Monday, September 29, 2008

Snickers : For the 4'O'Clock Hunger

Brand : Snickers
Company : Mars INC

Brand Analysis Count : 351

To the joy of all chocolate lovers, the world's largest selling chocolate Snickers is now officially in India. The brand has been selling like hot cakes in India as an imported chocolate. Now Mars INC has formally launched the brand in India.

Snickers is owned by Mars Inc which is a $21 Billion company headquartered in US. The company belong to Mars Family which has a rich heritage dating back to 1911. Snickers is the largest selling chocolate in the world with a sales of over $ 2 Billion. Mars Inc is famous for its famous Mars chocolate which have a huge fan following across the world. It also markets the brands like M&M and Bounty.

Snickers has been a favorite of Indian chocolate lovers who devoured this chocolate bought either from the duty paid shops or brought in by the NRIs. But over the last two years , the brand has been available in most bakery's across the country . A report in Business Standard ( June 08) suggest that the imported Snickers and Mars outsold Cadbury's and local brands.

Snickers was born in 1930. The brand acquired the name from one of the favorite horses owned by Mars family

Snickers has been soft launched in India. There are no media reports or Press releases announcing the launch of this brand. I am not sure whether Mars Inc has started producing this chocolate from Indian factories or its still imported.

Snickers is a heavy chocolate with peanut, milk chocolate and caramel. Globally it is positioned as a snack rather than a chocolate . In India too, Snickers has been positioned as a snack.
What is interesting about Snickers launch in India is that the brand chose to localise the brand communication . The first TVC of this brand is made for India and made in India.

Watch the TVC here : Snickers India

Usually MNC brands try to import their global communications to India to create that global image. How ever Snickers chose to be Indian from the very beginning.

Snickers is positioned as a snack food. More specifically , the brand is being positioned as a snack food to fight the Four' O ' Clock hunger. The brand has the Hindi Tagline " Hunger Baja Char . Snicker Khol Yaar " , translated to " When 4'o'clock hunger strikes, open Snickers bar".

The positioning of Snickers is not very different from its competitors. Remember that CadburyPerk had the same positioning as a snack. However Snickers have a strong fan following in India even before its official launch.

For many years chocolate marketers have been struggling to teach Indians to take chocolates when you feel hungry. But so far they are not able to break into the mindset of Indian consumers. Indians don't consume chocolates when hungry. Chocolates are mostly taken after you take some food or they take it when they want some thing sweet . Why because Indian consumers don't consider chocolate as a food. So Snickers will be fighting the age old perception and will have a tough time teaching Indian consumers new lesson.

Snickers will have a tough time in India. Most of the chocolate manufacturers are faced with stagnant sales . To sustain the initial momentum is not going to be easy. Globally the brand has been trying hard to prove that Chocolates are good for health. It had undertaken many studies which prove that chocolates can be good for health. These studies are also very controversial and sparked many debates about its validity.

Snickers has the advantage of a strong cash rich parent and a strong brand equity. It will be interesting to see how this global brand breaks into Indian market.