Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Brand Update : Lacto Calamine (RIP)

After a long long time, there is some development for Lacto Calamine brand. This heritage brand was lying low with little or no support from the company.

This year, Nicholas Piramal decided to invest some energy into this age old personal care brand. The brand has been given a facelift, a new packaging and also a new positioning.
The brand has roped in the design consultant Elephant Strategy to revamp the brand. (read the design change report here)
The brand launched a variant containing Aloe Vera.

What is interesting is that the brand have coined a new term Skinsurance .Skinsurance means that the brand is providing protection ( insurance) for the skin. It is a smart positioning statement.
The report in the Exchange4Media site gives a disturbing news also. The brand name Lacto Calamine is going to be shortened to the initials LC . This is to facilitate further brand extensions.

The company feels that the brand name Lacto Calamine is constrained because the name indicates the contents Lacto ( Milk) and Calamine lotion. Hence the brand cannot be used for extensions. This brand is one of those brands whose name restricts the extension. Other examples are Thirty Plus & Band Aid.

The company plans to slowly rebrand Lacto Calamine to LC in a phased manner. At first, the new brand name LC and Lacto Calamine will appear together and gradually Lacto Calamine will be phased out . LC will then be an umbrella brand that will endorse a range of personal care products.

So for all practical purposes, Lacto Calamine brand is going to be killed. Instead we will have a meaningless Two Letters LC.

I don't understand why Lacto Calamine brand has to be killed for a new umbrella brandname which is just a meaningless initial. Piramal could have easily launched a new brand for personal care products. Shortening Lacto Calamine to LC will not add any value and will not trasfer any equity to the shortened brand name. It is going to be just a waste of valuable promotional money.
Lacto Calamine is a niche brand. I think the company should have made it a profitable niche. Lacto Calamine is a good product with lot of good properties. It had the equity to remain a profitable niche but the firm think that it is better to convert it to a umbrella brand.

What the company should have done was to introduce a new meaningful umbrella brand for personal care products. It could easily integrate the Lacto Calamine brand into the new brand folio by endorsing Lacto Calamine by the new umbrella brand.

So RIP Lacto Calamine ( 1970-2009)

Related Brand
Lacto Calamine