Monday, December 31, 2007

Wishing All A Rocking 2008

Time to say good bye to 2007. A year that saw India shining and rising. 2007 was great for all marketing lovers. The year saw more consolidation than new launches. Marketers was busy concreting their own positions in the market place rather than setting the markets on fire with new product launches.Fireworks were in communicating rather than in new launches.

As usual HUL proved its marketing might with some ground breaking campaigns for Surf and Lifebuoy.HLL transformed itself to Hindustan Unilever Ltd this year.

The new product winner 2007 was Bingo which is giving Lays sleepless nights. Motorola gave jitters to Nokia with some cool commercials. 2007 also saw the rejuvenation of marketer's interest towards celebrities. Now ordinary models are replaced by celebrities and celebrities almost became commodities.2007 also saw the rise of retail. The impact on this will be seen in 2008 when these majors starts launching their private labels.
This year also saw an old icon reentering the scene. Reliance relaunched Vimal in 2007 as a part of their overall retail strategy.
2007 will be remembered as a year of confectioneries. The new launches and branding was like crazy in this category .

The dampeners of 2007 are clearly the Cola majors Pepsi and Coke. Both these brands could not impress either the consumers or the media.

2008 is going to be exciting with lot of marketing fireworks across domains. This blog will be there tracking all the happenings.

Wishing all readers a very happy new year

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Brand Update : Alpenliebe

Alpenliebe has launched a new chocolate variant named Chocoduet Alpenliebe . The campaign features the brand ambassador Ms Kajol and the animated crocodile . Infact recently only I came to know that the name of the crocodile is Mr Munch. One of my readers has jokingly remarked that the crocodile is the symbolic representation of Ajay Devgan . Although personally I hated the new campaign, there are ofcourse a lot of people who liked the freshness of the campaign (???) .However I think that the croc and Kajol is set to stay for Alpenliebe.
Watch the ad for Chocoduet here : Chocoduet

Perfetti had entered the chocolate echlair market with the brand Chocoliebe. The company also has a chocolate flavored candy Chocotella. This time, the company is filling the line with the chocolate variant of Alpenliebe.
It is interesting to note the brand name strategy of Chocoduet. The brand name is set in such a manner that the new variant will not affect the core brand Alpenliebe. Alpenliebe is a pure sugar filled caramel candy.When a chocolate variant is launched, the new taste & form is totally different from the core brand can dilute the primary association of the core brand. Hence the name Chocoduet is being promoted as the primary brand and Alpenliebe in a sense endorses Chocoduet. If successful, Chocoduet may be developed as an individual brand otherwise it will be silently taken off the market.
On the promotions front, the brand has not been using the Mr Munch to the fullest. Mr Munch could be used in OOH aswellas through cartoons and virals - something like adventures of Mr Munch ( targeted at kids). There is one problem also in promoting Mr Munch because Nestle owns the brand Munch and this can land Perfetti in trouble over trademark violation.
With regard to the core brand Alpenliebe, I still have the opinion that the new positioning ' lalach aaha Laplap" does not come anywhere near the earlier positioning of ' every moment is an occasion to celebrate '

Related brand

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Another Milestone for Marketing Practice

Marketing Practice reached another milestone. The blog now has information and analysis of 300 Indian brands. To mark this milestone, I selected a true case of successful branding- Hyundai Santro .
I also thank all the readers and my students who has inspired me keep this project going.

I wish all the readers MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santro : The Sunshine Car

Brand : Santro
Company : Hyundai Motors
Agency : Saatchi & Saatchi

Brand Analysis Count : 300

Santro is a fine example of successful branding. It is a classic example of successful marketing in Indian context. Santro was launched in India in 1998. When Hyundai was contemplating its foray into the Indian market, it was planning to launch a C segment car ( Accent) . But however, Hyundai changed its strategy and launched Santro in the tough small car market.

Santro is the Indian version of the successful Hyundai model Atos. Hyundai was faced with lot of perception issues prior to the launch of Santro. The issue was with regard to the country of origin. Indians were unsure about Korean products especially automobiles. Hence the first task was t o ensure that Indian consumers develop a positive association with Korean car makers.
Second issue was developing a corporate image for Hyundai. Since cars are high involvement product, customers will make a choice looking on the maker, service support, spares availability , quality etc. Hence the launch of Santro should also launch the corporate brand Hyundai.
Third issue was about the design of Santro. Santro was designed to be a tall boy car and initial product testing revealed that Indians didnot liked the tall boy design. So the unenviable task for Hyundai was to make Indian consumers like Santro.

The fourth issue was the grip of Maruti on the Indian car market. The B segment was dominated by Zen which has proved itself to be a reliable workhorse. Zen was the preferred and logical upgrade to 800 and the car was considered to be the most reliable and powerful in that segment. To convert the potential Zen users to Santro was really a nightmare for any marketer.
Hyundai marketers had a tough task ahead. A lot was dependent on Santro's success. For the brand launch, Hyundai roped in Saatchi & Saatchi as the ad agency.
Thus came the first commercial : Watch the first Santro commercial here : Santro 1
The ad introduced Kim and Shah Rukh and a glimpse of the car. Kim was the Hyundai official who wanted SRK to be the brand ambassador for Santro. The name Kim was chosen wisely because the only familiar Korean name known to Indians was KIM .The ad introduced the brand and the company with a subtle statement from Kim : We settle only for the best.
The first ad was followed by teaser ads where Kim tries to convince SRK that Hyundai is serious about India, the quality issue and the brand Santro.
Watch the two launch ads : Here & Here
These ads really created a hype in the market about Santro. Teaser ads are dangerous and expensive. Dangerous because if the teaser failed to click, the entire product launch will land up in trouble . Another issue is that the brand should follow up the hype built by teaser ads. In the case of Santro, the teasers were intelligently made and clicked.
Finally came the launch ad which showed Shah Rukh who represented the Indian consumer saying " I am Convinced" to Kim. Shah Rukh fitted perfectly to the promotional scheme of Santro.
Along with the launch came the criticism. Understandably the criticism was towards the tall boy design of Santro . There were reports which called Santro the Ugly car. Santro answered that through its performance. Indian consumers experienced a new way of driving comfort. More than the campaigns, it was the performance that made Santro a runaway success.
With in 4 years of launch , Santro became the second largest selling car in India displacing Zen. Those who wrote bad about the tall boy design began to write about the advantages of this tall boy design.
Santro was initially positioned on the design aspect. It turned its biggest disadvantage into an advantage. But later , Santro was positioned itself as a complete family car. The brand was targeting those 800 users who wanted to upgrade into the B segment. The target market was the 35-45 yrs middleclass Indians.
All through these years, Hyundai also came out with product improvements and upgrades. Santro Zipplus was launched focusing more on the zippy nature of the car. But then came the competition. Maruthi launched Alto and Wagon R and came Indica which displaced Santro from the second position. The brand was also facing the issue of looking dated. It was time for Hyundai to reposition the brand.
Hyundai changed Santro completely in 2003. The entire design was changed and new Santro was launched as Santro Xing. Santro Xing launch ad also featured SRK and Kim. Santro Xing gave a new life to Santro. The car looked more spacious and the looks was contemporary.
Santro along with the new looks also changed its TG from 35- 45 to 25 -30. The brand felt that Santro should be considered as the first car rather than the upgrade. The brand wanted to appeal to the first time car buyers . To catch the young buyers, the brand was positioned as "Sunshine car' . Santro roped in Priety Zinta also as the brand ambassador.
Watch the commercial here : Sunshine car
Sunshine was communicating two intangibles : Freshness and youthful attitude. The brand was moving to a " Change your life " positioning. Priety was the sunshine girl. The big idea was that Santro will bring sunshine to your life. A car that can change the life of a young Indian.
As usual the campaign and the new Santro was a big hit. Along with these campaigns, Santro also ran some ads focusing on promoting the brand as the first choice rather than as an upgrade.
The last campaign of Santro was highlighting the virtues of a Santro users.
Watch the campaign here : Santrowale
The campaign was to portray Santro users as smart and intelligent and the ad was pitted against a similar campaign of Wagon R

After nine years of launch, Santro is facing its maturity stage in its PLC . The sales have stagnated and price war from Maruti and a slew of launches like Chevy Spark , have hurt the sales of Santro. Santro is also banking on price cuts and sales promotions to stay afloat. Hyundai has recently launched a new brand i10 to take the place of Santro. With the imminent launch of Tata's 1 lakh car in 2009, Santro may be used as a low priced flanking brand for i10 in future.
Santro is the best example of managing a product lifecycle. Santro has managed to keep its market position by regular upgrades, product changes , relaunches and repositioning. It has been consistent in delivering excellent quality and functional performance through out its life. The brand is still a preferred upgrade for many middleclass car users.
On this context, I wish to cite a personal experience at the dealership experience I had while choosing my car. I inquired about Santro aswellas Alto at respective dealers in Cochin . While the Maruti dealers were constantly following up with offers and schemes, I was surprised to find that Santro dealer was least interested in making a sale. Complacency has already crept in at the dealer points ( my perception). Understandably so because sales were happening without much effort. As a marketing professional, I feel that Santro is losing some 10 % sale because of this laidback approach of its dealers.

Santro still has lot of fuel to keep itself going. But for that Hyundai may have to keep the price down so that potential Alto users can strech a bit and buy Santro. There is a chance that with the launch of i10, the focus on Santro will slowly decrease and that is a bad news for all those who love this brand.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Kangaro : Organizing Documents World Over

Brand : Kangaro
Company : Kanin ( Kangaro Industries Ltd)

Brand Count : 299

This is a short post about an offbeat brand. I have neither seen an ad nor any promotions of this brand but for over a decade I have been using this brand. If you work in an office ( in India) you may have definitely used Kangaro staplers.
Kangaro is a major player in the office stationery market especially in staplers and paper punches. The brand is from Janki Dass Jain group from Ludhiana. The company was established in 1958-59 and has been a leading player both in domestic and international markets.

The only reason why one may have never seen an ad of Kangaro is that it operates in the B2B market where more than ad, the stress is on personal sales. Having been a user of Kangaro products, there are certain factors that makes this brand stand out.

The first factor is the quality of both the staplers and the stapler pins. Kangaro has offered exceptional and consistent quality because I have personal experience in using local staplers which either rusted very fast or caused problems while stapling. According to the brand website Kangaro has won some international awards in quality which has enabled it to build its reputation worldwide.

Another factor was the attention the company has given to packaging. Kangaro staplers and pins comes in packages which looks truly international. The use of white and green ( usual color of Kangaro stapler box) gives it an elegant look.There has been some trademark lawsuits when Kangaro challenged some players who copied some of the design elements.
Third factor is the support that the retailer gives for this brand. Ask for a stapler or a punch , more often, the retailer choice is Kangaro.

The brand since it operates in the B2B segment faces the issue of competition from local players aswellas cheap products from china. That is where the issue of branding comes into prominence. When the product faces competition from similar low priced manufacturers, brand makes the difference. Kangaro have already made its reputation across the business segments worldwide and the quality has been the prime differentiator.
Starting from staplers, the brand has extended itself to clips, gun takers, lever arch mechanisms etc. The company has also added a slew of staplers for various uses both business and houses. From the ordinary looking staplers, the product has evolved to become more stylish and elegant.
Kangaro is an example of branding without advertising. But with the market becoming cluttered with price competition and a segment of home-office growing, there is a good reason for this brand to start campaigning.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mintrox : Life eej Hard

Brand : Mintrox
Company : Parle
Agency : Creative Land

Brand Analysis Count : 298

Mintrox is a new product launch from Parle Agro. After selling off some of its brands, Parle is making a comeback into the Rs 3500 crore confectionery market in India. Usually the mint based confectionery market faces competition from chewing gums especially in the platform of mouth freshness.
Mintrox is not a gum but a hard boiled sugar confectionery. As usual Mintrox is promoted using fun and absurdism which has proved to be an effective formula in the confectionery category. Mintrox is a hard mint with rock like shape. The brand has used this product characteristic as the big idea. Mintrox is using the cliche " Life is hard " as the basic platform for its campaign. The idea is that since life is hard , you need a hard mint candy.
Mintrox is now launched with four flavors - peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon mint and menthol mint. The brand is targeting urban 18-30 segment.
The brand is now promoting its two variants using visual media.
Watch the Tvc here : Mintrox cinnamon
The entire promotions of Mintrox evolves around the theme " Life is hard ". The tvc also executes this old idea in a refreshing manner. The second campaign involves a convict who escapes from the jail only to land up in a mental hospital. The brand uses the tagline ' Life eej hard' which I think has the potential to become a hit tagline in campuses.
What is interesting is that the brand has also started taking the OOH media also to promote the positioning. According to agencyfaqs, Mintrox is planning to brand the first two front rows of cinema theaters with the concept 'life is hard ' to sympathize with the viewers since these two rows are the most uncomfortable ones.
'Life eej hard' is a big idea that has lot of potential. The idea is also perennial . Agencyfaqs say that the brand has identified more than 40 situations which reflects the theme. I also feel that the concept of ' life is hard' can be used to capture the campuses. The potential is enormous.Most of the time confectionery marketers are struggling to keep the brand in the top of mind of consumers. Brands often run out of ideas for promotions which adversely affect the sales. Mintrox's has been fortunate to find out a concept that has lot of fuel to keep running.
That is the power of a good idea.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pureit : As Safe as Boiled Water

Brand : Pureit
Company : HUL

Brand Analysis Count : 297

Pureit is the first foray of the FMCG major into the consumer durable market. Pureit is the water purifier appliance from HUL. Pureit made its test marketing debut in 2005. The brand was initially launched in Chennai. During the test marketing, the result was pretty encouraging and the brand was launched nationally in 2007.
The domestic water purifier appliances market is estimated to be Rs 450 crore ( HBL may 03/07) and is dominated by Aquaguard from Eureka Forbes. As discussed elsewhere in the blog, this category was not growing very fast because of the high cost of the product. The entry level water purifier was costing anywhere between Rs 5000- Rs10,000 .

Pureit is a battery operated purifier . The company uses the following differentiation points against the main competitor Aquaguard by claiming that the product works without gas/electricity thus the cost per litre of pure water is very less. More over the brand is priced at a tempting Rs 1600 which makes it the lowest priced purifier compared to Aquaguard or Kent.

Pureit is being positioned on the basis of its performance. The brand claims that the water from the purifier is ' as safe as the boiled water ' . By claiming that it purifies water as safe as boiling water, Pureit is trying to achieve Points of Parity with Aquaguard and Kent which also claims the same feature. Along with this POP, the brand tries to differentiate on the following points :
a. no electricity/gas
b. Cost per litre low
c. Price of the product is also low

Pureit works on different cleaning layers to ensure purity. There is a fibre mesh layer which removes visible dirt. Then comes a unique carbon trap that filters harmful pesticides and dirt. Then comes the USP - Germkill processor which kills all the bacteria and virus. Then there is a polisher which gives clear odorless water and a battery life indicator which tells you when to replace the battery. The product has a capacity of 9 liters in the upper chamber and 9 liters in the transparent chamber. According to the product website, the battery lasts for 1500 liters and the replacement battery costs Rs 250.
Pureit is now being promoted through all media. There are ads in local print as well as TV. Being the FMCG major, HLL was able to place the product in most of the supermarkets and key consumer points. The brand uses the tagline " As Safe as Boiled water'. The brand is mainly targeting households (mothers ) which have small kids.

Apart these common above the line promotions, what has struck me was the below the line promotions that HUL has undertaken for Pureit. A visit to my doctor proved it. There was a product displayed prominently in his clinic with all necessary brochures and inquiry forms.The brand is using the influencing power of the medical fraternity to its advantage. For the doctor , it just means that his patient has access to pure water while waiting but for the brand this small gesture adds lot of authenticity. HUL has done pretty good homework on this product. The brand is available in shops and also sold through direct marketing associates.
Although the low price of this product will help it to penetrate many households , there are certain issues also.
Pureit is a consumer durable that requires after sales support. When even specialist consumer durable companies are blamed for offering poor after sales support, can an FMCG company deliver efficient customer service.
Another issue is the replacement battery. Will HUL be able to offer this spare without delay ?
At the consumer side, the problem is with the battery. It is crucial that the consumer replace the battery at the right time and use this product. A delay in the supply of battery can cause non-usage for Pureit at households thus causing bad word of mouth. May be it is because of this fear that HUL in its website tells the consumers to buy an additional spare battery.
The brand has more chance of longterm survival if it is promoted through the direct marketing venture ( Hindustan Lever Network) of HLL .

Pureit is a product that is a boon to Indian consumers. Its a boon because it has helped making a category more affordable. More than that, the quality of potable water in our country is deteriorating day by day creating health hazards especially for kids. By making a product at an affordable cost, HUL has made another positive impact in its consumer's quality of life.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Brand Update : Santoor

Santoor has launched a new variant : Santoor Glycerine. Through this variant, Santoor is entering the turf of Pears . Glycerin soap market size is estimated to be around Rs 280 crore ( BS dtd 21/11/07). Pears in a sense is owning the market for glycerin soaps.
Santoor Glycerin is being positioned as a moisturizing and nourishing soap. The launch is in line with the winter season when the skin needs moisturizing. The campaigns are already on air .

Watch the TVC here : Santoor Glycerin
The brand is following the same " Younger Skin " positioning. The new variant is trying to differentiate itself with the Sandal + Glycerin formula where as Pears is a pure glycerin soap. Santoor has also not used either Saif or Madhavan in the campaign for this variant.It is interesting to note that Pears is also using the mother- daughter equation.Santoor Glycerin may not hurt the position of Pears but may create a space for itself .

A normal doubt that arises is whether the launch of this variant will hurt the parent brand . Pears was not successful when it launched some variants ( mint blue) because it was strongly associated with glycerin and also the brand element ( color). But in the case of Santoor, the brand is closely associated with Sandal and turmeric. The new variant also has sandal which is in line with the parent brand. The new variant has all the brand elements of original Santoor. The protagonist is same and interestingly the Color is also the same. Hence there is a better chance of this variant adding value to the original Santoor. The variant gives a chance to the loyal customers to experiment new product within the brand portfolio and also encourage new consumers to the brand.

Related Brands

Monday, December 17, 2007

Brand Update : Kingfisher Airlines

Kingfisher is right now running a print campaign in major business publications. To be frank , the campaign did not catch my eye because it is too ' Un-Kingfisher " ads. I expected the Kingfisher ads to be flashy, glamorous but these ads were totally against my perception.

The new series of campaigns are focused on the functional attributes of the airlines. Deviating from the usual flashy ads, Kingfisher is now appealing to the Left- brain of the consumers. The ads are targeting the three segments of users i.e Children, Ladies and Males but the ads are talking to Men who are the key decision makers .

The ad for the young travelers talks about special kids meal,wide seats and games. The ad ends with an appeal to the father that " Your little prince deserves to feel like a King ".

The ad for the lady travelers talks about the seats that bend all the way back, the footrest that will pop up , life valets when your lady lands at the airport at midnight and helping hands that lift her bag. The ad ends with the message " Queen of your heart deserves to fly like one ".

The third in the series aims at the decision maker itself. The ad aimed at male traveler as usual talks about the ' flying models ", the smile that tastes better than the icecream, spectacle cleaner and the air-boutique. The ad ends with the message ' Every man's seat feels like his throne'.

The new campaigns aims to reinforce the service differentiation of this airline. Kingfisher has humbled Jet Airways through its clever service differentiation. But to sustain the service differentiation is not easy because the competition can easily emulate or even make good on your service strategy. Also the brand should keep its costs under control when offering service differentiation. That requires a clear understanding on the consumer expectation regarding the service quality .
With regard to the quality of campaign, it may miss some eyeballs because of not being an eye catchy ad. But the message surely is smart. The basic premise in this ad campaign is that Men are the decision makers with regard to this service. May be a campaign aimed at lady executives may also come in the future.

One strategic reason behind this campaign is to broaden the user base for this brand. Kingfisher has been a hit with the young ( at heart) male fliers and the 'flying models ' , inflight service were well taken by this segment. May be the brand managers feel that Kingfisher is not perceived as a airline for " Family " . The campaigns, the positioning , the hostess all make the brand to be perceived as an airline for men. This can create certain issues in the future and there is a potential problem of the brand restricting itself to a specific gender. The new campaign tries to address this issue and is wooing the non-business travelers as well as the family members of the TG. By way of addressing the larger audience , Kingfisher is trying to take on the Jet Airways' main customers.

On the promotional front, Kingfisher has signed up the latest diva of bollywood Ms Deepika Padukone as the brand ambassador.

Related Brand

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Brand Update : Power Soaps

In one of my earlier posts I had severely criticized the positioning and differentiating strategy of Power brand from RKN group. 'Nature Power " is the company's brand in the bathing soap segment. The brand is now running its promotional campaign in the visual media. It is interesting to see the evolution of marketing strategy of such small brands. Like the brand Dyna ( from Anchor) 'Nature Power ' also has identified its core differentiation strategy. The differentiator is same as that of Dyna - the TFM content. ' Nature Power" soap boasts about 76% TFM content and is positioning itself as 'best soap' in the category.
The brand in its campaign has used Miss India Niharika Singh as the model.
Related Brand
Power Soaps

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Brand Update : Lays

Lays has relaunched itself in the health platform. This December, Lays has launched the concept of Snack Smart which talks about a healthy snack. Now Lays is with 40% less saturated fat. That means same taste and more healthy.
The latest launch is in line with the announcement made by Pepsico's Global Chief Ms Indra Nooyi that the Company is moving towards a healthy platform. This initiative is intended to silence the critics that Potato Wafers are junk food. Ofcourse it is ... but now 40% less junky.
Watch the TVC here : Lays

Together with the relaunch, Lays has introduced new flavors : Lay's Chaat Street, Mint Mischief and Wafer Style. The new variant which are Indian flavors is a result of the tough competition from Bingo. Its interesting to note that Bingo has forced Lays to relearn its own lessons. Lays had captured the Indian consumer's mind through Indianisation but later somewhere the brand lost its focus. Bingo to a certain extent beat Lays in its own game.
The latest health positioning is definitely going to give Lays some additional leverage in the market. But Bingo is not sleeping either, if you have noticed the pack of Bingo , it says " Baked , Not Fried " to remind the consumer that no oil is used.

The "Healthy " competition has started....
source : Business Standard.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kandamkulathy Eladi Lehyam : Making Ayurveda Popular

Brand : Eladi Lehyam
Company : Kandamkulathy Vaidyasala

Brand Analysis Count : 296

The brand that is featured today is offbeat and unique. Those readers outside Kerala ( South India) may not have heard about a brand known as Eladi Lehyam. But this small brand from Kerala has lots of lessons for a marketer.
Eladi Lehyam is a brand of Kandamkulathy Vaidyasala. Kandamkulathy is a well known ayurvedic company in Kerala. The Vaidyasala ( traditional name for ayurvedic clinic ) has a rich tradition of over 150 years . The firm which was started by late Shri K P Pathrose Vaidyan has now grown into a company with over 500 product ranges and over 20 patents.

India boasts about its rich tradition of ayurvedic way of treatment. The ayurvedic treatment has been a permanent feature in most of the campaigns that highlight India as a tourist destination ( example : Incredible India campaign). But within India, ayurvedic marketers are facing difficulty in attracting the new generation into this system of medicine. In my opinion Ayurveda is fighting hard to sustain the competition from Allopathic system of medicine. Since Indians have strong roots in their traditions, this system is still in the Consideration Set of the prospective customers. But Ayurveda is considered only after modern medicine by most .
But the real problem lies in attracting the new generation into this system . There is no doubt about the effectiveness of the treatment system, but the issue is with regard to convenience. It is in this area that Allopathy scores over Ayurveda. Usually youngsters are put off by the lengthy healing time and the strict dietary regime which is a part of the treatment system in Ayurveda. Most of the Kashayams ( syrups) taste very bad which adds to the unpopularity of this system among youngsters. What today's customer looks for is a single pill that cures all very fast ( Panacea !)
Modern Ayurvedic practitioners has tried to adapt to the changing times. Now the sour tasting syrups are available in capsules. Practitioners have also liberalized the dietary regime to fit the modern lifestyle. It is estimated that the total size of the ayurvedic products is about $1 billion. It is in this context that brands like Eladi assumes significance.
Eladi Lehyam is a propriety medicine of Kandamkulathy for the treatment of sore throat & coughs. It has expectorant properties and also provides immunity against common cold and cough. Kandamkulathy has the patent for the Eladi Lehyam combination.
Eladi Lehyam was initially launched in the Lehyam product form. Lehyams are thickened and sweetened semisolid extract of a single herb or a combination of herbs. The product form made this brand less popular because consuming lehyam may not be possible during work . It is often messy and you have to wash your hands after taking it or use a spoon . So people preferred the easy to use lozenges like Vicks and Strepsils.
chewable tablet became highly popular. In this segment, the brand faced competition from Understanding this problem, Kandamkulathy launched Eladi Lehyam in chewable tablet form which became highly popular. Since the brand was proved effective in soothing the throat, Eladianother similar ayurvedic tablet branded as "Thalees" from SD Pharmacy.

The innovation did not stop at that . This year , Kandamkulathy launched a granule product form of Eladi Lehyam. What attracted me was the new packaging which was modern and user friendly . The pack looks similar to Tic Tac breath mints pack. What is interesting is that the new variant looks totally Un-Ayurvedic.The granules are more powerful than the tablets and it seems that this version is aiming at those who liked the lehyam form.

Right now the granule variant is heavily promoted in the media across the state. The positioning is based on the ease of use and the packing acts as the key anchor.
I am not commenting on the future of this brand . The brand faces competition from the likes of Vicks which have a strong equity in the market. But I am thoroughly impressed by the efforts of a small company to make its flagship brand sustain in this market. Eladi is an example of how brands change in tune with times. It also shows that even small firms can make meaningful customer centric innovations. The new variant may fail or succeed but this brand should be an inspiration for all smaller brands who wants to make it big.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

5 Star : Jo Khaye Kho Jaye

Brand : 5 Star
Company : Cadbury
Agency : O & M

Brand Analysis Count : 295

5 Star is the second biggest chocolate brand in the Cadbury portfolio. 5 Star is a heritage brand which came to India in 1969. Currently this brand have a marketshare of over 14 % .
5 Star is a chocolate bar with caramel naugat inside. The bar is known for its unique taste and has been a favorite brand of all chocolate lovers.Over these years, this brand has established its brand element - golden color firmly in the mind of the consumers.
Although this brand lags behind the market leader Dairy Milk, the company had made substantial investment in this brand over these years. The brand has been relaunched more than 9 times in the last 15 years. Its interesting to note the repositioning exercises that has been done on this brand over these years
1970's : 5 Star was positioned on the basis of its taste. The brand had the tagline " Deliciously Rich, You'd hate to share ".
1980's : Saw the brand highlighting its soft and chewy nature. During this period the brand also had the positioning based on " Togetherness' . 5 Star had the campaign " Lingering taste of togetherness ".
1990's : Saw a major repositioning for the brand focusing on the energy factor. 5 Star was positioned as Energy bar . The product had glucose hence gave instant dose of energy.
1994 : The brand used the tagline " Reach out for stars " ,taking a cue from the name.
1997-1998 : 5 star took the youth wagon and positioned on the two attributes : energy and youthfulness. The brand had the tagline " Mera own energy zone "
1999 : The brand came out with the tagline " Dil hai to josh hai " again positioning itself on the energy platform
In the millennium, the brand came out with a variant 5 Star Crunchy which had added rice crispies to make it more crunchy. The brand had the campaign with the voiceover "Arrey "( surprise).
The brand had faced lot of competition throughout its lifecycle. The competition was not from similar caramel chocolates but from brands like Kitkat and Cadbury's own brands CDM and Perk. Another issue that the brand faced was the price-value proposition . Cadbury had reduced the grammage of the brand ( quantity) drastically during 2000-2005 which hurt the brand very much. Not only the bar was less filling, customers felt that its too pricey.
This year saw a rejuvenation effort for 5 star. The brand is being repositioned on the taste platform. The new campaign give the brand a new tagline " Jo Khaaye, Kho Jayee" meaning " Lost in the taste of 5 star ".
Watch the TVC here : 5 Star
This time 5 star is on a 360 degree marketing campaign with added focus on digital media. The brand has a new website where the brand has tried to build a viral campaign.
Along with the new campaign , a new variant has been launched 5 Star Fruit and Nut. Like CDM, 5 Star is also targeting the youth market. Although the taste is a good platform, I didn't like the execution of this idea in the new campaign ( There is no creative spark in the ads) . It does not require an O&M to come out with such a campaign.
5 Star is an example of consistent investment in longterm brand building. The brand has never shied from experimenting and repositioning. I feel that like other confectionery brands, 5 Star also needs a celebrity to keep its share of mind. Its not that celebrity endorsement is necessary for a heritage brand like 5 Star but I feel that 5 Star never had a consistent USP or positioning. What comes to my mind about 5 Star is its caremel taste. If the brand has decided to take taste as its USP , a celebrity can reinforce that better and give the campaigns an edge.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Brand Update : Chandrika

After repositioning itself on the SPA imagery, Chandrika is going for another repositioning exercise. This time the brand is relying on the " usual " caring mother platform. It seems Chandrika has discarded the earlier SPA equation .

The new ad talks about the ayurvedic essence of the brand (attribute) and how it takes care of the skin. The new campaign is also trying the laddering up strategy. Chandrika is now trying to own up " Freedom " as its new brand manthra. The concept is that the brand enables the user freedom from all skin problems thus helping her to live life fully. Although the idea is old, the agency has managed to execute it in an effective manner.
Watch the new TVC here : Chandrika

Repositioning a brand too often is not advisable for a brand in a long term perspective. One thing that I noticed about this brand is the absence of a slogan ( tagline). Slogans are considered to be powerful brand element that can reinforce a brand's positioning. May be its time for Chandrika to do a soul searching and develop a consistent positioning platform.
Related Brand

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Toyota Qualis : RIP (2000-2004)

Brand : Qualis
Company : Toyota
Agency : Dentsu

Brand Analysis Count : 294

Qualis is a puzzling brand for most of the marketing students. The simple reason is that Toyota stopped the production of this brand when Qualis was having its highest market share in Indian market.
Qualis was launched in India in 2000. At that time itself the brand caught headlines because it was the first product of Toyota in India. Qualis was atleast two generation old when it was launched in India. Qualis is Indian version of Toyota Kijang from Indonesia. There were cases of globally dated models introduced in India biting the bullet like Peaugot 306 . So there were skeptics who forcasted doom for Qualis.
Those predicted failure for Qualis had real logical reasons. First, Qualis was a dated model. Indian consumers are aware of global trends and may not accept an outdated model . Second was the design of Qualis. Qualis was not good looking. Hence the chances of the brand's acceptance was perceived to be minimal .
But Qualis proved everyone wrong. For Toyota, Qualis was a brand launched to test the market. The brand was launched after careful market research and several consumer insights gave the company confidence to launch this product in the market.
Qualis was a utility vehicle. The brand was competing with the Tata Sumo which was the market leader in the nascent MPV segment.Sumo was a work horse and the product had its problem regarding lack of refinement and brand image. But there was a need for a refined, high quality multi-purpose vehicle.
MPV's are used by businessman and self employed and those who would like to take the entire family around. Sumo was more of a commercial vehicle rather than a family one. Sensing this gap, Qualis was launched as a family MPV.
Qualis was launched with much fanfare and the launch also saw some iconic advertising. The brand was launched with " Touch and Try" campaign which encouraged the customers to test drive the car. The brand initially focused on Space and comfort as the main differentiator. The sales soared once positive word of mouth about the comfort of the car began to circulate. Infact Qualis redifined the MPV segment in India. From rugged product to a refined car, consumers were educated to new levels of comfort.
But things were not rosy for Qaulis . Rather than the intended consumers, this brand began to attract taxi and tour operators. Qualis was selling like hotcakes as taxis. From the initial 9% market share , Qualis dethroned Sumo and was the market leader with over 40% share.
The brand tried to bring back the individual consumer through a series of campaigns and variants. The brand had the following taglines " Touch the perfection " and " Live the Qualis Life" . New luxurious variants were launched to attract businessman and individuals to buy this car. The TG for Qualis were businessman/self employed with an annual income between Rs 600,000- Rs 800,000 who travels atleast 40-50 Km per day. Qualis was known for Quality Durability and Reliability.
With MPV segment taking off, competition was getting hotter for Qualis. New launches from Chevrolet and Mahindra began hurting the market position of Qualis. More than Chevrolet, it was Scorpio that worried Toyota most. The company felt that the intended consumers ( individuals) were moving away from Qualis. Market research suggest that consumer needs are changing and Qualis did not fit into the consumer's schemes.
Toyota had the company policy that a model should have attained leadership position before phasing out. Qualis has attained its saturation point. So the company had the challenge of retaining the leadership position in the segment and also to expand the market. It wanted to get out of the " Taxi " tag. Another development was the famous Innovative International Multipurpose Vehicle Platform ( IMV) which was decided to be the base for all international products from Toyota.
In 2004, Toyota announced the phasing out of Qualis. Interestingly, the month where the phasing out was announced saw record sales for Qualis. Its difficult for a brand to succeed and even more difficult for a marketer to kill a successful brand. Qualis ' death was timely and paved way for a more successful Innova.
The natural question arises when a company decides to kill a brand is about the existing customers. For products which needs after sales support and spares, usually companies have a policy of supporting its phased out brand for over a decade. The existing customers may feel less worried if they are assured support by the company for a reasonable period.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Brand Update : Taj Mahal Tea

Taj Mahal tea has launched a new variant : Dessert Tea. The dessert tea comes in three flavors like French Vanilla, Butterscotch, and Dulce. The new range comes in attractive packaging and is promoted with the brand ambassador Saif Ali Khan.

Dessert teas are new to India ( as far as I know). But it looks strikingly similar to Cappuccino . May be the product is just creamy tea with icecream flavors . What ever it may be , the brand looks tempting.
Taj Mahal Desset tea has the slogan " Pamper Yourself " and the ads are already in various magazines. The brand also has a hip-hop website
The brand is being positioned as a beverage to indulge in. When you are at office or at home, taking this brand will carry you to another world.
The brand is hoping to replicate the success of Bru Cappuccino. The brand stands out with its unique packaging which gives it a premium look. For tea lovers, it is a break from the usual monotony.
One thing to worry for this new range is the limited success that other innovations had in the tea segment. Lipton Iced tea was not a success despite high decibel advertising. However these new flavors and variants will bring back the excitement in the tea segment. Marketers were worried about this category ( tea) losing its charm among the youth. If successful, dessert teas will open new opportunities for tea marketers .
Related Brand
Taj Mahal Tea

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Accu-chek : Live Life The Way You Want

Brand : Accu-chek
Company : Roche

Brand Analysis Count : 293

Accu-chek is a unique brand. The brand is a pioneer in home blood sugar monitoring device market in India. Accu-chek is the brand of global diagnostics major Roche. Roche introduced the revolutionary blood monitoring device in 1983.
India is the facing the huge problem of burgeoning diabetic patients count. According to media reports 20% of world's diabetic patients are in India. This has created a market for diabetic related products in India which is estimated to be over Rs 1236 crore growing at 16%.
Like the brand " Sugarfree" discussed elsewhere in the blog, Accu-chek also treats diabetes as a lifestyle issue rather than a disease. Accu-chek is positioned as an lifestyle enabler rather than a medical device.
This smart positioning comes from the customer insight that diabetes is an obstacle to a person's way of life. Once detected, the person's life changes forever. The lifestyle changes and the enjoyment withers away.
One of the most important part of treatment for diabetes is the regular blood sugar monitoring. Doctors assure the patients that if they are able to monitor sugar levels and adjusts their life, diabetes can be contained. But monitoring blood sugar level involves visits to the lab which is a real boring and damning experience.
It is from this problem that innovative products like home blood monitoring devices were created.These devices are a boon of diabetes patients because of the convenience factor.

Accu-chek is actively promoted by Roche in India. The brand has the ace cricketer Wasim Akram as the brand ambassador. Wasim was diagnosed with diabetes during his peak career point. Most analysts predicted end of career for Akram. But with careful monitoring and control, Wasim came back to cricket and proved the doomsayers wrong. WasimAkram fits perfectly with Accu-chek's positioning of lifestyle enabler. Akram features in the ads of this brand and often participates various events sponsored by the brand.

Accu-chek uses the classic slogan " Live life the way you want". The slogan actively captures the brand's vision and I am quite impressed by the vision of the brand. The brand assures the customers that one can life a healthy life with diabetes.
To reinforce the positioning, the brand is very active in promoting information regarding diabetes. The brand had a CSR initiative in 2004 called Inspiration Series where the brand took up the cause of juvenile diabetes ( kids suffering from diabetes). The brand also leads in observing November 14 as World Diabetes day by organizing awareness camps and road shows.
The brand also is a smart innovator. Accu-chek has lot of variants like Accu-chek integra which was launched in 2007. This product is a premium product which has more advanced features. A typical blood monitoring device consists of a a meter, strip and finger pricker .

Accu-chek is not without competition. The biggest competitor is One Touch Ultra from Johnson and Johnson. The list is long with every major pharma players launching their own brands. All these products are priced higher starting from Rs 2500 and above. The testing strips are also very expensive and now there is a trend where companies sell the meters for low prices and make money on the strips. However for a consumer, these products are a boon and the increased competition may see the prices becoming less and the product becoming more affordable.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Brand Update : Vim

Vim has become better again. After launching the liquid variant to counter the attack of Pril, Vim has taken the battle to Exo.
Exo which is a brand of Jyothi Lab has been positioning itself as the dish wash bar with antibacterial properties. Exo has been promoting the USP of antibacterial bar using the ingredient Cyclozan. The differentiation was effective and the antibacterial attribute gave Exo sufficient consumer attention.
This year, Vim relaunched itself as Antibacterial Vim. The latest relaunch takes on the differentiation of Exo. In marketing theory , we talk about Competitor Points of parity . Competitor points of parity aims to neutralize the points of differentiation of competitors. The latest relaunch of Vim is a classic example of this concept.
Does Exo has a reason to worry?
I think there are two main reasons for Exo to worry. Firstly its USP is no longer unique. The same attribute is now shared with the competitor .
Secondly Vim has put Exo in a trap. The new Vim uses Neem + Lemon as the antibacterial agent while Exo uses Cyclozan which sounds like a chemical. So here again Vim scores over Exo.
Vim is a classic example of how brands sustain its marketshare through careful marketing strategies.
Related Brand

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Brand Update : Kur-lon

After repositioning itself as a home decor brand, Kurl-on is back again focusing on its core product : mattress. The brand is now running a campaign focusing on the mattresses.
Watch the TVC here : Kurl-on
I like this ad because it is simple straight forward and excellently executed. This is a reminder ad to create brand awareness for Kurl-on. You will yawn after seeing the ad.
The new campaign makes sense because there can be a dilution of the of Kurl-on's association with mattresses since it had ventured into related products. So once in a while , the brand has to remind the customers about its main product.
From the beginning itself , Kurl-on had positioned itself as a sleep enabler. The new campaign is an execution of a smart execution of a simple idea.

Related brand


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Transitions : Healthy Sight in Every Light

Brand : Transitions
Company : Transitions Opticals

Brand Analysis Count : 292

Transitions is a niche brand in the 1200 crore Opticals market. Transitions is a pioneer in plastic Photochromic lens market worldwide. The company launched the first commercially viable plastic photochromic lens in 1990 . Transitions optical is a Florida based company formed as a joint venture between PPG Industries and Essilor. The company besides selling Transitions brand of lenses also supplies the technology for leading eyecare marketers across the world.

Transitions lenses are plastic photochromic lenses that automatically adjusts with the changing light conditions. It becomes dark as sunglasses when there is bright sun and become plain when the light is low.
Transitions began its operation in India in 2006 and this year the brand has decided to become aggressive in the Indian market. India is predominately a glass lenses market with a market size of over 75 mn pieces sold every year. The market is moving towards plastic lenses which offers a huge potential for a brand like Transitions.
Transitions is running a campaign in the visual media these days. The brand is positioned on its UV blocking attribute. The ad talks about the danger of exposing to ultra-violet rays and highlights the flexibility of usage of Transitions in various light conditions.
Watch the Tvc here : Transitions
The brand is positioned as an everyday eyewear and helps the customer to do away with having two spectacles ,one for indoor and another for the outdoor. Transitions use the tag line " Healthy sight in every light " true to the positioning of the brand. Priced upwards from Rs 1800, the brand is targeting the premium segment of customers.
The brand is facing an interesting problem in the consumer behavior front. A research by the company showed that Indian consumers spent 65% of the time selecting the frame and only 35% in choosing lenses. Hence the buyer behavior focuses very much on the style rather than the lens. There is again an issue with the branding of lenses. Lenses is still a commodity business and the branding only have just started.
What is making Transitions excited about Indian market is the growing population of IT professional who work across different time zones . The growing cases of VDU syndrome , Computer related eye problems have opened up a huge market for such lenses. These new work related diseases have increased the demand for anti-glare and photochromic lenses.
Transitions has been able to identify the emergence of a new market for branded photochromic lenses in India. The brand faces the competition from unbranded lenses but thee opportunity is too good to resist.
source : FE, Businessline

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

John Miller : Good Looking Rascal

Brand : John Miller
Company : Pantaloon
Agency : Publicis

Brand Analysis Count : 291

John Miller is a brand which is a decade old. This mid-priced executive apparel brand came into existence in 1995. The brand at that time was the logical extension of the Pantaloon in the executive segment.
The millennium changed the Pantaloon group from a apparel marketer to a retail giant. Hence all the brands of Pantaloon became private labels of Future Group. The early days of the retail initiative of Pantaloon focused more on the groups expansion of retail stores. Now time has come for this group to foray into private labels.
According to Kevin Lane Keller , Private Labels are products marketed by retailers and other members of the distribution chain.Private labels are called store brands when they actually adopt the name of the store itself in some way.
Future Group had identified seven brands to be promoted in the apparel category. One being John Miller. Globally Private labels are priced lower and is sold on the platform on value. While much of the promotions are done inside the store, there are private labels which are promoted aggressively through mass media.
John Miller is one such brand that is now making lot of noise in both print and in television.
Watch the TVC here : John Miller
This is poorly executed ad with an idea that has been used by different brands from time immemorial.
John Miller is being positioned as a value brand in the executive attire segment. The ad uses the statement " Good Looking Rascal Makes it Look Easy " to position the brand personality as a naughty achiever who gets things done . The brand uses the tagline " makes it look easy " . Its the first time I hear a brand calling its user RASCAL .
The brand can try the following descriptions for the brand user in the next campaigns :
Good Looking Bloody Fool
Good Looking Asshole
Good Looking *@#$%

The brand could have devoted some effort to find a better idea to position itself. Priced at a range of Rs 300- 600, John Miller is an attractive option for value buyers. If the brand is able to keep its quality level reasonable, John Miller can be a tough competitor for brands like Peter England. The brand is now available in the Big Bazaar chain and also on its online store .
John Miller can be called as the first Indian private label to embark on mass media campaigns. With its retail formats expanding at a massive pace, John Miller is a brand which will go places.

Source ; brand reporter

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Brand Update : Colgate

Colgate celebrates October as Oral Health Month. This is a unique example of a brand embarking on strong value system. Colgate has long been positioned on the oral hygiene platform. Strong teeth and prevention of tooth decay has been the main communication points of this brand. To further reinforce this positioning and also to demonstrate the brand's commitment towards society Colgate observes October as the oral health month.
This initiative was started in October 2004 and has grown in size and depth. Now this initiative covers 175 cities across 19 states and touches 250 rural areas across the length and breadth of India. During this month, the brand organizes free dental camps for oral checkups. Colgate also sponsors various initiatives to educate the masses about proper oral hygiene.
This year Colgate further expanded the scope of this initiative by an attempt to touch the young urban audience . Colgate for the first time tried an animated viral campaign aimed at youngsters. The brand uses a fictional plot involving a dangerous new species Germosaurus which evolved from the germs that causes tooth decay.
Watch the campaign here : Germosaurus
Whether the new campaign had the desired effect or not, one has to appreciate a brand to take up a worthy cause.
Colgate has set a grand vision for itself. The mission aims at ZERO tooth decay. The brand is trying to promote this vision through various initiatives in partnership with Indian Dental Association. This is a variant of cause marketing. Cause marketing is defined as the process of formulating and implementing marketing activities that are characterized by an offer from the firm to contribute a specific amount to a designated cause when customers engage in revenue providing exchanges that satisfy organizational and individual objectives. Another jargon to define this initiative is Corporate Societal marketing. I call it a variant because a customer does not have to buy Colgate inorder for the brand to conduct these programs.
Such initiatives of brand offer many potential benefits:
a. Building brand awareness
b. Enhancing brand image
c.Establishing brand credibility
d.Evoking brand feelings
e. Creating a sense of brand community
f. Eliciting brand engagement
g. Humanizing the firm.
( Source : Strategic Brand Management by Kevin Lane Keller)

Colgate has been a consistent topper in the Brand Rankings throughout the world. The reason behind a brand sustaining its world leadership position is that it had identified a much nobler cause than the usual market share numbers.
Its a lesson for all marketers to learn....... Do your brand have a vision for the society ?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chandrika : Best Soap Nature Can Offer

Brand : Chandrika
Company : Wipro
Agency : FCB Ulka

Brand Analysis Count : 290

Chandrika is a heritage brand. The brand came into existence in 1940. This hand made ayurvedic soap owes its existence to the founder C.R Kesavan Vaidyar who identified the potential for an ayurvedic soap way back in 1940.
From a humble beginning, the brand has come a long way withstanding the test of time. Its a brand that has survived all these years without changing any of the marketing mixes. Now after 6 decades, Chandrika is changing .

Chandrika is a 28 crore brand and has a loyal customer base in the southern states like Kerala and Tamilnadu. The brand was manufactured and marketed by SV Group till 2004. In 2004, Wipro acquired the marketing rights of this brand after a protracted battle with other suitors like Marico.
Chandrika all through these years has been positioned as a traditional ayurvedic soap gifted by nature. The brand differentiates itself from other ayurvedic soaps with its 7 essential oils
Orange oil
Cinnamon leaf
Wild ginger
Sandalwood oil
Lime peel
and Coconut oil.
The brand boasts of being made from pure coconut oil which comprises of 70% of its ingredients.
Chandrika is a handmade soap which is 100 % vegetarian. The brand faces competition from the likes of Medimix and Jeeva together with host of natural soaps and its variants.
The brand has been promoted reasonably well through various media in South India, but the campaigns were ordinary . In the marketing front, Chandrika never was an aggressive player. I think that the company was happy with the sales and loyal customer base it had. Moreover ayurvedic soap market was small and was not growing enough to warrant a change in any of the marketing mix elements. The brand did not even bother to change the packing for a long time.

However 2000 saw a rejuvenation in the ayurvedic soap market. There was a sudden interest from consumers towards green products. Now the ayurvedic soap market is estimated to be Rs 227 crore( Businessline). The increased customer interest has bought in many new players in the ayurvedic soap market. New brands like Jeeva began aggressive promotion which forced older brands like Medimix to sharpen their marketing strategy. This market also made some big companies looking for acquiring brands to gain a foothold in the ayurvedic soap market.

The owners of Chandrika chose to sell out this brand than to fight the competition. The sale of Chandrika was a messy affair with legal battle between Marico and Wipro. At the end the war, Chandrika was acquired by Wipro. The one factor that made Chandrika attractive to suitors was its quality product properties. Wipro felt that Chandrika had qualities which are scalable to a national market.
There was a visible change in the brand after Wipro took over the marketing . Although
Wipro was careful not to tamper the product attributes, the brand changed the shape and packaging. Original Chandrika was in the cake form ( rectangular) while the market was moving towards the oval soap form . Chandrika changed to oval form and the packaging was made more contemporary. The oval shape helps the soap to dry quicker thereby lasts longer. These moves were of important significance because most of the time traditional brands fail because it does not change with times. Hence the first task of Wipro was to make the brand contemporary.
Along with the cosmetic changes , the brand was relaunched with a new positioning.
Watch the ad here : Chandrika
The challenge before Wipro was to make this traditional brand contemporary without losing its core values. The brand was stagnant hence had to attract new users especially the new generation. Then came the big idea. Chandrika took the two qualities : Natural and Exotic as its core brand values. Then came the challenge to communicate this values to the customers. The brand chose to use the brand imagery of a SPA to convey the new positioning. The big idea is to equate the bathing experience with Chandrika to an oil bath at a SPA.
The experience of a SPA is unknown to majority of Indian consumers. Most of use have seen it in TV but may not have visited a SPA. Hence the new equation with SPA takes this traditional brand to an aspirational level. In order to communicate this new positioning, the new ad had to have an ideal imagery. The agency chose the luxurious Pangkor Laut Spa Resort in Malaysia as its location for the ad.
Along with the new campaign , Chandrika also introduced a line extension - Chandrika Amrutham. The variant has an innovation in the form of an aromatic oil that comes with the soap. The soap and the oil opens the pores of the skin and gently cleanses the skin and thus creates a feeling of freshness. The brand which claims to have 18 herbs is positioned as a soap that gives complete freshness for body and mind. Although the variant sounds interesting, it has not clicked in the market because aromatherapy is not yet popular in India. Further the combination of soap and oil is new . But after reading about the variant, I feel that there is lot of potential for this variant if heavily promoted.

In the early nineties, the ayurvedic soap market was in shambles because of price offs and cheap products. A shift in consumer tastes has bought in more serious non- price attributes to gain importance in this market. Wipro has " applied thought " on this brand and the result is evident in way this brand is promoted. Within a few years, Wipro was able to rejuvenate this brand and made it more contemporary. The brand has already running a new campaign these days. Its happy to see a traditional brand morphing to a new young brand.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bournvita : Do You Have Bournvita Confidence

Brand : Bournvita
Company : Cadbury's
Agency : O&M

Brand Analysis Count : 289

Bournvita is a power brand. Bournvita was launched in 1948 and is one of the oldest brand in the malted beverages segment. The brand is a market leader in the Brown health drink segment with a market share of over 17 %.
This is a brand that has sustained over time and competition. Cadbury's - true to its reputation has managed to sustain this brand over these years. The brand has sustained because of Cadbury's invested in the brand and also ensured that the brand changed in tune with the times.
Bournvita is a chocolate flavored health drink. When the brand was introduced in the market, it tried to solve a perennial problem that mother's face : a need for a healthy food which is tasty. Bournvita offered that unique combination of health and taste.
Its also interesting to see how this brand has evolved over these years.In 1970s t he brand was positioned as a product that helps in good upbringing. The brand used the tagline : Goodness t hat Grows with You.
During 1980's the brand changed its focus from Upbringing to Intelligence. The tagline was changed to : Brought Up Right, Bournvita Bright.
In 1990's the brand felt that it should be focusing on the overall health of the kid thus changed its focus on Body and Mind. The brand also took Energy as a main focus and thus evolved the famous VO ( voice over) : "Bournvita has proteins, minerals and carbohydrates" . Along came the famous tagline : Tan Ki Shakthi , Man Ki Shakthi.
During 1998, the brand faced intense competition from Milo from Nestle. At this time, the brown health food drink segment was facing issues of stagnation because of lack of value addition. Bournvita then changed its positioning on the health platform. The brand used a marconym RDA ( Recommended Dietary Allowance) to reinforce the health positioning. The brand used a clever Nutritional meter to communicate the RDA formula : 2 cups of Bournvita for balanced nutrition.
The brand also set up a Bournvita Nutritional Center where nutrition experts recommended the right RDA percentage to kids. The brand at that time used the cricketer Ajay Jadeja to endorse the brand. The brand also harped on the taste and used the tagline " No Bournvita No Milk " to reinforce the taste attribute.
In the current millennium, the brand has moved to the next level. In the typical laddering Up strategy, Bournvita has identified Confidence as its Core Brand Essence. The brand realized that every kid have a chance to excel in his chosen field of endeavour if he have confidence . The realization has enabled the brand to chalk out the current marketing strategy. The brand now uses the tagline " Do you have Bournvita Confidence ".
In the Brown beverages segment, Bournvita faces intense competition from Boost. In order to defend the leadership position, Bournvita has invested heavily in product development, advertising and sales promotion. In the product development front, Bournvita had significantly changed its packaging and the latest pack is inspired by Boost. Along with packaging changes, the brand also had comeout with a new variant : Bournvita Fivestar Magic. The new variant has the unique chocolate with caramel flavor of Cadbury's Fivestar. The brand is using the brand association with Five Star as a key differentiator.
All these years, Bournvita has used taste as a consistent theme to attract the kids. The Five Star Magic variant further reinforced this positioning.
In the advertising campaigns, Bournvita has always been a heavy spender. When I am writing this post, Bournvita is running two different campaigns for Bournvita : one campaign for the Bournvita Fivestar Magic and another one featuring Bournvita Confidence Academy.

Bournvita Confidence Academy is not a School but a reality show. The show which premiered on July 2007 in the Pogo channel is different from the usual reality shows . The show features 7 kids who have exceptional talents in various fields like dancing, racing, singing, magic, studies etc. In the reality show , these kids to act as Gurus and is expected to teach each other skills . So you have a magic whizkid learning to sing. The point is that "You Need Confidence" to venture into unknown fields.
Bournvita Confidence Academy is not the first event that this brand associates with. Bournvita Quiz is the longest running quiz show in Indian Television .
In the sales promotion front also , the brand was active with its share of freebies and gifts . The association with Cartoon Network enabled this brand to use the famous characters like Powerpuff girls and Dexter to the brand's advantage.
As a marketer, I feel that the latest focus on Confidence is a smart move by the brand. Its arch rival Boost has built itself on the energy platform and recently has gained headway using Sachin. Hence to counter Boost, Bournvita needed to own an important differentiation point. Confidence is something that every kid look forward to. By featuring real whiz kids , the brand has been able to create an impact in the TG. But the challenge that Bournvita faces is not from Boost but from the Consumer Promotion trap that both these brands have fallen into. Now most of the sales are decided by the promotional gifts and freebies than the actual efficacy. Since mothers are happy whether the kids drink either of these , brand loyalty has become a thing of past in this segment.
Source : Cadbury website,

Friday, November 09, 2007

Miss Players : Play It Cool

Brand : Miss Players
Company : ITC
Agency : FCB- Ulka

Brand Analysis Count : 288

Miss Players is a new brand from ITC in the women's wear market. The Indian women's wear market is huge , estimated to be of size Rs 33000 crore. The market is dominated by unbranded products. This market is going to witness lot of branding activity with lot of global majors like Reebok, Levi's and Blackberry already making its presence in the market. Most of the major apparel brands like Allen Solly have women's apparel line.

The latest launch of Miss Players brand is aimed at capturing a fair share of this market which is estimated to be growing at 15%. Miss Players has strong association with John Players brand which was the ITC's first brand in the readymade category. John Players had a reasonable success in the market and Miss Players shares strong brand association with John Players by using the term " Players" . I liked the brand name because it retains the individuality at the same time derives an association with John Players with out diluting the positioning of the male brand.

Miss Players is targeting the young ladies and the brand comes with a variety of apparel and fashion accessories. Popular actress Amritha Arora is the face of the brand. The brand has set a price range of Rs 300-1000 thus making it a Masstige brand.
Although John Players and Miss Players are two different brands targeting two different consumer segments, both these brands share a common positioning strategy. Infact Miss Players have the same positioning of " Style with playful side " and uses the John Player's tagline " Play It Cool ".
But Miss Players have lot of challenges ahead. The main competition for this brand is from the hosts of unbranded readymade products in the market. The TG is not known to be brand conscious and more inclined to experiment with different styles . In this market, the major attributes is fashion and variety ahead of brand. Miss Players had done the right pricing by making the brand affordable and time will tell if Miss Players will be able to satisfy the fashion appetite of young girls.

Related Brand
John Players

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Itch Guard : Complimenting Active Life

Brand : Itch Guard
Company : Paras Pharmaceuticals
Agency : Mudra

Brand Analysis Count : 287

Itch Guard is a niche brand, that too a highly successful niche brand. It comes from Paras Pharma which has specialized in making successful niche brands. Itch Guard brand is interesting for many reasons , primarily because it address a problem that consumers never speak about in public.
Itch Guard , as the name suggest is a specialist brand dealing with Intertrigo. Intertrigo is the medical term for itch caused due to sweat. The brand which was launched in 1998 is now a market leader in the anti-fungal itch creams.
The problem of sweat related itch has been there from time immemorial ( although I does not have data to prove this point). The itch can be caused by sweat retention, moisture in folds of the skin and also because of tight garments. The itch can case severe embarrassment and is often taken as an a sign of unhygienic lifestyle. This makes the problem very personal in nature and usually this issue is unspoken.
The customers usually retort to traditional methods for solution. The common methods include applying talcum powders, oil and prickly heat powders. For severe cases, people tend to go in for ethical medicines like Betnovate and Soframycin.
Paras wanted to tap this market with Itch Guard. Mudra was roped in to develop the launch strategy. The brand was developed on the consumer insight that " Respectable people do not scratch in front of others" . The brand knew that there was a need for a product that specializes on this problem because prickly heat powders or oil does not solve the problem.

The first campaign focused on the Sweat itch caused in the groin area of men. There were a series of campaign highlighting the efficacy of the product. The interesting factor in the campaign was that the brand was positioned as an upmarket brand. The campaign was wise enough to feature models which was famous and this promoted the brand above the likes of BTex . The brand also created a character ITCH . The website has won creative awards for best product sites. Itch Guard also uses the Cactus Mnemonic to reinforce the positioning.

The brand became an instant success. But success had its fair share of problems as well. A consumer research showed that Itch Guard was perceived to be a brand for " Serious " itches. That means that the brand was used by only those who suffered serious itches thus restricting the usage of the brand. And there was a concern that Itch Guard may be perceived as a brand for itches in Groin area . Hence the brand went for a repositioning strategy whereby separate campaigns were run for broadening the usage and also to make the brand appealing to non-serious sufferers of Itch.
The brand is currently positioned as one which complements active life. The brand takes two platforms . One focuses on the medicinal values of the product and the second one takes the lifestyle values. Use of Itch Guard helps the customer to avoid the Social Embarrassment and thus enables an active life.
Watch the commercial here : Itchguard

Itch Guard has successfully created a category for itself . For a customer, the brand has made his life a lot easier. The brand has also removed the taboo surrounding this problem . One of the success of the brand was that it was able to understand that itch related problems is more of a lifestyle issue rather than a hygiene issue. This insight has helped the brand to communicate to the customer in a more refined manner. This positioning has also helped the customer to purchase this brand without any embarrassment.

Itch Guard is a classic marketing story where a brand identifies a problem and successfully solves the problem. The brand also reminds marketers that even in this clutter, its possible to come up with successful brands if you listen to the customer.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Brand Update : Lux

It seems this season is of Brand Updates. This time its for Lux. Lux has recently launched yet another variant : Lux Crystal Shine. The new variant has the shine of crystals and drops of moisturizer in it. The variant is positioned as one that gives luminous sensation or in plain language will make your skin shine.
In order to convince the customer that the soap contains CRYSTALS, Lux has added some " Gilt" into the soap and the soap gets a sparkling look.The new variant also features the new Lux Diva in Ms Priyanka Chopra.
Other than the new look, pack and fragrance, what is interesting about Crystal Shine is its ad campaigns. The ad campaign featuring Priyanka is an Indianised version of Lux Shine campaign from Argentina.
Watch the Original campaign here : Lux Shine
This campaign is popularly known as Lux Neon Girl campaign and this has won many creative accolades. The agency has just edited certain portions and added Priyanka at relevant places ( thanks to editing softwares) and the Indian version is ready.
The same technique was used in the Lux Haute Pink launch too. The question remains as to why a cash rich company like HUL use a campaign famous elsewhere in India instead of coming out with a much more original localized version? Why should a respected advertising giant like JWT ( India) do such Copy - Paste work?

I think that the reason is simple. HUL has been trying to introduce some of the famous global variants of Lux in India. Lux Pink and Crystal Shine is a part of Lux's profile in various countries. HUL is not sure about the success of these variants and may be hesitant to invest heavily in these variants which are Un-Indian. Hence the easy way out is to import the campaigns also. In the case of Crystal Shine advertisement, it was creatively appreciated worldwide hence HUL thought that it will work in India too. The success of AXE brand's international campaigns in India gives the company more reasons to import globally successful ads for the Indian variants.
I personally did not like both Lux Pink and Lux Crystal Shine Ads. Some where the connect was missing. The earlier campaigns involving the film stars were very Indian but these campaigns were totally out of sync ( Personal opinion). It may be that HUL does not want to take too many risks .......The problem is that if this trend continues, Lux will no longer have that " Customer Connect" which can hurt the brand in the long term. Although the packaging of both Pink and Crystal Shine are different, the Indianness is lost which I feel is dangerous.

Another disturbing fact is that Lux is increasingly diluting its primary associations with " Milk Cream " . For decades, Lux is known for its milk cream and the Celebrities. Both new variants do not have "milk cream ". The marketers are playing around with the core strength of Lux which I feel can hurt the brand in the long run.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Brand Update : Ambipur

After creating and ruling the branded car perfume market , Ambipur had a reasonably successful extension in the home perfume ( aircare ) segment. This year Ambipur launched yet another innovation in the Indian market : Car odor eliminator.
All car owners faces the issue of odor especially during rainy season and also when you have kids. What ever care that you put , sometimes, the odor usually wins the fight. Sensing this universal issue, Ambipur has launched this product in the Indian market.
There is also another interesting development in this brand. Ambipur has a new brand ambassador in Soha Ali Khan ( Saif's Sister). Infact the new campaign launching the Car Odor Eliminator features Soha.
Watch the Tvc here : Ambipur
The TVC although too dramatic for a product like Ambipur however keeps the viewer hooked on till the end ( spoof).
But what is really commendable about this brand is its ability to create and expand a new category. But the brand faces tough competition from cheap look alike and unbranded Chinese products. The original car purifier has not made any improvements so far and no new fragrances has been launched. This is an issue of being blinded by the success. As a customer I am bored by the fragrances available and is in lookout for a new product ( but couldn't find one... ).
Regarding the new launch, I wanted to try it out but was taken aback by the steep price of the product. The price just repels any thought of trying it out. May be the brand is taking on the premium segment ( I recommended that in my earlier post on Ambipur).
How ever , the new launch has enabled the brand to be alive in the media. The parent brand will also get the benefit of this launch. The odor eliminator is at best a niche and often seasonal. Another issue is whether this brand will cannibalise the existing Ambipur range ? Will an Indian consumer bother about having two air purifiers in the car and bother about refilling both ?
Time will tell....

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Brand Update : Dyna

I had severely criticized Dyna's positioning in my post on this brand in August 2006. The brand just have a tagline " Be A Lady " + brand ambassador Katrina Kaif . I felt that the campaign failed to highlight any differentiation for the brand. The tagline also was not able to make a connect with the customers and it seemed out of place or more precisely UnIndian. Looking closely, Dyna was positioned as a soap that enables you to have a soft skin. But the launch ads failed to communicate that positioning. The brand has been alive and kicking in the media with lot of ads and also variants
Watch an ad of Dyna here : Dyna Sandal

The brand is currently running new campaigns featuring the brand ambassador Katrina Kaif. luckily the latest campaigns of this brand are far better than the earlier one in that the ads are trying to establish some differentiation for the brand. Dyna is focusing on two attributes as its differentiators :
a. The brand has no fillers , that means the soap is soft on skin and does not make your skin rough. The ads say that other soaps use fillers which may make your skin rough after some time.
b. The brand has a TFM ( total fatty matter) of over 76% which makes this a better soap for the skin.
Now the brand is clearly found its differentiators and its positioning of " Soft Skin " backed by the attributes puts the brand in a position to establish itself. Katrina Kaif is surely giving this brand lot of visibility and the new rational campaign can put the brand in a growth orbit.

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