Thursday, October 02, 2008

Kalikkudukka : Catching them Young

Brand : Kalikkudukka
Company : Malayala Manorama

Brand Analysis Count : 352

Kalikkudukka is one of my favorite brands - as a marketer and as a customer. Kalikkudukka is a Malayalam publication for nursery and primary school children. Kalikkudukka is from the Malayala Manorama Group which is one of the largest publishing house in the state of Kerala . The group publishes the largest circulated regional language newspaper in India which is Malayala Manorama.

The group publishes some of the popular publications in the state and also the national news-weekly brand - The Week.

Kalikkudukka is India's largest selling pre-school publication in India. The brand has a circulation of over 1,15,945 copies ( ABC Jan-June 08).

From a parent's point of view , Kalikkudukka is the best product that a pre-schooler can have. The magazine is full of pictures and stories that can keep a child engaged for hours. Till this September, the brand was a publication aimed at pre-schoolers but the brand repositioned itself last month targetting primary school students.
The new Kalikkudukka is following he format approved by Society for Early Learning ( source : company news ) and includes a new section prepared in line with the nursery school syllabus.
The repositioning of this brand is in line with the customer needs. Keralites are too concerned about the education of the kids and I should say that we are too bothered about kid's exam and syllabus. The brand knows this psychology and has changed to suit the customer's needs.

My child is only four year old and she is eager to get this magazine. Parents also get a chance to spent quality time with the kids reading and drawing together . There are songs, stories, quiz, coloring sections, cartoons, action songs, riddles etc. Every section carries pointers to parents and teachers regarding the utility of these items.

What I like most about this publication is the care that the editors has put on the continuity of the content. For example, if the cover of the issue feature an animal lion, then there will be a story about lion, pictures of lion, a song about a lion, coloring picture of lion etc in that issue. This makes sure that the kid is reinforced again and again and he/she is able to identify this animal after reading that issue.

The most challenging issue for any publication marketer is the content. For a pre-school magazine, the challenge is more . But this brand has the backing of a major publishing group and the brand has been able to maintain the standard of the publication.

In a marketing perspective, the brand fills in an important need for a customer. There was a strong need for a pre-school publication for kids during the time this brand was launched.

Although there was lot of coloring and story books for kids, there was no regular weekly type of publication targeting this segment.
Malayala Manorama always had a strategy of looking at filling the publication needs of an individuals' life-stages. The segmentation strategy of this group was life-stage segmentation . Now the group has a publication for every life-stage of a typical Malayalee.

When the publication was launched in 1994, it was instantly well accepted by the parents. The brand also did lot of below-the-line marketing like road shows in schools, sampling and also made teachers recommend this publication to the parents.

More than these marketing efforts, it was the quality of this magazine which propelled it to become highly successful.
Taking inspiration from the success of this magazine, the group launched the English version branded as " Magic Pot " . Magic Pot is a fortnightly and is aimed at the national market. The brand already have crossed the 1 Lakh circulation figures since its launch in 2000.

Kalikkudukka is retailing at Rs 9 per issue and Magic Pot at Rs 12 per issue. These brands are also a stepping stone for kids towards other publications from the group. Typically the kids move from Kalikkudukka to Balarama- another publication from Malayala Manorama targeting older kids ( primary schoolers ).

According to Business Today the pre-school market is estimated to be around $ 985 mn and will be around $ 3426 Mn by 2012. After food, Indians spend maximum for education constituting around 9 % of the total household expenses. It is this willingness of the parents to spent that is driving the success of brands like Kalikkudukka.

The success of any brand lies in loyalty of its core customers. My little child have never seen the ad of Kalikkudukka. But she identifies this brand and demands that she gets this publication every week. To make a 4 year old brand loyal is not a child's play.

Your views on this brand is important and will add lot of value to the readers. Please share your valuable thoughts on this brand as comments.