Lux, India's most famous personal care brand has extended itself to deo. The campaigns are on air featuring the extensions. The deo market in India is witnessing huge amount of brand activity with new brands being launched almost every month. According to Economic Times, the deo market is estimated to be around Rs 1300 crore and growing at 40%.
The question as always is what can be logic behind HUL extending its iconic brand to deo. It is not that Lux is not extended before. The brand has soaps, shampoos, bodywash in the product-line. Globally this is the first time that the brand is extending to deodorants.
HUL has been a pioneer in creating the deo category in India. The company holds its leadership position in the market with its iconic brand Axe. HUL also has its anti perspiration deo Sure and also Dove. So rather than investing on these brands why would HUL try to extend Lux into this category ?
One of the reason can be to pre-empt competition by flooding the market with its own brands. Lux has a huge equity which will translate to trials and incremental sales. Further, the company is also wary about the launch of competing brands like Santoor, Nivea etc into this category.
However, HUL is taking the risk of spreading the budgets too far on these extensions. After Axe, the company was not able to come out with another blockbuster deo brand. It pulled out Rexona and Sure was not able to replicate the success of Rexona ( during the initial years). Dove is also another brand which is extended to almost all imaginable personal care categories.
Lux as a brand will get more diluted if HUL tries to milk its equity too much. None of its earlier extensions could replicate the success of the core brand. Rather than diluting, HUL could have launched new focused deo brands.