Friday, January 05, 2007

Crocin : Your Trusted Paracetamol

Brand : Crocin
Company: Glaxo Smithkline
Agency: O&M

Brand Count: 186

Crocin is a three decade old heritage brand. The brand was once generic to the antipyretic category in India . The brand is currently sold through Over The Counter (OTC) route. The brand is the market leader in the paracetamol category.

Crocin was launched in India 30 years ago by the company Duphar Interfran Ltd. During the early years, the brand was marketed through the ethical route. The brand was bought by Smithkline in 1996. The brand was so successful in the market that GSK bought it for a consideration of Rs 45 crore. There was a logic behind the brand acquisition. GSK had the brand Calpol in the prescription market and was a market leader in the Ethical segment. Crocin was proving to be a major threat for Calpol. So the brand was acquired inorder to safeguard the position of Calpol.

The Indian Pharmaceutical market is huge with a valuation of $45 billion. The OTC segment accounts for a value of $ 1 Billion i.e Rs 4500 crore. Crocin is in the analgesic/antipyretic market. The analgesic (pain Killer) market is a large market with a size of Rs 900 crore and the mild analgesic market is worth Rs 300 crore. With in the analgesic market there are two types : Aspirin based and Paracetamol based. Paracetamol based formulations constitute a major part of the market. Crocin formulations has a 5% share in the total market.

Crocin although a generic name in the paracetamol segment faces an interesting problem. 65% of the brand usage is for its antipyretic i.e fever related use. The antipyretic segment in the OTC is very small with a size of Rs 30-40 crore. In the painkiller market which is large, Saridon leads the pack in the OTC segment.

Crocin's market became limited sadly because of its efficacy or popularity as a drug for fever although it had pain killer properties. Sometimes success can become a limiting factor for further growth. The paracetamol segment is witnessing competition from the generic tablets. Most of the time the druggist has the influencing power in the sale of OTC products. During the 1990's if Crocin was a generic name for paracetamol tablets, the situation is different now with consumers asking for Paracetamol rather than Crocin.
Crocin was in the maturity stage of its product lifecycle in 2000 with the sales stagnating.There was intense competition from generic products and other brands.Paracetamol became a commodity with little scope for differentiation. The brand then went into Market Development Mode in 2003 by repositioning the brand as an analgesic. The brand roped in Kapil Dev to endorse the brand. The high profile ad campaign gave a new life to the brand. The brand also came out with variants like Crocin Quik that boasted of faster relief . Quik was essentially a concentrate of the classic Crocin. Crocin also came out with Crocin 1000 aiming at patients having arthritis. Crocin is promoted as an ethical product.

Crocin had its fair share of problems from the " Watch Dogs". Typically when a brand moves from Ethical to OTC and embarks on brand building , there is going to be someone who will cry foul. Crocin faced objections from FDA for some of its campaigns but those were later sorted out.

As far as a customer is concerned, Crocin is still perceived as a drug for fever( antipyretic) rather than as a pain killer(analgesic). It will take a lot of money and time to change that perception.

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Source: walletwatch,agencyfaqs,pharmabiz