Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Fryums : Eat Smart

Brand : Fryums
Company : TTK

Brand Analysis Count : 466

Fryums is a very interesting brand. Infact how many of us know that it is a brand ? Recently when two of my students visited my home, my wife served them a bowl of Fryums which invoked a sense of nostalgia and we discussed about this Indian snack which failed to fight the invasion of Lays.
Fryums was launched by TTK in 1990. This ready-to-cook Indian snack quickly gained popularity in the Indian market . The brand became so popular that soon consumers began to use the brand name as the generic name for such snacks.

Sometimes too much popularity can be bad for the brand. When brand names become generic, marketers should worry because there is a chance that they will lose the brand. The same happened with Fryums. Consumers started to refer to Fryums as a generic name for all such ready-to-fry snacks. Soon competitors also started using the term Fryums in their packs.

When consumers started using Fryums as generic name, retailers too made use of that opportunity to push the similar product that offered better margins. Soon Fryums became more of a commodity than a differentiated , protected brand.

Along with this unique problem came the competition from Lays. Fryums was not able to counter the competition from Lays. Lays were more up-market, aspirational, convenience and had more perceived quality than Fryums. The fact that one needs to fry this product in oil before use also made it less appealing to the younger generation .

From a generic brand , Fryums fell into oblivion. The brand soon went off the shelves or became one among the many " Fryums " at the stores. The company also was clueless about the future of this ' famous' brand.
However in 2000-2001, the brand went in for a makeover. Fryums was rebranded as Fryums Yummies and the brand had a new logo and even a mascot. In the new avataar, TTK tried to rev up the brand's fortune by launching it in new flavors and also in new product forms. But even this rebranding did not work in the favor of Fryums. The problem was that the brand did not have enough steam to fight the competitors.

Fryums 's issues highlight the need for marketers to fiercely protect their brands from becoming generic. The brand should pursue and protect itself from being used as a verb or as a category identifier. Once the brand become generic, there are chances that legally it cannot be protected by the owners. This fate happened with the likes of Aspirin.

There is future ahead for Fryums. The brand needs to reinvent itself and position itself as a healthy alternative to existing snackfoods. The brand is cholesterol free and contains no MSG or trans fats. The new flavors + new brand campaign can raise the interest about this Indian snackfood in the market.