Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Accu-chek : Live Life The Way You Want

Brand : Accu-chek
Company : Roche

Brand Analysis Count : 293


Accu-chek is a unique brand. The brand is a pioneer in home blood sugar monitoring device market in India. Accu-chek is the brand of global diagnostics major Roche. Roche introduced the revolutionary blood monitoring device in 1983.
India is the facing the huge problem of burgeoning diabetic patients count. According to media reports 20% of world's diabetic patients are in India. This has created a market for diabetic related products in India which is estimated to be over Rs 1236 crore growing at 16%.
Like the brand " Sugarfree" discussed elsewhere in the blog, Accu-chek also treats diabetes as a lifestyle issue rather than a disease. Accu-chek is positioned as an lifestyle enabler rather than a medical device.
This smart positioning comes from the customer insight that diabetes is an obstacle to a person's way of life. Once detected, the person's life changes forever. The lifestyle changes and the enjoyment withers away.
One of the most important part of treatment for diabetes is the regular blood sugar monitoring. Doctors assure the patients that if they are able to monitor sugar levels and adjusts their life, diabetes can be contained. But monitoring blood sugar level involves visits to the lab which is a real boring and damning experience.
It is from this problem that innovative products like home blood monitoring devices were created.These devices are a boon of diabetes patients because of the convenience factor.

Accu-chek is actively promoted by Roche in India. The brand has the ace cricketer Wasim Akram as the brand ambassador. Wasim was diagnosed with diabetes during his peak career point. Most analysts predicted end of career for Akram. But with careful monitoring and control, Wasim came back to cricket and proved the doomsayers wrong. WasimAkram fits perfectly with Accu-chek's positioning of lifestyle enabler. Akram features in the ads of this brand and often participates various events sponsored by the brand.

Accu-chek uses the classic slogan " Live life the way you want". The slogan actively captures the brand's vision and I am quite impressed by the vision of the brand. The brand assures the customers that one can life a healthy life with diabetes.
To reinforce the positioning, the brand is very active in promoting information regarding diabetes. The brand had a CSR initiative in 2004 called Inspiration Series where the brand took up the cause of juvenile diabetes ( kids suffering from diabetes). The brand also leads in observing November 14 as World Diabetes day by organizing awareness camps and road shows.
The brand also is a smart innovator. Accu-chek has lot of variants like Accu-chek integra which was launched in 2007. This product is a premium product which has more advanced features. A typical blood monitoring device consists of a a meter, strip and finger pricker .

Accu-chek is not without competition. The biggest competitor is One Touch Ultra from Johnson and Johnson. The list is long with every major pharma players launching their own brands. All these products are priced higher starting from Rs 2500 and above. The testing strips are also very expensive and now there is a trend where companies sell the meters for low prices and make money on the strips. However for a consumer, these products are a boon and the increased competition may see the prices becoming less and the product becoming more affordable.