Thursday, July 09, 2020

Cadbury Chocobakes : Cadbury inside

Brand: Cadbury Chocobakes
Company: Mondolez

Brand Analysis Count: 596

Ever since Mondolez International took over Cadbury, the brand has been on a roll, coming out with variants and new products. From a corporate umbrella brand, Cadbury had become an umbrella brand for all chocolate related products under Mondolez.

For a confectionary brand, brand architecture can be tricky and often confusing. This is because, one has the tendency to leverage the equity of a powerful brand at the same time, give enough room for various sub-brands to grow. We have seen that in the case of Diary Milk, where this brand has now become a family brand endorsing sub-brand- Silk and an innovative co-branding product with Oreo.
Mondolez in 2019 forayed into the biscuit market using Cadbury. The new cookie brand was named Cadbury Chocobakes which in a way is a new journey for the Cadbury brand. The Chocobakes brand was launched in the chocolate-filled cookie category which was pioneered by Sunfeast's Dark Fantasy Chocofills brand. 
The success of Dark Fantasy may have motivated Mondolez to extend the Cadbury brand into cookies since the chocolate inside made a perfect case for the extension of the Cadbury brand into biscuits. 
In 2020, Mondolez made another surprising move to enter the Rs 2000 crore packaged cake category with the Chocobakes brand. The brand has launched a choco-layered cake in 2020. Thus from a single product brand, Chocobakes within one year became an umbrella brand and in line to come a category brand endorsing further products in the cookies and cakes category. 

Both the products are positioned using the proposition " Cadbury (chocolate) inside" where these products derive their equity from the parent brand Cadbury. It makes perfect sense since Cadbury has such strong equity and connection with chocolates. 
This brings into the concept of products as platforms. Gone are the days where products are treated as a standalone entity with limited extensions and variants. The rising costs and lesser product-lifecycles are forcing firms to look at faster ways to bring the products to the mind of the customers. When a brand becomes successful, marketers are trying to leverage the equity by extending it to multiple categories. Products and brands are becoming more like platforms that facilitate multiple product- launches. The downside of this is the confusing brand architecture and often forgetting to strengthen the parent brand whose equity is being milked by a number of products across various categories. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Brand Update : Neutrogena drops its fairness range

In an interesting move, Johnson&Johnson decided to drop the fairness product range from the Neutrogena brand line. Launched in 2005, Neutrogena wanted its share in the $450 mn fairness market in India but failed to catch up to the market leader HUL. The brand relied heavily on celebrity endorsements to gain traction in the market. 
According to news reports, J&J's decision to drop the fairness range is due to the growing pressure from the activist groups which consider fairness products as unethical products trying to exploit colour-based discrimination. The fairness product category has always been on the wrong side of marketing ethics. Activists feel that these products embed the seeds of colour-based discrimination and thus be banned. However, marketers feel that they are fulfilling a need of the consumers to look fairer and there is nothing unethical in that. This debate has become more prominent among the mainstream media with the recent racial discrimination issues that happened in the USA. The debate forced many marketers to relook their personal care portfolio through the lens of discrimination. 
Recently HUL also decided to remove the mention of fairness on their flagship brand Fair and Lovely. 
Marketers cannot be fully believed in what they say. The current actions can be another marketing move aimed to project the ethical side of these brands and owners. However, it is good to know that marketers are responding positively to the ethical issues raised by activists and reinforces the fact that the impact of society and activists group have a greater impact on marketing than ever before. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Brand Update : For Savlon, Ownership changes everything

Since the launch of Savlon in India as early as 1993, the brand has struggled to become a mainstream brand in any of the segment it aspired to enter. Launched as a fighter brand against the market leader Dettol, Savlon couldn't make a sustained fight against Dettol. Even the brand owner Johnson & Johnson's equity did not help Savlon.
Then in 2015, the brand changed hands in India. ITC took over Savlon and the landscape changed to the brand. 
ITC had serious plans for Savlon and expanded the product range by launching sanitizers, liquid handwash etc which not only increased brand visibility at stores but also gave the brand entry to emerging categories in the personal hygiene segment.
The Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be a big boost for the brand because of the huge demand for sanitizers and handwash products. Savlon leveraging ITC's strong distribution network was able to make big inroads into the consumer's choice set.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Kopiko : Anytime , Anywhere

Brand: Kopiko
Company: Mayora 

Brand Analysis Count: 595

Kopiko is a simple brand. It is India's popular pocket coffee candy brand. I was surprised to know that Kopiko is an international brand that too from Indonesia. The brand derives its name from the name of a Hawaiian coffee bean (Wiki). Kopiko was launched in India in 2008 and since then it has been a favourite candy brand. According to a report, Kopiko was the second-largest selling hard-boiled candy in India in 2017 with a sale of more than 350 crores. 

The brand has a simple proposition - it tastes like real coffee. That simple proposition and actual deliverables are what can create a good brand. And Kopiko was found to be delivering its promise and the brand was successful in gaining a fair share of the market.
India is a coffee-loving nation and that also has benefited the growth of this brand. There is competition for Kopiko in the market such as Coffy Bite which is a coffee flavoured confectionary but it is not a hard-boiled candy. Indian confectionery market is worth more than $1 billion and the market growth is more driven by the hard-boiled candy segment. 

Kopiko has been running various campaigns highlighting its major value proposition. Watch the new campaign :

The new campaign further extends the positioning by talking about the main benefit of coffee ie to keep awake. The advertisements of Kopiko is simple and straight forward and it conveys the brand's propositions well. The brand so far has not been adventurous in launching extensions or variants, which makes sense for such a simple brand. Internationally Kopiko is available in different coffee flavors. 

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Brand Update : Fair & Lovely extends to soap again !

It was to happen and it happened (again). Fair & Lovely extended itself to the soap category. The creator and the market leader of fairness cream category have put a brave new front into the highly competitive and cluttered soap market. Although F&L created the fairness cream category, it was Godrej Fair &Glow who first created a fairness soap product. It is often seen in the marketing world, that pioneers often find themselves missing opportunities in related categories. 
It is not the first time that F&L is launching a soap. The first launch was in 2015 and then somehow nothing happened with the product in the market. 
In late 2019, the brand relaunched the soap extension as if nothing happened in 2015.
In a marketing perspective, the soap variant takes a dig on the competitor Fair & Glow by creating parity on the 'glow" proposition. The soap is promising glowing skin and the fairness promise is there from the parent brand. The launch ad is in line with the overall F&L positioning.

The soap is priced in line with market and this can be considered a masstige brand which is a strategy where the product is aspirational but priced reasonably so that a larger segment of customers can afford to purchase. 
Through extending the F&L, brand HUL is trying two outcomes. Firstly it wants to leverage the existing equity of F&L in the soap category. Secondly, HUL wants to reinforce its supremacy in the soap category by covering the entire category and not leaving any gap for the competition to take advantage. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Happenstance : Extreme Comfort Engineered

Brand: Happenstance
Company: Mosons Enterprises

Brand Analysis Count: 594

Happenstance is a new brand of footwear launched recently. The brand is making a lot of noises in the social media which interested me to further look into the brand's background. Although little is known about the brand owners, from the website it is found that the brand is owned by Kerala based Moson's Group. 
India is the third-largest footwear consuming country in the world with estimated market size of INR 32000 crore. 75% of the market is dominated by the unorganized sector. Since this is a crowded market, it takes a lot of effort to make a significant foothold in this market. 
Happenstance is primarily depending on the social media space to create a mark in the mind space of the consumers. And celebrity endorsement is often the preferred route for establishing awareness, especially for a new brand. 

Happenstance launched itself using high profile endorsements from celebrities like Sushmita Sen, Radhika Apte, Rajkummar Rao in their campaigns. The theme of the campaign focuses on testimonial theme to drive the brand's strengths to the consumers. Happenstance means coincidence and is quite an unusual name for a footwear brand which itself is a curiosity building element.
The brand is built on the positioning of comfort. Happenstance achieves this positioning through the smart use of two trademarked ingredient brands - Fluffium outsoles and Buoyance footbeds. The brand also smartly uses the concept of "engineering" to build authenticity to the claims. Happenstance uses the tagline " Extreme Comfort Engineered " which adds to the positioning. 
The social media promotion by the brand is done through a large number of influencer posts across the various media. Youtube is full of reviews and unboxing of the brands by fashion bloggers. The brand had also used traditional media to a certain extent featuring celebrities and fashion models. 

Footwear is an experiential product and the user's perception towards the brand's claims will vary. However, the brand has done its initial homework pretty well and the challenge is to keep the momentum going. A problem with celebrity-driven marketing is that while the celebrity helps the initial brand pull, brands often find it difficult to sustain the momentum without such expensive promotions in the long run. Comfort based positioning is currently unexplored in the market where most of the brands are talking about style. While Happenstance has identified the positioning gap, it has to be seen how the product performance takes it to the next level of growth. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Brand Update : Reid & Taylor in trouble

A brand which once made a mark in the Indian luxury men's wear ( worsted suit category) is now in deep trouble. Owing to a large amount of debt of the parent company SKNL, the brand is on the block for sale and the company is facing bankruptcy proceedings. 
Reid & Taylor is a Scottish brand which is reported to have a rich legacy of 180 years. However, a google search on the parent brand yielded no results. 
The brand which was launched in India in 1998 had a good run in the Indian market backed by high-power advertisement campaign featuring Amitabh Bachchan. The brand then went on to expansion too fast trying to cover the large Indian market primarily through exclusive brand outlets. 
One of the mistakes that the brand made was to chase volume when the product is an expensive one. This strategy contradicts itself since volume game cannot be played in the luxury segment. So when you want to expand in the market through exclusive outlets, the company need to ensure that the franchisee will get the return either through high margin or high turnover. In the case of Reid & Taylor, the high cost of expansion from the parent company created a cash crunch which impacted the promotion which in turn affected the sales. 
Now the situation is such that SKNL case is pending with the NCLT and there are several suitors interested in taking over this once-famous brand. 

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Vicco Vajradanti : Reinventing Itself

Brand : Vicco Vajaradanti
Company : Vicco

Brand Analysis Count: # 593

Vicco Vajradanti was one of the first products of Vicco which started its operations in a single room at the house of Sri Keshav Vishnu Pendharkar. Sri Pendharkar was a staunch believer of Ayurveda and wanted to create and popularise ayurvedic products in India. He started a small company named as Vishnu Industrial Chemicals Company in tribute to his father. This company later become popular as VICCO.  
Vajradanti was a toothpowder form in its early days and when the market shifted towards toothpaste, the company began to produce Vajradanti in the toothpaste form. Vicco Vajradanti quickly gained acceptance among people who were more inclined towards ayurvedic products. The brand was positioned as a true-blue ayurvedic product. 
Although the brand had a rich heritage and used to promote the products regularly, the toothpaste remained a niche player in the highly competitive market. Vicco was never an aggressive player in the market and slowly and surely, the brand failed to catch the attention of the new generation of customers. One should not forget that this brand was the pioneer in the sponsorship of television programs in India. This brand also was the first in putting their ads in video cassettes. 

This year, the brand is making a relaunch of sorts with the roping of Alia Bhatt as the brand ambassador. The new tvc features Alia and the famous jingle which made the brand famous. 

What the brand aims to do is to bring back the nostalgia using the old jingle and at the same time use the brand ambassador to appeal to the new generation of customers. 

The celebrity endorsement in recent years is being viewed as a panacea for all brand problems. The usage of celebrity in campaigns have become a norm which has in my opinion, commoditised this strategy.
Celebrities, if not used carefully is nothing but a glorified replacement of models in these advertisements. 
Same here in the case of Vajradanti. What best the brand can hope for is a quick dose of brand awareness in the market. To be fair to the brand, it needs a truckload of brand awareness to fight the high decibel war being fought on the toothpaste market especially in the ayurvedic segment. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Indigo Paints : Be Surprised

Brand: Indigo
Company: Indigo Paints

Brand Analysis Count: 592

Indigo paints recently is making a lot of noise in the media with a high profile brand endorsement by the Ace cricketer M S Dhoni. The company which was born in 2000 is aiming to be a major player in the highly competitive Indian paint industry. According to news reports, the Indian paint industry is worth INR 40,000 dominated by Asian Paints, Nerolac, Berger paints etc. Around INR 10,000 crore is dominated by unorganized segment. 

Indigo paints is now a small player in this industry with a turnover of around 600 crores. Market leader Asian Paints have a turnover of INR 16500 crores. The company which started with lower end cement paint is now repositioned itself as the maker of innovative paint solutions.

The brand's strategy was to initially generate brand awareness for which it has chosen the celebrity endorsement route. MS Dhoni was roped in as the brand ambassador. What the brand did was interesting. Along with the brand ambassador, Indigo Paints also created a character Zebra which represented the brand. The ads feature humorous interactions between Dhoni and the zebra which makes the ads interesting. The concept of giving human-like characteristics to non-human entities is called anthropomorphism. 
Many brands use anthropomorphism to build brand personality. Here Indigo paints use the animated zebra which gives the brand a character of vibrancy. The zebra also balances the ad with enough representation for the brand. 
Indigo paints is running a series of ads familiarizing the customers with the range of products like exterior emulsion, floor paints, ceiling paints etc. The campaigns along with the presence of Dhoni is definitely helping brand in its effort to build brand awareness. 
Unlike Asian Paints, Indigo does not now have sub-brands. The brand has the tagline " Be Surprised" which in my opinion is a disconnect with the brand's products. Regarding the positioning, Indigo is focusing on the product performance saying that it is a better paint. So the message is more functional rather than emotional. Probably over a period of time, Indigo paints will move to better positioning in future. 
The paint market is a tough market with a lot of influencers. The painter, the retailer all have a significant influence on the purchase decision of the consumer. Indigo paints is definitely making its presence felt in this market in terms of advertisement visibility. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Brand Update : 5 Star wants you to do nothing !

For now, Ramesh and Suresh are retired from 5 Star advertisements. The duo which gave a different narrative to the brand has kind of becoming boring because of familiarity. The duo can be hated or liked but could not be ignored.
This year, the brand has launched a new campaign in line with the earlier positioning of " Getting Lost in the taste of 5 Star". The new campaign which is humorous enough has the narrative of getting lost but a twist in the message -" It is good to do nothing"

The challenge faced by established brands like 5 Star is to be interesting and relevant across time. Since there is little scope for product-changes, the only variable is advertisement theme and positioning. While frequent positioning changes are not advised, these brands need to always deliver fresh creative campaigns. 
The new ad achieves the purpose of freshness and the new positioning platform is cheeky and has the steam to run a few seasons. The current advertisement story is not unique but the execution is very good. What I liked is the cheeky tagline " Eat 5 Star, Do Nothing". In a way, the brand has a competing narrative to KitKat which is based on having a break.