Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Brand Update : Santoor

This season, Santoor has launched another brand extension - Santoor Deodorant. The brand now has a wide range of products under its brand portfolio. Now Santoor has soap, talc, face wash and now deodorant.
The brand is slowly but steadily moving in the direction of becoming a personal care brand rather than a soap brand. This 600+ crore brand was on a roll last year becoming one of the largest selling soap brands in India. The brand consistently invested in brand building and never shied away from spending in advertising.
The new extension is to cash in on the opportunity for a deo brand for ladies. Although there are many deo brands for the female segment, the market is growing and opportunity exists for new brands also.

I raise the issue of brand dilution when ever I see brand extensions. Although I am a critic of brand extensions, this strategy is inevitable for many reasons. In the case of Santoor, these extensions are a part of Wipro's strategy to make Santoor a family brand for personal care products. Brands like Pond's , Lakme , Vaseline have successfully metamorphosed into Family Brands.

The talking point about Santoor is the positioning. For over 25 years, the brand has been talking about the concept of " For a Younger Looking Skin". All the campaigns were reinforcing that message consistently and powerfully. When the brand moved into talcum powder, it had to deviate from "younger looking" to "freshness". In the case of deo also, the brand is talking about freshness.

Now if Santoor aspire to be an umbrella brand , it may have to dilute or change the core brand positioning of " Younger looking skin " and include brand value like Freshness . This is relevant for products like Deo and Talc . For other products like facewash or creams , the classic positioning will work for the brand.

Another factor is that Santoor soap derives its strength from Turmeric and Sandal . The brand even derives the name from these two ingredients. The positioning also derives strength from these two ingredients. Now when the brand expands its product portfolio, it has to look beyond these two ingredients. Hence if at all the brand wants to expand its horizon, it may have to find other sources of strength.

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