Monday, April 28, 2008

Pankajakasthuri : Breathe Easy

Brand : Pankajakasthuri
Company : Pankajakasthuri Herbal Products

Brand Analysis : 323

Pankajakasthuri is an example of successful marketing. Pankajakasthuri is an ayurvedic cure for asthma. The brand came into existence in 1990's. The brand is a classic example of a brand identifying a need and capturing that space using aggressive marketing.

Asthma is a dreaded disease. The disease is dreaded because it changes the entire life of a person to the worse. Although modern medicine has provided new medicines for this disease, a perfect cure is still at bay. The stress associated with the disease and the possible relapse at the older age makes life worse for those who have this condition.

The modern lifestyle is also a perfect feeding ground for such conditions. The increasing pollution, lack of fresh air, lack of exercises and a sedentary lifestyle are all adding to the situation.
It is in this context that Pankajakasthuri gained prominence . Pankajakasthuri claims to be a combination of herbs which offers cure/relief to asthma patients . Pankajakasthuri is the brain child of Dr Hareendran Nair who is also the Managing Director of the company.

Pankajakasthuri was launched as an OTC product. When a medicine is launched as OTC, the biggest issue that it faces is the lack of support from doctors. Hence Pankajakasthuri had to rely on aggressive promotion through advertising campaigns.
The fortune of this brand changed when the brand roped in the Malayalam Superstar Mohanlal as the brand ambassador. From there on , the brand was on a growth track.

Mohanlal and Pankajakasthuri is a perfect example of successful celebrity endorsement. Mohanlal gave the brand excellent visibility and more than that TRUST. The brand was targeting the parents whose kids suffer from asthma. The biggest hurdle for this brand was to get the trust of the customers . Since Pankajakasthuri is a medicine and the end-user was kids, establishing trust was extremely important. The association with celebrity made this task easier for the brand.
The brand also was very aggressive on the media. The campaigns featuring the Star and the brand was hard hitting. The brand was positioned as a life-enhancer rather than a cure.

Watch the TVC here : Pankajakasthuri

Interestingly the brand name do not have any connection with the purpose of the brand. The name was coined by joining the names of the founder's mother and daughter.
The heavyduty campaigns made this brand a bestseller in the Kerala market. Initially the brand was focusing only in the home state. From the revenue from this brand, the company diversified into many categories including FMCG.

Two years back, the brand launched another variant Breathe Eazy which was positioned as a health supplement . The variant is endorsed by another film superstar Madhavan.

The main reason for the success of this brand from its humble begining is the investment on the brand. The brand never rest in the past success. Pankajakasthuri always invested heavily on the brand promotion. The message also has been consistent .

Recently the brand has moved from asthma-cure to healthy-breathing. The brand is now being positioned as a breath-enhancer rather than a cure. But the brand is not without competition. Recently Dabur has launched a similar product Dabur Swasamruth endorsed by Big B.

Pankajakasthuri is an example of a local brand achieving grand success . It also gives confidence to small players to invest more on brand promotion rather than bargaining with the trade.