Thursday, June 06, 2013

Engage Deo : Couple Deodorant !

Brand : Engage
Company : ITC

Brand Analysis # 526

When a company like ITC launches a product, there is anticipation that the product will be remarkable and will make significant impact on the category in which it is launched. Because of the size of ITC and the marketing power it has, most of the time, the brands do make an impact on the category . Brands like Sunfeast, Fiama etc has proved the marketing acumen on ITC.

So naturally when news spread that ITC is foraying into the deo space , such an anticipation is natural. ITC entered the Rs 1400 ( approx) crore Indian deo market with its Engage brand recently. The launch ads are right now on air. The launch campaign however was disappointing because I expected something unique and different from the rest of the deo brands. But surprisingly, ITC chose to play the same theme which the rest of the deo players are following - the so called " Chemistry " between men and women which is apt for an ad for condom rather than a deo.

Engage is being positioned as India's first ' couple deodorant'. I really don't understand the concept initially but the brand's microsite offers some explanation. These deos come in  three pairs ( hence couple)-Rush ( Male & Blush ( Female), Mate ( male ) and Spell ( Female) and Urge ( male) and Tease ( Female). What I don't understand is whether consumer can only buy these in pairs ( pun intended) ?  And what is that the company is intending to convey ? Is it targeting the married couple who would be buying the pair and thus showing love to each other. What happens if husband like Urge and Wife loves Blush ?? 

The launch campaign was a big dampener . The brand is positioned on the bases of " chemistry between the couples " . The ad mentions that " Love Has An All New Language " which probably is the positioning platform of the brand. However, the romance or attraction or chemistry is the most used theme of all the deo brands and Engage sadly failed to differentiate .The focus on " couple deodorant" also will add trouble to the brand since it may restrict the brand's target segment . Another differentiator is the design. ITC has brought in some freshness in the bottle design that will encourage some trial for the brand. 
Watch the ad here : ITC Engage Deo
I think, ITC has rushed into the launch without creating a powerful differentiator. The brand is now launched as an ordinary deo brands that promises  attraction of opposite sex. The Indian deo market is witnessing commoditisation because there is hardly any difference between the brands either in product or in communication. Fogg brand has moved up in the market giving a run-for-money for market leader Axe because it chose to speak in a different language. Engage sadly failed to offer anything new.