Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fem : Beauty With Care

Brand : Fem
Company: Femcare
Brand count :175

Fem is a small player in the FMCG market. This 50 crore pharmaceutical company has a significant share in some of the niche segments in the FMCG market in India. The company has followed the principle of concentrating on niche products rather than fighting a bloody war with the heavy weights .
Fem came into existence in 1982. The brand is famous for its range of liquid hand wash soap segment. In this Rs 20 crore market, Fem occupies a major market share of over 60%. Fem is positioned on the platform of beauty with health. The tagline of the Mother brand is “Beauty with Care”. The liquid soap segment of late has been witnessing intense competition from the likes of Dettol and Lifebuoy. Fem comes with fragrances like Lemon,Blossom,Peach,Bouquet etc.
Another niche product from FEM is the new brand Oxybleach. Oxybleach is the facial bleach from Fem boast of having the world’s first pre bleach cream. The brand is positioned on the unique attribute of “ Oxygenation”. The ad speaks about the problem faced by skin when exposed to sun, dust etc. The brand when used gives more oxygen to the skin making it refreshing and healthy.

Fem is a brand that also has significant presence in the female hair removing market. The brand has launched a new hair removing cream in a squeeze pack which acts as a differentiator.
Fem has introduced another brand in the cloth conditioner segment (entirely new category) named Bambi, which is a fabric softener.

Fem has been successful in finding niche areas in Feminine care and with good products and distribution network, the brand has created positive word of mouth for its products. The brands like Oxybleach and hair removers are being promoted aggressively by the company. But the company faces competition from established brands, which try to enter into these niches. Most of the personal care brands are trying to give all solutions to the customer rather than focusing on any one product. That has been the strategy of mega brands like Ponds, Lakme and Loreal. These brands, which have significant brand equity, will always post a threat to the niche brands like Fem. For Example, brands like Lifebuoy venturing seriously into liquid soap business will threaten the position of the cash cow of Fem.

The major issue with niche brands is the lack of resources to sustain the growth and fight competition. The lack of resources often forces the niche brands to either sell off or die in the face of competition from large brands. This problem becomes too dangerous when the company try to have too many brands . Too many brands sometimes creates resource allocation for brand building.