Monday, June 04, 2007

Kent Mineral RO : For Mineral Rich Water

Brand : Kent RO
Company :Kent RO systems
Agency : Glaze Ads

Brand Count : 238

Kent is a challenger brand in the Rs 600-700 crore Indian water purifier industry dominated by none other than Aquaguard from Eureka Forbes. Kent was launched in 1995 by Mahesh Gupta an IITian .

Kent is positioned as a premium brand of water purifier targeted at SEC A&A + Most of the existing purifiers are based on Ultraviolet technology .The brand Kent is differentiated from the main competitor Aquaguard through its Reverse Osmosis ( RO) technology. The brand uses the Markonym " RO" to communicate this to the customer. Most of the existing water purifiers use Ultraviolet technology which is much inferior to RO technology.

Identifying this gap, Kent was wise enough to own this technology and is now known as the brand which pioneered RO technology in India. In competitive strategy, the brand Kent adopted a bypass attack on the market leader Aquaguard.Here the company has leapfrogged new technologies to supplant existing products ( Kotler).Although RO technology is superior to UV, the major drawback is in the price front. While UV purifiers sells at Rs 5000-7000 range, the price of RO based purifiers starts at Rs 15000. This big differential in the pricing is expected to come down with the increase in the volume of RO purifiers.

We know that having a superior technology is not a recipe for success in marketing front. The brand faced two major issues, one to establish the brand equity and second to educate the customers about the new technology. The brand then chose the eay way out in establishing the brand inthe market i.e through celebrity endorsement. Kent roped in the Dream Girl ( or lady) Bollywood diva Hema Malini and surprisingly her daughter Ahana to endorse the brand. Hema Malini gave the brand instant eyeballs in the sense that viewers ( including mine ) was intrigued with the new brand Kent. The media chosen was print and TV. Hema Malini made sense because the target audience who are Mothers could easily identify with this celebrity homemaker. More over the presence of Ahana made this a family brand .

Last year ,the brand roped in Hema Malini's eldest daughter Esha Deol to support the brand . Thus Kent became the only brand which is endorsed by a celebrity mother and two daughters. According to reports, the new brand ambassador Esha is expected to give this brand an entry into the younger generation customers. The move also makes sense with the rise of lot of young professionals managing their own homes.
The brand had gained good reputation in the market which has prompted the market leader Eureka Forbes to come out with its own range of RO product.
Besides water purifier, Kent also innovated a fruit and vegetable purifier. This when used on vegetables and fruits, will clean the impurities and make them fresh. But the price of Rs 5000 makes it little unaffordable to ordinary customers.
Kent is positioned on the specific feature whereby the mineral content of the water is sustained even after purification. Hence the brand takes the positioning platform of Mineral Rich Pure Water which also acts as a differentiator.
The real impact of this brand on the market leader Aquaguard will be felt when the price of the RO purifier will match that of the popular UV purifiers. It will take a little while before that happens. Industry watchers predict that the product is moving towards the Reverse Osmosis Purifiers . When that happens Kent RO will reap the rewards of its investments.

Source: Kent website,businessline