Friday, February 12, 2010

Brand Update : Perk


Perk has gone in for a makeover. Cadbury has launched the new Perk with Glucose Energy. According to the company website, this is the first time that a chocolate brand from the company has come out with glucose energy. The brand is running a campaign announcing its new avatar.

Watch the TVC here : Perk with Glucose Energy

When I first saw the ad, I took it just as another line extension by the brand. But was really surprised at the news report suggesting the new product as a relaunch of the original Perk. Infact DNA reports that the original Perk will be phased out soon ( Source).

The reports are little vague as to whether the Perk with Glucose Energy is the New Avatar of Perk or a line extension.

If the report of relaunch is true then it is a big change for the brand. The entire brand personality is changed and frankly I am upset.

Perk always had a charm and its persona of a bubbly youthful brand was always there since its launch in 1996. Priety Zinta is still remembered along with the brand. But the new face of the Perk is entirely opposite to the brand's current image.

According to the company version, the new Perk is targeting the youth 14-18 year olds which are looking for a snack which is refreshing. The new launch is the result of a study conducted by the company which showed that youth prefers a tasty snack which also refreshed them ( source).

In my personal opinion, the relaunch campaign is a big let down. When I saw it the first time, I mistook it for some telecom ad - with all the usual stuff of a young man doing lots of stuff, trying hard , loved by all etc. But was surprised to find that it was an ad for Perk. Disgusted after finding that it is a relaunch ad.

The new campaign just poured cold water on the entire positioning of the brand. The brand lost is bubbly , cool , irreverent character and instead acquired an uncool, rational , conforming kind of a personality. Today's youth prefers those personalities who takes things easy, without effort accomplishing tasks and enjoying life Bindaass.. But the main character seems to be taking lot of efforts which just killed the brand's established persona.

The brand also has changed the packaging color. The new tagline of Perk is " Sapno se race kar le" roughly translated to " Race with your dreams " which I think may miss the mark with the young crowd. I still miss the magic that this brand brought about in its earlier campaigns. The last campaign of " Take it Lightly " was also a smart move of the brand. But the current relaunch is too off mark.

Having said that Perk has already an established equity which will prompt customers to reach for this brand. The new Perk is priced attractively and the " Glucose " factor will entice many consumers to buy this brand. Despite all these campaign, both Perk and Kitkat were not able to create any significant growth for the wafer based confectionery in the Indian market. This category still remains in the periphery of the larger market of confectioneries

Perk has changed for better or worse, the sales figures will say. But on a branding perspective, the brand just started dying..
Another thought ... what about Ulta Perk ???

All my above criticisms are based on the assumption that Perk has been relaunched and the older Perk is being laid to rest. If the new Perk with Glucose Energy is a line extension and the older Perk is going to remain in the market, then it is just a new product line extension with a lousy campaign.

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