Thursday, October 26, 2006

Nivea : Gentle Care

Brand : Nivea
Company : Beirsdorf AG (JL Morrison in India)
Agency: TBWA

Brand Count : 147

Nivea is a German brand marketed in India by JL Morrison. This brand has a history of around 96 years. Nivea came into existence in the year 1911. The brand has derived its name from the Latin word Nivius meaning "Snow White".

Nivea has been in Indian market for more than 30 years. But this brand which is truly a global brand has not met with success in India. Nivea globally is the brand that has its presence in around 20 product categories in more than 50 countries. But in the 1300 crore Indian skin care market, the presence of Nivea don't justify its rich heritage.

Nivea is famous worldwide for its face cream. Nivea Creme created by Dermatologists was launched in 1911 . The brand is considered to be the first to take the skin care category from the elite class to the masses. The brand worldwide is known for its Trust, Reliability and Accessibility. Globally this brand is positioned in the platform of "Gentle Care" and " Wellness". The brand has its elements of Color embedded firmly in the minds of the customers. Nivea took its "Blue and White" color as its brand element as early as 1924. From there onwards, this color scheme has been a brand identity for Nivea.

In India, the brand is known for its skin cream. Nivea cream is but perceived as a winter cream because of its thickness and oily consistency. While in other parts of the world, Nivea has successfully came out of this narrow perception, in India, the marketers were not able to effectively take the brand forward. With most of Indian stated do not have severe winter, the market for winter cream is very limited.Nivea has a market share of 19% in the Rs 108 crore skin cream market which is dominated by Ponds.Now Ponds hold the position which Nivea could have taken had it been more aggressive in the market.

Although JL Morrison tried to extend the brand to soaps, the extension has not been successful because of the halfhearted effort. With salespromotion now being used to promote this brand of soaps,further dilution of the brand equity is inevitable.

Nivea face serious marketing issues in India. The brand has not been aggressive enough in this market which is crowded with established brands. Nivea was never bothered about strengthening its positioning as a skin care leader. While Ponds successfully extended itself to other product categories, Nivea is stuck with its cream.This is a brand that failed because of marketing laziness. Nivea have huge brand recall and equity. It has the global parentage, successful positioning opportunity but was not able to leverage the strength because the Indian marketers didnot want to invest in the brand. The problem is that when the brand is licensed to a marketer in a country, the objective of the brand manager will be to milk maximum out of the brand rather than invest in longterm brand building. Every ads and campaigns will be weighed interms of the ROI and sales growth. Successful brands required longterm investment that will yeild results over a period of time. But in the case of Nivea, no such brand building efforts were to be seen.

The potential of the brand is evident from the fact that in the Grey market, the brand is sold well. There is also significant difference in the quality of imported Nivea and the local one. It is said that Nivea Deo is the best selling product in the grey market.

Nivea is sad story of a brand that failed to succeed inspite of having all essential Brand qualities. If failed because of marketing laziness.