Monday, May 21, 2012

Brand Update : From Kajol & Croc To Kareena & Bear

Alpenliebe, the brand which redefined and rejuvenated the sugar candy market has come a long way since its launch in 1994. The brand recently launched another sub-brand 2Choco with huge promotional noise. The new eclair brand came into limelight because of the endorsement from Bollywood diva Kareena Kapoor.  The launch also marks the entry of Alpenliebe into th Eclair category.

Watch the ad here : 2 Choco

The alpha-numeric branding signifies that this eclair has two chocolate flavors ( source : website).

So what is now Alpenliebe ?

From a very simple caramel based sugar candy which was positioned on the basis of taste and irresistible lust for more, the brand is now , a candy ( three flavors), lollipop, flavor filled candy - Creamfillz and Mangofillz sub-brands and now an eclairs.

Infact the brand has become an Umbrella Brand endorsing different products in the same confectionery category . So when you ask for Alpenliebe from a shop, you may get any of these products !!
In my opinion, the brand owners needlessly extended this powerful brand for incremental sales benefit.According to reports, Alpenliebe alone was around Rs 160 crore and may be these franchises may help the brand show more worth but the core brand Alepenliebe will suffer because now the brand means many things.

Take the case of the new brand 2 Choco endorsed by Alpenliebe. What prevented Perfetti to launch 2choco as an independent brand ? If it could afford Kareena , then it would have enough money to build a powerful independent chocolate eclair brand. But it chose the easy way of making it endorsed by Alepenliebe which may have helped the new launch and trial but at the expense of making the brand architecture of Alpenliebe complex.

The positioning of the original Alpenliebe and the new Alpenliebe 2Choco are poles apart. 2Choco has the tagline " Love and Share " and Alpenliebe has " lalach Aaha Laplap " ( means some crap in Hindi). It has to be seen whether Kajol will continue endorsing the original Alpenliebe candy. Perfetti earlier launched a brand Chocoliebe in the eclair category but does not met with much success. Alpenliebe 2Choco is also a premium play since the brand is priced at Rs 1/- price point.

The launch ad for 2 Choco is amusing and I don't understand why Alpenliebe franchise is fixated about the combination of Bollywood Divas and animals. Earlier it was Kajol and Croc , then came Kajol and Apes and now it is Kareena with a polar bear.
I have a feeling that the Alpenliebe brand itself is getting confused interms of positioning and the reason is the large number of diverse product forms it endorses. The confusion is going to be more if the brand owners decides to extend it further.
Alpenliebe was a powerful brand and it is being weakened by the brand owners just for the sake of convenience.
Related brand

Monday, May 14, 2012

Marketing Funda : Indian Ingredient Brands

Marketing Guru Kevin Lane Keller defines Ingredient Branding as a special case of co-branding which involves creating brand equity for materials component or parts that are necessarily contained in other branded products. Prof. John Quelch  of Harvard defines ingredient branding as putting the brand of an ingredient out of the product to increase its appeal. 

Ingredient branding concept started as a co-branding where the brand owners of ingredient and product brands are different. In my opinion, the strategy has evolved where firms have started branding their own ingredients in order to create differentiation. Intel and Dupont are considered to be pioneers in this regard. Increasingly brands in India too have tried to develop ingredient brands to create differentiation. Some of the below cited examples are loosely connected to the concept of ingredient branding in the sense that the brand owners may not have registered as a trademark.

          Parent Brand             Ingredient brand

  1. Orient fans               PSPO
  2. Exo dishwash bar     Cyclozan
  3. Chandrika soap        Activ Ayurveda
  4. Clinic All Clear         ZPTO ( now not using it)
  5. Horlicks                   DHA ( using it very less)
  6. Maruti Suzuki        K-Series Engines
  7. Bajaj Pulsar            DTSI
  8. Titan Watches        HTSE
  9. Citizen                   Eco-Drive
  10. Tata Motors          DriveTech / Quadrajet
  11. Ford Motors         TDCi
  12. Hyundai                CRDi
  13. Good Knight         Activ +
  14. Godrej Fairglow   Fairness Proteins
  15. Louis Philippe      Permapress ( Nishinbo Japan owned tech)
  16. TVS Apache        RTR
  17. Panasonic            Eco-Navi Sensors (for refridgerators)
  18. Gariner Men        Active Perlite ( for deo)
  19. Pantene               Pro-V
  20. Fiama Di Wills    Derma Revitalizers ( for men's fairness cream)
  21. Saffola                LoSorb Technology
  22. Kent water purifier   Mineral RO technology

Monday, May 07, 2012

Brand Update : Does Limca Really Needs Kareena ?

The summer of 2012 belongs to lemon based beverages. Marketers are all out to woo consumers through high decibel promotions for lemon based beverage brands. These brands ( once neglected) started to be considered as high growth brands. In BCG metrics terms,Question Marks suddenly became Stars ! The reason is the late realization that Indians have a soft-corner for lemon flavor which was long neglected by maverick marketers who wanted the Cola to rule the market.Now lemon flavored segment is growing at 17-20% annually compared to single digit growth for the Cola brands.
The new Star of the block is the iconic Limca brand from Coca Cola. Coca Cola was reluctantly pushing the brand to the forefront through some well crafted campaigns during the last few years. Although the share of voice was less, the sheer quality of the campaigns lifted the brand to new heights. 
Watch some of these ads here : Limca Ads 2006-10

The campaigns used music very effectively and focused on the concept of freshness . All through these years, the taglines keep on changing from
Fresh Ho Jao
Haseen Lamhaon ko churao
Do Pal Taazgi
Maza taazgi ka
Doobo Taazgi mein

The brand conceived a brilliant imagery of water splashing with some soul-warming music which brought back the magic of Limca. 
This summer, the brand mandarins of Coke decided to change everything. The brilliant idea of a celebrity endorser was conceived and executed. Kareena Kapoor was chosen as the celebrity and the brand owners decided to ditch the earlier positioning and imagery and brought in a new higher order attribute to the brand - Pyaas Badhao where the concept is the brand wants its consumers to thirst for more ( success) in life.

Watch the ad here : Limca  Pyaas Badhao

I somehow feel that despite the best efforts and intention, the campaign lacks the magic. The brand seems to be preaching to consumers which was a drastic shift interms of the personality. Earlier campaigns had full of romance and soft imagery. The new campaign completely lacks any romance and is in the backdrop of sports seems so out of touch with the brand's personality. Kareena holding a limca bottle is not going to create any magic for the brand. Infact, Limca's brand equity which survived Coke's assassination attempt does not need to derive any support from celebrities. To be fair to the brand, Limca had earlier roped in celebrities like Salman Khan, Riya Sen etc to endorse it. 
In one of the reports, the brand owners suggested that the change in the brand strategy was warranted by the aggression of competing brands. However, that does not explain the logic of such a drastic shift in the brand's personality.
Brands exhorting the consumers to scale higher heights is not a new concept.Brands like Horlicks, Bournvita etc pitch on similar lines. Hence Limca's new preaching pitch puts it among the usual crowd not different. But the earlier romantic platform was something unique. I don't remember any beverage brand positioning on a romantic platform.
So uniqueness lost, in the clutter , heavily depended on celebrity for power, will be the outcome interms of the branding. Had the brand used Kareena in a romantic mood with water splashing around, Limca would have broken its own Limca Books of Records ! Alas... its preaching time...

Related Brand
Limca : Lime N Lemony