Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Prestige Pressure Cookers : Long Way To Go

Brand : Prestige
Company: TTK Prestige
Agency: Mudra Communications

Brand Count : 119

Prestige pioneered the pressure cooker market in India. Launched in 1950’s this brand has popularized pressure cooker as an essential cooking device.
When Prestige was launched, Indian consumers were somewhat afraid about using pressure cookers. The product category was looked upon by the consumers with suspicion and fear. Prestige changed all that. The brand using careful communication messages were able to establish itself as the safest cooker.

Prestige brand was able to address the initial concerns of the consumers like the nutrients getting destroyed using the cookers and more importantly the normal inertia in changing the way of cookers.

Long before the Product Demonstrations began to be popular among marketers, Prestige started highly successful house to house demonstrations to popularize the efficacy of this product category. These steps enabled the market to grow very fast. The pressure cooker market is estimated to be around 6mn pieces.

Not resting on laurels, Prestige was careful enough to innovate. In 1980, it came out with the first Pressure Pan which can cook a variety of Indian dishes. In 2003, to tap the premium segment, Prestige launched the Deluxe range of pressure cookers. The safety features like “Gasket Release System” and the “Gasket Offset Device” was invented by Prestige.Prestige also introduced a unique concept of separator cooking which means that two dishes can be cooked in the pressure cooker at the same time thus increasing the utility and reducing the fuel costs.

Later Prestige ventured into Non stick cookware category extending the brand. The company was leveraging the brand equity of Prestige to this new category. There also Prestige tried to provide freshness through innovation. It launched India’s first Metal friendly nonstick cookware range.

The reason for the brand extension is that the market for pressure cookers was not growing. The branded cookers faced lot of competition from unbranded cheap products. The unbranded cookers corner about 50% share in this market.
The pressure cooker market plus the nonstick market is worth around 600 crores, making it more sensible for the company to extend the brand.

In the early 2000 the company took the brand into a higher level by launching small kitchen appliances under the concept of Prestige Smart Kitchen. The small appliances along with cookers and nonstick is worth around Rs 3000 crores. Hence Prestige was hoping to cater to a larger market with its new range of Small appliances like Mixies, gas stoves grinders etc. The small appliance market although is large is crowded with small and large competitors and is tough to crack.

Although market reports suggest that Pressure Cooker market is almost stagnated, the figures show another picture. The penetration of Cookers in Indian households is as low as 36% and rural market penetration is only 18%.There is also a huge market for replacements. But the players are not able to break in to this market. It will take some marketing disruptor (new term from me) to break into the untapped market.

The major competitor for Prestige in Pressure cooker market is Hawkins. Launched in 1959, Hawkins is neck to neck with Prestige in market share estimated to be around 25%.

Hawkins in 1993 tried to break into the premium range of cookers by launching its Futura range of Pressure cookers. Although the design and the ads were catchy the price if Futura will give “Pressure “the Indian consumer. The price is around 200% more than the ordinary cookers. Hence Indian consumers have given thumbs down to this range. Futura has cornered a niche in the market but the growth is limited because of unreasonable price.
Although the early campaigns of Prestige brand has been able to create the brand equity, the share of voice of this brand still remains low. The brand does not remind you of any meaningful positioning except for the safety factor in Pressure cookers. If this brand has to transform itself to be a small appliances brand, it has to discover some core values of the brand and position the brand around it ( Which it has not done). For example, a regional brand “Preethy “which is a major player in the Mixie category is using a homemaker (model of course) to endorse the brand by using the tagline “ I guarantee” which can be extended to any product categories.
Prestige has to strategically position the brand inorder to use it as an Umbrella brand to endorse multiple categories
Source :Agencyfaqs, Bharathidasan Institute of mgmt website,, magindia

Monday, August 28, 2006

Akai : The Original Price Warrior

Brand : Akai
Company: Videocon

Brand Count 118

Akai is the brand that changed the Indian CTV industry for ever.The 25000 crore Indian consumer durables market survived at one time because of Akai. Akai was brought to India by Baron International , a company floated by the young Kabir Mulchandani.

Akai was launched in India in 1995 and there after the CTV market was never the same. Before Akai, the CTV was a luxury affordable only to the middle class and above. The starting price of CTV at that time was Rs 15000 and above. It was a big task for a middle-income family to afford one at that time.

Players like Videocon, BPL, Philips and Onida dominated CTV market at that time. Akai had to break the stronghold of these players and how they did it is one of the greatest marketing success stories ever.
From 0 to14% market share within 18 months. That was the outcome. Akai did this by going by the advice of Don Corleone “ Make an offer that no one can refuse”.

“ Rs.9999 for a 21 inch color television” screamed full-page ads in newspapers. It was for the first time that a consumer durable marketer took full pages that too frequently. Along with the price, Akai invented the concept of exchange schemes into the Indian market and customers loved it. Nobody could believe the offer and the price. I don’t think anyone now also knew how it worked out.You go to the dealer with an old TV and you could get a discount of Rs 5000 on the new one. WOW…
Akai positioned itself as a price warrior and the heritage factor of being a Japanese company boosted the brand image of the company. The tag “Made in Japan” always impresses Indian consumers and it helped Akai to scale up in the market with in a short span of time.

Baron also took an unconventional distribution strategy by advertising heavily before the product hit the market. This created rush in the market and distributors paid upfront to get the orders and the company had the money before selling its product. The additional margins also satisfied the dealers.

The price and the hype affected the market share of the leaders in CTV market .All the players cut their prices as high as 40% so as to survive. This prompted customers to believe that they were being forced to pay a higher price before Akai came into the market. The price offers expanded the Indian CTV market like a rocket propeller

Akai ran into rough weathers shortly after 1998. Akai globally was owned by Ontario based Semi Tech corporation. Baron ‘s relationship with Semi Tech became rough. Baron, to tide over the probability of severing ties with Akai, forged a deal with Aiwa of Japan for marketing Hi Fi music systems.
Kabir Mulchandani did the same with Aiwa selling the brand at a price unheard of and making the product category reachable to middle class. But Aiwa as an upscale brand ( 51% of the co is owned by Sony) was not happy by this positioning ,however an the brand was looking for an upstart in the Indian market and Kabir’s strategy helped Aiwa to create a brand awareness and expand the market.

Akai thus severed its association with Baron and forged a marketing relationship with Videocon. Videocon was marketing the brands of Semitech like Sansui.

Akai struggled to shrug of the image of a low price brand which was strongly embedded in the mind of the Indian consumer. As Mr Abrahan Koshy of IIMA says ‘ Discounted brands are promotion dependant” so to survive Akai had to spend heavily on Advertisements and it was a difficult proposition.

Baron later tried its luck with another Chinese brand TCL but could not succeed. Once a poster boy in the media and once acclaimed as a marketing whiz kid, Kabir Mulchandani has faded in to history as a one product wonder. He is battling lot of legal issues and nobody talks about him now. But marketing history remembers him as a Disruptive Marketer who made two luxury product categories CTV and Hi-FI systems affordable to the Indian consumer.

Akai expanded the Indian CTV market which is now estimated to be 80 lakhs units per year. The Korean majors currently dominate the market. Since the launch of Akai in 1995, the entry-level models are ranging sub 10000, which was unthinkable in the 90’s. Now all the major players including SONY have a CTV model below Rs 10000. Even Flat TV starts in this range. All these, thanks to AKAI. But the brand has now become a marginal player in the Indian market. Videocon is finding it difficult to fit this brand into its already crowded product portfolio. Aiwa is fighting it out at the affordable TV and Music system category with the backing of SONY.

Source : agencyfaqs, estrategicmarketing,businessworld

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ambi Pur : Fragrance Your Imagination

Brand : AmbiPur
Company: Godrej Sara Lee

Brand Count : 117

Indian Air Care market is in its infancy. The market is estimated to be around Rs 50 crore. The market was earlier dominated by Odonil from Balsara ( Now Dabur) . Air purifiers/fresheners are not considered in the household purchases by the Indian consumer. The most common " air freshener" are the moth balls that can be seen in all the cub boards in Indian homes.
Odonil created the market for air fresheners. To a certain extent, it established its presence. Odonil is primarily used in Bathrooms.
Ambi-Pur was launched in 2002. The brand comes from the International stable of Sara lee and is the largest brand in the Household and Beauty care division of the company. Ambi Pur is the No.1 brand in Europe.
In India, Ambipur was launched as a air freshener for cars. It was a pleasant surprise for car owners to see a new product ( at that time) with somewhat a funny name. The brand gained popularity despite its premium pricing. Although the quality of fragrance is debatable, the product soon gained popularity among the car owners.
The product comes with a sweet little diffuser and the refill bottle. The diffuser can be plugged to the air vent or the blower. There are three fragrances available for Ambi Pur : Vanilla, Aqua and After Tobacco
Through the brand, Sara lee opened a new mass market for car perfumes. During that time, car perfumes were dominated by imported brands. The price of the diffuser and a bottle is Rs 130 and the refill costs you Rs 99.
The brand is positioned using the baseline " Fragrance Your Imagination". The company believes that perfumes relaxes the drivers and enhance comfort level. Since there is little competition, there is little promotion for this brand.
With the reasonable success of car fresheners, Ambipur extended itself to domestic room fresheners market this year. The market is now only room freshener aerosols and with the growing " Lifestyle" market in India holds lot of potential for this extension. The problem with this category is the lack of awareness , ease of use and the cost.The dispenser system of Ambi Pur may help overcome such problems.
Ambi Pur is a brand that identified a latent need in the Indian Market. The growing market for automobiles will give this brand a beautiful opportunity. Since competition is yet to catch up, the brand should try to expand the usage of this product by coming out with various fragrances. Company is having only one range of car purifiers. The market has the potential for multiple segments . For example there is a scope for a premium range of car perfumes . Hope that the company will take measure to increase the market.
Ambi Pur:Only factor missing is the imagination.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sparsh :Long Lasting Goodness

Brand : Sparsh
Company: Marico
Agency: McCann Erickson

Brand Count : 116

Sparsh is a bold move by Marico in the baby care market dominated by none other than Johnson &Johnson. The brand which was rolled out initially as baby oil has extended itself to Baby Soap.

Indian Baby care market is estimated to be around Rs 3 Billion and in the oil, cream and soap category, the market is dominated by J&J. In the soap category, the Johnson's Baby Soap commands over 68% market share and 100% mind share.

Many companies have in the past tried to break in to this market. Wipro with their Baby Soft tried to break into J&J but is now looking at alternative segment by reducing the price. Wipro is now building the brand in the price conscious segment. Other players like Himalaya,Dabur and HLL is trying to enter the segment which has a huge potential to grow.

Marico entered this segment with the launch of Sparsh Baby Oil. The baby oil category is estimated to be around Rs 350 crore. The brand was launched after a careful market study and prototype testing in Andhrapradesh which is a huge market for baby oil. Buoyed by positive results, the brand was nationally launched this year. Also came in to the market Sparsh Baby soap posing a direct competition to the market leader J&J.
The greatest obstacle for Marico in this segment is the brand equity that Johnson's Baby soap enjoys. For over 59 years, this brand has been the favorite of mothers world over. The brand has already a generic status in this category. This equity is something that is a hard nut to crack. Infact J&J has a virtual monopoly over the Baby Skin care segment. Sensing this difficulty Wipro have changed the segmentation of their Baby Soft by reducing the price to attract the non users rather than directly competing with the leader. Sparsh is directly competing with J&J and Sparsh oil and Soap is priced at par with Johnson's.

Sparsh is initially banking on the equity of highly successful Parachute oil. Sparsh is endorsed by Parachute and the brand value of the Parachute : " Long Lasting Goodness" is extended to Sparsh also. Sparsh is based on the Naturals Platform . The oil is having natural ingredients of turmeric , tulsi and coconut oil . This gives the brand a clear differentiation to Johnson Baby oil which is more synthetic based or Non Natural. The baby massage oil market in India is dominated by Dabur with its Lal Tel with 22% value share. So the fight here is between Dabur and Marico.
Sparsh Baby Soap is also based on the Natural Ingredients like Turmeric and Natural moisturisers . The brand is positioned as India's only " No Tear " baby bath soap. The soap has a unique shape and is transparent and looks like Pears. So through Attribute and Appearance, Sparsh is differentiating itself from the market leader.
To promote Sparsh in South, Marico has roped in the Southern film diva Simran and for their national launch Ms Sonali Bhindre. Both are famous Young Star Mothers. Along with the high profile brand building, Sparsh is trying to influence the " Influencers" of these products like Doctors & Paediatricians through different campaigns.
Marico is an accomplished marketer who knows how to build a brand. Here in this market, this skill will be tested to the maximum.

Source: Marico website, Businessline, Agencyfaqs,

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Moods Condoms : My Man

Brand : Moods
Company: Hindustan Latex Ltd
Agency: Lowe
Brand Count : 115

Moods is a major player in India's Condoms market. Moods was the first major branding exercise to happen in this market. The Indian Condom market is estimated to be around 130 crores.

Moods was launched by Hind latex in 1987 with much fanfare . It was a bold initiative and the campaign was regarded as one of the marketing success stories. Indian condom market is divided in to
a. Free segment
b.Subsidised segment
c.Popular segment
d. Premium segment
Moods is a major player in the popular segment while brands like Kamasutra, Kohinoor and Durex are in the premium segment.

Condoms are considered to be a taboo product. Just like the sanitary napkins, People don't want to discuss these products in public let alone be seen buying it. Hence marketing of this product is a tough call for any marketer. Hence during the 80's the major challenge for HLL was to break the taboo. Moods did to the condom market what Whisper has done with the sanitary market. Now marketers are trying to market these taboo products with "Look good, feel good , do good" message strategy.

Moods was launched with classic ad featuring a hunk asking for " Moods Please" at a store where a shy person was struggling for asking for the same " Can I have a pack of ......mmm..". We as the audience were shocked and surprised at this blunt campaign. The words "Moods please" struck the consumer so hard that even small kids used to tell the shop keeper " Moods Please" much to the embarrassment of the parents.
The brand was positioned for taking this product category out of closet. The baseline " Act With Confidence" exhorted men to confidently ask for this brand at the shops. The campaign created by RK Swamy was a classic success story.
The success of Moods prompted many bold launches in the condom market. At that time Nirodh was the popular brand because of the support from the government. Moods created a category of branded condoms. Next to follow the Moods brand wagon was Kamasutra. KS created lot of talk with its bold ads featuring Pooja Bedi and Marc Robinson. These efforts helped to a certain extend to take this category out of closet.

According to a report on the site, the condom use in India is only a mere 5%. The product is still perceived to be a Pregnancy prevention tool. Indians never have looked it as a tool for pleasure enhancement. Although the brands are now highlighting the pleasure aspect with the launch of Dotted and Scented variants, the market is yet to catch up.

The major factor being the cultural psyche of Indian consumer. Unlike in the west, couples seldom talks about sex. We are still a land of hypocrites. Hence it is difficult for a marketer of condom to talk openly about pleasure enhancement and sex without getting the wrath of the so called Culture Evangelists. Kamasutra brand faced lot of such problems when they tried to talk sex. The question is " Without talking sex, how can you sell condoms?" or should I say " Why should I sell condoms with out talking sex? ( debatable point !).

Even with these marketing efforts the product category is still not out of the closet. The product is still bought secretly and we can see the shopkeeper hurriedly packing the product so that others don't see it. Seldom do customers buy it from supermarket and the sale happen through medical shops. So more efforts are necessary to take this product out.

One of reasons why there is a sluggish growth in the condom market is the demand supply gap. Since there is lot of money and demand in the "Social marketing" initiatives of govt and UN sponsored agencies because of AIDS scare, the manufacturers are flush with orders hence where is the time left to create the market.

Moods brand after its success with the " Act with confidence " campaign is now back with the new campaign " My Man". The ads with the old song background " Ye Kya Hua" is interesting. But I have some reservations about the message of the ad ( frankly I don't know). The baseline " My Man" is also little confusing. But any way the ad execution is OK but with a poor message.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ceasefire: RIP 1989-2002

Brand : Ceasefire
Company: Real Value Appliances
Agency: Grey

Brand Count : 114

Ceasefire was India's first domestic fire extinguisher. It was one of India's best and worst marketing stories. A brand that virtually created and ruled a category faded out after12 years.

Fire extinguishers comes in the category of unsought goods and it is difficult and expensive to create and survive in such a product category . Real Value Appliances owned by Mr. Pheroze Engineer started operations in 1989 bringing to the country a new concept - a domestic fire extinguisher. The fire extinguishers were not uncommon to Indian consumers. We see it in large malls and theaters. But a domestic one was unique. Indian consumers never thought of having one in their homes.

The product made perfect sense in Indian market ( infact every market). Our households deal with fire all the time and the risk of fire being getting out of control is very much there. Hence a marketing mind would easily see the prospect of cashing in that need : the need for protection from fire. Thus came in to market Ceasefire. The product was compact, unique had a catchy name, looked good and boasted of extinguishing all sorts of fires.

Ceasefire was halon 1211 based fire extinguisher that was very compact and was handy and easy to use ( with minimum effort). Much more than the efficacy of the use, it gave a certain peace of mind to the Indian consumer against the possible fire mishap.
The product was well received in the market. The ads were focusing on building in the consumer a fear about a possible fire mishap . The ads were backed by a sales campaign. The company focused on direct marketing for promoting the product . Since the " Fear of Fire" is so basic to human psyche, the success was imminent. The product was priced at a premium and the customers never complained.
Fire extinguishers , like Insurance is one kind of product where customers are not unhappy if it is not being used. Hence the success is in keeping the " Fear " alive in the customer's mind. The success of Ceasefire was much discussed in Management classes those days.
Then buoyed by the success, the company diversified to Vaccumizer and " rest became history". From a brand that was among the top ten fastest growing brand in the country to a company referred to BIFR, things moved very fast from 1997 onwards.
It happened not because the brand failed the company but it was because the company failed the brand. The unsuccessful new product like vaccumizer and the alleged mismanagement failed the brand once gloried as a marketing success story.In 2002, Real Value Appliances closed down
its operations. May be the brand / company tried to grow very fast without consolidating, may be because of mismanagement.
It was a brand that lost its life because of faults not of its own. But surprisingly, no other brands have come forward to take that position. The product category that was created by Ceasefire is still void. May be the category may not be appealing to the other marketers. But the potential is there and the fear is also there.
Source: magindia, indiainfoline,

Saturday, August 12, 2006

HDFC Standard Life Insurance: Respect Yourself

Brand: HDFC Standard Life Insurance
Company: HDFC Standard Life Insurance
Agency: Leo Burnett

Brand Count :113

India is one of the most lucrative financial services market in the world. The insurance market in India is estimated to be around 400 bn growing at an astounding rate of 30% p.a. Still the experts believe that the potential is largely untapped.

The insurance market is dominated by the public sector giant LIC with a market share of around 71.4%. With the private players leading the growth story, this sector is witnessing more marketing actions than even the FMCG sector.

Traditionally insurance are sold through direct selling. The reason being purely the nature of product warrants direct communication with the consumer. Kotler categorizes Insurance as an "Unsought" product . Unsought products are those which are ranked lowest in terms of consumer interest. Consumers may not be even aware of either the need or existence of such products.

Historically, Indian insurance products are sold for wrong reasons. People buy insurance to avail the tax benefit and not to ensure protection and LIC was happy to oblige. Hence most of the sales talks start with the question " How much do you pay tax?" . Little money was spent on brand building because there was no competition for LIC.
Things have now changed. With the increasing financial literacy, volatile economy and uncertain future are prompting Indians to look seriously at insurance as a means for protection rather than tax saving instrument. With more private players entering the domain, the issues of differentiation and branding became important.
HDFC Standard Life Insurance (HDFCSL) is one of the major players in the insurance market. One of the first private insurers to enter the market, HDFC SL entered the scene in 2000. It is a joint venture between the housing finance major HDFC and the UK insurance giant Standard Life.
Now a days we are seeing a lot of media action from this company. Although a slow starter HDFC SL was having a small share of the pie. It was eclipsed by ICICI prudential with its media and sales blitz making it second largest player in the Insurance market. 2006 saw a shake up in this market with Bajaj Allianz edging out ICICI from the second spot . Bajaj have a market share of around 8% and HDFC SL and ICICI fighting at 3rd place with around 7.5%.
HDFC is currently focusing on The Pension Plan and the Child Plan aiming to cash in on the potential of these segments. The pension market in India is estimated to be around 1000 crore with a huge potential for growth in the future.
The change in the demographics is going to drive the pension market in India. Traditionally in a Joint family, there was an inherent protection for elders. With the urbanisation and the evolution of Nuclear Urban Family ( NUF) , elders are often forgotten. Out of the 314 mn workers in India only 11% has some sort of old age security. People earlier depend on social security products like EPF and PPF to build a corpus for their golden years.
It is this potential that has encouraged HDFC to promote its pension plans. Introduced in 2002, this product has been well received by the consumers. The ads are well executed and revolve around the positioning of "Respect Yourself". The target segment being the 30 year old family man. The basic theme of the campaign is to appeal to the self respect of these men who are in their prime of their career. "Even after retirement let your hands give rather than receive" is one of the best themes for a pension plan. Since I am in that category , these ads strike a chord in me and reminds me of the need to plan for my retirement. The same theme is carried to the Child plan also.
Although these campaigns will help to invoke an interest in TG, the market is in its nascent stage and lot of convincing has to be done to crack this huge market. One of the stumbling block being the expensive annuity plans. For example , it takes a 2 lakh corpus to generate Rs 1000 per month pension. Also if you put 10000 per month in a pension plan if you are 30 yrs old, what you will get after 20 years is a monthly pension of 10000. ( correct me if I am wrong). So it looks unattractive in the first look compared to MFs.
HDFC Standard Life has correctly identified the pulse of the target market and is all set to reap the benefits.
Source: Businessline, HDFC SL website,, agencyfaqs

Thursday, August 10, 2006

L'Oréal : World Of Beautiful Brands

Brand :L'Oréal
Company:L'Oréal Paris

Brand Count: 112

L'Oreal is one of the most successful International premium brands in India. This French brand came to India in 1991 with its Ultra Doux range of Shampoo through its Agent Laboratories Garnier. In 1994 Laboratories Garnier became the 100 % subsidiary of L'Oréal. In 2000 Loreal launched its range of cosmetics in to Indian market.
L'Oréal is a global giant in the cosmetic industry with a presence in over 120 countries. Its brand is based on the values of Innovation and developing formulations unparalleled in quality and performance.

The Indian Cosmetic and skin care market is estimated to be around $300 Million. In this market the Color Cosmetic segment is around Rs 250 crore while the Skin care segment is estimated to be around Rs 400 crore.

In India the brand is having its presence with three international signatures: L'Oréal Paris, Maybelline Newyork and Garnier.
While L'Oréal was focusing on hair color market in the initial stages of its launch, Maybelline was in the premium color cosmetic segment ( Lipstick and nail enamel) while Garnier in the "naturals" segment.
L'Oréal came to India with its International range of hair colors. At that time hair colors were in the nascent stage with hair dyes dominating the market. The major player being Godrej. The consumers were thagingng lot who had startegrayingng.
L'Oréal changed the way Indian consumers viewed the hair color. The target consumers were not the older lot who want to blacken their grey hairs but the younger ones who want to make a fashion statement.
It was a tough call and to change the Indian consumer's mindset required a good marketer with hell lot of money. L'Oréal had all that. Globally this brand is endorsed by who is who in the fashion world like Claudia Schiffer. In India, the brand is endorsed by none other than Aishwarya Rai. The campaigns of L'Oréal had international models and the Indian models like Isha Koppikar and the ads were positioning this brand as a premium brand. Indian premium class who used to be a globetrotter knew this brand and there was no problem in accepting the Indian version. L'Oréal has garnered a market share of 38% in this segment.
Garnier concentrated on the Natural Hair care market with the main USP of strong hair. The brand positioned as a Unisex brand mainly used its international campaigns in India to appeal to the Indian consumer.
Maybelline is in thcolor cosmeticic segment and is targeting the premium class of customers. This global brand is famous for its tagline "May be she is born with it. May be its Maybeline". This segment is a tough call for Loreal since the global brands and our HLL is fighting for its share.
L'Oréal has now introduced their skin care products in to the Indian market. They have two divisions , one catering to consumer and other to the institution ( beauty saloons). I think the strategy to concentrate on the beauty saloons with specific products is one of the smartest marketing moves. Beauticians acts as influencer in the purchasing decisions regarding skin care as well as hair care. Last week when I asked my hair care specialist ( barber) about a good hair cream, he suggested L'Oréal hair cream. Another advantage is that the beauty saloons acts as a medium for showcasing the L'Oréal brands which can generate interest in the consumer. The saloons also benefit by using L'Oréal brands . Hence it is a win-win situation for the brand and the influencer.
With its smart campaigns and careful brand building L'Oréal has emerged as a winner in the Indian market which has seen lot of International brands biting the dust.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Live-in Jeans: Can't Live Without

Brand : Live-in
Company: Microtex
Agency: Contract
Brand Count: 111

The Live-in Brand of jeans come from Microtex Ltd which is the part of Maxwell group which is famous for their VIP brand of Innerwear. Live-in is a leading brand in the Rs.1500 crore denim market in India. According to a report on, the jeans wear market is growing very fast across various categories.

Live-in jeans is competing in the mid segment of the jeans market. The product was a bold move by the innerwear marketer into a market dominated by unorganised sector. The main target segment for Jeans are of the age group 16-35 ( although we find many 60 yrs old "young at heart" freaking out in jeans).

Live-in was launched with smart clutter-breaking ad campaign. It used the super model Dino Morea which added a touch of class to the brand. The brand was positioned as the ultimate comfortable brand which you will " Keep Them On and On and On". The baseline and the positioning was an instant hit and the brand had a good run ( I don't have the market share numbers).
The name "Live-in" is the most appropriate for a brand for jeans. The name came it being with a consumer insight that the youth these days virtually are living in their jeans for 18 hours a day.(

Later the brand extended into trousers and shirts. The Live-in shirts were using the baseline " Above All Else". The trouser range was using the baseline " Meet Your Lighter Side" . The campaigns of the trouser range was a flop because the company tried to add humour to the brand which failed. The flops eroded lot of equity of Live-in and the brand is back after a restructuring.

The primary reason for the extensions to fail because it deviated from the successful positioning of the Jeans brand. I can vouch that Live-in trousers are one of the best in terms of fit and quality in that price range. It could have given the Peter England Brand a run for its money, but it did not happen.
The latest relaunch of Live-in has done away with the famous " Keep them on" may be because it has been taken by batteries like Amaron. So Live-in is now with the tag " Can't Live Without", which is a smart baseline. The brand is now making lot of noises across the media with some good campaigns.
Pricing is a major factor in this market where the growth is happening most in the sub 500 category where Newport and Ruf N Tuf are the major players. It is said that even Pepe have a brand in this segment.The entry of all major global brands in to India have provided a bonanza for consumers. But for a marketer it is a nightmare to find the right place with the right product with the right price.
Live-in is a brand with good recall and a good product. Most of the Live-in users will agree with me that Live-in have huge potential to be a readymade brand especially in the trouser segment.
Live-in let me hope it will go on and on and on.....
Source:, agencyfaqs,,,magindia .com

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Dyna Beauty Soap : Be A Lady

Brand : Dyna
Company: Anchor Beauty and Cosmetics
Agency: Art Advertising

Brand Count : 110

For the last couple of months I was intrigued with a tvc featuring a new brand of toilet soap DYNA. The ad featured the super model Katrina Kaif and the frequency of the tvc was quite heavy that it was sure the brand had some large corporate backing it . It took some time to find out that this new brand is owned by Anchor groups who rules the electrical accessories market in India.

Anchor has been very aggressive in its diversification strategies. From Electricals, the company moved into a totally unrelated and cluttered FMCG space by launching Anchor toothpaste. Branding experts were shell shocked at seeing the Electrical accessory brand extending itself to toothpastes. I thought the brand will fail, but it didn't . Anchor brand of toothpaste is now having a market share of 7% in the toothpaste market with a differentiating feature of being 100% vegetarian.

Anchor has enteredthe soap market, which is estimated to be around 4800 crore . The market is cluttered with lot of brands, dominated by none other than HLL with a market share of over 55%. So it is a brave move by Anchor.
Dyna is available in two variants. The brand is said to have higher total fatty matter and is positioned as a popular grade one soap. Although the company is spending money in building the brand and is using a well known model to endorse the brand, the execution of the campaign failed miserably in communicating the Brand. There is no positioning , no segmentation. I think that the brand is aimed at the mass market. The baseline " Be a Lady" conveys no meaning at all. The tvc just shows the beautiful Katrina using Dyna Beauty Soap . Thats it...
Dyna has entered a market which is fragmented and segmented in all possible way.The brands in this market are positioned on all possible ways . You name a positioning strategy based on feature/benefit/size/shape/attribute/celebrity/price/value/
psychographics any thing, a brand has taken that positioning.
So can Dyna survive as being "Just A Soap" + Katrina ?
Source:, Businessline.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Jealous Jeans : Jeans And More

Brand : Jealous Jeans
Company: Indus League
Brand Count : 109

Jealous Jeans is the one and only Indian brand in the women's jeans segment. The brand earlier owned by Jealous Fashionwear was acquired by Indus League in 2005. The brand was not a new brand rather the brand is 15 years old. But it was a niche player. I don't think that the brand had any presence in South India . The brand was not aggressive owing to the factors like Jeans being not popular among ladies in the early 1990's.

Things have changed now. There is a marked change in the demographics and psychographics of Indian women consumer. The younger crowd is not wearing conventional dress opting for modern dresses and also very individualistic in their choice of attires. Thus the Jealous brand once restricting itself to a niche is bracing itself to a larger market. With marketing strength of Indus League, Jealous can cash in on the highly potential market.

Jealous is positioned as an Urban Women brand ( young at heart) , age 16-24. The brand is based on the values like " self esteem", individualistic and fashionable. The brand is edgy, hot and it is new. ( as per their website).

In order to keep the excitement going, the brand comes out with a new design every 3 months. The brand was relaunched last year as a really hot brand with John Abraham endorsing the brand ( unusual for a feminine brand ).The company have priced the brand reasonably and is not restricting it to jeans, the baseline " Jeans and More " is a good one giving lot of room for the
brand to grow. In the promotion front, the brand is not yet aggressive. I think the company is fine tuning its distribution network before spending on promotion.

It is challenging for a marketer to keep up with a feminine brand. It needs to be constantly updated and exciting and fun and many have failed on their way to rule the Indian lady's mind. Jeans for that matter is more challenging. 70% of the market is ruled by the unorganised segment. Hence the organised sector had to compete on the basis of price to survive in this market.

Jealous have a tough task ahead of it but with the advantage of " first mover" and with investments in brand building , it can make other jeans Jealous.
Source: Business line, retailyathra, jealous website, indusleague website,

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Alpenliebe : From the Alps

Brand : Alpenliebe
Company: Perfetti Vanmelle
Agency: McCann Erickson
Brand Count : 108

In the 1200 crore sugar confectionery market, Alpenliebe is the single largest brand in India estimated to be worth around 160 crore. The brand is positioned as a family candy and has been one of the most successful brand in a highly competitive market.

The brand came to India with the entry of the global giant Perfetti in India in 1994. Van Melle came to India in 2001. In 2001 the Italian and Dutch companies merged together to become Perfetti Vanmelle ( PVM).Now the Indian venture is the second largest of their global portfolio next to China.

In the products of PVM, Alpenliebe is the star. With effective and aggressive brand building , this brand has grown to become the single largest brand in the segment. The brand is a unique case study because of its peculiarities ie the name and the size.

Alpenliebe is a very complicated name. I searched for half a day to understand what it means. Their website does not have the answer nor do other marketing sites.
Then a friend of mine suggested that it is related to mountain Alps. Taking half hour on the , I found Liebe means Love. So by all probability Alpenliebe means From Alps with Love ( its my guess, inputs are welcome).

So it is a Herculean task to teach Indians ( with 24 languages and a million dialects) pronounce a brand name that does not have a meaning. Theory says that the brand name should be simple, reflect the brand values and easily pronounced. Alpenliebe broke all rules.
It is said that the initial 30 second ad of Alpenliebe pronounced the name 5 times to ensure that the TG pronounce it correctly. Why such a complicated brand name is another question all together. But this risk paid of in that the name became the biggest differentiator and reflected an International image. It is known fact that Indians are crazy about foreign brands and Alpenliebe capitalised on that.

The shape was also unique because most of the candies at that time was rectangular or cylindrical but Alpenliebe came out with a round shape.
More than the shape and the name , the product was really good .The company changed the taste of this brand to suit the Indian Palette making it more Caramelliar ( my usage) than the international one.
The brand is available in three flavours: milky caramel, Cream strawberry, Chocolate. A lollipop extention was launched last year.
Perfetti knows the method to build the brand. It is not hesitant in spending lot of money on Alpenliebe through high decibel interesting ads. The brand is positioned as a Family Candy with kids and elders sharing the limelite. The ad where the boy imitates the "father at Home and Office" is a hilarious one.
The market for Candies is expected to degrow in coming years. We have to see how Alpenliebe copes with this.

Alpenliebe is a classic case of marketers defying the theory and also highlights a simple truth " If You have money to spend, you can make a consumer sing in your language without understanding a bit of it . " anything is possible"
Source: Businessline, Agencyfaqs, Strategic Marketing