Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Grasim Suitings : For The Self Made

Brand : Grasim
Company : Aditya Birla Group
Agency : O& M

Brand count : 267

Grasim is a major brand in the Rs 2500 crore Ready to Stitch market. The brand which had its existence since 1957 .Grasim is a major player in the Rs 2500 crore Ready to Stitch textile segment. The brand lags behind the market leader Raymond's which holds a market share of about 25- 30 %.
Grasim comes from a company that is one of India's largest manufacturers of cement and VSF.

Grasim is now on its path of repositioning. The brand was earlier positioned as a Modern Fashion Brand. The positioning was reinforced by a series of new fibre launches . The collections like Aqua Soft, Ice Touch etc kept the brand in the limelight. The brand used the tagline " Power of Fashion" to convey the positioning.
Now the brand has changed its positioning. Grasim has roped in the Bollywood Super hero Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador. The tagline has been changed to " For the Self Made". The TVC featuring the actor is now on air.
The repositioning is very significant for the brand because of the nature of competition that it faces. The competition is not only from the textile brands but also from the Readymades. Every day we have new brands cropping up. In the brand competition , brands like Mayur , Reid and Taylor, Raymond's have stepped up their campaigns. Grasim wanted itself to be relevant and hence this attempt.
The brand now has changed its personality from a Fashionable brand to an Ambitious Brand. According to a report in Agencyfaqs, the brand has broadened its TG to include the rural and small town markets where the Ready To Stitch wears are still popular. The new TG is 35 + male from smaller towns who are informed, fashion conscious and ambitious.
In that way the choice of the brand ambassador is apt. Akshay is known for his humble beginnings and his struggle in life as a cook, a martial arts trainer and then to stardom. Hence the brand ambassador and the new positioning has many things to share. The new TVC also tries to relate the life of the actor and the brand. Impressive thought.

The brand has now adopted the mainstay marketing philosophy of most of the readymade brands now existing in the market. Get a star to endorse it. In that way Grasim has forced itself to move to the popular road ( easy one ) . The brand is expected to spend around 7- 8 crore on this exercise. Remember that Grasim has become popular on the strength of the innovations in fabric rather than emphasis on promotions.
Grasim was perceived to be an upmarket elite brand. The brand was also sold at a premium. Infact this is a brand that has used EVENTS to promote itself as an upmarket fashionable brand. Grasim was the brand that came out with the first Mr India contest which is running in its 12th Year. When it was launched, the contest evoked lot of PR and media attention which inturn benefited the brand.

But the managers at Grasim wanted the brand to look at the masses. From the elite premium club, the brand wanted itself to be more affordable. The logic behind the current repositioning is to make the brand a Masstige brand. Hence the brand chose to go in for a undifferentiated celebrity approach. By doing so, Grasim is putting its entire brand equity at stake and that too on a celebrity. Grasim could have done so with out a celebrity. Now look at the plight of Mayur suitings which took Salman as its brand ambassador. Now Salman is in Jail and can the brand bank upon Salman?
I am not jumping into conclusion that the new positioning of Grasim is not good. I feel that it lacks the depth and is too much depending on the endorsers rather than the brand itself. After the contract with Akshay ends, what will the brand do next ? Can it survive with a model? NO !
It will have to find another celebrity who was self made . The brand has put itself into a vicious circle and it may have to depend on one celebrity or another. Personally I feel that a brand should stand for itself not on any real person ( celebrity) .
I think that the brand had made an error in believing that the guys in semi urban and rural markets are only influenced by celebrities . I am sure that they are pretty confused by the plethora of celebrity endorsements and may be looking for a change. Those fashion conscious customers of Grasim will be wondering what happened to this fashionable brand suddenly changing its personality.

Akshay is definitely a right celebrity to endorse the brand with the new positioning. But whether the celebrity endorsement strategy is right for the brand, only time will tell.

source : agencyfaqs