Friday, August 03, 2018

Brand Update : Patanjali is making Colgate Confused !

Patanjali's Dant Kanti has really made the market leader Colgate in a tight spot. The aggressive promotions and the positioning based on Ayurveda has slightly dented the market share of Colgate. More than the market share, the Ayurveda push may shift the parameters on which the consumers decide on the toothpaste purchase. 

During the initial phase, Colgate tried to counter the Dant Kanti's challenge by strengthening the existing variant  Colgate Herbal and Colgate Salt. But that did not make an impact on the forward march of Dant Kanti. 
Colgate then used the flanker brand Cibaca to fight the challenger. Earlier, when the price warriors like Anchor and Babool challenged Colgate, the market leader used Cibaca to neutralize the threat effectively. This time, the same strategy was used by launching Cibaca Vedshakti which boasted of the natural content. The flanker brand was priced at almost 30% lower than Dant Kanti. 

The strategy seemed to have failed. Recently Colgate launched another variant Colgate Swarna Vedshakti in the Ayurveda space. This time the market leader is launching a direct attack on the competitor with the flagship brand. 
The variant is priced at a premium to the challenger brand. The new variant is positioned as a toothpaste that combines traditional with modern. 
The ads follow the testimonials from mothers to build authenticity to the brand. The current campaign is aimed at increasing the adoption of the brand. 

Now Colgate has two variants with the similar brand name ( or part)- Colgate Cibaca Vedshakti and Colgate Swarna Vedshakti with different prices. My hunch is that Colgate is migrating Vedshakti to the parent brand and may discontinue Cibaca Vedshakti in near future.
Colgate has realized that Dant Kanti is not about fighting on price. Patanjali is making the Ayurveda segment of the toothpaste market which was a niche in to a mainstream segment. If such a shift happens then Colgate's leadership position will be under threat. Colgate probably had done the right thing by fighting Dant Kanti with its flagship brand. 

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Kaytra : Interesting case of co-branding

Brand: Kaytra
Company: AVA Group

Brand Analysis Count: #583


Kaytra is an interesting brand story. The brand is from the AVA Group which is the owner of the famed Ayurvedic brand Medimix. Kaytra is a brand jointly created by AVA Group and the celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist Ambika Pillai. 


This is an example of co-branding and if you observe the logo, you can see the name of Ambika Pillai along with the Kaytra brand. It is not a unique case since Indian market has witnessed many such co-branding exercises. 

As a professional, Ambika Pillai commands a lot of respect in the market. Kaytra's brand promise is that it is created using the expertise of Ambika Pillai. The brand is positioned as a premium product with the personal endorsement from the celebrity hairstylist. 

The brand is now testing the waters in the Kerala market and according to media reports, the brand will be launched in other markets soon. Having said that, I have not seen the products in any of the supermarkets so far. Probably the brand is very selective in the distribution.

The advantage of Kaytra is that AVA Group has expertise in FMCG market and through Medimix has sufficient distribution reach. The second factor is that Ambika Pillai is personally vouching for the brand which adds a lot of power to the authenticity of the brand. The source of the brand equity for Kaytra is Ambika Pillai and her reputation.
On the promotion side, the creator has been able to get the endorsement from many of her celebrity clients and the brand is generating content about personal care in social media. Ads featuring Ambika Pillai is also aired on various television channels.

According to the brand website, Kaytra is the Sutra of good skin and good hair. Interestingly there is no tagline for this brand.

For a product in the hair-care space, the survival of the product solely lies on the tangible performance. Hope that the brand will live up to the expectations set by the creator. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

T-Shine : 100% Organic

Brand: T-Shine
Company: Jyothy Laboratories Pvt Ltd

Brand Analysis Count: 582



In 2017, Jyothy Laboratories ( JLL) launched a new product in the small but growing toilet cleaner market in India. Branded as T-shine, which probably is shortened version of Toilet-Shine, JLL is entering into a market dominated by Harpic.

JLL always launches the products with some uniqueness which has helped its brand beat large competitors. It launched Ujala in the liquid form, Exo with anti-bacterial properties which forced the market leaders to scramble for points of parity.
In the case of T-shine also, the USP of the brand is that it claims to be 100% organic. The Point of Difference is based on the allegation that the existing players in the toilet cleaner market use harmful acids which can cause respiratory issues.


 T-Shine claims that since it is 100% organic, it is safe. The market leader Harpic's USP is the cleaning capability. Harpic has been effective in communicating that to the consumer. Having a sparkling toilet is something of pride - as per the brand communication. Domex, the other major player has been focusing on killing germs. T-Shine is trying to create a separate identity focusing on the organic nature of the product.
With Patanjali also aggressively entering the space, we will see a slew of organic variant launches in this segment.                                                         


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Brand Update : Thums Up has a variant Thums Up Charged

In a surprising move, Coca-Cola launched a new variant for Thums Up celebrating 40 years of glorious challenging existence. The new variant is named Thums Up Charged. According to the company, the brand has more thunder in it compared to the parent product. 
Thums Up Charged is currently running the launch campaign featuring the brand ambassador Ranveer Singh. As we know, Ranveer Singh replaced Salman Khan in 2016. With the new brand ambassador, the brand had also changed the narrative. While Thums Up always had the theme of the protagonist chasing the product and doing what it takes to get hold of the product, the new theme completely destroys the core promotional theme by making the protagonist a superhero with the brand as a sidekick. 

The new variant also follows the same theme of the hero doing unbelievable stunts and brand is positioned as an enabler. The current ad is hyperbole at its worst and one wonders what the brand is trying to communicate. 


The act of racing in reverse gear is something I cannot comprehend even in my dreams. While the earlier campaigns featuring Salman or Akshay, there was hyperbole but in those ads, the fact that the stunts are done for getting the brand made sense. There Thums Up was the hero, not anymore. 

The logic of launching Thums Up Charged is also intriguing. What can be the possible reasons?
The stated reason is to expand the brand and fuel growth. Often brands use product-line extensions as tools for growth.  But the question is whether a brand like Thums Up needs a variant for growth. My understanding is that Coca-Cola never aggressively pushed for growth for Thums Up. The brand is so strong that it doesn't need a variant for growth, only focused efforts from the company are needed. 

A conspiracy theory from my side is that the company may be trying for a taste change for the brand. According to newspaper reports, the Thums Up Charged have a higher amount of caffeine which gives it more punch compared to the original one. The new variant will test the new taste and if the consumers accept the new taste, then slowly the variant will replace the original one in future. 

The performance of Thums Up Charged would be an interesting thing to watch for months to come. This summer would decide the fate of this variant and the future of original Thums Up. 

However, here is wishing a Happy 40th Birthday to Thums Up. 





Sunday, January 14, 2018

Veeba : Aaj Kya Khaoge

Brand: Veeba
Company: Veeba Food Service

Brand Analysis Count: # 581

Veeba is an excellent example of  forward integration. The company which is one of the major suppliers of salad dressings and sauces deciding to enter into consumer retail. The company is a major supplier for brands like KFC. 

In 2015, the company decided to enter into the consumer retailing of its wide range of sauces, dressings etc and in December 2107, Veeba made an aggressive marketing campaign across the various media.

 Indian food industry is worth $48 billion (source: Livemint) and is witnessing a lot of action owing to the changing demographic profile and a shift in consumer behavior. The relevance of a brand like Veeba is enhanced because of the shift in consumer behavior. According to this interesting piece from Best Media, Indian consumers are becoming foodies. Not only that there is a trend of experimental cooking at home but in that consumers look for convenience. 
The interest in the food is not new in the Indian market. However, we are also seeing an influence of West in the food habits which is also reflected in the home cooking part. Veeba tries to capitalize on this trend and one of the news report calls the products of Veeba as " enabler" which is a very good description of the brand. 
The brand campaign by Veeba correctly captures the value proposition of the brand. 
















The ad highlights two main value proposition of Veeba - Convenience and Variety. The brand has the tagline " Aaj Kya Khaoge " which translates to  " What will you eat today " gels well with the brand's value proposition. 
  I feel that as a brand, Veeba has hit the right notes to capture the attention of the consumers. The brand is also priced quite competently and is available in many supermarkets although the distribution is yet to reach its required intensity at least in my city ( Cochin). 
The brand's major challenge is competition. It is interesting that the owners of Veeba created the brand Fun Foods which was sold to the German company Oetker which is also in the same line of business. If you go to a supermarket, we can see a lot of brands jostling for space in this category. While Veeba has essentially created an attractive value proposition and brand awareness, the sustainability of this will be crucial to brand's success in future.