Monday, September 19, 2011

Exo : Anti-bacterial DIshwash Bar

Brand : Exo
Company : Jyothi Laboratories Ltd
Brand Analysis Count :  # 496

Exo is a dishwash brand from Jyothi Labs. Exo is a challenger brand in the Rs 10,000 crore dishwash product category in India. The brand currently focuses on South India and is slowly spreading its wings nationally.
Exo was launched in 2000. The brand was launched as a part of the diversification of JLL whose bread and butter was from a single brand- Ujala. Exo entered a very tough market which was dominated by the market leader Vim.

In competitive strategies, theory talks about various strategies like Frontal Attack, Bye-pass attack etc. Exo chose to attack Vim directly and aggressively. When a competing brand chose to attack the market leader, it needs to have a credible differentiator inorderto compete and succeed. Vim have tremendous brand equity in the market and it is a tough task to fight such a leader.
Exo's marketing strategy is a notable example of successful frontal attack. The brand was able to find a credible and sustainable differentiator against Vim. Exo took the position of an Anti-bacterial dishwash bar to fight Vim. 
Exo was India's first Anti-bacterial dishwash bar.As usual, the poor Keedanu ( germs) was at the receiving end. Exo positioned itself as a dishwash bar that killed all the bacteria in the utensils. The positioning was very smart since Vim was positioned on the basis of cleanliness. 
Exo was innovative in creating an awareness about the possibility of germs in utensils. There was also another smart idea from the brand. In theory, we often say that the differentiator should be relevant, sustainable and not easily copied by competitors. Exo's positioning of anti-bacterial benefit can be easily copied by the competitor . In order to counter this, Exo used an ingredient "Cyclozan " to protect its differentiation. The ingredient brand " Cyclozan " ensured that the differentiation of Anti-bacterial benefit cannot be easily countered.
By launching Exo with anti-bacterial property, Exo created both point of parity and point of difference with Vim. The brand talked about cleanliness thus created parity with Vim and then used Cyclozan to establish point of difference thus creating a powerful position in the mind of the consumers.The results was visible . Exo became the second largest dishwash bar in South India. 
To fight the aggressive attack by Exo, Vim launched its own anti-bacterial variant using neem as the ingredient. 
Exo later went into a brand extension mode by launching Exo dishwash liquid and later Exo Scrub. With the acquisition of Henkel in India by JLL, the fate of Exo dishwash liquid appears bleak since  Henkel's Pril is the market leader in the dishwash liquid market. Exo will now be restricted to only dishwash bar category.
Exo is a brand which is promoted exhaustively by Jyothy labs. The brand has very high share of voice and ads keep on driving the USP of germ-killing property. Since the dishwash bar category is not a high involvement category, the brand had benefited greatly by this share of voice. 
With the acquisition of Pril brand from Henkel, Jyothi labs now have two formidable brands in the dishwash category. Vim now faces the most intensive threat to its leadership position. It will be interesting to watch how the fight will turnout to be.