Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Suthol : Soothes All

Brand : Suthol
Company : GD Pharmaceuticals

Brand Analysis Count : 410

Suthol is a brand from GD pharmaceuticals - the manufacturers of the famous Boroline brand. Suthol is a liquid antiseptic. Suthol was launched in 2006. The brand was first launched in West Bengal.

I noticed this brand through an advertisement in a leading magazine. Frankly I have never seen this brand in any of the stores. I guess that Suthol is just being launched in Kerala.

The brand is fighting in the Rs 120 crore antiseptic market which is dominated by Dettol.
Suthol brand name is derived from two words : Soothe All. The brand's positioning is also in line with the meaning of the brand.

Like Boroline, Suthol also believes in subtle promotions. Boroline has grown not because of ads but because of product efficacy. Suthol is also following Boroline's path.

Suthol is being positioned as an antiseptic lotion that help fight/prevent rashes and infections. The brand claims to have skin soothing properties as well as germ killing properties.

The brand is fighting in a very difficult market. Dettol is almost generic to this category. As a market leader, Dettol is very aggressive over competition. Cracking such a market is not very easy. There are two options for a challenger brand - to fight with the market leader or to carve out a niche. Suthol has to make a choice between these two options.

To fight a brand like Dettol, one needs to have a serious differentiation. This is a market where even J&J and HUL failed to displace Dettol.

Suthol is a liquid antiseptic which is different from Dettol. Unlike Dettol, Suthol is not a concentrated antiseptic. That means you can apply Suthol directly to the skin ( See website for more details) . And unlike Dettol, it does not have that burning sensation and claims to be soothing . Suthol even asks consumers to pour some drops on the palm and rub it on the body which is unthinkable for Dettol. That means , Suthol has an edge over Dettol when it comes to personal care application .

In a sense, Suthol has some powerful differentiators compared to Dettol . But it lacks the brand equity or the financial muscle to fight a power brand like Dettol. That may be the reason why the brand has chosen a phased soft launch.

The best way for Suthol is to carve a segment of users who look for a daily-use antiseptic which is not as strong as Dettol. The brand has the right attributes to appeal to such consumers.

The campaigns of Suthol is nothing but very basic.
Watch the tvc here : Suthol

Even the print ads are not focused on building a positioning platform. Most of the ads are just informative ads focusing on product attributes. I think the Suthol needs to focus on building its brand around its core differentiation of " a Soothing antiseptic " . A dose of celebrity endorsement will also help the brand to get consumer trials.

Suthol is slowly expanding its market from Bengal to down south Kerala. It will be interesting to see how the brand puts up against the mighty Dettol.

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