Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rin : Whiteness Strikes

Brand : Rin
Company: HLL
Agency: JWT

Brand Count : 174

Indian fabric wash industry is worth Rs 5100 crore and Rin is one of the super brands in the detergent bar segment. Rin was launched in 1969. The brand came into existence when there was severe quota restrictions from the government in the Laundry bar segment. Rin was launched as a detergent bar.

For 37 years ,this brand has been the market leader in the segment. The brand faced all the issues of competition , customer preference changes and price warriors.But it withstood all the challenges.
Rin is positioned on the whiteness platform. For years the brand is associated with whiteness. This positioning is reinforced by the famous Mnemonic of Lightning. Initially the brand was facing competition from laundry bars. Hence the task for the brand was to educate the customers about the new category of detergent bars. The campaign positioned the brand as the better way to wash indicating the category supremacy over laundry category. Later when the category evolved the positioning based on whiteness was communicated.
The success of Rin prompted lot of competitor activity in the segment. Many products came into the market with lesser price. Rin countered the competition by the famous " Zara Sa Rin " claiming the brand to be more powerful than the less priced brands ( source:
Rin had its fair share of extensions. The brand had variants Rin Supreme, Rin Shakthi and Rin Advanced . The brand later extended to detergent powders to bridge the gap between Wheel and Surf.
Rin is facing its toughest competition in the form of Tide from P&G. The brand which came to India as a detergent powder brand has extended to bar category. Tide is positioned on the same whiteness platform with similar communication.

HLL is known for its obsession with market shares. It never compromises on the market share and is not stingy in investing in brands. 2005 saw one of the boldest marketing initiatives for Rin. None other than Amitabh Bachchan was roped in as brand ambassador ( model) for the brand. The ads were trying to reinforce the positioning of Rin as the premium detergent soap. I was surprised seeing Big B endorsing such a brand.
There are reports that Surf Excel is extending to bar soap category and will be replacing Rin Supreme at the premium end. The logic is that Rin has a firm image of whitening bar while Surf has the strength of being a stain remover. HLL is trying to have Surf Excel to extend its leadership in the entire detergent soap category.
Rin has always tried to create the brand excitement alive by launching new variants or new promotions or some innovations. For example in 2002 , the brand came out with a direct comparison with other laundry bars telling the customer that the soap is mud-free . The positioning was focused on Pure Clean Technology that makes the brand mud-free.

2006 was another innovation of launching a cover for the soap that will prevent wastage of the soap. Although this innovation may be trivial, the brand is kept alive in the mindspace.And that is the strength that has helped this brand to manage its product lifecycle.