Monday, July 23, 2007

Power Soaps & Detergents : Complete Satisfaction ?

Brand : Power
Company : The Gold Company ( RKN)

Brand Count : 253


Most often, in this wonderful world of brands, we tend to see only the biggest and the largest brands. We , marketers did not care to look at small brands that struggle for their existence in this fiercely competitive battlefield.

One such small brand that is making lot of noise in the media is Power Soaps and detergents. This brand is from a company Gold Soap company based in Kodai , TamilNadu. This brand is now spending lot of money in advertising basically in South India. Started as a small detergent soap manufacturing unit by Mr. Krishnan Nadar, the company is now handled by the second generation entrepreneur Mr Dhanapal.It is obvious from the series of TVC's across South India that the second generation entrepreneur wants to make the brand to move beyond TamilNadu .

As always, marketing plays the pivotal role in making or breaking any product or services. I feel that in this case also, it will be the branding that is going to decide on the future of " Power" brand. Many of us may not have seen the ads of Power soap and detergents. The brand is being positioned as a soap that gives you " Complete Satisfaction". Taking a very generalized Utopian Positioning means that Power brand is aiming for the mass market. And I feel that by adopting a strategy of trying to be " everything to everyone " is going to harm this highly ambitious brand. The ads actually conveys nothing. As usual there is a homemaker who says the " Power detergent offers her COMPLETE MENTAL SATISFACTION". Thats it.... the TVC for the soap features a gentleman saying " I chose Power soap because it fits my income". There is no Segmentation, No USP, No differentiation.

I am not blaming the company or the agency for its poor advertising strategy. These type of ads may have worked 25 years back when there was limited choice and only brand recall and price was important . But now even at the bottom of the Pyramid, we can see that brands trying to differentiate. As Kotler says, the era of mass marketing is over. Power is going to fight with Wheel , Nirma, Ujala and scores of other brands. It is no longer the PRICE that is going to bring in the consumer.
The high intensity advertising is going to give results to the company in the short term. But once the promotional budget dries up, Power brand may not have anything to hang on... that is typically the case of most of the small brands. Moreover, from the website of the company , I understand that the firm is entering into Skin care , Hair care and detergent care using the same umbrella brand " Power" for all products from the company.

For the detergents, it is Triple Action Power, Super Power, Active Power, Double Power etc
For Skincare and Hair care it is Nature Power.

Using the same brand for its detergent and personal care productline is definitely going to make Alries and Jack Trout very angry. Power as a brand will have a bright future if only it is able to identify a clear differentiator and stick to it rather than trying to be a master of all trades.