Monday, December 24, 2012

Brand Update : Can SRK save Lux ?

SRK is once again featuring in the ad of Lux. It was in 2005 that SRK stunned brand watchers in an ad for Lux. At that time Lux was celebrating 75 years of stardom. Circa 2012, Shah Rukh Khan again stars in Lux ad  not for  celebration of any milestone but a desperate attempt to rejuvenate the brand.

Lux which always centered around celebrities has been struggling for the last few years.Reports suggest that Lux is witnessing a de-growth thanks to competition from the likes of Santoor. Lux over the years has been facing a positioning problem which I have highlighted in my previous posts about the brand. Too many variants shifted the HUL's focus from strengthening the core brand to leveraging or rather squeeze the brand equity. This virtually made the core Lux brand vulnerable to competition. The commoditization of celebrity endorsement further diluted the celebrity-focused positioning of Lux. Virtually the differentiation of Lux was no longer existing. 

Lux is now in an un-enviable position. The core positioning of Lux- beauty soap of stars is virtually being killed by competition. Celebrities now are no longer differentiators. Lux also cannot risk going for a heavy repositioning sans celebrities because of its connection with Stars for over 75 years. The brand is in deep trouble.
With SRK, the brand is attempting another come back. Last year, Lux successfully leveraged Abhishek and Aishwarya and smartly took the platform of  ' Beauty'. 

The current campaign features SRK with the current Lux Diva Katrina Kaif. The brand completely changed its beauty based positioning ( benefit)  and decided to focus on fragrance (product feature ).The brand is pitching that  it contains international quality fragrances. From  benefit to  feature based positioning is a step backward for the brand. Usually brands start with feature based positioning and later graduate to higher -order attributes ( Laddering). Here Lux chose itself to downgrade from a higher -order positioning to basic stuff.The brand is absolutely confused about its future direction. 

Lux in the new campaign has the tagline : "Bas Zara Sa Lux " roughly translated to " Just need a little Lux" . The tagline is ideally suited for a detergent rather than a beauty soap. The treatment of the ad is below average with zero creativity and usual theme. No wonder the brand is on a downward spiral.

Watch the ad here : Lux SRK

What Lux right now needs is a thorough clarity about its brand manthra and its positioning.No amount of celebrity endorsement will work if the brand is confused about its positioning. It had earlier focused on beauty oil and now it is saying that fragrance is the key USP. This confusion is only going to kill this brand unless the marketing brains of HUL sit together and decide on the brand manthra for Lux. Other wise we are going to see the slow death of an iconic brand.