Monday, October 25, 2010

Brand Update : Horlicks Becomes A Megabrand !

This had to happen.

Horlicks officially has become a mega-brand. Mega-brands are those brands which have their presence across various product-lines and categories. There will be a wide range of products under the same brand name across multiple product categories.

GSK has recently launched the first integrated brand campaign for Horlicks which positions the brand as a Mega-brand endorsing products across categories like beverages, biscuits , snack bars,etc

This is the first time that the brand brings all the various extensions under the same campaign. Horlicks as the umbrella brand retains the classic tagline " The Great Family Nourisher ".

Along with the new campaign, the brand also has redesigned the critical brand elements like the Logo and the Packaging. The brand had made some changes with regard to the logo color and made the logo + color scheme standard across all extensions. The brand also made the packaging standard for all its beverages viz Horlicks Lite, Women's Horlicks , standard Horlicks etc.

The official acknowledgement of Horlicks as a mega-brand in a way clears the ambiguity regarding the future of the Horlicks brand. In recent blog posts, I had criticized the brand for their aggressive brand extensions. In this one move, Horlicks has given an answer to the critic in me . Horlicks is no longer a health-drink brand. It is a mega-brand which has interest in foods,beverages, snack-bars and all the future opportunities that arise in the market ( whether you like it or not).

This move thus gives lot of clarity to the brand managers. The brand has boldly made a decision whether it is right or wrong. The brand can aggressively pursue any opportunity in the market because that is what is implied in this strategic move of making Horlicks -a mega brand.

Horlicks is now a Rs 1500 crore brand. The brand is having around 52% share in the health food drinks category ( which is estimated to be Rs 2000 crore). The brand also has presence in biscuits ( total market size - Rs 11000 crore) and in snack-bar ( total mkt size -Rs 250 cr0re).

With the new brand architecture , Horlicks is looking at a larger market which comprises of all kinds of health foods and packaged/branded beverages which is having a total market size of over Rs 100,000 crore ( Source : Campaign India). So one should be prepared to see the launch of products like Horlicks Icecreams, Horlicks Oats etc in future.

On the brighter side, the repositioning of Horlicks as a mega-brand will rationalize the marketing cost for GSK. Although there will be individual brand communications for categories, the brand can now put more money on pushing the core brand which will inturn help all products under the umbrella.

But as major critics of such branding like Alries would point out, Horlicks has now lost its identity. Now consumers will find it difficult to assign a unique position for Horlicks. This dilution can be an opportunity for specialized products which can threaten the strongholds of Horlicks which is the health-food-drink. A focused health food drink brand can now challenge Horlicks's position but the fact is that there is none so far. Complan too has launched products outside the HFD category.

As a keen observer of marketing I feel that the move of making Horlicks is the biggest risk taken by this brand. The brand has moved into the current architecture when competition has become tough in the health-drink category. It will be worthwhile to watch the future of this mega-brand.

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  1. Manish1:01 PM

    This is an interesting post.

    There is no doubt that the core positioning of Horlicks as a health food drink stands diluted owing to this metamorphosis but GSK has been patient with brand extension of Horlicks so far. They have been moving into those categoriess - biscuits, snack bar where they can leverage the health plank of Horlicks.

    Obviously, to the marketers there was this temptation to be a part of larger pie and they have taken the plunge. The future action will be interesting to watch.

  2. I don't see a major dilution in the core positioning as long as Horlicks launches HEALTHy extensions.. Higher the possibility that they would reposition themselves as a HEALTH brand and not just a health beverage brand. They have been doing it successfully with their recent launches like the Foodles, a healthy noodles brand.


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