Sunday, September 02, 2007

Onida Candy : RIP (1999 - 2002)

Brand : Candy
Company : Onida

Brand Count : 268

Candy is a sad brand story. This unique brand is a classic case of entire marketing mix gone awfully wrong. A good idea killed by poor marketing strategy. Or is it a failure because the brand was ahead of its times ?

Candy is the 14 inch Color TV launched in 1999 with much hype. In the early 90's the Indian brands were ruling the roast with no serious external competition. Then came the rush of Global brands to the Indian market. The market began to get crowded and technology no longer became the key differentiator. Candy was a serious effort from Onida to invent a new segment in the crowded undifferentiated TV market.
Candy was truly a Color TV, in the market where all TVs were either black or grey, Candy came with four color variants. The concept was good. Have a TV which is colorful and targeting young customers.
Candy was conceptualised based on certain customer insights. The young customers would like to hear loud which often created irritation with the grown ups. Hence why not have a TV which has a wireless headsets which would ensure privacy to the audience. The managers thought that the attractive colors on the cabinet and the cordless headset will act as a differentiator . Candy came in four colors : Berry Blue , Mint Green , Lemon Yellow and Cherry Red.

I feel that the brand managers was too ambitious about Candy. The brand was priced well above the existing 14 inch televisions. Candy was launched at a 40 % premium over the other brands. Candy thought that customers will be willing to pay a premium for the differentiators that Candy offered.
But the brand failed. Infact during 1999- 2001, the brand was selling like hot cakes but later the sales slipped. Ultimately Candy was no longer there in the market. What went wrong?
As mentioned above, Price was obviously the villain. The small TV market was the most price sensitive one and customers was not willing to pay 40 % premium for color alone. The brand failed to convince the TG on the value proposition of the brand.
There was segmentation issue also playing spoil sport. Candy was not focused on the TG because some where the brand wanted to attract the replacement market ( New TV for Old) rather than positioning itself as a second TV. This put additional volume pressure on the brand which was at best a Niche brand.

Because of the blurred segmentation, positioning also suffered. Instead of positioning as a youthful vibrant brand aimed at the youth, Candy was struggling to find the right positioning. It was trying to compete with the large TVs instead of creating a new segment. More over reports suggest that the four colors were not enough to create a vibrant brand. ( compare this to the 99 colors of Scooty) . Some customers felt that the colors are too dull to be paid a premium.
In 2001, Candy came out with a variant Candy Duet which had two colors. The brand made a big mistake by introducing a 20 inch variant further diluting the brand.

Candy when it was launched was touted as the APPLE ( brand) of Televisions. It was expected to do what Apple did to the Computer industry . The brand was to take aesthetics as the main attribute and revolutionize the market. But it neither had the aesthetics of Apple nor had the staying power. Candy is a case of poor marketing execution of a good product concept. An idea that could have carved a place in the market on its own. Onida had big plans for the brand . It planned to take Candy to the level of a multimedia brand but could not sustain the initial success. It failed to understand the value proposition of its consumers nor was it able to create a meaningful and sustainable differentiation . Some where in 2002-2003, the brand was quietly laid to rest.

Source : magindia.icfai case,businessline