Monday, November 26, 2012

Brand Update : RIP Tata Tion ( 2009-2011)

Tata Tion- the non-carbonated beverage drink from Tata Beverages has bite the dust. The brand which was derived from tea extracts and the differentiator was the presence of Ginseng which gave the drink a healthy proposition was discontinued merely after one year of existence . 

Although the product had good intentions, consumers gave it a lukewarm reception. Two factors may have affected the life of the brand a) Taste b) Price . Tion's taste may have acted as a big downer and it never appealed to the masses. Second factor is the price. Tion was very expensive and even though Tata launched a smaller SKU, the quantity was never enough to quench the thirst. That was also the first impression when I tried out the brand. 

Another issue was the segmentation. Tion was not able to clearly focus on its TG. Who would actually buy a product like Tion ? Tion infact tried to cater to every one hence the brand positioned itself very loosely. The tagline " Why Let Go " is a result of such a unfocused positioning. The brand at best would appeal to the set of consumers who wanted a healthier alternative to softdrinks and that is definitely not youngsters.

Tion was bit too early in targeting the mass using the health proposition. Although many experts harp on the trend towards healthy foods, the idea is still in the utopian stage and has not translated into purchases . 

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Totem Pens : Carving Out a Segment

Brand : Totem
Company : Win Pens Pvt Ltd

Brand Analysis Count : # 518

Totem is an interesting brand. You may not have seen an ad of this pen but this pen is selling like hot cakes in various markets across India. Totem ballpoint pens are manufactured by Win Pens Pvt Ltd which is based in Culcutta. 

What is so special about Totem is that this simple pen effectively met  the need of the customers. Forget the fancy expensive pens or the highly advertised ones because many does not serve the basic function as effective as Totem. Many customers have realized that products like these perform much better than the high profile ones. 

Totem which is priced at Rs 3 is now one of the fast selling brands in the category. There is strong demand for this brand among students and also from office segment. The reason being the utility. Many pens in the sub Rs 10 category have serious quality issues. Most of the pens smudge , are not ergonomic and often the ink gets messy . I have seen many students (during their exams) carrying a piece of cloth to remove the smudge from their gel pens which messes up their answersheets. Many consumers say that products like Totem has more quality than its expensive counterparts. 

Brands like Totem virtually created a new segment of Rs 3 pens. Consumers ask for Rs 3 pens and many well known brands have started selling their products in this segment. The success of these products can be attributable to 
a) Value For Money
b) Utility
c) Better Performance
The Rs 3 category is now getting crowded with many brands entering the space. Totem has not invested in any brand building activities. Its playing the commodity game and soon can be outperformed by more established players. The company will be losing a big opportunity if its not able to capitalize on the current demand. Right now consumers are not asking for specific brand in this category and its a matter of concern for brands like Totem. Brands like Nataraj, Linc etc are capitalizing on their brand's awareness to make their way into this high volume category and for Totem, its losing an opportunity to build a brand .

Friday, November 09, 2012

Godrej Aer : Aer it Out

Brand : Aer
Company : Godrej

Brand Analysis Count : # 517

Godrej has entered the Rs 300 crore Air Care market with the new brand Godrej Aer. Godrej was instrumental in developing the category of air-freshners in Indian market through the JV Godrej - Sara Lee. Ambi-Pur was the brand which had created this category in India. But in 2011, Sara Lee sold its personal care division to P&G and the brand Ambi-Pur has moved to P&G.

Not to be left behind in the category which Godrej's JV had created, the company was quick to launch its own brand Aer in the Indian market. Godrej Aer is now running its launch campaigns across the Indian market. 
The brand has started off with some thoughtful branding strategies. To being with, Godrej has chosen a very powerful brand name " Aer ".Aer which is the marketer's way of using the generic word " Air" .

Ambi-pur is the most visible brand in the air-freshner category in India. Air-Wick is another brand which is focusing on the home category . There are also many local and imported brands in this category.Odonil was one of the pioneers in the room-freshner category but some how this brand is restricted to washrooms ( pun intended). This lifestyle product is expected to see better growth in coming years. According to reports, this category is growing at the rate of 20% each year.

Godrej in the launch campaign is focusing on the car -freshner segment of the category. 
Aer has tried to tackle the market using two differentiating attributes. First factor is the design. Aer has put lot of thought into the design aspect of the container. The design is eye-catching and very contemporary. Second differentiator ( in car freshner) is the ON/OFF switch. The brand is harping on this factor in the television commercial .
Watch the ad here : Aer 

Godrej Aer's focus On/Off switch  as the key differentiator may not be sustainable since any competitor can easily replicate the feature. Launching the brand purely on this easily copy-able feature is a marketing mistake on the part of Godrej. Its also surprising to see that Godrej is downplaying the wonderful design element of the brand. The brand is focusing on functionality + fragrance as the main focusing point. The brand has the tagline  " Aer it Out " and has put its mission as to change the way air smells and spells. The brand has priced the product a little above the Ambi-Pur but I feel that the design will encourage many consumers to switch to this product for a trial.

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