Friday, June 13, 2008

Dr Scholl's : Taking care of the Foot

Brand : Dr Scholl's
Company : SSL-TTK

Brand Analysis Count 332

Dr Scholl's is an interesting niche brand. The brand is launched in India by SSL International which owns the brand through a joint-venture with TTK ltd.

Dr Scholl's is a foot care brand. You will see a range of Dr Scholl's product when you visit prominent footwear retailers like Bata. Dr Scholl's sells a range of products like
comfort soles
Acupressure soles
Creams
Odor Control sprays etc

The category in which Dr Scholl's operate can be termed as Slow Moving Consumer Goods ( SMCG) because this foot care products are not popular in India. But with the rising lifestyle, Indian consumers are slowly becoming aware of the utility of such products.

Dr Scholl's is an American brand. The founder of this brand is Dr William Mathais Scholl. The first product rolled out in 1906. In India although this brand was there for a while, serious marketing efforts began to shape up after 2003 when the company tied up with TTK group.

The Indian footcare market is estimated to be around Rs 50-60 crore ( Businessline). The market is dominated by crack-creams and anti-fungal creams.
Dr Scholl's have four types of foot care products -
Removal : hair, follicles,hard skin etc
Relief : Pain relief,
Comfort : Soles
Care : Creams

Although the potential of this market seems attractive, the challenge for the brand is to create a footcare culture. Although we are conscious about personal care , seldom we bother too much about our foot ( my personal opinion). For gents, the concept of footcare is to buy comfortable shoes and socks, clean the feet and some pedicure. Ladies are much more caring about the feet. But still, the care is restricted to the use of creams.

Hence Dr Scholl's has the unenviable task of creating awareness about proper foot-care (need) followed by educating consumers about the foot-care products and then building the brand.
Dr Scholl's is now taking the consumers who already have seen or used these products. Hence the target is the SEC A, A + consumers who is already aware of such products.

Dr Scholl's products are often expensive and unless the consumer is convinced, he may not buy it. Secondly, most of the footcare products need to be continuously used. Hence the brand has to spent lot of money on building the " need factor".

As a part of the strategy, the company is trying to strengthen the distribution reach . Now most of the footwear shops carry this brand and display is also carefully managed.

Smartly , this brand has positioned itself as a footcare brand. Now the challenge is to own the space in the mind of the consumer. At this point, the brand needs a celebrity who can increase the awareness about both the product and brand. Also the brand should be educating the consumers about the importance of proper footcare . Endorsements by doctors, physios etc can give a big boost to the category as a whole.

The brand also has extended to footwear like acupressure sandals.

Dr Scholl's faces the critical issue of developing a category with good potential. Indian consumers are now aware about investing in health. The investment is more biased towards the upper-body ( Joke !)
Dr Scholl's has to be the category pioneer and if done with earnest, the rewards are there for the taking.