Friday, March 11, 2011

Brand Update : Comfort finds comfort in Madhuri Dixit

The fabric conditioner brand from HUL- Comfort has roped in the former Bollywood Diva Madhuri Dixit as the brand ambassador. The former Bollywood superstar was on a hiatus after her marriage is now on a comeback trail.
Comfort which is the niche brand from HUL was rolled out nationally in 2010 after a long period of test marketing. The brand was soft launched in some southern states as early as 2008 and it took a long time for HUL to decide national roll out. 

It is interesting to see Madhuri Dixit endorsing a product like Comfort. Interesting because she was endorsing the flagship soap brand Lux during her peak stardom days. Now she has come back on a new role of a homemaker endorsing a very small brand from HUL. 

As discussed in my earlier post on this brand, Comfort is a niche brand and the usage base is restricted to certain segments of the Rs 12700 crore Indian fabric care market. The product is priced at a premium and will be attractive to those homemakers who would like to add some extra care  to their clothes. The campaign also addresses customers in the same platform. 
The inclusion of a celebrity endorser will enhance the visibility of the brand and is expected to bring in many first-time users. Unlike the western markets, washing is not considered a chore in India. For Indian homemakers, washing clothes is a serious activity. They take pride when the clothes are meticulously clean and shining. This unique cultural trait is the opportunity that Comfort is trying to tap.
There are many factors that prevent the growth of such specialist product categories. The main reasons being inertia and price. These premium pricing coupled with the extra effort involved in using the product often make consumers postpone the patronage of such products. HUL hopes that the endorsement from Madhuri Dixit will expand the usage base for Comfort and bring in lot of new users into its fold.

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