Sunday, June 08, 2014

Brand Update : Pond's extends to male category

Pond's has been traditionally viewed as a feminine brand. More so because of the products that the brand endorses. Starting with the cold cream, the brand has moved to various skincare segments. In a recent move , HUL has decided to launch Pond's skincare products aimed at men. 

The first product to be launched was the men's face wash. The variant or rather the brand-extension was launched with the upcoming actor Varun Dhawan as the brand ambassador.
Watch the ad here : Pond's men's facewash 

The ad is predictable and compares the brand to a battery charger for the face. Pond's men's facewash has the tagline " Face ka charger" and touts coffee bean's extract as the USP.

According to AC Nielsen, the male grooming market is estimated to be Rs 4000 crore and skincare is the biggest growing category with around Rs 443 crores ( Source). Hence the launch from HUL make sense.
Whats puzzling is why HUL decides to launch a predominantly feminine brand like Pond's for this opportunity.
Ideally (IMHO) HUL should have launched a brand exclusively for men's category instead of extending a Rs 1000 crore brand from a feminine category . Ofcourse Nivea is doing the same thing but doesn't mean that HUL which has the capacity to launch new brands should not launch a new brand. 

My argument is that Pond's will not be able to bring in lot of masculinity into Pond's without hurting the parent brand's persona and will always be constrained by the parent brand's perception. Since the market in question is so huge, HUL has wasted an opportunity to launch a powerful brand exclusively for men. It already have brands like Denim, Aramusk etc which could have been used for this opportunity. Why Ponds ?