Sunday, August 30, 2009

Neutrogena : Dermatologist Approved

Brand : Neutrogena
Company : Johnson & Johnson
Agency : White Canvas

Brand Analysis Count : 414

The 2000 crore Indian skincare market now has a new member. The leading international skin care brand Neutrogena was relaunched in the Indian market recently. Neutrogena is one of the leading premium skincare brand with its origin in USA. The brand is owned by Johnson & Johnson.

Neutrogena was born in 1930 founded by Emanual Stolaroff .Emanual started a small cosmetic company called Natone. On a trip to Europe in 1954, Stolaroff heard about a soap developed by a Belgium scientist Dr Edmont Fromont. Emanual bought the right to market the soap in United States . The soap was Neutrogena soap. The soap became so popular that the company name was changed to Neutrogena Corporation. In 1994, Neutrogena Corporation was acquired by J&J. (Read the story here)

Neutrogena was first launched in India in 2005 ( source).But the brand was never heavily promoted by the company. 2009 is witnessing a rejuvenation and relaunch by the company. It seems that J&J is going all out to corner a share in the Indian skin care market. It recently launched another brand Clean & Care in India.

Frankly speaking , I never knew that Neutrogena was such a famous International brand until I searched for it for the purpose of this post. I was also surprised to find that Neutrogena belonged to Johnson & Johnson.

Neutrogena has a strong brand equity across various global markets. It is also promoted heavily by the company . The brand relies on a host of celebrity actors and models like Diane Lane,Jennifer Garner and Vanessa Hudgers , Natasha Mcelhone to build its popularity. Although celebrities create an aura of premiumness for the brand, the real driver for the brand's acceptance is the quality and efficacy of the products.

In India too, the brand has taken the celebrity route to create an impression.It has roped in bollywood actresses like Manisha Lamba and Prachi Desai to endorse the product range. The brand is currently running a television campaign featuring Prachi Desai .

Watch the tvc here : Neutrogena

Although the brand has started off with Indian celebrities, in future the brand may bring in its campaigns featuring its international brand ambassadors.

Neutrogena is positioned as a premium skincare brand which is approved and recommended by Dermatologists. The brand is following its global positioning here also. The rational positioning is supported by the dose of high profile celebrity endorsements.
It will be interesting to see how Neutrogena will fight for its space in the highly competitive Indian skincare market.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brand Update : Zen RIP (1993-2009)

One of most popular Indian auto brands has been laid to rest. Maruti Zen is dead. On August 25, Maruti announced the launch of new Estilo. The Zen brand name has been taken off. Now there is only Maruti Estilo. ( Read news report here)

It is a sad moment for all brand enthusiasts. Zen was a wonderful brand. A brand which personified sportiness and performance. The old Zen owners still swear by the brand . The jelly bean shape, roomy interiors and the peppy performance gave Zen an unique identity.It was surprising to see Maruti messing up this wonderful brand and finally killing it .

Zen Estilo was launched in December 2006. The car is a refurbished version of an outdated Japanese car MR Wagon. The entire product was different from the old Zen. Maruti chose to use Zen as the primary brand and Estilo as the subbrand for the new product. The strategy was to retain the brand equity of Zen to drive the sales of the new product. But the strategy backfired.

In a way killing the Zen brand will be good for Estilo. For Estilo, association with Zen was a liability. Interms of style or performance, older Zen and Zen Estilo was miles apart. Those who checked out Zen Estilo expecting the same performance and sportiness of old Zen were visibly disappointed. Estilo was a different car with a different brand personality. Launching Estilo as Zen Estilo actually created a negative impact for the car because Estilo was more of a style oriented girlish car compared to the sporty Zen. Now Estilo is an independent brand and can develop its own persona. The new Estilo comes with a new look and a new K-Series engine.

It is sad that a wonderful brand like Zen was being killed without being fully utilized .

Related Posts

The joy of being a Teacher and a Blogger

Dear Readers,

I am overwhelmed by the love and prayers of my dear readers . I sincerely thank all those wished me a speedy recovery.

I am slowly getting back to life and work. This Monday , I joined back the College.It was one of the most memorable day in my life.Tears swelled in my eyes when my students started coming to me telling how they missed me. It was overwhelming to see their love and affection and I once again thanked almighty for making me a teacher. I once again realized the joy of being a teacher.

It has been almost three weeks since I blogged - longest gap since I started my blog. I was surprised , rejoiced and motivated when I saw all those comments wishing me fast recovery. I never met any of my readers personally but there was some bonding between us via this platform. I now fully realize the joy of being a blogger.

Thank you once again

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Out of Action

Dear Marketing Practice readers,

I am currently passing through a slow, painful recovery from Disc Prolapse... So will be out of action for a few days.. will be back soon..

Friday, August 07, 2009

Brand Update : Liril

In my last brand update on Liril, I mentioned the relaunch of Liril as Liril 2000. This week's Brand Equity carried a story about the new adventure of Liril 2000. Read it Here .
As mentioned in the report, Liril is currently repositioned as a soap that refreshes 2000 vital body points.

I was really surprised at the news that Liril is copying the international brand Lever 2000 of the parent Unilever. The positioning of Lever 2000 and Liril 2000 is the same. The only difference is that Lever 2000 is white in color.

I would say that this marks the sad demise of one of the iconic brands in India. Liril has lost its entire brand personality and now is degraded as the poor cousin of another brand. This is strikingly similar to the automotive brand Maruti Zen which again had this same sad story.

HUL in recent times is in the process of bringing in international brands by replacing Indian brands. Clinic All Clear has been changed to Clear. Now Liril is being morphed into Lever 2000.

This is very surprising that a company like HUL ,which has built some of the iconic Indian brands, resort to killing its brands to make way for brands from its parent company.

I cannot buy the argument that Liril 2000 was launched to rejuvenate the Liril brand. If you are rejuvenating a brand, why should you copy the positioning of another brand and import its entire brand elements and even advertising ? A possibility of Liril 2000 being rebranded as Lever 2000 cannot be ruled out . HUL is notorious for such extra-ordinary marketing practices.

If you were really keen on rejuvenating Liril, any person with common sense will tell you to bring back the old memories. A campaign with the old jingle and the imagery will instantly bring this brand back to life. Every newspaper, channel and blogs will write about the comeback of Liril. (Now also blogs and newspapers are writing but not praising the brand) . But alas....

To be fair to Liril, I liked the concept of rejuvenation and 2000 body points. I would have loved it ,if it was for Lever 2000 but not for Liril On the positive side, the old imagery and the ads are popular among a segment of consumers who has now become old. For the new generation, they may have heard about the famous waterfall and the girl but never have experienced the it in real time. So for an uninitiated 20 year old, Liril 2000 may be a new experience. That may be what HUL also is hoping for....

Related Brand
Brand Update - Liril

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Dabur Dashmularista : With You for Life

Brand : Dabur Dashmularista
Company : Dabur

Brand Analysis Count : 413

Dashmularista is a traditional ayurvedic medicine which is very popular in India as a restorative tonic. Although this is a medicine, Indian consumers usually buy and use this tonic over the counter because of the knowledge passed on from elders. And since this is an ayurvedic medicine, consumers are less bothered about the side effects.

Dabur Dashmularista is the first branded ayurvedic ethical asava ( tonic) to be launched in the Indian market as an OTC product. This brand was launched in 2004-2005. Initially Dashmularista was positioned as a restorative tonic for young mothers .

I had earlier written about the poor marketing that has been done with regard to ayurvedic products . There is lot of potential for ayurvedic OTC products in the Indian market. Dabur has to be appreciated for taking an effort in branding such important traditional ayurvedic medicines.

Dabur is also using the bollywood actress Juhi Chawla to promote its ethical branded products. This will further boost the popularity of traditional ayurvedic tonics and prescriptions.

Watch an old TVC of this brand : Dabur Dashmularista

Now Dabur Dashmularista has been positioned as a vital health tonic for ladies. The brand is currently running a TV commercial highlighting the need for such a health tonic for the homemaker. The brand now has the tagline " With You for Life " .

The brand is positioned as a health tonic for every stage of life . The current target market for the brand is the homemakers. I think that over a period of time, Dashmularista will expand its TG to include men and young girls.

The brand is filling an important need in the Indian market. Women often suffer from the fatigue arising out of the stress and strain of homemaking responsibilities. This stress is translated to digestive disorders and physical discomforts like backpain, fatigue,loss of energy etc. And most of the time, ladies resist consulting doctors about their issues at the same time complaining to their husbands about their health issues.
In such a situation , products like Dashmularista has a very important role to play. There will be a better acceptability for such products because of the tradition and perceived " lack of side effects ".

Since its launch in 2004, Dabur Dashmularista is witnessing steady growth. The brand is facing competition from a host of established ayurvedic marketers who sells this product as a ethical medicine. The current campaign will force many such players to take Dashmularista to the OTC market and can expand the market for ayurvedic products.

Related Brand

Monday, August 03, 2009

Imperial Leather : Everyday Luxury

Brand : Imperial Leather
Company : Cussons

Brand Analysis Count : 412

Imperial Leather is a brand which failed to make its mark in the Indian market. This heritage brand had all the good product qualities but because of its marketing practices ,Imperial Leather failed to realize its potential in the Indian market.

Imperial Leather is a British brand with a rich heritage. The brand has a history dating back to 1768. Imperial Leather was created in 1938 by Alexander Tom Cussons. (read the Wiki entry here). Now Imperial Leather is owned by the company PZ Cussons.

Imperial Leather came to India in 1996 with a JV with Ahmed Oil Mills ( Postman oil makers). The brand was positioned as a premium luxury bathing soap. In 1999, Cussons entered into a contract with Godrej to distribute the brand across the country. In 2001, the brand severed ties with Godrej and started operating on its own.

Imperial Leather during its launch time was one of the few luxury bathing soaps in the Indian market. The brand, because of its classic packaging and excellent product qualities gained popularity among the higher income households. Even middle class consumers like my household indulged in the brand once in a while.

The brand was characterized by its packaging and its product qualities. The soap especially the white soap was really good interms of its lather and fragrance. The classic characteristic of the brand was the metallised logo embedded on the soap. That logo gave the soap a premium luxury look.

The brand was hopping to cash in on the distribution reach of Godrej but the deal did not work out well. The brand failed miserably in the promotion front also. Except for the initial promotional efforts during the launch, Imperial Leather was virtually silent across the media. Another reason was the high price. Since the brand was virtually silent, it lost the connect with the consumers and couldn't justify the high price.

Imperial Leather was positioned as a Luxury Soap with rich creamy lather. The brand had the tagline " Everyday Luxury" .

I cannot remember a single ad of this brand anywhere in recent times. In the plethora of soap brands, how can a brand survive without any promotion ?

The brand is still available in supermarkets but I am not sure whether Cussons has any solid plans of Imperial Leather in India. Globally, the brand still has a lot of equity and even has extended itself into baby products. It is sad that such a brand could not survive in the Indian soap market.

Imperial Leather did not become highly successful because of laidback promotional strategies. The company never invested heavily in promotions and this cost the brand dearly. Imperial Leather is slowly fading away from the consumer's mind. The newer generation consumers has heard about this brand but never used this brand . If this situation persists, Imperial Leather may not be able to survive in the Indian market.

The way forward for Imperial Leather is to go back to its core brand promise of " Everyday Luxury ". The brand needs heavy loads of promotions to make a place for itself in the highly competitive soap market.