Monday, September 28, 2009

Yakult : The Kiss of Good Health

Brand : Yakult
Company : Yakult Danone India Pvt Ltd
Agency : Hakudo Percept

Brand Analysis Count : 419

Recently I was intrigued by an ad featuring the bollywood actress Kajol where she endorses a drink in a small bottle. The brand name also sounded strange . The quest after that small drink brought me into an interesting brand - Yakult.

Yakult is a probiotic drink from Japan. The drink is brought to India by Yakult Honsha of Japan in collaboration with Groupe Danone of France. Yakult is a world leader in probiotic drinks and has a rich heritage dating back to 1935.

Yakult was launched in India in the late 2007. The brand was initially available only in Delhi. Now Yakult is being launched nationally in a phased manner.

Probiotic market in India is in a nascent stage. Although many players like Amul, Nestle has entered the market, the category has not yet witnessed a heightened consumer interest.

Probiotics refer to those drinks which contains live micro organisms which are healthy to human body. These micro organisms help the body in digestion and also in fighting diseases.

Yakult is fermented milk that contains healthy bacteria Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota. According to the brand site, a 65 ml Yakult bottle contains 6.5 bn probiotic bacteria ( Source).

Yakult has been testing its marketing strategy for around a year and is now ready for the national roll out. The brand is currently available in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Jaipur. The entry of Yakult is expected to increase the visibility and growth of probiotic category in India.

What is interesting about Yakult brand is its marketing strategy. The brand has adopted a two prong strategy to crack the Indian market.

Yakult has roped in Kajol as the brand ambassador. The brand is also making enough noise in the media. These advertisements are bound to increase the brand visibility and also may prompt consumer trials. The choice of the brand ambassador also gels with the target market. The brand predominately targets the health conscious ladies as the primary consumer. The brand has taken the positioning of a " health enhancer " and adopted the tagline " Daily Piyo, Healthy Jiyo". The brand has the global tagline of " The kiss of good health".

But a product like a probiotic drink may not be easily adopted by the consumer since she may have lot of doubts about the product. It is in this context that the brand adopted its strategy of direct marketing.
Yakult has a strategy of direct marketing where the consumers can order the product through home delivery. Yakult has a DM team of ladies known as Yakult ladies who visit homes, educate the homemakers about the product and also regularly supplies the product. This ensures that the product is being regularly used by the consumers and also the Yakult ladies will be able to answer the doubts of the consumers.Yakult is also available in supermarkets.

Another interesting fact is about the pricing strategy of Yakult. The 65ml bottle is priced at Rs 10 and the product is available in a pack of 5. The price sounds reasonable for those consumers who are health conscious. The main challenge for this product is to make the consumers believe that the product is delivering benefit to them. Most of the health foods have the problem of giving measurable visible results to the consumers.

Yakult primarily targets those consumers who are health conscious and is aware of the importance of functional foods like probiotics. The brand will be initially operating in a niche category and its strategy will be to expand the niche category into a mainstream one. It has adopted the right marketing strategy to educate the consumers and also encourage them to make regular use of this product.