Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Monkey 555 Brooms : Branding a Commodity

Brand : Monkey 555 brooms
Company : Vibhava Industries, Hubli

Brand Analysis Count : # 523

It takes lot of guts to venture into branding a commodity. It requires more than guts to brand your product as Monkey 555. Meet a unique brand " Monkey 555 " - brand of broom sticks which the company sells nationwide. 

I was surprised to see the ad of a grass broom brand on the back-page of a leading Malayalam weekly . The brand name was too loud to be missed by anyone. The offer was buy a broom and get a dust-pan free. This evoked lot of laughter from the ladies at home.

The brand name of Monkey555 is very unique and I am sure there will be some story behind that name however when one starts advertising this brand, it evokes some amount of laughter.There was a period in Indian branding scene where companies used the name of animals and birds as brand names. Eg: Robin Blue, Camel, Kiwi, Lion Dates. Even now firms use such names as Mango , LMN etc so why not Monkey !
Probably this Quirky name may benefit the brand in creating " stickiness" or awareness.The logo of the brand is a monkey sitting on a brand with a broom .  The picture of the ecstatic lady with the broom adds to the fun.All these, although seems funny, makes this brand a little different. Sometimes being funny or quirky is the best way to break the clutter.

Brooms are a  commodity. No one really cares what brand of brooms that they buy. Although I have heard ladies at home complaining about the broom's quality, purchase of brooms were never on brands. Ofcourse, there is a new set of household mops from the likes of 3M which is carving a niche in the market.
In my home state Kerala, the popular brooms were made from Coco- sticks. But increasingly the coco-stick based brooms are being replaced by the grass brooms especially for use inside the home.
Monkey 555 brooms are priced at around Rs 55 which makes it expensive compared to other brooms. The brand has tried hard to convince the customer about the quality of the broom through the copy in the packing. One blogger has written a funny piece on the same ( read here)
Monkey 555 boasts that it is made of the finest " Garo Hill Grass" which refers to the place in Assam and North-East where these grasses are cultivated in plenty. Secondly the brand talks about quality handle which is perfumed !. Monkey 555 also claims to be the largest selling grass-broom brand in India .
What ever said and done, Monkey 555 is a bold move indeed. The brand may be releasing one or two such campaigns ( or ads) but it is sufficient to create the awareness and probably the consumer may chose this brand from the market when the need arises.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Brand Update : 7 Up , I feel Down !

7 Up's 2013 commercial is undoubtedly the worst campaign I have seen in the recent times. Especially the ad featuring Kathakali - which is a very revered art-form of my state Kerala.
This feeling has been shared by many of my friends who felt that the art-form was cheaply depicted in the advertisement. Ofcourse the creatives who did the ads have every right to do their stuff but it should make some marketing sense . I felt bad not because of any soft-corner for the artform but the ad makes no sense at all. 

Watch the ad here : 7 Up Kathakali
                              7 Up Japanese Ad
The brand has been losing its charm these years and is struggling for finding a meaningful mindspace. The last campaign was featuring the bollywood actor Sharman Joshi . The brand is right now having the tagline : 7 Up : I feel up.

The current campaign is plain amusing than anything else. Both the Kathakali and Japanese ad does not convey what the brands aims to communicate. Its sad that a brand like 7 Up can stoop to such a creative low when competition is too hot.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

B'lue : At Your Best , Hamesha

Brand : B'lue
Company : Danone Narang Pvt Ltd

Brand Analysis Count : # 522

Danone, the French foods major has launched a new product in India branded as  B'lue. B'lue is a restorative water drink enriched with proteins and minerals. With the launch of B'lue, the Rs 10,000 crore packaged drinking water market is going to see the emergence of a new segment.
The bottled water segment has more than 3300 registered plants manufacturing this product. The branded segment is lead by Bisleri followed by Kinley and Aquafina. 
 The popularity of the bottled water among the Indian consumer has prompted the market to explore the possibility of fortified water based drinks. These drinks have the advantage of " healthy" tag since it is devoid of any additions compared to the bevarages like colas.

B'lue hence can be termed as the first brand to nationally launch a water based restorative drink. The brand is running a campaign across television channel featuring the celebrity Vir Das.

Watch the ad here : B'lue ad

The ad positions the brand as a drink that makes you alive, restores the freshness naturally. The brand  is  launched in two flavors - Apple and Guava.The brand has the tagline " At Your Best , Hamesha".
The price of B'lue is Rs 30 for a 500 ml bottle.
The challenge for the brand is to convince the customer to see value in spending Rs 30 for a " small bottle" of water. Why because, the brand has taken membership in the category of " Water" hence naturally there will be comparison with the ordinary 1 litre bottle which costs Rs 15.
The USP of the B'lue is that it is water-based and is fortified with vitamins and minerals. The target group would be the upwordly mobile consumers who would like to have something more than just bottled plain water . 
B'lue would definitely create a new segment in the other wise boring bottled water market. The young consumers would take a look at this product although the product is priced steeply. The dampener is that the competitor can kill this brand's first-mover advantage by launching a flavored water at a lower price. The current positioning of B'lue doesn't seem to justify the premium and offers room for competitors to move in and kill this brand by predatory pricing. " Fortified with minerals and vitamins " is a claim that can be made by any marketer and thus B'lue lacks a defendable sustainable advantage against competitors. B'lue could have invented some formula or ingredient brand and promoted that as the USP rather than the generic 'vitamins and minerals 'stuff.
With many major beverage marketers have announced interest in the value-added bottled water segment , this will be an interesting segment to watch.