Friday, January 08, 2010

Garnier : Take Care

Brand : Garnier
Company : Loreal India
Agency : Lowe Lintas

Brand Analysis Count : 437

Garnier is a brand that epitomizes smart marketing practice. This is a brand that came to India in 1991 and crafted a special place for itself in the Indian market.This is one global brand which has understood the dynamics of Indian market.

Garnier came to India with its Ultra Duox range of shampoos. The brand is amass market brand from Loreal which has a range of global premium personal care brands like Maybelline, Ralph Lauren., Diesel ,Vichy etc. Loreal started its operations as a joint venture with MJ Group . Later in 1994, the company started its own operations.

All through these years, Garnier had a very consistent marketing approach. What I liked about this brand was the kind of investment that it had put in for marketing activities. Ofcourse all these happened because it had the support of its parent company.

Garnier can be considered as a masstige brand. Although positioned as a premium offering, the brand was wise enough to price it reasonable. Currently Garnier is targeting the middle and upper socio-economic class.

Globally Loreal is a company that is famous for its product innovation. Garnier too has built its brand by launching new products on a regular basis. A strategy based on product innovation works best for a brand like Garnier. When the consumer sees regular new product flow from the brand, it creates a sense of excitement with in the consumer which will prompt her to stick to this brand.Garnier was the first brand to introduce a cream based hair coloring solution.

Garnier is now present in a diverse range of personal care product categories. It is present in the hair-care and skin-care segments.
The brand have two sub-brands : Garnier Fructis and Garnier Ultra Doux. Fructis is an interesting sub-brand which has clicked in the Indian market because of its positioning as a fruit based product. Consumers readily embraced this variant because it made sense to depend on a natural shampoo rather than chemical based one.

Garnier is positioned as a nature- based ( green) innovative personal care brand which takes care of your skin. The brand has a very catchy tagline " Take Care ". Garnier's positioning strategy is more product based in the sense that it has tried to emphasis individual product properties rather than a common brand image. Most of its commercials are emphasizing on product strengths and innovation. The brand is an example of the success of rational product based advertising success. The brand is also sending a message that Indian consumers are also influenced by rational messages and product innovations rather than mindless emotional blah-blahs.

Another interesting marketing strategy adopted by Garnier is its advertising execution. True to its global parentage, Garnier was careful in its advertising theme. It uses a blend of foreign and Indian models and themes for its campaign.Garnier ads can be termed as localized international advertising which has a global touch but does not appear alien to Indian realities. The brand uses a careful blend of celebrities and models in their campaigns without relying much on their individual persona. Their products are always the stars in their campaigns.

Recently Garnier launched another new innovative product in the Indian market - Garnier Shampoo + Oil 2 in 1 shampoo. This is something that Indian consumer has never seen before. And a product which Indian consumer find little difficult to believe. Shampoo and oil are something that is not supposed to work together. Infact shampoo is used against oil. ndian consumers are habituated to using oil regularly and time usually works against using them both. And since these two products are supposed to work against each other and time factor prevents them from using both, Garnier has thought of a plan to integrate north-pole and south-pole together.

Garnier Oil + Shampoo is a blend of 3 oils and shampoo. According to press release, the oil will work within to strengthen the hair and shampoo will clean the hair. This shampoo variant contains three oils - Olive,Avocado and Shea oil.

Recently , one of my earlier students talked to me about this brand launch. She and her group had suggest such a product combination during a project presentation to me as a part of the marketing course three years back. I remember taking the group to a series of tough questioning ( in other words -blasting) about the acceptance of such a product in the Indian market. She was delighted that such an idea being implemented in the real marketing world.

My primary doubt is whether the brand be able to convince the customer that shampoo and oil can go together ? Here the brand is trying to redefine a negative relationship between two attributes and trying to convince the customers that there is a scope for these two working together positively. According to Prof Kevin lane Keller, this strategy is difficult but once established , it can be a powerful differentiator. What the brand has to do is to develop a credible story that consumers can agree ( source : Strategic Brand Management by Keller)
Watch the commercial here : Garnier oil Shampoo

Whether these innovations fail or succeed, Garnier gains much equity through these steady stream of product launches. The premium positioning , smart pricing, heavy investment in brand promotion, innovative products and strong distribution reach has enabled this brand to create a special place in the Indian personal care industry. A lesson for aspiring brands.