Friday, February 15, 2008

Brand Update : Lux

Lux has launched another variant Lux Provocateur. The new variant is the first BLACK bathing soap in the Indian market. Lux Provocateur is being positioned as a soap with bold attitude. No need to say , the color is its main differentiator. The campaign including animated fairyland type TVC is already in air.

HUL has been launching many international variants of Lux in the Indian market. The last one was the Lux Crystal Shine. Lux Provocateur is also an international variant. Like Crystalshine, HUL has made slight modification in its international campaign and put that in the Indian market.
Watch the International campaign here : Lux Provocateur
As you can see from the international campaign, Black Lux is really bold. In India, this boldness is slightly moderated to suit the audiences.
Lux earlier has made lot of excitement in the market with its Chocolate Seduction variant. With Black Lux, the brand is trying to recreate the same excitement. The popularity of Chocolate Seduction has proved that Indian market is mature to accept new experiments with color and fragrance. One has to remember that Black Color does not fit with the concept of cleanliness. However, the Indian consumers targeted by these variants is not bound by such restrictions. More so since Soap is a convenience product and the 'investment' from the customer side is negligible.
Lux Provocateur will see a lot of initial sales because customers will buy it because of novelty. The brand Lux will yet again be back in the consumer mindset and the PLC will show a spike. Whether Black Lux will become a mainstage brand will depend on the product performance.

I think it has been a long time since I saw an ad for the Primary brand Lux . I have a doubt whether there is something like the original Lux soap which was ' Filmi sitaron ka saoundarya sabun '. In the flurry of new variant launches, the Original Lux with milk proteins is lost somewhere. The cumulative brand sale for Lux may be rocking but what about the primary brand ? The logic may be that these variants may help the sale of the original Lux but that logic sounds little too short-term.

I think that HUL has to address the issue of positioning for the Lux brand. We know that this brand has been globally positioned on Celebrity Value. In India, the brand is in a confused state because every other soap brand is also endorsed by stars. Hence the celebrity centered positioning of Lux does not seem to be compelling. Lux has Aishwarya Rai, who is now at the peak of her career, as the brand ambassador and I feel that the brand is not taking advantage of her peak popularity. In marketing practice , one big mistake that one can make is to lose focus on the main brand and run after the variants. I feel that its time for Lux to reinvent itself , look inwards and search for the identity which has been lost among these numerous variants.

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