happen that consumer will ask for this brand just as you do it for FMCG products, but over a period of time , the consumer may perfer paying a premium for this brand.
It will take some time before the effect of this branding effort to show results. Varilux is already established in the TG's mind ( premium customers). But the task is tough. Essilor has a range of brands in this category like
Crizal: Hard multi coated lenses & Airwear: New generation polycarbonate lens and many more.

The corporate brand is positioned as the best in the category with the tagline " Seeing The World Better" talks about the quality of the brand.This brand should be in the watchlist of any persons interested in Brands

Source: essilorindia.com, businessline,agencyfaqs,magindia, indiainfoline