Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Brand Update : Axe finally respond to competition through Axe Signature

So finally a response from HUL to competition. After being relegated to No.3 in the deo market by Fogg and Wildstone, Axe finally launched its answer to the competition- Axe Signature Collection Deo.
It was surprising that HUL which is supposedly the best marketing machine in India took so long to respond to competition. Its almost a replay of the Nirma- Surf episode where the market leader was slow in responding to local competition eventually to find itself dethroned as  the market leader. HUL (in my opinion ) was very slow in reacting to Fogg's entry into the market with the No-Gas proposition. The result is that Axe has been beaten down to number 3 in the market.

Now HUL has responded with a variant branded as Signature Collection. The basic USP is the variant is 3X times more perfume. The brand has the tagline " Don't Fade Away" 

Axe Signature is running its campaign across the channels. The television commercial retains the seduction proposition but is now subtle with that message. The message the new variant is pushing is the long-lasting fragrance. 
Watch the ad here : Axe Signature

The " Don't Fade Away " proposition is smart because that idea is different from the current market leader Fogg's no-gas USP. So Axe is now telling the consumers that it is better than others because other fragrances fade away. The packing resembles Fogg Black Collection cannot be wished away as a coincidence.
Although the message is nothing new, Axe has executed the campaign nicely.
Priced at Rs 225, Axe has priced this variant lower than the competition. 
The entry of Axe into the no-gas segment has market as shift in the market dynamics. The no-gas segment is now growing at 30% and is already worth around Rs 250-300 crore in the Rs 2500 crore deo market. This segment which is now named as body-perfume segment is where all the action is. 

The launch of Signature is expected to arrest the growth of Fogg and Wildstone. Since this is a launch from Axe, old loyalists are bound to try it. Rest is all dependent on the delivery of the promise. 

Positioning Sharing : Axe Signature's long lasting fragrance proposition is not new, the brand Set Wet deo already has the same positioning ( Watch the ad). 
Long-lasting is a widely used positioning. Across various categories brands has been using this positioning and the novelty and believe-ability of this positioning has come down drastically. Pepsodent ( dishum-dishum) , Amaron ( lasts long really long) Colgate Total are some of the brands that share the same positioning.