Friday, February 15, 2013

Brand Update : Dettol is also a Dishwash ??

Economic Times reports that Reckitt Benckiser has decided to extend the popular Dettol brand to Dishwash category. This will be one of the bizarre brand extensions I have seen in the last few years. Now we can see supermarkets having Dettol bathing Soap and also Dettol Dishwash  placed near to each other.  ( ET Report)

The reason behind the extension is simple. According to ET, the dishwash category is worth Rs 2000 crore and the category is dominated by HUL with its Vim brand. Reckitt is now pitching Dettol against the Vim brand. 
While Dettol is a brand which was able to leverage the brand's germ killing proposition to various categories like soap, handwash etc, it has not moved into toilets or kitchen. Now we are going to see this brand extending its reach to kitchen. According to the report, Dettol's entry into the dishwash will be using the sub-branding strategy - Dettol Kitchen . Dettol Kitchen will share the same positioning of germ killing and will be competing with Vim and Exo. The first product will be a Dishwashing Gel ( multi-purpose cleaner).

Can a soap brand share its name with a dishwash ?? Dettol seems to think that since the positioning is the same, it may not be a concern to the consumers. My take is that Dettol's entry into Kitchen will affect the premium image of Dettol.  I don't think that a brand which has dishwash gel or a toilet cleaner can retain its premiumness for its bathing soap brand-extension. Since Dettol has a very strong equity, erosion will be felt slowly. Secondly the message for a dishwash product would also talk about strong cleaning ability . So if Dettol is going to claim that it will remove the toughest of the dirt/stains, how would a consumer of Dettol soap perceive that message ? 

If Dettol can extend to Dishwash, can Vim extend to bathing soap ?? 
How about Pril Bodywash ??? 
Harpic Beauty Soap ??

I hope HUL will not react by launching Lifebuoy Dishwash gel. 


  1. I think Reckitt Benckiser is not so stupid to go for a brand extension in dishwash category using brand "Dettol". It may be a another fake news. I can't imagine using the same brand for my body and dish wash. If the news is real God save brand Dettol.


  2. Anonymous8:36 AM

    RB should probably come up with a new brand and endorse it with Dettol, than using Dettol directly as a mother brand. This way you still carry the germ kill positioning and you can probably detach Dettol in the long term. This is a very interesting extension to watch closely on how it affects the overall equity.

    - Sai Krishna

  3. Egawar1:00 PM

    I guess it nay still work out for RB provided they project it nicely with a refreshing series of ads

  4. A P&G brand called Fairy moved from a conditioner & baby care products to 'DISH WASH' by staying true to its proposition of being nice on hands :) ... So, if the proposition of 'nice on hands' will have a great traction, i see this extension as natural. So, if Dettol has extended with an assumption of 'GERM KILL' having much better traction than stain removal for dish wash, i see this a normal launch. Nothing wrong in it ... I am pretty sure HUL will not be emotional or stupid to react back with a lifebuoy Handwash ! They might just begin activating their new vim anti bac soap into the liquid segment and screw Dettol !

  5. Me too skeptical about this .Anyhow time gonna answer this and lets see whats this RB marketer's bait gonna teach us . I m tuned to this topic feed now on...

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  7. Jinesh Damodaran6:17 PM

    I think the purpose of extension is not just competing with one segment i.e. dishwash gel but to become like 3M Scotch Brite few years down the line which is the giant in kitchen care and household products. If you have a look at Dettol's complete range it has got similar products. Dettol certainly has an well established positioning as germ protector hence it has every opportunity to extend towards other related/non-related products easily where the problem is common 'Germ'. Scotch Brite has toilet cleaners and scrubers yet people buy their almost monopoly in branded segment product i.e. utensil cleaning scrubers. It is upto RB now how they are going to portray dishwash and communicate towards the TG. I dont know why Dettol doesn't communicate 'Mission for Health' which is their motto in their communication.

  8. Dettol is already having a liquid handwash which people use after visiting the washroom... I dont buy ur argument completely

  9. I think that the Dettol's move of entering into dishwash cleaning was perfectly fine but entering it with the same name is the "Biggest mistake" it is committing. The day i saw the ad, i felt lost and was not able to connect the iconic brand"DETTOL"
    Being a marketing aspirant, i also surveyed 10 people from different backgrounds. 7 out of them did not like to see Dettol as diswash gel. Lets hope the rub-of effect of dish wash gel does not harm Dettol soap and antiseptic liquid..


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