Friday, December 30, 2005

Royal Enfield : Royal Indeed

Brand : Royal Enfield
Company : Royal Enfield Ltd
Agency : RMG David

If you are searching for an Indian Icon which has survived the test of time, look no further , It is Royal Enfield.Established in India in 1955, Enfield is celebrating its 50 years of existence in India.
Enfield was born in Mid 19 the century in England. A firm named George Townsend established a small factory in Redditch Town in England for manufacturing Sewing needles.Later the firm started producing cycles and later motorcylces. In 1893, the products sported the name Enfield.
1931 saw the birth of Bullet. In 1935, the product acquired the modern look. Bullet was reintroduced in 1948-49 , redesigned byTed pardoe , Chief Draftsman of Enfield, England.

In 1955, the first factory was set up in India. In 1994 the company was acquired by Eicher and the company name was changed to Royal Enfield India Ltd.

The brand faced lot of problems all through its life in India. Bullet was always a Muscle machine. The product was the only power bike available in India and commanded a cult like following. Although the engine was not refined and produced lot of problem for the owners, it was treated with respect .
But along the time, Bullet lost its way. The company tried to play volume market and failed miserably. The reason being the product cannot be volume bike. It cannot be treated as an ordinary bike and required lot of care from the owners. Ordinary bikes can be treated roughly but not Bullet because if not cared, it can give lot of head aches for the owners.

Besides,the product had created lot of psychological barriers for the potential owners. The weight of the bike discouraged the skinny ones, the antagonistic gear/brake positions scared the rest. The kickstart needed powerful legs and so on..

Enfield realised this very lately. With new young blood (Sidhartha lal) in the helm of Royal Enfield, things are looking up.The company relaunched the brand with new communication and logo , corrected the flaws in the bike and repostioned the product.
The new launches of Bullet Electra and the cruiser Thunderbird and the introduction of electric start for the bullet were well received by bike enthusiasts. Bullet also changed the Gear/Brake in line with the ordinary bikes.

Bullet is now positioned as lifestyle bike not for the ordinary. It connects to the " pleasure of biking" and tags the masculine persona. The campaigns are well executed by RMG David and clearly communicates the stature of the brand among other bikes . It says " Every body makes way for the bullet". Thunderbird is launched as the cruiser bike and has already established its presence in this segment.

Recent Customer Satisfaction survey conducted by TNS auto division places Bullet in top order in customer satisfaction. This shows that the company has effectively spruced up the quality of this mean machine.

More over Royal Enfield also roped in Ravichandran from Bajaj as its chief executive. Ravichandran is well respected in the industry circle as a design specialist and marketing man.

Enfield has the iconic status in India and the company has put its acts together. We will see this brand reaching its deserving position in the Motorcycle segment in the coming years.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Old spice : Death of an Icon?

Brand : Old Spice
Company : Menzes cosmetics
Agency : Percept

This brand which is originally owned by P&G is a sad story of an Icon killed by apathy. Old spice is an international brand launched in India in 1969.
The first Old Spice product was called Early American Old Spice for women . It was introduced in 1937. In 1938, Old Spice for men were launched. Old Spice was manufactured by Shulton Co owned by William Schultz. Schultz developed Old Spice along the Colonial theme. Hence the nautical theme was chosen and Sailing ship especially Colonial Sailing ship was used the trademark. The Original ships that were used was Grand Turk and Friendship.

In 1990 P&G purchased the Brand from Shulton. The old ship was replaced by Sail boat/ Yatch in 1992.

In India from 1937 to 1993, the Old Spice was manufactured and marketed by Menzes Cosmetics Goa. Then P&G took over the brand and in 2001 again the brand was given back to Menzes cosmetics. In between the brand was licensed to Marico Industries but later the agreement was terminated.

Old Spice was generic name for After shaves in India. The cool Cologne and Lime fragrance was a run away success and the trade mark of the ship was unique. I still remember in 1990's trying desperately to find out collectible like lockets/ keychains .

Old Spice was positioned as a masculine brand with the baseline " mark of a man'. The advertisement was catchy with international models and thrilling themes.

But then something happened. The brand was put in the back burner. There was no marketing activity about the brand. No ads, No product launches, slowly the brand faded out of memory. Since there is no activity, the growth of the brand stopped and death of an Icon happened.

Still there are no successful Aftershave brands in Indian Market that can command the status of Old Spice of yester years. Old Spice had the potential to be an Icon. The brand was well known, the quality was good and there was some thing special about Old Spice and the Sail ship.

Now since the brand is back with the company that has launched it, let us hope that the brand revives itself. The void is still there. Neither Axe nor Gillette has the legacy of Old Spice.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Set Wet : A cool cool brand

Brand : Set Wet
Company : Paras Pharma

When I first saw the ad of Set Wet hair styling gel, I thought it was an international brand. Then the little" P" at the side of the screen revealed that the brand is from Paras Pharma. Paras is a company that dares to experiment and a smart marketer. Paras clearly identifies unmet needs and satisfies them effectively. Take the case of Moov and Itch guard, the successful brands from Paras which are leaders in their respective niches.
Set Wet is such a bold step . The brand which has already made people look up with its smart advertising aims to establish it self in the Rs400 crore male grooming market which is growing at a fast pace. The fact that 15-34 year old males are now earning big money ( thanks to IT and ITES), it is a market no marketer can discard.
Except for Gillette and HLL & Sara Lee ,there are no serious players in the male grooming market. Gillette while dominates the shaving products market, HLL created and owns the Deo market with AXE and Rexona.There was a brand OldSpice which was synonymous with after shave in India ( what happened to that brand will be dealt with in the coming blogs) The hair grooming market is dominated by Brylcreem from Sara Lee TTK. Set Wet is trying to compete head on with Brylcream which has a market share of 75% in the hair cream market.

Paras wants to have a brand in the male grooming segment and made a perfect start with Set Wet which has also been extended to perfumes. The perfume market is valued at about Rs1800 crore dominated by foreign brands at the upper end of the market.
Perfumes and deos were products that were not popular in India mainly because of cultural factors. We are not much bothered about the odour and bad odour was never considered as a taboo until HLL came and taught us that smelling bad is not good. The deo market saw a jump from 0 to 72 crores in just 24 months.
The void in the Indian perfume market gives tremendous opportunity for a product like Set Wet.The campaigns of Set Wet have an international look since we Indians consider any thing PHOREN as the best. Positioned as a Cool and naughty brand, Set Wet has a lot of potential.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dettol : 100% protection, Is the brand protected?

Brand :Dettol
Company :Reckitt and Benckiser
Agency: JWT

The brand has been well known for years. Dettol is Rs 300 crore brand of Reckitt and Benckiser formerly Reckitt and Coleman. Dettol is a 70 year old brand . Launched in 1936 as an antiseptic lotion, the brand became a generic name for antiseptic lotion similar to Xerox in Photocopiers.From its launch to 1980's the brand had a dream run with virtually no competitors. Having no competition is a problem, the growth will be stagnant.
During 1980's Dettol found that the sales are remaining stagnant, the reason being that the brand has its presence in most of the households but are seldom used . Hence the repeat purchases are not there.
Dettol had to expand the usage beyond cuts and bruises. Hence Reckitt and Coleman unleashed a campaign aiming to expand the usage of the brand to an all purpose antiseptic that can be used for shaving,rinsing, and as a general disinfectant.
Dettol have always been positioned as a 100% germ fighter with germ fighting and protection as the core value.
Since the antiseptic lotion market was stagnant Reckitt wanted to leverage the brand to other categories . Dettol saw over these years plenty of brand extentions. The first launch was the soap in 1990's. The initial launch was unsuccessful because the brand moved from core value of protection to love and care. Since the brand faltered in its positioning, failure was imminent.
The soap was again relaunched with positioning as " 100 % protection" and now have a reasonable market share of 12% in the premium category.

The next extention was in the form of liquid soap.The liquid soap category is only 12 crore worth but the hand wash category is expected to grow to 100 crore.
The brand also tried to extend to talc, band aid, and shaving gel but failed miserably in those categories.
Even as the brand is extending, Reckitt failed to strengthen the mother brand and faced competition in that category from Savlon.

Now Dettol is trying to make a foothold in the soap market with the launch of Dettol with moisturizer and glycerin variants. It has also launched a body wash recently.

This brand is a classic case for brand extention failures.We can see a brand struggling to find its place in the market. Some time success can be very disturbing. Xerox wanted to extend to computers but failed miserably. Similarly Dettol wants to do some thing with the brand because it was successful . Now after all these failures, still Dettol is trying with variants forgetting the core brand. I am not saying that you should not extend the brand, But don't do it at the expense of the mother brand . When an antiseptic brand tries to extend to a segment which is essentially cosmetic, it cannot compete with the major players on the cosmetic platform , what at best can happen is that the brand can exist as a niche brand extending its core value and creating a niche .

Monday, December 26, 2005

Johnson's baby soap: A trusted brand

Brand: Johnson's Baby soap

Company : Johnson & Johnson

Agency : Lowe

J&J is the market leader in the Rs200 crore Indian Baby Care industry. J&J India, known better for its baby soap is a part of the global health care conglomerate was established in India in 1947. in 1948 J&J launched the first baby powder in India. J&J 's parent company was established in 1886 in New Brunswick in Newjersy USA.

J&J has an impeccable tradition of social responsibility and brand building. The Tylenol case and Johnson's credo is a case study for the Ethics course in MBA programs.

In India, J&J has been the undisputable market leader in the baby care market with its soap, lotion and shampoos having virtually no competitors. The reason: No Indian brands were able to get the trust of the Mothers.Wipro tired its hand with the Wipro baby soft but could not make a significant impact on J&J's market share.

J&J was never complacent about the brand. Although it commanded superior or should I say it owns the entire category of baby care with share of more than 75%, J&J nurtures the brand with careful campaigns. The campaigns are touchy and reinforce the positioning of the brand as a premium baby soap on base of Mother-child relationship. The famous campaigns " papa ko kya malum" emphasis the fact that J&J knows that mothers decides ( know better ) about what is good for the baby.

J&J also have brought out many variants of the soap with different ingredients and scents. The recent Baby Soap with rich milk is an example. The brand is supported with smart advertising . The term "Johnson Baby" is used among the public to denote chubby looking babies -that is the power of this brand

Recently J&J have tried to extend its market not only to the baby but to small kids also. The recent campaign " skin same to same" is an attempt to expand the target market. The reason being since the baby care market is dominated by one player, the market is remaining stagnant. Hence to grow J&J needed to expand the market. So the positioning for this market will be " Skin soft as a baby skin". This brand shows the power of good positioning. Owning the " Mother-child relationship" is the best thing that has happened to this brand.

Not contet with the baby and kids, J&J is now trying to woo mothers to using the baby soap. To what extent this is going to succeed is another issue altogether. As long as J&J do not tamper with the successful "mother-child" relationship platform, any experiments is welcome. Hope Lowe will not bring a Father to the picture or ask Shah Rukh to endorse the baby soap.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Lifebuoy: Thandurusti hain vaham

Brand : Lifebuoy
Company ; HLL
Agency : Lowe

This is a brand that was launched in 1895. Well that is pretty old isn't it? Looking at the life of Lifebuoy is interesting for a marketing person.The brand has reinvented itself and that too successfully.

The brand was initially positioned in the health and value platform. Targeted at the male with a unique jingle " thandurusti ki raksha kartha hai lifebuoy, lifebuoy hai jahan thandurusti hai vaham". The campaigns showed footballer players and athletes using the soap and the jingle followed made it a soap for the male. The soap was brick red and carbolic ingredient with a unique smell (chryselic perfume) that distinguished itself from other feminine brands and making it the largest selling soap brand in the world

In the year 2002 the company changed the positioning and I would say a historic decision. The brand was no longer a masculine brand. The brand was repositioned as a family brand.The brand was no more carbolic, the perfume changed and new ingredient Active B which eliminate harmful germs was introduced. The campaign was " a pretty girl who was teased for having a pimple then after using Lifebuoy Gold, retorts I don't care" was an instant hit among the public. The company maintained the health platform but targeted at the family so that the brand usage goes up. It was a risk that no marketer will take for a brand that was there for 100 years. HLL have to thank god for surviving that repositioning.

2004 also saw another repositioning for the brand. The target was the "discerning housewife" and the positioning was " health protection for family and me".
The new campaign by Lowe was right on target and still does not dilute the age old positioning of Health and freedom from germs.

The brand personality also changed from health to warmer , versatile and socially responsible. Hll have also given this brand a rural thrust through its CSR initiative " Lifebuoy Swasth chetana". UNICEF under its health initiative have found that the habit of using soaps to wash hands can reduce the chance of diarrhea among the kids dramatically. UNICEF needed 150256 soaps and HLL agreed to supply it. Now 70mn families and 18000 villages are covered under this initiative.

This is a unique brand that have survived the test of time and "ideas of marketing professionals". Still when I see lifebuoy, that jingle keeps singing in my mind
" Thandurusti ki raksha kartha hai Lifebuoy,
Lifebuoy hai jaham
Thandursty hai vaham

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pepsodent : Dishum Dishum

Brand : Pepsodent
Company : HLL
Agency " Lowe

Pepsodent was launched in 1993 by Hll to capture the market from Colgate. Launched in the platform of Germ fighting property, Pepsodent now have a marketshare of 17% in the Rs2200 crore oral care market.

Pepsodent have experimented with its positioning althrough its life. Initially Pepsodent was launched in the highly successful "long lasting protection for hours after brushing" platform. In 1999-2000 Pepsodent tried to fight the market leader Colgate by shifting to Benefits of germ fighting rather than Process of germ fighting. But the positioning failed and Pepsodent had to come back to the old positioning by 2001.

Pepsodent included the germ indicator to its pack in 2002 followed by an innovative Dental Insurance campaign which reinforced the germ fighting position.

HLL was trying hard to break the fort of Colgate which was holding a massive 45- 50% market share in the oral care market.Although Pepsodent and Close Up had together around 32% of the market , it was not enough. Then came the regional brands like Ajanta and Babool which really made a dent in the market share of the leaders.

Hll struck back with the famous Dishum dishum campaign ( that won many accolades for the agency). The insight for this campaign was that Mothers were really worried about the eating habits of their kids. From that insight came the Big Idea " let Pepsodent fight germs for You". The campaign and the smart pricing virtually killed the regional brands in the oral care market.

Pepsodent knew that they should expand the total market of tooth paste and decided to increase the market by increasing the usage of the product. Thus came the Bhoot campaign that is currently on air.
Pepsodent aims to teach the kids to brush at night ( with Pepsodent ofcourse) .Research shows that brushing teeth at night can reduce chances of tooth decay by 30%.
If HLL to be believed, 12 lakhs kids are brushing teeth at night now and mothers are happy

Pepsodent is a brand that has been carefully crafted although it struggled to find its soul, now the brand is all set to take off.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Whisper : shhh....

Brand : Whisper

Company: P&G

Agency : Leo Burnett

The female personal hygiene market in India is in a nascent stage. The market size is estimated at around rs 425 crore , some say$44mn.

The market is dominated by 3-4 players P&G, Johnson & Johnson , Dabur and Gufic. The product comes under low penetration product types. Since Indian women are not used to such products, the penetration is low but potential is high taking into account the increasing literacy and media reach. The segment commands a high brand loyalty.

Majority of the category customers still use home solutions like clothes rather than use an expensive sanitary napkin.

However J&J created this category with the launch of Stayfree during the early 80's. The heavy media investment along with the J&J endorsement opened up a new category. Stayfree was undisputed leader  till the launch of Whisper.

Whisper was launched in 1989 and  now account for 42% share in the sanitary napkin market in India. The brand is positioned as a premium brand. 

During the early years of launch, P&G had two responsibilities 1. educate the ladies about the product 2. Promote the brand.

The marketing of Whisper is a classic case of Brand building .The initial ads were striking ones featuring mother talking about educating the daughter about using sanitary napkins

.The communication was very sensitively planned since this product is something that we Indians seldom discuss in public. The campaigns was successful in erasing the stigma attached with these kind

 of products. Napkins were positioned as a modern hygiene way of protecting your lifestyle even on " those days" the ads said..

P&G has brought out lot of variants in this product trying to expand and create some waves in the market which is otherwise a dull market. Whisper is now giving  stiff competition from Stayfree from J&J. Stayfree is the market leader in this category. It is credited with creating the sanitary market. But the success has made this brand complacent. 

Whisper changed the game by investing lot of money in brand building. It brought the category out of closet and added a sense of  premiumness into the category. 

 Now Stayfree is trying to corner whisper in the price. Whisper is now being forced to bring out less priced variants. Since the market is growing , at present there is lot of room to play around. Recent reports also suggest that the brands were able to penetrate rural market also.

The brands in this category face the issue of low penetration. The customers are still shy about discussing these products that creates lot of hinderance in the category growth. 

Picture/ad source : Afaqs

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tide : Neat strategy

Brand : Tide


Agency; Leo Burnett

Tide is the largest selling detergent brand of P&G worldwide. Tide was launched with much fanfare in 2000.

Indian detergent industry is estimated to be around Rs5000 crore and is dominated by the marketing giant HLL. P& G although was in the Indian market for a long time was not a serious player in the detergent market. But when the Indian market opened up and the economy began to prosper, P&G could not resist entering the Indian marketin a big way. As always MNCs are too proud of their brands that they want a premium from the consumers. Here also ,Tide was launched as a premium brand and as usual got a luke warm response from the value conscious Indian consumers. P&G had to settle with a miniscule 8 % of the detergent market.

Then came 2003 and the price war started and now there is no premium brands in the detergent market in India. The price war enabled P&G to popularize the brand and increase the penetration. Although HLL and P&G did not increase their marketshare because of the price cut, the overall market size increased because the regional players lost their share to these giants.

P&G had a serious problem after the price cut because there was a chance of cannibalizing between Ariel and Tide because there was no significant differentiation between the two brands.

Now Tide has found its formula, the same global positioning as a Detergent that cleans perfectly. So using whiteness ( safedi) as a base Tide has now unleashed the campaign highlighting its whitening power against HLL's Rin which has the same positioning.

The campaigns has a desi touch and well executed. The pricing is competitive and hence HLL is forced to rope in none other than Big B to defend Rin.

Through the new strategy Tide aims to capture the safedi segment while Ariel will fight Surf in the Color segment.

A marketing fight worth watching....

Monday, December 19, 2005

Complan: Complete Planned Food

Brand : Complan
Agency : Leo Burnett

Baseline : Extra growing power

Complan is a major brand in the 1200 crore malted beverage segment in India. A brand once owned by Glaxo was acquired by HJ Heinz in 1995. Heinz is a $9.2 Bn conglomerate that has operations in 200 countries and is famous for its Ketchups.

Complan has always been positioned as a Complete Planned food with its famous baseline " I am a complan boy : I am a complan girl"
The market for malted beverages has been stagnant for a while. But recent years it has been seeing some activity, the reason being that Indians are forced to be health conscious. Complan also found itself to be stagnant in terms of market share. The researches found that although the brand is established and popular among its users, the brand is not growing because it failed to attract new users.
This can be dangerous because a brand can sustain only if it is able to attract new users to its fold. Hence Complan changed its promotional strategy from targeting the existing users to attracting new users. The baseline was changed to " extra growing power" and ads were mainly targeting the non users of the product.

The change in the positioning is also due to the increasing competition from Horlicks and other GSK products in the segment.
Complan have also launched Complan: Family , a variant aiming at all members of family as a part of expanding the target market. Another interesting strategy was the launch of Complan sachet priced at Rs5 for 15gm complan . I am little confused at the exact purpose of the sachet launch , may be they want to explore the bottom of pyramid

Complan has been an established brand in the Indian health drinks market.The brand was carefully positioned and nurtured by its owners. With the competition getting hot all the time the brand is reinventing itself . It will be worthwhile to watch the fight of David And the Goliaths in this market .......

Friday, December 16, 2005

Air Deccan : Simplifly

Brand : Air Deccan
Agency : Orchard India ( unit of Leo Burnett)
Baseline : Simplifly

Launched in 2003, this low cost airline of India has changed the Indian Aviation industry for the better. Dominated by government owned airlines and one private player in Jet, Indian aviation never had been in the mind of the Indian middle class.

Then came the visionary Capt.Gopinath with a ( crazy ) idea of a low cost airline for the masses. The large airlines shuddered at the prospect of a low cost airline in the country. How can any one forgo the monopoly. But It happened.

It was disheartening to see the reports that Air Deccan's maiden flight caught fire and was grounded. I bet the bigwigs in the airline industry were very happy at that tragic incident ( no serious mishap happened but it was a terrifying incident for the company) . I wrote off the airline at that time but Capt. Gopinath did not or infact he could not. He had a dream and he could not just write off that dream ( Am I being Dramatic ?) .

Air Deccan is modeled in the lines of low cost airlines like South West airlines (a Harvard case study ) which was the only profit making airline during the slump that followed 911. There was a huge market for a low cost airline in India. The overall economy was shining and middle class was spending money and executives were traveling frequently.

Targeted at the frequently traveling middle class, Air Deccan is now a force to reckon with. After 2 years, Airdeccan has discovered a viable pricing model and has revolutioned the industry by offering tickets at Re 1 and Rs 500.
Having tasted success in domestic market, Air Deccan is going international through its subsidiary in Srilanka .Deccan knows that Indian officials will not favour the Airdeccan going global so it choose to go via SriLanka.

AirDeccan always tried to explore new markets and now is targeting the First class train travelers.

Although there are many noises about the service as such , we must understand that the prices are really low and it takes lot of effort to keep it that way.
Hats off to Air Deccan.....

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bajaj Discover : Discover the positioning!

Brand : Discover
Company : Bajaj
Agency : O&M

Bajaj has been on a roll these days and if the stock valuations are any indication of firms performance, then Bajaj is Bachchan of two wheelers. It had been an interesting story of Bajaj , interesting in the marketing and strategic point of view of how a company which thrived during the closed economy has evolved to a dynamic company in a free market economy.

The brand has evolved from " Hamara Bajaj" TO " No one can beat a Bajaj" TO " Inspiring Confidence".
Rahul Bajaj , the Part time Chairman of the company has been instrumental in facilitating this change from a Fuddy Duddy image of a scooter manufacturer to a dynamic young M/Cycle manufacturer.

Bajaj which was proudly known as world's largest manufacturer of scooters in the nineties found to its surprise one day that Indians now don't like scooters, they like m/cycles. Bajaj first thought it is not possible. How can people who once waited for 3 years to get a scooter can think of buying a m/cycle. But ultimately numbers proved the point. Bajaj no longer mattered in the new scheme of things. Hero Honda is the leader in the motorcycle segment (which was once dominated by Yezdi, Enfield and Java) and scooter sales are coming down.

Bajaj still believed that things were as usual, people prefers scooters, m/cycle is just a fad, no one can beat a bajaj ...... but ..,

Once Bajaj has realised that Indian consumers have changed, It has to change and it changed for the better.
Bajaj came with a series of M/Cycle launches but it took a long time before Bajaj could establish itself in the M/Cycle market. This proves the point that as a marketer, you cannot take customers for granted no matter who you are.

Pulsar helped Bajaj to establish itself as a serious player in the Indian M/cycle market. Bajaj had failures in establishing its presence in the executive segment where Hero Honda's splendour rules .

Hence Bajaj launched Discover DTSI with much fanfare. The brand ambassador was none less than the legendary Jackie Chan. Things were perfect for a bestseller. But has Discover delivered?

Still No.
Partly because Bajaj is still struggling with the positioning of the brand. The same mistake was done with Caliber. Bajaj is trying to sell Discover by its looks. But then the new commercial suggest something else. The new commercial with a Harry Potter look alike is well executed but has no marketing significance. What is being communicated to the customer ? Just like the Hoodibaba campaign involving cartoon characters which actually killed the product, Discover campaigns are based on Fantasy.

It will be helpful for Bajaj if it realises or rather study its target market.
" M/cycles are used by adults above 18 educated and the product is M/cycle that is used for transportation" Bajaj knows this more than I do, But then how can you sell a Motorcycle to an Adult based on fantasy?
Bajaj should decide on which platform Discover is going to be placed at. Is it going to be sold as a stylish bike or performance or both?
Positioning has to be realistic and should differentiate the product from the competitors. That is theory and it works also.
Here M/cycle cannot be sold on the basis of some fantasy or cartoons, Bajaj should realize that. Discover had a dream launch. If Bajaj fails to capitalize on that then this product will be another Caliber .

Bajaj can relax for while because Hero Honda's new bike Achiever is also poorly positioned and campaign stupidly executed..

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Liril : Bring back the Liril girl

Brand : Liril

Company : HLL

Agency : Lowe

If you are looking for a case of an iconic Brand that is going to be killed by poor marketing strategy , look no further, here is Liril for you.

Launched in 1975, the year I was born, this is a brand that built a segment or should I say category for it self in the Indian market. The brand is also the testimony to the genius of India's Ad man Alyque Padamsee. This is what he says about the Liril Brand

The name Liril had been registered by Hindustan Lever from a list sent to them by Unilever in London. Levers were very keen that the soap have striations, wiggly stripes of different colours running across the tablet. I recommended the tablet be blue - because waterfall is blue with white striations. Hindustan Lever was very excited and produced 1,000 tablets for testing.
At this point Derk Wooller, the Marketing Controller of Hindustan Lever's soaps division, stepped in and suggested we add the freshness of lime to our story. He felt that though the waterfall had tremendous emotional appeal, Liril needed a rational ingredient to clinch the deal. I was not averse to this but suggested that we do an `As marketed' test: Blue Liril versus Green Liril with limes. I was wrong and Wooller was right. The rest is history."
Alyque Padamsee in his book A Double Life.

The brand was a run away success and the Liril girl became the talk of the town. The brand has

beenconsistentt with its communication and the effective use of brand imagery. Further on brand imagery can be found in this article , visit

Liril was positioned on the freshness platform right from its birth. The girl and the waterfall with the unique jingle ensured that the freshness is experienced by the audience. Liril can be called as an experiential brand and the communication perfectly supported that.

Liril did not change its positioning for 25 years although the models changed, the brand communication was consistent. Then some nut in the company or the agency thought that they should change the communication that worked so effectively. The rest as I say it " Liril became history".

Liril has changed the imagery and the jingle in the name of freshness .The new jingle or the ad never had that freshness. That is why Liril had to change the Ads twice with in a span of five years. Mind you Liril never changed its imagery or the Jingle for 25 years...

Reports say that Liril had to change because of its stagnant marketshare. I think there are reasons for declining market share which can be that the brand failed to understand the changing consumer expectations. There was a flurry of brand launches during the past 10 years and Liril was sleeping all the time " may be resting on the laurels" . It should have hold on its positioning of ' freshness " not by changing its communication but by communicating more, developing variants, bringing in flanking brands or variants and thus owning the whole segment for itself.

But it never happened , Liril tried to introduce the Icy mint variant very late and that too with a different jingle and imagery. We knew that the Old Liril had died. HLL could have used the same communication strategy . Then came the horrible experiment of Orange Liril with a stupid Jingle OOFYUMMA.... excuse me what the hell is that?

The product failed. Then came the new campaign involving a couple and a new jingle " La-ira -ela", the ad was good but where is liril ?

Like Onida , Liril has to come back with the old imagery and old jingle that made liril what it Is ( or WAS?) [ It is a prediction].

When it does that consumers will take the brand to their heart .

Laaaaa lalalala laaa ...................

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tata Indica : Truly more car per car

Brand : Tata Indica
Agency : FCB Ulka
Company: Tata motors

Baseline : more car per car

India is a lucrative market for automobile manufacturers. If we believe the fancy numbers floating around regarding the industry size, this is a market no one can ignore.

Fighting with all the big names in the auto industry is our very own Tata Motors.

Let me be patriotic and say " we have done it". We have our own Indian Car: Indica.
Well You may say that the design was outsourced from IDEA ITALY so this is not 100% Indian. I would say that Tata's are smart so they outsourced it.....

Any way as hypocritic as we are by birth, although we say " sare jahan se acha " , we were ruthless towards Indica. Everyone looked down upon this car from Tata talking about all the negative points about the performance and writing off this dream of an Indian to build an Indian car.

Despite the initial setback with Indica, Tata motors reworked on the engine and relaunched Indica as Indica V2. Now indica is the second largest selling car in India.

Indica is positioned as a value for money car. I have said in my earlier blog that this is a proposition that will always work on Indian consumers, provided the promise is delivered.
Indica delivered its promise. It promised that it will give more car per car and delivered that.

The success of this proposition had an interesting side effect ( positive of course). Tatas have discovered its vision : deliver more value at a reasonable price. The recent launches prove that Tatas have imbibed this "value for money " proposition . The latest products like Safari Dicor and Indigo give many features which were seen only in premium cars.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Colorplus : consistency pays

Brand : Colorplus

Agency : Rubecon

Company : Raymonds

Colorplus was launched in 1993 by Colorplus Fashions which was a unit of Coimbatore based Ambattur Clothing Limited.

It was launched at a time where no global brands were seriously exploring the Indian market. I would say that no serious branding effort was there in place during that time . The ready to wear segment was in a nascent stage.

Colorplus as a brand now has an iconic status in the readymade segment.The brand which is carefully crafted and brilliantly communicated is the perfect example of brand management.
Rajendra Mudaliar, managing director, and Kailash M Bhatia, CEO has been clear on what the brand is and how this is to be communicated.

In 2003 this brand was acquired by Raymonds. I thought that the communication and brand strategy would change but to my pleasant surprise , it is the same. Thank God...

The brand falls under the Smart casual segment in the ready to wear market with its presence in South and west Asia. In this era of celebrity endorsement , this is a brand which uses no celebrity , and Colorplus is always the star. The brand is exposed through careful media selection and you never see a TVC of this brand. The copy and the layout is ever so consistent and the ads has maitained a classy look throughout its existence.

Seen only in premium publications and business magazines reveals that the brand is clear about the target segment.

Raymonds by acquiring this brand has now entered the premium casual wear segment which is now fast growing. With Parx at the lower end and Colorplus on the premium end, Raymonds is hoping to gain a major foothold in the Indian ready to wear segment in years to come.

Hope Raymonds don't mess up this brand...........

Friday, December 09, 2005

Ford Fiesta : Go Fida, excuse me GO What?

Brand : Ford Fiesta

Agency : JWT

Base line : Go Fida

This exciting new powerhorse from the Ford Stable is set to hot up the Indian automobile scene.
Ford has tasted its success with its josh machine which is considered as a stylish and powerful car which is priced sensibly. Then the entire market witnessed a large number of product launches and the competition was carving in to Ford's market. Hyundai with its aggressive marketing was able to beat Ford with their Accent .

Ford is fighting back with the launch of Fiesta.
Fiesta is priced aggressively at around 6lakhs is set to capture a fair share of the market.

As usual Ford is also relying on the bollywood stars to sell its car an this time roped in Abhishek Bachchan to endorse the car. The campaign is executed by JWT.
Regarding the campaign, I have my own reservations. I know hindi but the term Fida is strange to me, so it will be for the entire south indian market. josh although it is an Hindi word, south indian languages also have similar words. but Fida is a real strange word. Only yesterday I came to know that it meant "mad about something" .............well fine....
Ford will have to spent some money on teaching the Non hindi speaking consumers about the main positioning statement " Go Fida"
Marketers should be careful about the positioning statements and its linkages with the market. It is important that they understand a diverse maket like India with 17 odd major languages and million dialects. So does it make sense to have a positioning statement that is simple and could be understood by the target market.
Fiesta will be successful because it offers excellent value for money proposition, the one and onluly one proposition that works in India, but for the campaign and positioning , I have my doubts

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Onida : The Devil is Back

Brand : Onida
Company: Mirc Electronics
Agency Rediffusion

I am celebrating the Return of the devil, still wondering why it was taken away in the first place. I was in my teens when they launched the TV with a " devil" . The marketers predicted doom for the brand but the devil clicked.

The Devil was originally created by Mr gopi Kukde of Avenues in 1982. It was a welcome break from the boring TV industry. If I remember correctly, Onida was the first brand to advertise in Television, ie TVC about TV in TV.

The brand had a wonderful time and was in the top three brands in marketshare behind BPL and Videocon. Then the Koreans came and rest is (Became) history. Onida had a fair chance to succeed when the koreans came to the Indian market. Onida was perceived to be a vibrant brand with technological superiority.

Then Mirc electronics decided the switch the agency to O&M.The creative hotshots there convinced Mirc that Devil is outdated. Hence the company changed from the famous " neighbours envy, owners pride" to some thing that i dont remember. What a tragedy......

Here is a time tested and successful positioning statement and a mascot that was so wonderful but it was changed for no reason what so ever. Then the newspaper reports quoted the agency telling that people resented the " neighbours envy" part so they have to change it... it was a lie.

O&M used some funny creatives like two elderly women using TV to terrify some young thing walking through the street. It was the death of a brand. The brand never recovered . Its market share dwindled to abysmal 5% in the late 90's.

2001 marked the return of the devil and the account shifted to Rediffusion. The consumer surveys showed high recall of devil even after 2 decades. The devil has to come back and it came in style.

The first devil was acted out by David Whitbread who was a model coordinator. he played devil for 14 years

The new devil is Matrix insprired and sports a contemprory look. Played by actor Rajesh Khera, the devil now is rocking. Onida which has recovered its market share to 12 % is aggressively playing on the marketing game. With a slew of product launches and careful segmentation, the market is opening to the devil. Onida is careful in positioning itself as a technologically superior premium brand although the prices are very competitive. It has launched the Poison brand which is a premium brand and Oxygen , Black and KY for the value for money segment.

In this Rs 10000 crore crowded market ,Onida has struck the right positioning .

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Clinic All Clear : Clear about what it does.

Brand: Clinic All Clear

Agency : Lowe

Baseline: No dandruff No hairfall

Indian Shampoo market is estimated to be worth Rs1200 crore and is hotting up like anything.

This market has long been HLL fort and with a market share of around 55-60%, HLL was the king. The major brands being Clinic Plus - Positioned as family health brand

Clinic All clear -positioned as anti-dandruff

Sunsilk-- positioned as conditioner shampoo.

With P&G getting aggressive in the Indian FMCG market which is estimated to be around Rs 50000 crore with aggressive product launches and price wars, we are now seeing marketing in practice.

Globally P&G has been the market leader in the haircare segment. In India it was not able to replicate its marketing success. Having a share of only 15-20 %, P&G is now concentrating on building the market share and HLL is feeling the heat.

Hll has been working on the best selling Clinic Plus brand with lot of noise in the media. From Shah Rukh to Shahid, the brand was promoted by film stars. Hll also gave a regional touch by roping in Madhavan for the south as its brand ambassador.

But in the Anti dandruff segment, P&G 's Head & Shoulders was the leader with a market share of 35-36% followed by the brands of HLL. HLL having sensed that more growth is in the Anti-dandruff market has launched Clinic All Clear with a variant "Hairfall Defense" with a new packaging and positioned on twin benefit of Less hairfall and no dandruff.

HLL also roped in Bipasha and John Abraham to endorse the brand with the communication executed with perfection by Lowe

The communication was followed with a 360 degree brand building exercise with presence in the Web, contest in association with and events featuring brand ambassadors. Hll has also relaunched a beautiful site for the brand which was designed to catch the young with lot of games and forums.

HLL has put their marketing power behind the brand and expects it to deliver and I feel that it will.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Great Horlicks Challenge

Brand : Horlicks

Agency :JWT

Company: GSK.

A 135 year old brand com constantly reinventing itself. A case of marketing common sense in action. Horlicks has long been the favorite health drink of India.
The brand commands 54% market share in Indian Health Drink industry which is valued at around Rs 1300 crore.

As always the brand which was successful was perceived to be a "boring brand" ( that is what the literature says). May be the reason was that there was no significant change in the look of the brand in terms of communication and packaging for a long period of time. So marketers who think that a brand has to constantly change itself inorder to maintain interest in the mind of the customers, were not at all impressed.

Then as usual , the competition increased. The major competitor "Complan" from Heinz stable began to experiment and create noise in the market. So the sleeping giant has to wake up.

Horlicks was positioning itself with nutrition. It had a strong nutritive association for very long period. GSK decided to extend this nutritive association and the communication was changed from "Great Family Nourisher to " pleasurable family nourisher". GSK began to introduce different
flavours ( choco,vanilla, elachi) trying to create excitement in the customers. The packaging has been changed to a much more colourful and funky bottle.
Lot of noise was made in the media with some meaningless blabbering " Apang Opang Japang" aimed at kids.

Then GSK thought about tapping the aged also. Horlicks lite was launched with lot of ad support featuring Boman Irani. Horlicks lite is a sugar free drink targeted at the health conscious /diabetic people. This is a good marketing move since this segment is fast growing and Horlicks have the advantage of a positive brand image.

The recent aggressive campaign of Horlicks features the new positioning " Now proven-Taller,stronger sharper" aims directly at Complan- which is now focusing on non drinkers.

The campaign is done in association with National Institute of Nutrition and features a " clinical trial" on 869 kids of age group 6-16 yrs. One group was given Horlicks while the other a placebo. The result is that the Horlicks group were more taller stronger and sharper than the control group.

Although there is a scope for controversy about this campaign, it is going to take a lot of work from Complan to counter the threat of Horlicks " new challenge"

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Colgate Dental Cream : ye hai hamari suraksha chakra

Brand : Colgate Dental Cream

Agency : Rediffusion DYR

Colgate has been ruling the Rs 2200 crore oral care segment for long with a market share of over 50%.

The flagship brand of this multinational giant is The Colgare Dental cream which alone has a market share of 35%.
The toothpaste segment can be divided in to three segments : white, Gel and herbal based on the product characteristic.

Colgate had enjoyed higher market share all through the years despite stiff competition from the likes of HLL and a host of regional brands. But the gaint shed its lethargy and stood up, fought the war and won.

When Colgate was enjoying its leadership position in the market, HLL successfully entered the market with a googly. It created a new segment with Close- up gel. While using Pepsodent to fight the Colgate Dental Cream (CDC), it created a market for itself with the gel that came in funky colours and excellent advertising.
Every marketer has then signed Colgate off saying that it cannot fight with the marketing giant HLL.
But colgate struck back with the launch of Colgate fresh energy gel and the famous campaign " TALK TO ME" starring the charming VJ Purab that stole the gel category from HLL .

Close up never recovered from that blow.

Then the multinational faced the onslaught of regional brands like Ajanta , babool that gave these guys a run for their money by selling toothpaste for ridiculously low price .These regional brands quickly gained market share from these MNC,s and a lot was written about the rise of regional brands.

Colgate and HLL responded to this threat by coming out with low priced flanking brands. Colgate launched low priced Cibaca to counter the regional brand while HLL had Aim to counter it.
The current figures show that the regional brands are finding it difficult to sustain the market share.

Colgate' s flagship brand CDC had consistantly positioned itself in the germ fighting platform. It had the famous " suraksha chakra " platform from where it had built its brand to this level.

All marketers know that it takes lot of smart thinking to keep the brand alive in a market. So Colgate launched many variants to ward off threats from the niche players and adapt to the changing tastesof the market. For example, it launched the herbal toothpaste when every one talked about the efficacy of herbs. The came the advanced whitening formula to fight the threat from Pepsodent whitening variant

The latest addition is the Colgate with power of active salt. The brand is developed after a careful study on the customers: the company says. Colgate undertook a study of a "day in the life of a customer" that gave lot of inputs about the customer's trigger and touch points.

As of now it is great going for the brand