Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shilpa Bindi : Shilpa Char Chand Lagaye

Brand : Shilpa
Company : Paramount Cosmetics Ltd

Brand Analysis Count : 383

Bindi is a product that is very much linked to India's culture. The dot that Indian women adores on her forehead has been a distinct symbol of our tradition and culture . Although there are no historical references to the origin of bindi, some historians trace the origin of the product back to 4th century.

For all these years, this small dot has become an integral part of the facial make-up of Indian women. Bindi was earlier popular in the form of powder ( Kumkum) and liquid. Later came the era of sticker bindi. Both Kumkum and Liquid bindi's are messy and thus created a need for Bindi which is more user-friendly.

Sticker Bindis became popular because it was less messy and easy to use. Shilpa is the major brand in this category.
Shilpa is a brand owned by Gujarat based Paramount cosmetics which also own the brands like Shringar and Tips & Toes.

Over these years, bindi category also has changed drastically. While the sticker bindi was intended to replace the ubiquitous red liquid kumkum, slowly this product was also subjected to experiments.
From the plain bindi, the product began to take various size and shapes. The market has also moved towards different segments like designer bindi, bindi with swarovski crystals and so on.
The cost of this product have also changed with times. Now these products cost anywhere between Rs 5 to Rs 2000. There are designer bindi which costs even more.

The bindi market is dominated by unorganised sector. If you visit a fancy store, you will see a huge display of these bindis and ladies just swift through these for their favorite designs. The consumer looks primarily for the design while buying these products.

It is in this context that Shilpa brand assumes significance. Shilpa is a predominantly a plain-bindi brand. In my knowledge, the brand has not ventured into designer category. But this brand still commands immense brand equity among the consumers. The brand has high recall and there are loyal customers for the brand.

Consumers of this category buys both design and plain bindis. For frequent and daily use , consumers prefer branded well known plain bindis while on social occasions, they go in for the design bindis. I wonder why this brand has not moved aggressively into designer premium bindis. It had the brand equity to leverage and the move towards premium designer bindi will only increase the brand's visibility and equity.

One reason for the success of Shilpa brand is the trust factor . Ladies fear that constant use of sticker bindi can cause skin problems . Hence they prefer branded bindis for daily use.
Shilpa although is catering to a small market size had invested in building the brand. There were lot of ads for this brand.

Watch one of the ads here : Shilpa

There were two factors that made this brand sticky in the mind of the consumer. The main factor is the jingle. Shilpa had the famous jingle " Shilpa Char Chand Lagaye" which is still remembered by the consumer. Second factor is the packaging. The pack created a solid identity for the brand.
Since plain bindi purchase is a low involvement purchase, consumers were loyal to this brand since it was safe and easy for them.
But the brand faces the issue of competition from the unorganised segment .

Another significant threat for Shilpa is the changing consumer behavior. The demographic shift in the Indian consumers are a source of worry for traditional products like Bindi and Kumkum.
Whether the new hip-hop generation will continue using this product is a matter of concern.