Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Kwality Wall's : Pleasure Up

Brand : Kwality Wall's
Company: HLL
Agency: McCann Erickson

Brand Count : 143

Kwality Wall's is one of the major brands in the Indian icecream industry. The brand Kwality icecreams which was one of the first icecream brand of India came in into existance in 1940. In 1956, the brand which was a local brand began to spread its wings. In 1995, Kwality Icecreams came into HLL's fold and is now marketed as Kwality Wall's.

The Indian icecream market is estimated to be around Rs 1500-2000 crore with the organised market hovering around 600 crore. Kwality Wall's had a market share of around 40% of this segment. Although HLL and Amul is claiming leadership in the Indian Icecream market, the fact is that the market is highly fragmented and increasingly commoditised.

Amul entered the icecream market with a low price that changed the entire dynamics of the game. Kwality Wall's could not sustain the price competition and withdrew from the mass market. This has resulted in Amul gaining the market leadership position with around 27 % and Kwality walls reduced itself as a premium player. ( the market share figures are terribly confusing ).

With so many players in the market with little differentiation, the market is facing the issue of commoditisation. Flavour,taste, quality and Branding are the major differentiation opportunities in this industry. Flavour and product varieties were the route taken by major players. But flavours/varieties can be easily replicated by the competitors. Hence the only meaningful differentiation could be the brand.
Kwality Wall's has some of the blockbuster product varieties up in its fold like the Cornetto, Feast, Viennetta. But could not sustain because the same was imitated by the competitors.Cornetto became a generic name but HLL could not capitalise on that popularity.
Amul took the life out of Kwality by positioning itself as " The Real Icecream" since Kwality is mainly made of vegetable oils.
Kwality Wall's since the onslaught of Amul has faced positioning issues. The brand had struck a reasonably good positioning as a " Connector of Hearts" . The brand had the famous tagline " ho Jaye Dil Ka Connection" and some good ad campaigns. But the the brand began to go haywhere.
The positioning changed and so has the quality of the campaigns.There was no need to change the positioning. But someone at the company was bored by this.
The recent tagline of Kwality Wall's is " Pleasure Up" which could be mistook for a tagline for an Aphrodisiac . The ads also could not be viewed with family . When I first saw the campaign i mistook it for a condom Ad.
The marketers at HLL is totally confused about the brand values , the basic STP and all marketing fundas. The owners are too obsessed with the dictum " Sex Sells", or they are too desperate about this brand. While Amul carefully connecting its corporate image with their icecream brand, Kwality Wall's is repelling its existing customers. Kwality Wall's should be positioning itself as family brand with quality and variety as its major strength's. There is also a space for a subbrand in the youth category . The task is to create an excitement in the market with promotions and new product introductions. But Kwality Wall's is wasting its money in positioning itself as a " Sexy " brand.
With the whole icecream segment becoming commoditised, it takes lot of careful strategic brand management to survive. Kwality is facing its worst crisis in its life. It has to find a platform otherwise, it is going to be out of this market.