Friday, December 29, 2006

Maruti Gypsy : RIP

Brand : Gypsy
Company: Maruti Suzuki

Brand Count : 182

Gypsy was one of India's first sports utility vehicles. The vehicle created a breakaway category of SUV offroader from the existing jeep category which was dominated by Mahindra. Born in 1985, the brand was considered as an aspirational one by many young at hearts.The brand was positioned on the basis of its ruggedness. The brand was promoted as a pure offroader. The ads used to say that Gypsy could even climb trees. The positioning was reinforced by the success of the brand in rally and offroad events. Maruti also promoted such events to boost the brand as the ultimate offroader. The brand had the tagline of " There is a Gypsy in Everyone".

But the brand failed to capitalise on the first mover advantage although it is still considered to be one of the sportiest looking SUV in the Indian market. The brand is now confined to certain niche markets like Police and Army vehicle segments.
Gypsy was the rebadged version of Suzuki Jimny. Although Jimny is still surviving, Gypsy is in the last stage of its product life cycle. The brand which pioneered the offroader category sadly is dying when the SUV category has started growing. The brand failed because of the apathy of the company in investing in the brand. The product had inherent problem that created negative word of mouth and the company didn't cared to look at the negatives of the brand.
Gypsy although considered as a tough vehicle lacked many important attributes valued by a customer. The driving quality and the mileage was awful. The product was priced at a ridiculous premium which was not justified interms of the delivery of value.
The brand was priced at around Rs 5 lakh which is comparable with a entry level sedan.The product although looked excellent outside was a mess inside. The vehicle lacked space and comfort especially for the rear seat. It had all the qualities for an offroader but failed to understand that Indian consumers use offroaders on roads ( cities).The mileage was awful and that ensured that only those who fall head over heals over the looks only will buy this brand . Since MUL at that time was in the public sector, the brand was sold to Police and army. For the ordinary consumers, the brand did not made any sense.
Gypsy also did not change itself in tune with the changing industry requirements. The vehicle initially was severely underpowered for an offroader. The company enhanced the power from 975cc to 1300 cc only after 11 years. Gypsy King was launched in 1996 sported the more powerful Esteem engine but was priced steeply.
The last four years has shown that SUV category is growing very fast fuelled by the success of the likes of Mahindra Scorpio. Most of the global bigwigs in the SUV segment is now there in India. Suzuki also has launched its brand Grand Vitara in this segment. But in the current scheme of things, Gypsy was sadly not in the picture.

Compare the picture of the Suzuki Jimny (given in the blog) and Gypsy and see the difference. Had this brand changed its looks and feel in tune with the emerging category requirements, Gypsy could have been a major brand. But Alas.... the brand's fate is to be cited as an example of Marketing Myopia or is it Marketing Laziness.,wikipedia

Related Brands

Tata sierra

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Market Statistics :Volume 2

This is the second volume of market statistics:

Organised shoe market size : Rs 93 billion

Premium shoe market size : Rs 2000 crore

Sports shoe market size :Rs 400 crore

Carbonated Soft Drink Market size : Rs 5000 crore

Powdered Soft Drink Maket size :Rs 90 crore

Milk Food Market size : Rs 1000 crore

Soft Drink Concentrate Market size : Rs 250 crore

Shaving Preperation market size : Rs 150 crore

Steel storewell market size : Rs 800 crore

Fairness Market size : Rs 1000 crore

Mouth wash market size : Rs 35 crore

Breath Freshener market size :Rs 110 crore

Adult confectionery market size : Rs 1100 crore

Diary market size : Rs 5500 crore

Organised diary market size : Rs 500 crore

Greeting card market size : Rs 250 crore

Household cleaner market size : Rs 400 crore

Phenyl market size : Rs200 crore

Organised cleaner market size : Rs 40 crore

OTC market size : Rs 7500 crore

Pain and Rub market size : 300-400 crore

Tetrapak fruit drink market size : Rs 300 crore

CSD market size : Rs 700 crore

Deo market size : Rs 150 crore

Organised Luggage industry : Rs 600 crore

Total Luggage Market size: Rs2000 crore

Soft luggage market size :Rs 600 crore

Moulded Luggage market size : Rs 500 crore

Cycle Market size : Rs 2800 crore

Ceramic Industry : Rs 2800 crore

Processed Milk market size : Rs 10,000 crore

Branded Atta market size: Rs 700 crore

Agarbatti Industry : Rs 1000 crore

Vacuum Cleaner market size: Rs 350 crore

Worsted suit market size : Rs 2000 crore

A/C market size: Rs 3000 croe

Domestic Mint market size:Rs 170 crore

Ready Made market size : Rs 40 Billion

Antacid Market size: Rs 220 crore

Sanitary Market size: Rs 750 crore

Organised Sanitary Market size : Rs 360 crore

Sugar Confectionery Market size : Rs 1200 crore

Denim market size: Rs 9000 crore

Perfume market size: Rs 85 crore

Insurance market size : Rs 400 billion

Pension plan market size : Rs 1000 crore

Condom market size : Rs 110 crore

Baby oil market size : Rs 250 crore

Baby care market size : Rs 3 Billion

Household insecticide market size : Rs 1300 crore

Related Story:

Market statistics Volume 1

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Spinz : Fragrances That Transform

Brand : Spinz
Company: CavinKare
Agency: Rubecon

Brand count : 181

Spinz is India's very own brand of perfume. The brand once the market leader had lost out of the race at one point of time is trying to make a comeback in the fiercly competitive Indian market. Spinz was launched in 1997. The brand was an instant hit in the Indian market was strongly associated with fragrance.
Indian perfume market is small with a value size of Rs 65 crore. The market is tough for account of following reasons.
a. The penetration of perfumes in abysmally low at less than 1% even in the urban market. The low penetration accounts for the fact that Perfumes do not figure in the priority list of most of the Indian consumer. Here in India, body odour is not a taboo. People don't feel embarrassed if they smell bad. They don't even bother to check whether they smell bad or not. Although this psyche is slowly changing : thanks to the effort of Deo marketing companies.

b. The astronomical prices of perfumes often discourages the Indian consumers to indulge in this category. Although there are many perfumes ( local) which are low priced, most of the well known brands are priced out of reach of ordinary Indian consumer. The low quality of the low priced perfumes, often create a negative feeling on the Indian consumer about the value proposition in this category.
c. The grey market and spurious brands act as another deterrent for the consumer.There are fakes of all the well known perfume brands available at every corner of the country. Hence there is no guarantee that the brand which has been bought is a fake one or the original.

CavinKare saw opportunity for a brand that was reasonably priced and ensured good quality to the consumers. That gap gave birth to the Spinz brand. Spinz was positioned on the basis of fragrance. The brand also lived up to the positioning and offered exciting fragrances but priced reasonably. The brand also experimented with packaging. Cavinkare was the first firm to popularise sachet in shampoos ( Velvette was owned by Cavinkare's founder's father). The company tried to make perfumes affordable by introducing sachet perfumes for a price of Rs 10. The company also introduced one time use sachet for Rs 2. All these efforts was to increase the penetration of the category as such. The brand also tried to create a Spinz day to popularise perfumes. Feb 12 was marketed as fragrance day but that initiative did not became that popular.
Buoyed by the positive response of Spinz perfumes, the brand extended itself to talcum powders. The Indian talcum powder market is worth around Rs 650 crore is dominated by Ponds from HLL. Spinz talcum powder was positioned on the same platform as the perfumes. The brand has its stronghold in South India.
Spinz perfumes faced lot of problems during early 2000. The reports suggest that the brand faced lot of packaging issues that prevented it from further growth. In 2005, the brand was rejuvenated. Cavinkare has put new vigour into the brand. The company has roped in South Indian Film actress Ms Asin to endorse the brand. In the new avatar , Spinz is being positioned as a young cheerful modern bubbly brand. The brand retains its positioning based on the fragrance.The brand has enough space to grow because of its excellent value proposition.

Related Brands
source:businessline,cavincare website,magindia

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Brand Update : Pepsodent

Pepsodent has come out with a new campaign taking the war into the Colgate's main positioning platform. The new campaign has done away with the famed "Dishum Dishum" campaign and is talking to customers in a more rational platform. The Brand is positioned on its capability to fight 10 gum/teeth problem directl y comparing with its arch rival Colgate. The new campaign is using two smart boys betting on the efficacy of their respective toothpastes. Colgate has been in an aggressive mode recently with a slew of new variants and new campaigns. Pepsodent has carved out a niche in this highly competitive market with their "DishumDishum" campaign.The new direct comparison ad is set to make the marketing war hot.

Related Brands

Close Up


Friday, December 22, 2006

Maruti Esteem : Welcome To The Big World

Brand : Esteem
Company : Maruti Suzuki
Agency: Lowe

Brand Count: 180

Maruti Esteem is one of the best selling cars from the Maruti's portfolio. The car created the C class segment in India is known for its quality and reliability. Esteem was launched in Indian market in 1995.

Esteem is actually the rebadged version of Suzuki Cultus. The previous avatar of Esteem in India was Maruti 1000. Maruti 1000 was the 1000 cc sedan launched in 1989. Although the car was well received by the consumers, there were certain issues interms of Power and ride comfort. This prompted Maruti to take out the model from the market. This paved the way for a much powerful and refined sedan from Maruti with the new brand name Esteem.

True to its name, Esteem was considered an upmarket luxury car during the early ninetees. The car lived up to the expectations of the consumer and delivered excellent performance. The mid nineties turned the tables against this brand. All the global majors began to eye this lucrative segment and the competition became severe for the brand.

The high profile launch of Ford Ikon and Hyundai Accent took the gas out of Esteem. As usual, Maruti was reluctant to make any drastic changes to the best selling Esteem. The car retained its same look for almost 15 years. The entry of the fully loaded Tata Indigo also made the life of this brand very difficult. The car from its position as a market leader in the C segment became " An entry level sedan". The launch of Baleno in the segment further weakened the position of Esteem in the hierarchy. Baleno was launched at the premium end of the segment but the recent price cut and dealer offers put Baleno at the same league as the Esteem.

I am not sure about the previous positioning of Esteem . For customers it was a good car from Maruti. I would say that it was a sedan which anyone can buy with their eyes closed. The brand had tremendous equity and was a natural choice for an Upgrade for a Maruti Loyalist. So this brand was the choice of a Zen owner as an upgrade.The excellent quality ensured high customer satisfaction for this brand. Esteem was always rated high by JD Power satisfaction surveys. The quality of the product was the single reason for the successful extension of the brand's lifecycle.

Esteem was a good package, hence the company was not sure as to the USP or the Point of Differentiation. Whether it was power or comfort or looks or quality , this confusion was evident in the ads of Esteem during the nineties. While the competing brands had their own USP's
Ford Ikon focused on Power
Indigo on Value
Fiesta on Looks etc

The confused positioning diluted the brand equity of Esteem and made it look like a second cousin to Ford Ikon. The value proposition of Esteem was challenged by Indigo and the overall comfort and drive quality was challenged by Hyundai Accent.

2004 saw the reincarnation of Esteem .The entire car got a new look. Taking cues from Baleno, the car was changed completely. The company embarked on a new positioning " Fall in Love Again" on an emotional platform. The car looked better and was a welcome change from the old much seen look of Esteem. But again the ads were little too boring .

2005-2006 saw the brand striking the " Big Idea" .The new positioning was formulated. The brand is a Big Car.... Big on mileage, Big on Power etc. The campaign has the common theme of a father and daughter with the daughter discovering the " Bigness " of the new esteem. Although I have reservations about the execution of the campaign , the " Big" Idea is really a "Big Idea".

The brand is now revealing its true self. The tagline says " Welcome to the Big World" . The TG is those looking for an upgrade. The audience will be the die hard Maruti fans and those who don't want to take risks. The positioning cements the realisation that the position of Esteem will be in the Entry level C segment.The brand faces stiff competition from Indigo interms of value proposition.

Related Brand
Ford Fiesta

Source ; Businessline,,wikipedia
image courtesy: maruti website

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Louis Philippe : The Upper Crest

Brand : Louis Philippe
Company: Aditya Birla Nuvo

Brand Count : 179

If you want to know how to create a brand, Study this brand. Louis Philippe can be termed as a brand which has an iconic status in India. The brand was launched in 1989 and it created the super premium segment in the Rs 5000 crore men's readymade category.The brand originally belonged to Madura garments and was later acquired by Indian Rayons ( now Aditya Birla Nuvo)

The brand has satisfied all requisite parameters for a successful brand. The brand element, the segmentation, positioning and the promotions were perfect. The brand when launched had a clear vision. The launch coincided with the liberalisation although the later played minimum role in the brand's success. Louis Philippe was obsessed with quality from its birth itself.The brand used the finest cloth and the craftsmanship was exquisite. The brand is the first to launch international fashion trends in the Indian market.

The brand is known for its craftsmanship and attention to detail. The brand has a life that beats the other brands by miles. Those ardent fans of Louis Philippe will vouch for the life of the shirt. After repeated washes, seldom this shirt lets you down.It is this value that had captured the minds of the Indian consumer.

Louis Philippe was positioned as an aspirational brand. The brand element, Crest has now become a symbol of success. You wear the shirt with the upper crest, you make a statement of being well dressed. Seldom brands achieve that status.
The brand initially positioned as "Signed Designer wear" later extended the positioning to create a sense of exclusivity. The brand became the symbol of being " Arrived". The premium pricing and the exclusive Brand element reinforced the premium image of this brand.
Louis Philippe also made sure that it offer maximum value for the premium it charges. The brand uses only Suvin, Egyptian or Pima Cotton. The brand is also the first to launch iconic collections. The Black and White Collections (1996) and the super premium Gods and Kings (2003 ) ensured that the fans are excited about the brand. Gods and Kings range is priced 100% premium over the other premium brands.Another blockbuster product from the brand's stable was the PermaPress range of 100% wrinkle free shirts which became a huge hit with the executives.

The brand primarily relies on print ads in magazines for promotions .The first ever TVC was created in 2000 carried the message that the brand is unreachable for " lesser ones". The print ads were carefully drafted and in all the ads, the brand was the star and not the models. Initially the brand was primarily known as the shirt brand but later it easily extended itself to become a complete menswear brand. The brand faces tough competition from the likes of Van Heusen, Colorplus, Park Avenue, Zodiac ,Reid and Taylor and the list goes on. The future for this brand will depend on how it will stay afloat in the increasingly crowded market. Readymade markets have little entry barriers. Any marketer can enter this market with a brand. This can create issues such as sustaining the differentiation and staying in the minds of the customer.

Related Brands

Indian Terrain
Monte Carlo
John Players
Peter England
Reid and Taylor

Source: Superbrands,,agencyfaqs
image courtsey: Superbrands,agencyfaqs

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Brand Update : Maggi

Maggi it seems have found success with the Atta Noodle variants. Following the success of its vegetable atta noodles, Maggi has come out with another variant Maggi Dal Atta Noodles with Sambar tastemaker.Personally I didnot like the taste of Atta Noodles. The new variants has effectively silenced the criticism that Noodles are bad for health. The new variant is being promoted heavily these days.

Related Brands

Monday, December 18, 2006

Vanilla Coke : Wakaw

Brand :Vanilla Coke
Company: Coca Cola
Agency: McCann Erickson

Brand Count : 178

Vanilla Coke was touted as the greatest innovation since Diet Coke in 1983. It also has the distinction of the greatest flops after the New Coke. Vanilla Coke came with a bang in the Indian market in April 2004. It went without much noise in 2005.

The history of this product variant dates back as early as 1950's. The mass marketing of this variant began in 2002.The brand went global in 2004.
2004 saw the unusual scream " Wakaw" played across mass media. We all looked up in awe : a brand new variant from Coca Cola : Vanilla Coke. The brand was targeted at the metro youth was different. It was different in taste, promotion, package, price etc.
Vanilla Coke was promoted in retro style. The brand had Vivek Oberoi , the then bollywood flame endorsing the brand in an unusual style. Vivek sported the retro look with typical combination of Elvis style + Shammi Kapoor style in an Old Lamby Scooter screaming Wakaw.

The ads were surely clutter breaking and backed by 360 degree branding efforts that ensured good publicity. The creative done by the famed Prasoon Joshi was discussed in all media and that ensured truck loads of free publicity. The brand also got into viral marketing. The campaign along with Contenst2win asked the customers to SMS Wakaw to 8558 inorder to win goodies. According to media reports, the campaign resulted in 440,000 SMS in just 4 weeks creating a record of sorts.

According to report, the media brief given to the agency was to create a clutter breaking campaign targeted at youth. The campaign should create a dhamaka in the market. And rightly so all the client requirements was achieved with in a short span of time.

But how come a product with such a good start failed so easily. With in one year, the brand has been taken out from most of the Indian states. The brand is said to be available in Gujarat,Kolkatta and Delhi.
As a marketing person, I am also perplexed. Frankly I liked the ad the feel and wanted to try it out. But soon the product was not at all available. The failure of this product line extension may have delighted Alries and Trout .

I am assuming that the following factors may have caused the failure of this brand.

a. The product may have been bad. The TG may not have liked the taste. Although Coke has test marketed this product, there is always a chance that the customers may have disliked the taste.
b.The campaign was not targeted at the right segment. This campaign had its fair share of critics also. I liked the campaign because I have seen the old stars and the lamby etc and could easily relate the old characters and the concept. But for a twenty year old, he may not relate or understand the concept. The brand may have lost out in that respect.
c. The brand was priced at a premium over the ordinary coke. This may have discouraged the TG from checking out the brand. Together with the retro campaign not clicking with the intended audience may have given a double whammy for the brand.
d. Indian SD industry is a duopoly. Pepsi and Coke rule the roast and there are brand loyal on both sides. The new variant will be tested first by the Coke loyal and not the Pepsi loyal. Hence like most of the Product line extensions, the variant will be pitted against the mother brand. Hence the customers may have compared the new variant with the classic coke and not as a new drink. And surely the classic coke won .
These are all assumptions because I am still confused.
The failure of Vanilla Coke is a classic case that proves that Marketing is not a perfect science. There are no formula or theory that can make a brand successful. To Quote Kotler " Marketing is easy to teach and understand but difficult to practice".


Related Brands

Thums Up

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Market Statistics : Volume 1

This is the first volume of Market Statistics which will give the market sizes of various categories. The market size numbers are quite confusing because different sources quote different numbers. This is just a collection of market data and not verified. I will try to update it whenever I come across such data.

Pain Balm Market Size :Rs 90 crore

Total Balm Market Size :Rs 250 crore

Tooth Paste Market Size :Rs2700 crore

Events Market Size :Rs 330 crore

Domestic consumption of butter : 45,000 tonnes

Ready to stitch garments market :Rs 1600 crore

Imported wine Market Size: 1.2 lakh cases

Local wine Market Size: 3.8lakh to 4.6 lakh cases

Detergent Market Size :Rs 3000 crore

Popular Detergents Market Size : Rs1800

Premium, compact and Mid range detergents Market Size:Rs 1200 crore

Tea Industry :Rs 3000 crore

Iodised salt Market Size :Rs 500 crore

Toilet cleaners,utensil cleaner, mosquito repellent

& air freshener Market Size :Rs 2000 crore

Cookies Market Size :Rs 3000 crore

Music :Rs 750 crore

Denim Market Size :Rs 1200 crore

Indian Luxury Market :Rs 2000 crore

Ad Industry :Rs10,000 crore

Internet ads :Rs 100 crore

Chyavanprash Market Size : Rs 300 crore

Soap Market Size : Rs 4500 crore

Shaving cream Market Size : Rs 50 crore

Color Cosmetics Market Size : Rs.250 crore ( organized)

Skin care Market Size :Rs 400 crore

Total cosmetic Market Size :Rs 2000 crore

Total skin care Market Size :Rs 1300 crore

Premium Skin care Market Size : Rs 325 crore

Ketchup Market Size : Rs180 crore

Noodles Market Size :Rs 200 crore

Battery Market Size : Rs1800 crore

Automotive Battery Market Size : Rs1200 crore

Men’s innerwear Market Size :Rs 2500 crore

Premium Inner wear Market Size : Rs150 crore

Branded innerwear Market Size :Rs 750 crore

Hair Oil Market Size :Rs 1300 crore

Biscuit market Market Size :Rs 4000 crore

Marie biscuits Market Size:Rs 600 crore

Writing Instruments Market Size:Rs 1500 crore

Branded Writing Instruments Market Size:Rs 1200 crore

Gel pen Market Size :Rs 350 crore

Watch Market Size :Rs1300 crore

Premium watch Market Size :Rs 600 crore

Fast Moving Health Goods (FMHG) : Rs 4500 crore

Shoe shine category size :Rs 65 crore

Friday, December 15, 2006

Brand Update : Parachute

Marico has launched a new product Parachute Therapie. The product is for controlling hair loss.The product is supposed to contain " Root Activising Proteins" and is endorsed by International Association of Trichologists. The product is priced at a premium of Rs 190.Marico may be planning to convert Parachute brand as an umbrella brand for all its hair care products. Right now Parachute has tremendous equity as the coconut based hair oil. Through this new product, the brand may be seeing its makeover as a hair care expert.

Related brands

Source: Businessline
image courtesy: businessline

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Clearasil : For Clear Skin

Brand : Clearasil
Company: Reckitt & Benckiser
Agency: Euro Rscg

Brand Count : 177

Clearasil was a brand that was synonymous with skin care in India. The brand occupied a distinct space in the Indian market as the ultimate cream for Pimples and acne. But over the years this brand is facing the decline stage in its product life cycle. The brand reached this pathetic state because of reasons not of its own.

Clearasil is a global brand famous world wide as a cure for acne and pimples. The brand is 56 year old. Mr Ivan Combe of USA invented the product in 1950. It was the first dermatological brand for curing pimples and acne made especially for young skin. In 1961, the brand came into the fold of Richardson Vicks. In 1985 P&G became the owner of Richardson Vicks. Later the company sold of these brands to Boots Pharmaceuticals in the year 2000. In 2006, Reckitt &Benckiser bought the brand globally. The brand came to India in 1967.

Now you can easily see the reason why the brand failed. The brand went through too many ownership changes. Some companies did not feel that the brand was a part of its core portfolio. For example during the ownership of Clearasil by P&G there was no investment on the brand since for the company, the personal care business was not a core area. Hence during this period the brand was not at all promoted. Even though the other owners had tried to revive the brand, frequent changes made the brand vulnerable.

Clearasil during its peak years had the reputation as a strong cream for fighting pimples and acnes. At that time there was no direct competition for Clearasil although there were many skin creams. For a family having teenage girls, Clearasil was an essential brand. But over the years, because of the lack of brand building efforts, the brand became irrelevant to the younger generation. Clearasil slowly became the brand that “my mother used”. When Boots owned the brand, lot of variants were launched. The brand changed its packaging and was extended to soaps.Rather than limiting to acne control, the brand tried to position itself as a skin care brand. But the effort did not bear fruit because by that time, the market was flooded with modern contemporary brands.

The brand is now owned by Reckitt and marketers expect that the brand will get a new lease of life. The greatest challenge before the new owners is to make the brand contemporary and relevant to the new generation. Reckitt had to find a new differentiation platform for this heritage brand. It has to tap the existing brand equity and try to create a new space for Clearasil. Globally Clearasil is positioned on the basis of Confidence through better skin . The global positioning statement is “Get Clearasil , Get Confidence”. But in India, Cinthol uses this positioning . The brand faces tough competition from the likes of Ponds, Lakme, Loreal and so on .So to find the right space is going to be tough.I think that the brand could take the “ Clear Skin” positioning where by it is not limited to controlling pimples but overall skin care. With the brand Veet from Reckitt is in the same skin care market; the brand managers will have a tough time integrating Clearasil to the portfolio.


Related Brands


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Brand Update :Surf Excel

Surf Excel has come out with a new campaign 10/10 ( pronounced 10 on 10). The campaign is aimed at raising fund for the educationally challenged poor kids. Every Surf Excel will have a piece of stained cloth. When washed, this cloth will reveal a number out of 10. SMS this number to 455 and that amount goes to a NGO that works in the field of education for poor. The campaign is set to collect Rs 25 lakh for the underprivileged..

These type of campaigns are aimed at making the brand more humane. The brand gains from the positive attitude created by such campaigns. Some theorist calls this Corporate Social Responsibility. But as Drucker said “ The main purpose of business is to make profit” and as we say to create wealth for stakeholders. The problem is that only a management student understands such concept. An ordinary person will view business as some thing that makes profit for a select few. Hence corporate are forced to display some actions to justify that they mean good to the society.

The latest Surf campaign also intends to do that. The brand is trying to ladder up to a higher level than just the Cleaning ability. Lifebuoy also has successfully taken up the cause of preventing diarrhea thorough its Swasth Chetana campaign. The brands like Surf and Lifebuoy uses children in the advertisements. There are some people who consider themselves as “ Moral Policemen” whose main job is to make the life of marketers difficult. These campaigns act as a Preemptive measure to silence those critics.

It is a laudable effort from HLL to take such initiatives for the brand. The brands benefits immensely by associating with such activities through the positive vibes created by such campaigns. Another brand from HLL , Fair and Lovely also has taken up such initiatives to contribute to the cause of women empowerment.

Image Source :

Related Brands

Surf Excel
Fair & Lovely

Monday, December 11, 2006

Brand Update : Sugar Free Natura

Sugar Free Natura has come out with a new campaign featuring the master chef Sanjeev Kapur. The ad tries to pitch the brand against the ordinary sugar. Targeted at heavy tea drinkers ( and other beverage drinkers too), the ad clearly hints at the risk of taking sugar with tea. The consumer insight is that doctors tell diabetic patients to have " tea without sugar" which is dreaded by the heavy tea drinkers. And more sugar is consumed daily along with tea rather than through other sweets. Hence the ad makes perfect sense. great insight . great work.

Related brands
Sugar Free
Parry's sugar


Hajmola : Tasty Funfilled Digestive

Brand : Hajmola
Company: Dabur
Agency: Lowe

Brand Count : 176

Hajmola is one of the power brands from Dabur's portfolio. The brand is one of the oldest and most respected brands in the digestive market in India. The brand commands 75% share in the Rs 90 crore digestive tablet market in India.

Hajmola is a 31 year old brand launched in 1975. The brand has ayurvedic formulation and is sold through all kind of shops unlike the antacids. Hajmola is very popular in North India and North is the strongest market for the brand.
Hajmola although a digestive is not positioned as a digestive brand. The brand has moved away from the therapeutic aspects and is positioned more as a naughty mischievous brand. The brand is positioned as a mild digestive that can be taken any time anywhere. The brand uses kids as the main ambassadors and the campaign that features a boy in the dormitory( Hajmola Sir) is still most remembered classic.

The brand has been nurtured by Dabur carefully. The brand was endorsed by Kapil Dev during 1995.Not restricting itself to tablets, the brand extended itself to candies and other forms of digestives. Now Hajmola has Candy, Candy Fun2, Mast Masala and Hajmola Yumshell. The brand also has changed its package from the old rustic glass bottle to a new contemporary pack. Dabur has now promoted Hajmola as an umbrella brand in the digestive segment .The brand is now worth Rs 100 crore.

In 2004 Dabur roped in Amitabh Bachchan to endorse all Dabur power brands. Hajmola also got the power of Big B into its fold. The ads now feature the fun filled tussle between Big B and a kid. Hajomola has kept its positioning of being a fun filled product. The reason for not restricting to digestive is to give the brand more room for growth. If positioned entirely as a digestive, the usage of brand will be limited. Hence Hajmola tries to induce the customers to take it anytime anywhere. In all the campaigns the brand is positioned on its Zingy Zangy taste (Khatta Meeta).
The brand has also ventured into the highly competitive candy market . The hard boiled candy market is estimated to be around Rs 350 crore and Hajmola is reported to have a 9% market share.
Hajmola has always tried to focus on the Northern market. The ads are predominately Hindi and not at all targeting the south market . The tagline of Hajmola " Hazm Sab, Chahe Jab" will not be understood by most South Indians. The brand is also not being promoted heavily in this market. One reason can be that the taste of Hajmola may not suit the South Indian Palate.

Like the Chawanprash market , the digestive market also feels the issue of stagnation. The endorsements by celebrities and the heavy spending are the only way out for brands facing such stagnation issues.

Related Brands
Sona Chandi

source:, agencyfaqs,businessline,magindia,domainb

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fem : Beauty With Care

Brand : Fem
Company: Femcare
Brand count :175

Fem is a small player in the FMCG market. This 50 crore pharmaceutical company has a significant share in some of the niche segments in the FMCG market in India. The company has followed the principle of concentrating on niche products rather than fighting a bloody war with the heavy weights .
Fem came into existence in 1982. The brand is famous for its range of liquid hand wash soap segment. In this Rs 20 crore market, Fem occupies a major market share of over 60%. Fem is positioned on the platform of beauty with health. The tagline of the Mother brand is “Beauty with Care”. The liquid soap segment of late has been witnessing intense competition from the likes of Dettol and Lifebuoy. Fem comes with fragrances like Lemon,Blossom,Peach,Bouquet etc.
Another niche product from FEM is the new brand Oxybleach. Oxybleach is the facial bleach from Fem boast of having the world’s first pre bleach cream. The brand is positioned on the unique attribute of “ Oxygenation”. The ad speaks about the problem faced by skin when exposed to sun, dust etc. The brand when used gives more oxygen to the skin making it refreshing and healthy.

Fem is a brand that also has significant presence in the female hair removing market. The brand has launched a new hair removing cream in a squeeze pack which acts as a differentiator.
Fem has introduced another brand in the cloth conditioner segment (entirely new category) named Bambi, which is a fabric softener.

Fem has been successful in finding niche areas in Feminine care and with good products and distribution network, the brand has created positive word of mouth for its products. The brands like Oxybleach and hair removers are being promoted aggressively by the company. But the company faces competition from established brands, which try to enter into these niches. Most of the personal care brands are trying to give all solutions to the customer rather than focusing on any one product. That has been the strategy of mega brands like Ponds, Lakme and Loreal. These brands, which have significant brand equity, will always post a threat to the niche brands like Fem. For Example, brands like Lifebuoy venturing seriously into liquid soap business will threaten the position of the cash cow of Fem.

The major issue with niche brands is the lack of resources to sustain the growth and fight competition. The lack of resources often forces the niche brands to either sell off or die in the face of competition from large brands. This problem becomes too dangerous when the company try to have too many brands . Too many brands sometimes creates resource allocation for brand building.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Brand Update : Sprite & Thums Up

The Economic Times on 7/12/2006 carried a front page news on Sprite becoming the second bestselling drink from the Coca Cola India operations edging out Coke to the third place. The report says that this phenomenon is seen in the Indian market only where the flagship brand Coca Cola trails the other brands. I had severely criticized the new positioning of Sprite " Clear Hai" and the endorsement from Sania Mirza in my earlier post. But I was proved wrong. Sprite campaign seems to do wonders for the brand. Consumers think that the brand is Clear.....

India's Macho drink Thums Up is now the No1 selling Cola from Coca Cola.In the earlier post, I wrote about the brand being made to play second fiddle to Coke. Coca Cola had rejuvenated the brand and the results seems to be terrific. The latest commercial features the current Bollywood poster boy Kunal Kapoor endorsing the brand in a well made commercial.

The Thunder is Back

source: economictimes

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rin : Whiteness Strikes

Brand : Rin
Company: HLL
Agency: JWT

Brand Count : 174

Indian fabric wash industry is worth Rs 5100 crore and Rin is one of the super brands in the detergent bar segment. Rin was launched in 1969. The brand came into existence when there was severe quota restrictions from the government in the Laundry bar segment. Rin was launched as a detergent bar.

For 37 years ,this brand has been the market leader in the segment. The brand faced all the issues of competition , customer preference changes and price warriors.But it withstood all the challenges.
Rin is positioned on the whiteness platform. For years the brand is associated with whiteness. This positioning is reinforced by the famous Mnemonic of Lightning. Initially the brand was facing competition from laundry bars. Hence the task for the brand was to educate the customers about the new category of detergent bars. The campaign positioned the brand as the better way to wash indicating the category supremacy over laundry category. Later when the category evolved the positioning based on whiteness was communicated.
The success of Rin prompted lot of competitor activity in the segment. Many products came into the market with lesser price. Rin countered the competition by the famous " Zara Sa Rin " claiming the brand to be more powerful than the less priced brands ( source:
Rin had its fair share of extensions. The brand had variants Rin Supreme, Rin Shakthi and Rin Advanced . The brand later extended to detergent powders to bridge the gap between Wheel and Surf.
Rin is facing its toughest competition in the form of Tide from P&G. The brand which came to India as a detergent powder brand has extended to bar category. Tide is positioned on the same whiteness platform with similar communication.

HLL is known for its obsession with market shares. It never compromises on the market share and is not stingy in investing in brands. 2005 saw one of the boldest marketing initiatives for Rin. None other than Amitabh Bachchan was roped in as brand ambassador ( model) for the brand. The ads were trying to reinforce the positioning of Rin as the premium detergent soap. I was surprised seeing Big B endorsing such a brand.
There are reports that Surf Excel is extending to bar soap category and will be replacing Rin Supreme at the premium end. The logic is that Rin has a firm image of whitening bar while Surf has the strength of being a stain remover. HLL is trying to have Surf Excel to extend its leadership in the entire detergent soap category.
Rin has always tried to create the brand excitement alive by launching new variants or new promotions or some innovations. For example in 2002 , the brand came out with a direct comparison with other laundry bars telling the customer that the soap is mud-free . The positioning was focused on Pure Clean Technology that makes the brand mud-free.

2006 was another innovation of launching a cover for the soap that will prevent wastage of the soap. Although this innovation may be trivial, the brand is kept alive in the mindspace.And that is the strength that has helped this brand to manage its product lifecycle.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Brand Update : Lifebuoy

Lifebuoy has extended its positioning from " Protection from germs" to Continuous protection from germs even hours after bath. Like the earlier award winning campaign of Little Gandhi, this time also Hll rightly uses kids to the brand's advantage. The new concept take a cue from the Surf's campaign 'Dirt is good". The new campaign of Lifebuoy assure mothers that the child gets protection even hours after bath. Traditionally soap ads used the concept of washing away dirt and germs during bath.
But no one thought about protection after bath. Toothpaste ads showed protection after brushing but not bathing soaps. Lifebuoy effectively takes advantage of this twist. Great work from a Great brand.

Brand Update : Colgate

Colgate has launched the new gel variant Colgate Maxfresh Gel with Cooling crystals. The toothpaste have liquid cooling crystals that dissolve completely in the mouth while brushing releasing intense rush of freash breath.The brand is endorsed by Saif Ali Khan and the southern film Diva Asin. This variant has forced HLL to think about variants of Close Up to counter this new launch.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

MTR : Pure and Perfect

Brand : MTR
Company : MTR Foods

Brand Count : 173

MTR has a history dated back from 1924. The company started of as a small restaurent in Bangalore named Mavalli Tiffin Room(MTR) is now rated as one of the largest players in the increasingly popular ready to eat foods market. The company first launched its packaged food product during 1976 and the company invented the Rava Idly mix which was the first product by the company in this segment.

It was in 2000 that the company seriously ventured into the ready to eat food segment. Although the reports suggest that the ready to eat food segment excluding snack foods and noodles is worth 50 crore and expected to touch Rs 200 crore with in three years time, I am quite sceptical about it. The report was dated 2002 and now in 2006 the market is still hovering in that range.
The reason for such optimistic projection is based on the changing lifestyle of Indians. With both husband and wife working , there is going to be increased need for such convenience foods that save time. Seeing this opprotunity many players like ITC, Satnam Overseas, Saaj food products etc are seriously into the fray . ITC has launched Kitchens of India brand with much fanfare followed by Aashirvaad range in this segment. Kitchens of India is premium and Aashirvaad is for the mass market.
The basic reason for this segment not taking off as expected is the lack of value proposition of the brands. All the brands operating in this segment is priced at a premium. For example a RTE pack typically costs Rs 35 for a serving of Three ( as the pack says ) but those who have used the packs know that only Two can use this because the quantity is very less. Although we can argue about the convenience and cost saving of cooking gas etc, at the outset, the price is a put off for a middleclass customer ( my experience). Another factor is the perception of quality and taste camparison of home made versus packaged foods.
Hence the use of these packs are limited to occassions and emergencies and not for daily consumption. This can be the reason behind the lack of momentum in the growth of the category. But like all new category , it takes time and investment to create this new category which holds immense potential.
Piggybacking on this category is another emerging category of curry pastes. The product offers curry pastes that added with the vegetables/meat and with little cooking can give your favorite curry. The market for this category is estimated to be around Rs 5 crore.

MTR is positioned based on the Purity platform. The product boasts about the rich heritage and the firms committment to quality. The brand is very strong in Karnataka and has a pan India presence. The brand is moving towards offering complete meal solutions to the time starved Indian consumers. The brand faces the typical issue of changing the perception of Indian consumers towards these convenience foods. Another issue is the scope for differentiation.The ready to eat category offers little scope for sustainable differentiation.The market is already crowded with local players and the heavy weights.

source: businessline,,agencyfaqs,

Brand Update : A new feature from Marketing Practice


I am introducing a new feature Brand Update that features latest happening on the brands discussed in this blog. The new feature will keep you updated on changes in the strategy, new variants and new positioning, relaunch and new campaigns. Check out the brand update on Zen which was discussed in my blog on March 2006.


Brand Update : Zen

Zen is going to be relaunched in the second week of December. The new Zen Estilo is the refurbished japanese MR Wagon which stopped production in Japan. The new Zen will be positioned a notch below the Indian Wagon R.

Source: businessline,autocarindia

Monday, December 04, 2006

Nestle Fresh N Natural Dahi : Branding A Commodity

Brand : Fresh N Natural
Company: Nestle
Agency : O&M

Brand Count : 172

Nestle Fresh N Natural dahi is a bold step by Nestle to brand the commodity called Dahi( curd). 2006 saw the high profile re-launch of this product . Nestle dahi was launched in 2001. The reason behind this move to enter into a tough commodity business is prompted by the size of the market. Dahi ( Hindi term for Curd) is the second largest form of milk usage following tea and coffee usage in households. The estimated consumption of curd is a whopping 2200 MT a day i.e. in revenue terms Rs 4.5 crore a day . That makes the market worth Rs 1600 crores. The market is largely dominated by regional players and more than that households make their own curd using milk. The business sense that prompted Nestle to enter this segment is that there is no national player in the market, although Amul has serious plans for the segment.
Nestle has launched the brand with a positioning based on the taste. The tagline was ‘ Jumm gaya Taste” meaning “ Great taste. The launch was a soft one and was concentrated on Delhi. The competition was in the form of Mother Diary and Amul.In 2002 Nestle launched a value added variant in the form of Fruit n Dahi.
2006 saw the relaunch of this brand on a different positioning. The brand is positioned as a calcium rich and creamy product with lot of emotions added to it. The brand is following the typical technique of differentiating by value addition ( rich creamy and calcium rich) and emotion ( pure, love ). The brand is also having raita ( another common Indian curd based dish).The relaunch is also limited to metros because of supply constraints.

This is a bold move by Nestle to enter into a highly commoditised market. Here the brand faces stiff competition from tradition rather than other companies. The changing psychographics of the Indian consumer may aid the brand. The lack of time to prepare the perfect dahi may prompt Indian consumer to stock this brand in the house. The longer shelf life of this brand may also come to help. But the task is not enviable in the sense that it takes lot of money and patience to change Indian consumer’s habits.

Source: magindia,,agencyfaqs,businessline

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Lijjat Papad : A Brand With A Cause

Brand: Lijjat papad
Company: Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad

Brand Count: 171

Lijjat papad is a brand with a difference .This brand is a special one because it makes a difference in the livelihood of thousands of poor women in India. The brand from Shri MahilaGriha Udyog Lijjat Pappad was started 46 years ago in 1959 on a measly sum of Rs 80. Seven ladies started preparing Papad and from there this story of a movement starts. From that Rs 80, the brand has grown to become Rs 300 crore and more importantly many households was saved from the clutches of poverty. One of the senior member founder Ms JaswantibenPoppat was honored with Economic Times Corporate Excellence Award in 2002.

Pappad is a form of Indian crispy bread. The food is taken as a snack and also along with lunch and dinner. Lijjat has become an integral part of the Indian palette through sheer determination and hard work.
The most important factor that the made this brand a success was the careful operational planning that goes behind the brand. It would humble even the smartest management graduate when we realize that ordinary women run this entire company.

The Lijjat brand is built on certain core values that has been ingrained into the entire system. The values are
a.Make sure that the process runs smoothly
b.Ensure the highest quality standards
c. give the product at a good price
d. Good corporate governance and profit sharing.

It can be said that the organization derives its values from the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi ‘s idea of Sarvodaya.The process works like this

Every morning the group of members go the the Lijjat office to Knead the dough. Another group goes to the office to collect the “quality checked “ dough for rolling. These women give the previous days papads for quality check. Another team packs the tested papads. Every member gets the rolling charge ( vanai) based on the productivity.
The quality check process is also rigorous. The members should take a quality pledge and ensure that the house is neat and clean and there is a separate place for this process. Every member is trained to make the perfect Lijjat papad. If any member is found not adhering to the quality standards, she will be given some other work like packing etc.If during the testing , any lot is found to be below standards, the entire lot is destroyed.

The entire organization is decentralized and managed by a committee of 21 members. All the members of the committee have veto power and this ensures that decisions are based on consensus. The committee decides on the sharing of profit and all the members of the society gets equal share of profit. The decentralization gives the branches the power to do the quality checks and the responsibility to maintain accounts.All the members ( called as Ben) are owners of this movement and this automatically ensures greater accountability.

The brand is having the strength of “ Consistently Good Quality” as its USP.Recently this brand is also facing competition from other players. Unlike other social brands, Lijjat was serious about advertising. The brand communicated its Crispness and quality through its ads.The ads features a Bunny ( mascot) and a very popular jingle ‘Khurram Kharram”. The positive word of mouth, the advertisement, the consistent good quality and the distribution made this brand highly successful.
The company has also diversified into detergent branded SASA and other food products. The brand is a unique success story. The story of a movement that changed the lives of more than 40000 poor women.

source: businessline,,

Friday, December 01, 2006

Indian Terrain : The New Indian Spirit

Brand : Indian Terrain
Company: Celebrity Fashions
Agency: Contract

Brand Count : 170

A four page pull out that came along with Economic Times Dated 29/11/06 made me look up. A four page advertisement featuring a brand Indian Terrain endorsed by the latest bollywood poster boy Kunal Kapoor.

Indian Terrain was launched in 2000 by Celebrity Fashions ltd: a leading exporter of garments. The brand occupied a significant share in the consumer space with in a short span of time. The brand had clocked Rs 35 crore with in 4 years of launch. The company which promotes this brand is a leading exporter to all major textile giants and is a 100 crore company.

I have noticed the large hoardings of Indian Terrain when I drive to the College but was sceptical about the future of the brand. I was not sure whether the brand has any serious plans for itself. The 4 page ad changed all that.
The brand is competing for space in the Rs 800 crore premium men's apparel market in India. The market currently is dominated by brands like Van heusen, Lious Phillippe, Arrow, Color Plus etc. The market is very juicy but the main entry barrier is the clout of the established brands. Hence it is common sense to understand that only those brands will succeed which has lot of money for brand building and some clutter busting positioning.

Indian Terrain after its launch had a good run up. The brand had a growth of around 15% every year and is reported as one of the fastest growing brands in the category.
Indian Terrain is positioned as a brand for the global Indian.The product is positioned as a stylish brand with focus on design and having an eye on fashion. The brand has a clear target segment in Men aged 25-40 who has an individualistic persona and who is a global Indian. The products strength is its quality and styling. Since the company is famous for its global clientele, quality will not be an issue.
Building a brand in the Apparel market is no kid's play. With a plethora of brand with excellent brand equity and quality, getting into the "Choice Set" of the customer is a herculean task. Indian Terrain had managed to get into the list very fast. The brand is said to have a clear idea of where it want to be. The owners envisage the brand to be worth Rs 100 crore by 2007. The brand was initially positioned as a Wear to Work brand. Inspired work wear was the motto. The idea is to relate success with the brand. The current positioning is tying the brand to being true to one self ( with a dash of Patriotism). The tagline is " The New Indian Spirit".The brand ambassador Kunal Kapoor personifies this brand value. What I liked most in the ads is that the brand is not eclipsed by the star. And wisely the brand is looking at print to built the equity. I have always felt that print works better in Apparel than TVC ( Raymonds may be an exception).

The fact that Anil Ambani has bought some stake in Celebrity Fashion shows that the brand has serious backing to fund its growth. In an unique association ,Bennett Coleman & Co ( Times of India group) has also a 12% stake in the company. That brings out the secret of the 4 page ad in ET.The association with the media giant will give the brand the right media to promote itself.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Kingfisher : The King Of Good Times

Brand: Kingfisher
Company: UB Group

Brand Count :169

Kingfisher is a classic case of branding success. This brand can even be termed as an iconic brand. A brand that had extended itself from beer to airlines can be equated to the Virgin brand. The brand is synonym with Beer in India. Now ask a young man from India what a Kingfisher is ? The most likely answer will be either Beer or Airline. The power of the brand has virtually made the bird a brand extension.

Kingfisher is a brand from the UB group stable.It is the largest selling beer brand in India commanding a market share of over 28% in the Rs 5000 crore Indian Beer market.The brand epitomises energy, youthfulness ,enthusiasm ,freedom but with a touch of professionalism.

United Breweries (the original name of the group) have a history dating back to 1857. The company came into existence as UB in 1915 with the merger of five small breweries . The Kingfisher brand was launched in the year 1980 ( the exact year of the birth of Kingfisher is not known,80's marked the real life of this brand).

The brand was the brain child of the current Chairman of UB group Mr Vijay Mallya. Reports says that Mr Mallya went to work in Calcutta as a part of mentoring program under Mr HP Bhagat. At that time the brands that were popular from UB stable was Kalyani Black label, Doctor's Brandy etc. Mr Mallya wanted to create an exciting brand and none of the existing brands did not impress him. He went back to Bangalore,searched archives and stumbled upon an old label with a Kingfisher in it. That marked the birth of the Iconic Kingfisher brand.

The major factor behind the success of Kingfisher brand is the Passion that Mallya have on the brand. When marketing theorists says that Marketing is a serious business, Mallya will tell you that Marketing is CEO's business. When the CEO takes interest in the brand and virtually promotes the brand in every occasion, there is so much equity generated on the brand. Like Virgin's legendary Richard Branson , Mallya also showed that the primary task for any CEO is to be passionate about the brand. While in most cases CEO comes into picture to deliver the annual shareholder's meet, Mr Mallya takes the brand with him everywhere.

Kingfisher brand is a unique marketing success story because it thrived in an environment where liquor/ beer advertising was banned in India. The owners have built the brand circumventing the ban on promotion. During 1997 , the brand roped in Ajay Jadeja and Sourav to feature in the campaigns. In 1996 the brand become the worldwide sponsors of the West Indies cricket team. But the brand was conscious to keep Kingfisher the star . The West Indies team personified the brand values of fun loving but successful team. The famous jingle " Oola la le lo" and the fun filled TVC rightly placed the brand as a fun loving one. Unlike brands like Pepsi which is focused on cricket, Kingfisher promotes all sports and the brand sponsors football stars and even Formula 1.

The brand directly talks to people who are Easy going, chilled out person who's always willing to take a break and party with the friends. But they are very professional and successful .

Most of the business reports try to relate the persona of Mr Mallya and the brand which I feel is unjustified. The brand Kingfisher does not derive any thing from the personality of Mr Mallya. The brand has its life of its own. Since the chairman is passionate about the brand, he takes personal interest in the brand . Other than that relating the person and the brand and trying to say that Mr Mallya is more flamboyant than the brand is doing unjust to the brand.

The brand also have a 360 degree approach to promotions tapping all possible ways to communicate with its target audience. The brand sponsors lifestyle events and the Kingfisher Calender has attained a cult status with in 4 years of launch. During 2003-04 the brand logo got a make over and the Kingfisher started flying rather than sitting. The new logo signals the brand's vision to get to new heights. The new logo designed by Claessens was backed with lot of noise in the media.

To circumvent the regulatory ban on surrogate advertising, the brand has launched into different categories like Mineral water and even into readymades taking a lesson from Wills.
2005 saw the UB group getting into the Airline business with its Kingfisher Airlines.The airlines became a brand to reckon with with in a year because the brand lived to its expectation and promise. Positioned as a funliner, the brand equity of the mother brand has been enhanced by this Extension ( can i call it an extension?).

Behind the glamour of swimsuits and parties , one should not forget the strategies that made the brand a super brand. The distribution and the point of promotion strategies of KF is excellent. The brand has maintained international quality but made sure that it is with in the reach of the Indian consumer.,businessline,magindia.