Saturday, March 03, 2007

Chandanam: Power of Brand Name

Brand : Chandanam
Company: SD Pharmacy
Agency: MAA Bozell

Brand Count : 205

Chandanam is an interesting brand. The brand is from SD Pharmacy which is a small player in the traditional ayurvedic medicine market. SD pharmacy came into limelight with the huge success of Manjal Soap( discussed elsewhere in this blog) which notched up an impressive turnover of around Rs 12 crore within a years time . Manjal Soap was later sold to Marico for an undisclosed amount.

Buoyed by the success of Manjal soap, SD pharmacy launched Chandanam Soap in 2006. The brand follows the same strategy of Manjal Soap i.e harnessing the power of brand names. Like Manjal ; which is the Malayalam word for turmeric, Chandanam is the Malayalam term for Sandal. The brand talks about the ingredient Sandalon which has the essence of sandal which will make the skin younger and also acts as a deodorant.
The brand unlike Manjal faces stiff competition from giants like Santoor and the heritage brand Mysore Sandal Soap. Also brands like Hamam has variants with Sandal ingredient.

Chandanam is marketed just like Manjal Soap, the packaging and the TVC's are strikingly similar and the company expects the market to accept this brand also. Another interesting fact is that SD pharmacy has not stopped with Chandanam. In 2007 the company launched its third brand of soap branded Mullappoo which is the Malayalam name for Jasmine. More amusing is the fact that the entire communication and packaging follows the same formula except that in case of Mullappoo the USP is the jasmine fragrance.It raises the question Whether a marketing formula works for all brands ? everytime?

One of the reason cited by the company for selling the brand Manjal was that the company lacked the resources to compete in FMCG segment . But in a report the company MD says he has no plans to sell Chandanam brand and will be marketed by the company itself. According to the website, P&G has evinced interest in acquiring Chandanam.

The brands Chandanam and Mullappoo are classic case of the pulling power of brand names and these brands draw its strength from the ingredients. The brand names are derived from original generic local names.The brand is an example of a Descriptive brand. This strategy works because the consumers can easily identify the brand and its USP ( a very simple use of commonsense) . The company does not need to tell too much about either Chandanam or Mullappoo to a Malayali . The brand is also following the higly successful sampling strategy followed during the Manjal launch. Chandanam Samples are carried by popular magazines like Vanitha and Grihalakshmi followed by print ads and TVC's.Although the brand calls itself as Herbal soap, the soap is actually a Natural Soap.

The initial reports from the market suggests that Chandanam and Mullappoo has been well received. But the task to create volumes for this brands remains huge. The company may need heavy investment because two new brands were launched in quick succession and that too in a highly competitive market.These brands has to sustain the share of voice because otherwise the scope of these brands will be limited to a niche. Whether the company has plans to take this brand further or will it be sold of at a premium is something that has to be seen.

source: businessline,economictimes

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