Friday, March 31, 2006

Zen : Surrendered To The New Generation

Brand : Zen
Company: Maruti Suzuki
Agency : Hakudo Percept

A brand that ruled the Indian midsegment car market will be laid to rest very soon. Maruthi Zen which was considered to be one of the best cars on the Indian roads after a long life of 13 years have become redundant. It is a sad news for all Zen owners who still vouch for this hatchback. Marketers will also be sad because it was a marketing failure and not a product failure. The good old zen is still valued as precious by its owners.

Zen was launched in India in 1993. Instantly this premium car became the favorite of the upwardly mobile Indian middle class. The was something special about this jelly bean shaped car and the driving and maneuvering quality was nothing but superb. In cities where there is bumper to bumper traffic, the Zen was the most preferred one.

During the nineties all the cars from Maruti ruled the segment because of lack of competition. Then came Santro and Zen had a competition. Although initially people scoffed at the tall boy design of Santro, slowly through smart marketing, Santro began to eat into Zen's market. Then came the major blow in the form of Indica which changed the rules of the game in the hatchback segment.
Zen came out with Zen LXi in 2001, but the market share was slowly declining. The major reason being, the owners of Zen were getting older and Zen was missing out on the new generation. There was no excitement about Zen. Maruti is a poor marketer with good products. All their products are of exceptional quality and all their marketing campaigns ( including the campaign of new Swift) is exceptionally poor. Customers buy it because it is good.
While the competitors are gaining the share of mind of consumers using smart marketing campaigns, Zen was no where in the picture. The launch of Zen with round headlamps was a major disaster.
During 1999, Maruti launched Wagon R and 2000 saw the launch of Alto, With these products, Zen was left in a no man's land. The segmentation became fussy. Since there was no clear positioning for Zen, the new launches proved to be a major blow to this brand. With the launch of sporty Swift , Zen has now become a liability for Suzuki's portfolio.
To arrest the slide of the market share of zen, Suzuki, launched a redesigned Zen in 2003 with a new look with much fanfare. The campaigns were shot in Paris. The logic was to attract the new generation and the positioning was " strong sleek and sexy". The base line was " Surrender to the new Zen". The campaigns was lousy never excited the new generation. The existing users were pissed off because the resale value of their old beauty crashed. The new look Zen also bombed because of poor marketing.

Infact their was no need for such an upgrade because the problem was with positioning and not the product. Zen was known for its power, easy driving and quality. It never looked sporty and the colors were lousy. Zen could have excited the younger generation just by introducing a sporty variant with some fantastic colours. The colors of Zen were never exciting.I still believe Zen have that premium touch to it. So with some smart colours and with some sensible advertisements, Zen could have zoomed. The positioning can be a sporty and a smart car for the urban professionals. But alas....

Zen is a classic example of how poor marketing can kill a good product.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Pillsbury : Dil se Khao

Brand : Pillsbury
Company: General Mills
Agency: Leo Burnett

Pillsbury is a global food brand that is trying to replicate its success in Indian market. The brand was launched in Indiain 1998 as a result of a joint venture between Godrej and Selviac Nederland BV ( Pillsbury). Pillsbury have a rich heritage dating back to 1869. It started as a flour milling company named A Pillsbury and is now one of the largest brands in the food products market in the world.In 2002, the company was taken over by General Mills.

When Pillsbury was launched, it had the option of coming in with the blockbuster global "ready to eat products" , but it chose a contra approach heeding to the advice given by Mckinsey “ GO Basic”. So Pillsbury launched Pillsbury Chakki fresh atta ( pounded wheat flour) in the Indian market.
It was a bold move because the atta market is a commodity market and the branded atta market is only 3% of the total atta market in India estimated to be around 23000 crore.

Pillsbury chakkifresh atta was launched in India on the platform of softness. Since ordinary Roti’s lost their softness after some time, Pillsbury claimed that its Roti’s retained the softness for over 6 hours. This appealed to the modern homemakers since Roti’s can be kept in tiffin boxes without worrying about softness.

It was a tough task for Pillsbury to enter into Indian kitchens since the households followed traditional way of buying wheat and giving them to flour mills. Pillsbury realized that food products marketing are more of Repertoire marketing where more variety is the key to success. Pillsbury decided to move up the value chain by coming out with a range of products.
The firs one was the launch of Oven cake mixes in 1999. The product failed in the market because of poor penetration of microwave ovens. Taking a lesson from this failure, came the successful launch of Cooker Cake mixes in 2000 ie cakes can me made using pressure cookers. Ub 2002, Pillsbury launched Pan Fresh Pizza.

Despite these launches, Pillsbury was not happy with the way the atta brand was moving. A marketing research showed that health was a leading attribute that customers look for when they buy food products .

In 2004 the product was relaunched in the health platform with emphasis on “ good to heart” since heart problems are on a rise in Urban market. The idea is to promote the idea that whole wheat atta is good for your family’s heart .The latest positioning is “ Dil se Khao “ reinforces the health positioning.The brand is endorsed by Healthcare foundation.

Using the innovative differentiation and positioning, Pillsbury is having a market share of 8% in the branded atta market. While the market leader is Ashirvad from ITC (40%) followed by Annapoorna from HLL (18%).

Pillsbury globally is famous for its mascot “ Poppin Fresh” popularly known as the doughboy. Although the mascot is in Indian market too, it does not have the same fan following as it is in the west.

Pillsbury despite its foreign origin and brand name is trying to fit into the Indian mindset. Despite having a good product, the brand is lagging behind Ashirvad which was launched much later. With the backing of a global foods giant and with some very smart thinking, this brand has the potential to make it big.The only thing Pillbury needs is lots of money for advertising

Friday, March 24, 2006

Everyday Dairy Whitener: For a Great Tasting Tea

Brand : Everyday
Company: Nestle

Indian milk powder market is at a nascent stage . While the dairy market in India is a huge market, milk powders were not able to garner a major share in this market. While the loose milk market is estimated to be around Rs470 billion, the processed milk market is only Rs 10000 crores. Milk powder market is only 7% of the whole milk market. 46% of the milk produced in India is consumed in the liquid form while 47% are used for making products like ghee etc only 7% is used for making western products like butter milk powder etc.

There are two types of milk powders

a. Whole milk powder
b. Skimmed milk powder.

Everyday is a major player in the Dairy whitener category that is a part of the skimmed milk category. The dairy whiteners are used for tea making.
Everyday was launched in 1986 now have a market share of around 22%. The category is facing the major obstacle of consumer perception towards this category. The consumers perceive that loose milk is fresh. And with abundant milk supply, milk powders were able to penetrate only 4.7% of the entire market.

While Everyday faces stiff competition from Amul's Amulya and Britannia's Milkman, the major competition is from the ordinary milk. Now consumers use milk powder as a standby for packaged milk and also for making tea and coffee. Although, milk powders have the advantage of shelf life and convenience, that is not enough to fight the competition from packaged milk.

The only strategy is to add value to the milk powder other than the expected attributes of convenience and shelflife. Although Amulya tried to differentiate focusing on the " free from insolubles" it is not enough to expand the category.
Conventional marketing theory says either expand the market or increase the usage /usage situations .
When you look at this product, the usage right now is limited, one cannot use this other than making tea, that is a major drawback for milk powders. Hence within these limitations, Everyday has to add more value. The price is expensive compared to loose milk so without adding more value, the market will not expand. Everyday have launched a new " low calorie" variant of the whitener. Also an extension to the ghee category has been made.

The milk powder market, it it had to grow may have to show that it is a better option compared to the liquid form. Adding more nutrients , variants and identifying multiple uses are the only option in this nascent market.

Till then have a cup of tea.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

La Opala : Adding style to your lifestyle

Brand : La Opala
Company : La Opala Rg
Agency: Leo Burnett

Indian crockery market is very much fragmented and dominated by unorganised sector. The market is estimated to be around 43000 MT of which the unorganised sector is commanding around 60 % share. Crockery market consists of pottery, kitchenware and tableware.

La Opala is one of the major player in the organised crockery market in India. The brand which was launched in India in 1987 dominates the premium segment in the market. The industry is limited by high labour cost and lack of modern technology. While in India , the industry is labour intensive where as in developed countries , it is fully automated.
The crockery market is driven by innovation. The need for such items varies very much with the culture of the market. While in Saudi a typical dinner needs around 90 pieces of crockery, In India, a dinner needs only 20 pieces. So there has to be distinct products for each market.
Since the need varies with culture and lifestyle, this is a market that is going to grow fast in India.
La Opala is ready to ride this boom by positioning itself as a lifestyle product. But inorder to do that a strong marketing effort is needed to change the way Indians use the tablewares. Traditionally Indians use stainless steel tablewares. While these ceramic and melamine wares are reserved for special occasions. With the popularity of unbreakable plasitic look alikes, products like La Opala will have a tough time in breaking into Indian households.
La Opala is positioned as a premium tableware. The brand aims to " Add style to your lifestyle ". It is a lifestyle product and is very popular as a gift item. Recently La Opala has launched a premium crystal ware brand Solitaire to tap the emerging crystal ware segment. The lower end of the glassware and ceramic segment is dominated by players like Yera and Milton.
La Opala is playing the premium game and have effectively created a name for itself. Using good ads and maintaining high quality , this brand have lot of potential to grow in this market.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sunlight : Sunset?

Brand : Sunlight
Company: HLL
Agency: O&M

Sunlight is the oldest brand in the HLL’s portfolio. Launched in India in 1888, this brand is a heritage brand. Sunlight came to India as a detergent brand.
Indian fabric wash market is expected to be around 5700 crore. Sunlight over these 118 years had its life cut out in the “power brand strategy” of HLL.
Sunlight was famous as a detergent or laundry cake which was very popular in the early times. The change in the customer lifestyle has tilted the market towards powder detergents. HLL focused its efforts on the powder detergents market and Sunlight was lost in the woods. Detergent cakes are losing consumer preference because of the advantages of powder detergents. Earlier, powder detergents were considered to be premium and with the rationalizing of prices, consumers have shifted towards powders.

Under the “Power brand “strategy, HLL decided to phase out Sunlight brand and focus on Wheel and Rin. But in 2004, Sunlight came with the new avatar as a Powder detergent. What made the company think about this brand is unknown. Sunlight detergent is now positioned as an affordable detergent with differentiation of “Color Guard” feature. The detergent also has the Pure Clean Technology that minimizes the “Insoluble” in the detergents. Sunlight is priced above Wheel and below Rin. The brand is promoted more in Eastern India and Kerala.

Why a brand that have such a heritage become a liability for HLL. It’s because HLL failed to use Sunlight to counter the onslaught of Nirma. Instead it chose a new brand Wheel. With the introduction of Wheel as a powder detergent and with the decline of the detergent cake market, Sunlight lost its relevance. HLL also extended Wheel and Rin to Detergent cakes so further sidelining the Sunlight brand.

Now Sunlight is used as a brand to effectively fill the gap between Wheel and Rin, so that no competitor can come in that price point. It is also interesting to note that this brand does not feature in HLL’s website. The brand have a very relevant brand name which denotes brightness and cleanliness, it is a brand name you cannot afford to lose. Sunlight should be positioned as a " Value for Money " brand. This segment is vacant in the Indian Detergent market. Wheel is perceived as a low priced brand, Surf Excel is a midsegment brand while Rin is for whiteness. Sunlight with its colorguard and Pure clean technology is in a position to create a market for itself.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hercules : Ride Your Passion

Brand : Hercules
Company: TI Cycles India Ltd
Agency : Mudra

Indian Cycle market is estimated to be around 2000 crores. Hercules is one of the oldest cycle brands in India. Hercules was launched in India in 1949. The Indian cycle market was a growing market those days because it was the main mode of transportation while motorcycles and cars were not affordable to Indian consumers.

The cycle market can be broadly divided into
1. Kids cycle
2. Adults cycle (old roadster type)
3. Youth’s cycle (girls and boys versions)

The cycle market was skewed towards rural market and the market is very price sensitive. The leadership position of TI cycles was taken away by Hero cycles in the nineties. TI cycles have brands like Hercules and BSA to its fold.

Indian cycle market is facing a major crisis now. The opening up of economy has changed the psychographics of Indian consumers. With the advent of affordable motorcycles and cars, the industry which was hit hard was the cycle industry. Since consumers have shifted to more sophisticated mode of transportation, the cycle market was shrinking and became confined to rural market. In the urban market the cycles were used mainly by kids aged 6-17.
The market for cycles for youth is virtually killed with the entry of mopeds and low end motorcycles. The rural market is also facing pressure with more mopeds and motorcycles exploring that market.
The two major brands of TI cycles were Hercules and BSA. While Hercules was the ordinary adult cycle, BSA focused on the youth segment with more cotemporary look.

With Hero cycles claiming the leadership position in the mid segment of cycles in India. TI cycles were in a tight spot.TI cycle had two choices,
1. To focus on Kids cycles and rural market
2, To focus on urban market.

TI chose to tap the urban market which was virtually at the decline stage. It chose the age old Hercules brand to revive the urban cycle market. Hercules brand is originally owned by Raleigh UK. TI decided to change the brand Hercules as an Urban brand. In 1992 it launched the Hercules MTB ,the first mountain terrain bike of India. The new product was backed by some cool ads from Mudra. The ads raised the stature of Hercules brand to an aspirational level and was targeted at youth aged 14-19. The consumer insight was that the youth prefer cycle which is more masculine and the positioning also was in tune with this insight.

But a problem with cycles is that it is easy for the competitor to clone your product innovations. Hero cycles matched TI in all product launches with their own version. In 1998-2000 Hercules MTB was relaunched as a more adult like cycle.
TI hit upon the idea of tapping the adult while launching the Hercules MTB range. Since there is no incentive for adults to use cycles, the task was to create a cycling culture in the market. First the product has to appeal to adults and there should be a need to use this product. Thus came the idea of promoting cycles for leisure and exercise. This idea enabled Hercules to come out with lot of new products and value additions. The cycles were made more masculine, more comfort and promotions aimed at creating a cycling culture.
TI used the multi brand strategy to counter the threat of Hero cycles, Using BSA and Hercules, TI was able to command the premium segment of the cycle market. The geared cycles, BSA ladybird for girls, BSA city for 30+ city rider, BSA i bike designed in Italy, cycle with shock absorbers, cycle without chain etc ensured that Hercules and BSA is known for innovation and created some excitement in the otherwise dull cycle market.The latest BSA Foldman is India’s first foldable cycle . Hercules has roped in Yuvraj Singh to endorse the cycle. Although I have criticised celebrity endorsements, using Yuvraj singh makes perfect sense for a sagging market.

These innovations have helped TI to still hold 30% market share and a major share of premium value added cycle segment. But the path is not so easy to survive. One of the major task is to create the culture of cycling in India. In the West, there is a cycling culture while in China and Japan it is a major mode of transportation. With the increasing fuel prices, congested roads, increasing health consciousness are indicators that there is going to be a reinvention of cycling in India. It takes patience and money to ride that reinvention and Hercules is all set to ride that wave.

Friday, March 10, 2006

VIP : Bye Bye, Bye Bye !

Brand : VIP
Company : VIP industries ltd
Agency :Lowe

VIP is the undisputed market leader in Rs 1200 ( some say it is 600 crore) crore Indian Luggage industry. Launched in 1971 VIP aimed to capture the market dominated by unorganized sector. Indian Luggage market is largely consisting of soft luggage and moulded luggage.

The luggage market is going through a tough time with low demand and stiff competition from unorganized sector. In India since the frequency of travel is low, the luggage manufacturers are facing a unique problem. The product is a high involvement product at the time of purchase but after the purchase the interaction with the product is limited. Hence marketers find it tricky in keeping their brand at the top of the mind of customers.

VIP has established itself in the Indian market using product innovations, stress on quality and brand building. VIP was the first to introduce “non reversible multi safe lock”, soft grip handle, dual action lock and central locking system. These innovations together with brand building made VIP a market leader.

Then VIP faced the problem faced by most of the giants: the brand becoming generic to the category and local brands eating into the share of the company.
In 1997 came a formidable threat to VIP – Samsonite. With in short time Samsonite established its presence in the luxury segment of the market. While VIP was very dominant in the mid- segment, it had no presence in the luxury segment. Samsonite posed a major threat to VIP and garnered a market share of about 35% in the luggage market with in a short period of time. This forced VIP to seriously reconsider its marketing strategy. To counter the threat of Samsonite, VIP launched Elanza range of premium luggages. Samsonite meanwhile also wanted to enter the popular segment ( 800- 2000 range) . It launched the brand “American Tourister “ to enter this segment posing a major threat to the market leader. More over Samsonite had an international contemporary look and appealed to the new generation than VIP which was not perceived as a vibrant brand.

Inorder to attract the new generation and create a new brand identity, VIP embarked on a rebranding exercise. The usual ads of VIP was appealing to the middle class and focusing more on emotion. The “ Kal Bhi, Aaj Bhi” ads were very powerful and appealed to the middleclass. But since the consumers changed, inorder to succeed, the brand had to have a contemporary look.

The new strategy of VIP is focusing on capturing or owning the concept of “Travel”. The logo was changed to a more contemporary logo and the ads were changed to communicate the new positioning. The agency thought of the most appropriate moments of travel and decided that the “ time of departure “ is the most critical constituents of travel. The ads aimed to tie the brand to Travel. Thus originated the “ Bye- Bye “ campaign with a very youthful imagery that appealed more the new generation travelers. The baseline was changed to “ Happy journey” thus attempting to own the concept of traveling.

The new campaigns were supported by new ranges of products. The sub brands of VIP include Delsey (international brand from France) to capture the premium segment, Footloose: the trendy bags for the youth, Buddy: school bags and Alfa: value for money segment.
VIP is a market leader that is trying hard to retain its leadership position. It had failed to create barriers for competition by keeping many categories open for competition to enter. Now also leather bag category is now seeing lot of action with big players like Hidesign taking the lead. VIP does not have a presence in this segment.

But with its strong brand equity and ability to change with the consumer trends will help VIP in its future battles.

VIP : Happy Journey

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rexona : Won't Let You Down.

Brand : Rexona
Company: HLL
Agency: JWT

Rexona soap was launched in India in 1947. It is one of the well known brand in the 4500 crore soap market. Although the brand does not have any significant market share, it has a loyal customer base. Rexona soap was positioned as natural skin care soap for a silky glowing skin. With its excellent quality and good communication, initially the brand was well received by Indian consumer. In 1989, the brand came out with Coconut based ingredient which was one of its kinds at that period.

But over the period this product lost its way and was competing with HLL’s own brand Hamam. In 2003 HLL as a part of the “ Power Brand “ strategy decided to merge this brand with Lux. Thus came the variant “ Rexona with Lux cream”. In 2005 HLL again decided to make Rexona independent. All these measures ensured that a good product like Rexona be battered to pulp in the Indian market. Rexona is an indigenous brand created by HLL to market in India.

Rexona deodorant is a different story altogether. Rexona was originally created in Australia in 1900. Rexona is the largest deo brand in the world and the brand is estimated to be worth around Rs2000 crore and is available in 90 countries. Rexona is the brand that created the deodorant market in India. This brand is a classic case that proves the marketing ability of HLL. Deodorant market was virtually non existent in India till 1995. Some international brands were available but the market was virtually non existent. Indian consumers were not bothered by their own odor. Infact we believed that body odor was the other person’s problem. So HLL had the task of build awareness of the need of the consumers to smell good. For that Rexona ads educated the customers the main source of odor is armpits which generate 90% of odor and only 1% sweat. When the other brands like Baccarose talked in terms of aspirational features, Rexona talked about the rational benefits of the product. It was positioned along the baseline “ har pal sath nibhaye” . Rexona was introduced initially in the form of Roll On and Stick and later to aerosols. The sticks were priced smartly to induce the customers to try the products.The effective campaigns and smart pricing created a category of Deo in India. The deo market zoomed from 0 to 70 crore in less than 3 year’s time.

Rexona faced competition basically from grey market international brands like brut. Rexona was perceived by Indian consumers as an Indian brand because of its presence in the soap category. Ironically, the Rexona soap is available only in India. Because of the low pricing and its local association, Rexona could not be positioned as a premium deo.

There are three type of deos
1. Body spray
2. Alcohol based germ fighters
3. Antiperspirant
Rexona falls into the third category.

Rexona deo introduced lot of variants in order to block competition from entering the category it has created. HLL also introduced AXE and Denim to further consolidate the position.
Rexona Deo is now positioned as a unisex brand with the baseline “ Won’t let you down”. It is highlighting the brand as world’s largest selling deo and the rational benefit of 24 hr protection.

While Rexona deo is enjoying its leadership in the deo, the soap is wandering around in the market like an orphan. Since the soap brand is now disassociated with Lux, I hope that it will get some oxygen.
I personally feel that Rexona should be positioned as a natural soap and variants like cucumber etc will create a niche for it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Cinthol : Get Ready, Get Close

Brand : Cinthol
Company: Godrej consumer products ltd
Agency ; Orchard Advertising

Cinthol is a 54 year old soap brand from Godrej Consumer products ltd. This brand features in the Interbrand;s Super Brand 2004-05. This is a brand that has withstood the so-called MNC onslaught. This very own Indian brand has been carefully nurtured by the company and owns a special place in the Indian consumer’s mind.

Cinthol was launched in the year 1952. The original Cinthol comes with a red pack (still the old Cinthol is available in the market) and the unique Fougere perfume became a big hit during its launch itself. Cinthol have a market share of about 2.5% in value terms. The brand is contemporary and positioned as a masculine soap with USP of protection from body odor.

Godrej have always tried to experiment with this product, trying out new things and coming out with different variants. This has enabled the product be in tune with the changing consumer trends.

Cinthol heavily promoted the product using celebrities of the likes of Vinod Khanna and Imran Khan in 1986 . In 1989 Cinthol tried to catch the lime freshness trend using Cinthol Lime which was a big hit. During 1992 it came out with Cologne. The brand went for a major overhaul in 1993-1995 with a new pack. But there was a customer outcry for the old Cinthol. Eventually the company had to relaunch the original Cinthol and the new range was branded as Cinthol International.

Original Cinthol have the usp of deo + complexion is said to be the first of its kind in India. Cinthol is also made of vegetable oils and not animal fats and was popular for this quality. Cinthol name is derived from SYNTHetic + phenol ( SYNTHOL)
In 2004, the brand embarked on a new positioning of “ Get Ready ,Get Close” The brand also have extensions like Talcum powder and Deo but these extensions were not as successful as this brand.

Cinthol was promoted using smart ads and the product quality was perceived to be excellent. But now Cinthol is lying low with virtually no advertisements. This is a great brand with huge potential. I feel that Cinthol Deo if promoted heavily can easily beat the likes of AXE. But these products are seldom available in the stores.

Cinthol have to Get Ready to Get Close with the new Generation.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sprite : Ban Gaya Bakwaas !

Brand : Sprite
Company: Coca Cola
Agency : O&M

Sprite is one of the fastest growing brand in the 7000 crore carbonated soft drink (CSD) market in India. Taking the place of the erstwhile Limca, the brand is positioned as a basic thirst quencher. The brand in India is competing with Mountain Dew.

Sprite was launched in India in 1999 has caught the attention of Indian consumer by positioning itself as a plain soft drink. The initial baseline have rightly captured the essence of Sprite as “ Bujaye only pyas, Baki All Bakwas “. The protagonist in the campaigns also have that “ cool “ attitude thus breaking clutter of high decibel Cola ads. While Mountain Dew which have a cult status in the west so far did not achieve such a status in India. Analysts say that the protagonists in Mountain Dew does not have the mass appeal as that of Sprite. Mountain Dew world wide is positioned as an icon blaster. In India, Coca Cola was able to capitalize on that positioning better with Sprite.

With the war in this segment hotting up , Dew tried to directly attack the Sprite by portraying the protagonist as a dumbass. But not with much success.

Sprite changed the baseline of “ Baki all Bakwaas “ to “ No gyan only Sprite” and tried to further build on the successful positioning. But some of the ads went too far with the protagonist portraying a larger than life image. Then again the baseline changed to “ Clear Hai “ .
I feel that the baseline “ Baki all Bakwaas “ was changed too soon because it had immense potential for further communication and clearly states the brand’s essence. The subsequent baseline had to be scrapped because it offered limited substance to the creative team to work on. The latest baseline is also have limited flexibility compared to the Bakwaas baseline.

It is evident that the brand is going to lose its soul by having a celebrity endorsement in the form of Sania Mirza. I have no idea why a brand that is positioned as a plain thirst quencher, promoted as an icon blaster, go after a celebrity? By using the celebrity, the brand has diluted what ever equity it had created over these years. Just think about a consumer who have used Sprite because he is bored by all the hype of colas ( they are the defined TG of Sprite isn’t it?) by seeing the brand towing the same line as the other brands, will he be impressed?

Now Mountain Dew is serving for match point….

Sprite : Ban Gaya Bakwaas

Friday, March 03, 2006

Frooti : Fresh N Juicy

Brand : Frooti
Company: Parle Agro foods
Agency: Grey worldwide

Frooti is the first tetrapak fruit juice in India. Launched in 1984, Frooti still holds a dominant position in the Rs300 crore tetrapak fruit juice (TFJ) market.
Frooti over these years have carved out a niche for itself in the market. Frooti instantly caught the fancy of Indian consumer with its tetrapak and some smart campaigns. Initially the drink was positioned as a kids drink. The product was perceived as a healthy fruit drink by the mothers . So within a short span of time ,the brand was an alternative to the “unhealthy” colas. The tetrapak had other benefits also . Fruit juice is a perishable product and tetrapak have extended the shelf life of Frooti because tetrapaks have 2 layers of paper and a plastic coating that ensured tamper proof and enhanced shelf life.

Lured by the success of Frooti, there was a lot of new launches in the TFJ market. Players like Godrej with Jumpin, kissan etc tried their luck in this market but failed to dislodge Frooti.

Frooti was positioned as a mango drink that is “Fresh-n-juicy” For over a 7 years, the company promoted the product using that famous baseline. The product have tried to create excitement in the market through a series of new variants and packing. But in late ninetees the brand was facing stagnated sales. The company tried to excite the market with an orange and pineapple variant but both the variant bombed. The came the experiment with packaging . The YO! Frooti variant came with a slim paper can aimed at the college going youth.

Worried by the stagnating sales, Parle tried to reposition the brand to appeal to youth aged between 16-21. The positioning changed to be more fun based. The package also changed. The old green color of the bottle changed to more bright mango color with lot of graphics added to it.

One of the most famous marketing campaigns India have witnessed took place during the repositioning. The campaign is the famous “ Digen Verma “ campaign. This campaign was considered as one of the most successful teaser campaigns in India. The campaign lasted for 15 days started in February 2001. The campaign was about a faceless person Digen Verma. There were posters and outdoors all across the markets that had messages like “ Who is Digen verma” “ Digen Verma was here” etc. This created lot of excitement in the market and “Digen Verma “became the most talked about faceless name at that time. The campaign was executed by Everest communication. But the campaign was not followed up and the hype was not translated to long term brand building.

Frooti is basically a nectar based drink so it is not 100% fruit juice, it also have some preservatives added to increase the shelf life. Although Frooti did not face much competition in the category it created, competition came from a slightly different category, 100% fruit juices. Parle saw the emergence of the “ 100% fruit drink market and launched “Njoy” brand but it did not clicked. Parle could have extended Frooti to this market also .The brand Real from Dabur is the main player in this category. Real effectively positioned itself as a premium healthy drink for adults. Frooti was not able to appeal to adults and was considered as a mango drink while Real is not restricted to any flavour. Frooti also changed its positioning statement from ‘ Fresh-N-juicy” to “ Juice Up your life” which have not clicked with the customers.

Although Frooti enjoys a commanding (75%) market share , Frooti is facing stagnation. May be some serious steps should be taken to increase the usage of the product. The launch of PET bottle Frooti is a step in this direction. Recently Frooti also launched a “Green mango” variant just to create some hype in the market. Frooti may have to reposition itself again to appeal to cola drinkers.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Peter England : Honestly Impressive

Brand : Peter England
Company: Madura Garments
Agency: Mudra

Can you sell a product without any marketing gimmick, no film actors telling you that the brand is his secret of success, no hypes or hoopla or in other words can you sell a product honestly?

Peter England is a brand that tries to do just that and that too successfully. Launched in the year 1997, this brand has captured the Indian middle class mind. That too honestly.
Peter England as a brand has a rich heritage. It began in the year 1885 when foundation was struck for 5 storied building in Ireland. In 1888 Peter England factory came in to being. It was during 1889-1902 that the company expanded when it got the order for outfits for British soldiers for the Boer war. The order was large and it demanded quality merchandise at Honest –to- goodness price.

The brand came to India in 1997. During that period there was a huge potential for a mid segment shirts in the 60mn pieces Indian shirt market. The industry was dominated by in store brands and the consumers have to painstakingly check for the right shirt. The then owners of Peter England (Indian Rayon) wanted to tap this segment. Thus evolved the idea of a brand that aims to shorten the buying process of the consumer.

Research also revealed that the consumers perceived premium shirts as overpriced and there was a need for such a national brand. Also another insight was that the market had a perception that good things happen to people who wear good clothes.

Peter England was initially positioned as an “Honest Shirt”. It was a very precise campaign that categorically told the TG that the brand is of good quality and honest- to – goodness price. The strategy clicked and has to click because the product was very good and the price was excellent. It just fit in to ones budget. The TG for the brand was the 24-28 ambitious and career oriented youth.
In order to make sure that the excitement remains, Peter England came out with various ranges and varieties of shirts. The brand also extended to trousers with the same positioning. Although some of the variants like English Cottons compromised on quality , the brand still enjoys a good equity in the TG’s mind.

In 2002 the brand made a slight makeover. The positioning changed to “Honestly Impressive”. The aim is to make the brand more than just value for money proposition but also as a lifestyle brand. It has maintained its value proposition unchanged.

Peter England is a brand that clearly shows a marketer that it is possible to sell... Honestly.