Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vim : The Vim Challenge

Brand : Vim
Company: HLL
Agency: Lowe

Brand count : 193

Vim is the market leader in the Rs 400 crore branded dishwash category. This 100 year old brand has evolved with the changing Indian consumer and is a power brand of HLL stable. The Dishwash market in India is estimated to be in the range of Rs 600-1000 crore ( conflicting reports on the market size) while the branded dishwash market is roughly 40%.The dishwash market consists of three categories: Powder, Bar and Liquid. Bar is the largest category followed by Powder and then liquid. Bar category constitutes 60% of the total market.

Vim has created the dishwash bar category in 1993. Till that time urban households used dishwash powders. The bar offered many advantages to the homemaker over the powder which was messy and uneconomical.Since then Vim Bar ruled the dishwash market .Currently the brand has a market share of over 60%.

Vim was initially positioned on the lemon content in the bar. The brand using its ingredients positioned itself on its Stain Removing benefit. The positioning was consistent through these years. A terrific marketer HLL is, invested heavily in this brand and made sure that the brand stayed on the growth stage of its PLC. The brand changed its form,added new features and expanded the market to stay on the growth path. To reinforce the stain removing property , the brand repositioned in 2003 by introducing the Stain Cutter feature .The company was trying to extend the brand from "Dish wash" to Kitchen Care market.The brand also created much inroads into the market with its Vim Challenge campaign which directly compared the brand with competition.

By looking at the kind of promotions that the various players in this category , I often wondered what is the logic behind these high spends on promotion. The logic lies in the potential of this category. The percapita consumption of this category ( value terms) in India is hardly Rs 4 while in UK it is Rs 150. There is long way to go for this category...

Vim faces intense competition in this category not only from other brands but also from the traditional methods. In rural areas, Ash is used to clean utensils and the biggest hurdle in rural penetration of this category is to educate the rural folks to use Soap instead of ash.
In the branded segment, Vim faces competition from brands like Exo from Jyothi Lab , Pril, Sabeena and host of other local brands. Exo is the challenger brand forthe market leader Vim. Exo brand has effectively differentiated itself by using its anti-bacterial property and uses the ingredient Trichlozene to reinforce the germ fighting positioning.

The emerging category in dishwash market is the liquid dishwash. Pril from Henkel commands this market with a share of 72%. Although Vim has launched its own variant, it failed to create an impact and was withdrawn in 2003. 2006 saw a relaunch of Vim drop with Actor Madhavan endorsing the brand. Pril has countered the campaign using Shobana as the brand ambassador.Marketers beleive that over a period of time, consumers will shift to Liquid since it offers more economy and convenience. But there is a problem with this category: Liquid dishwash is targeted at urban upper middle class home makers and here the users are home maids rather than home makers. It will be difficult to teach house maids to use the liquid efficiently .
The powder segment is dominated by Sabeena brand from ECOF. Sabena is very strong in the southern market and has a market share of over 65%.

To stay on top of this highly competitive market, Vim has invested not only in promotion but also in product improvements. In 2005, the brand took on the most problematic aspect of this category i.e the dishwash bar getting soggy. The reason is that these bars are kept near the sink and is always in contact with water and with in days, the bar gets messy. Vim then launched one of the most customer centric innovation at that time : Poly coated Vim bar. The coating prevented the bar from becoming soggy and hence the brand became more economical. This innovation is a testimony to HLL's ability to understand Indian consumer and translate that to product improvements.

Although these innovations can be copied by the competition, Vim has constantly improved upon the marketing mixes and has stayed relevant and different in the consumer's mind.Vim is also a classic example that even a boring category like Dishwash can be made exciting through smart thinking.. cheers !

source: businessline, agencyfaqs,magindia financialexpress

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Boost : Is The Secret Of Our Energy

Brand : Boost
Company: Glaxo Smithkline Beecham

Brand Count : 192

Boost is one of the major players in the Rs 1400 crore Indian Health Food Drink ( HFD) market. The brand was created in 1975 by the company R&D team and test marketed in 1976. The brand became national in in 1980's. Glaxo rules the Indian HFD market with a share of around 64 %. The market is ruled by Horlicks and the leader is flanked by flanker products Maltova and Viva.

Boost takes on Bournvita from Cadbury's which is the market leader in the brown powder segment. The HFD market is having two segments : White powder segment and brown segment. The market is dominated by white powders. Boost is a malt milk additive with the flavour of chocolate.Boost has a share of around 12% in the HFD market.
HFD is targeted at children aged 5-18. The market is huge since this is the age group that demands some kind of energy drink. The kids are active and playing during this age and the pressure is on the home maker to keep the energy level of the kids high using some drinks.

Boost is positioned as an energy drink. The tagline " Boost is the secret of my energy" has remained a blockbuster all through these years.The tagline has highest recall among the TG. Boost is also the first HFD brand to be endorsed by a celebrity.

After the initial growth, the brand landed in the mature stage of PLC during 1980's with sales plateauing. The brand repositioned itself through a careful planned strategy backed by consumer insight. The brand realised that kids are strong influencers of the purchase process for such products and once kids get hooked onto such drinks, brand loyalty can be assured. GSK also identified cricket as the vehicle to Boost the Sale of Boost.
During 1980's Kapil dev was roped in as the brand ambassador for Boost and as a cricketer, Kapil was considered an Icon by many . Boost got the energy from Kapil and GSK had found the success mantra.
During 1990's Kapil gave the baton to Sachin. Sachin endorsed this brand when he was in his teens. During those times, the ads showed both Kapil and Sachin together endorsing the brand and thus ensured that the transition is smooth. From 1990-present, Sachin has been endorsing this brand. I think Boost and Sachin hold the record for longest association between a brand and celebrity at least in India. (The kid who starred with Kapil for the ad was Nikhil Chopra who later played for India0
in 2000, the brand also roped in Sewag to endorse the brand. At that time, Sewag and Sachin was at fire as the opening pair.
Boost was innovative not only in the promotion front but also in product improvements. in 2002, as a part of its repositioning, the brand came out with Power Boosters : which contains Copper and Biotin.It was first of its kind in this segment.Boost also innovated in packaging. Over these years, the packaging became contemporary and stylish to reflect the changing consumer preferences.
A brand will become successful only if the owner invests in the brand for the long term. Boost is a testimony of that. Over these years, the brand has been positioned and repositioned in tune with the consumer. During the late nineties, consumer insights showed that although the kids liked the promos involving Sachin, they felt somewhat distant from the brand ( because Sachin was perceived to be extraordinary). Realising this the brand changed its tagline to " Boost is the secret of my energy' to " Boost is the secret of OUR energy". The ads increasingly gave importance to kids rather than the celebrity.
In 2005, the brand came with Choco Blast ( more chocolate) and Advanced Energy Boosters to counter the threat from Bournvita who now has the Chocolate taste of "Five Star" in it.
watch the commercial here: Boost chocoblast

Boost is a super brand with lots of lessons for a marketer to learn.The brand continues to invest in it and has remained the favorite of marketers and kids..

Source: Superbrands,agencyfaqs.
Imagesource; agencyfaqs,superbrands

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sunfill : RIP (2001-2005)

Brand : Sunfill
Company: Coca Cola

Brand Count : 191

Sunfill was Coca Cola's foray into the Soft Drink Concentrate market in India. Globally it was the company's first foray into the powder concentrate segment. This good product died after 4 years primarily because the company did not consider worthwhile to focus on marketing this product.
Sunfill was introduced in 2001 and Coca Cola intended to take on Rasna in the Rs 180 crore soft drinks concentrate market in India. Rasna was dominating the market with a share of over 85%.
Sunfill was a powder soft drink concentrate . Powder concentrate occupy85% of the total soft drinks concentrate market. Sunfill came in three variants : Regular,Anand and Tarang.

Sunfill differentiated from Rasna by taking the convenience route. The concentrate had added sugar in it so to make the drink was easy for the consumer. While other concentrates, sugar need to be added hence was cumbersome for the consumer. The taste of Sunfill was also better compared to other brands ( personal opinion). The brand also innovated in packaging by coming out with single serve packs and also multi serve pillow packs.
The biggest challenge for any FMCG/SDC products was distribution. Sunfill found an innovative method to reach the market. It had alliances with other FMCG firms in reaching the market. The brand had its own channel + third party alliance (Hybrid network) to ensure that the brand is available in all stores.
But somehow the product failed in the market. The issue was with regard to distribution, product and the promotion.
The product had some quality issues. In my personal experience, some of the packs had very bad quality concentrate . At one point of time, the product was not available in the stores. The issue in promotion was regarding the positioning. When Sunfill came into the market, Rasna countered Sunfill with its own range of powder concentrate with added sugar.Hence the differentiation became negated for Sunfill. The promotion investment for Sunfill was not adequate to counter the huge brand equity that Rasna enjoyed. I have a feeling that Sunfill was a half hearted effort from the company.That was reflected in the promotions for the product which ultimately lead to the death of a high potential brand

I still feel that the company did not do justice to the brand which had a potential to make it big in the SDC market but the plug was pulled on Sunfill in 2005.

Related brands


Source: Agencyfaqs,businessline,magindia

Monday, January 22, 2007

Marketing Funda : Don't Ignore Consumer Generated Media

Marketing Funda #2

This post is in reaction to the disturbing cartoon that appeared in the newspaper "The Hindu" dated 22/01/2007. The cartoon given below prompted me to give a rather personal response to the marketing myopia exhibited by this highly respected newspaper.

I used to admire the cartoons by Mr Keshav but this is way off the mark: some thing unexpected out of a newspaper of high repute.
That makes me think about the rationale or thinking behind this cartoon? What exactly the newspaper tries to convey to the reader? Does it mean that the bloggers like you and me are monkeys? Or does it mean that even monkeys can blog?
I call it the classical case of marketing myopia and plain arrogance of a powerless king. There is lot more to the logic of the cartoon than the obvious pun.

For the uninitiated:

Consumer-Generated Media (CGM) describes a variety of new and emerging sources of online information that are created, initiated, circulated and used by consumers intent on educating each other about products, brands, services,personalities and issues. (A Nielsen BuzzMetrics White Paper by Pete Blackshaw and Mike Nazzaro | Second Edition, Spring 2006) . Wikipedia defines Consumer Generated Media as word of mouth that exists on the Internet.

CGM has huge impact on marketing because the information is now accessible to every one. Consumers are now talking to each other through blogs, communities, discussion forums podcasts etc. Hence everything about everything is now communicated. Consumers now checkout reviews about products through specialised consumer review sites before making a decision ( not all but many). The more worrying factor for a marketer is that negative word of mouth travels even faster. Hence smart marketers keeps a tab on what is happening on the CGM to make sure that they are in tune with what is happening.
n this era where every one is looking seriously on CGM , why "The Hindu " come out with such an insulting cartoon ( Am I being too emotional !). The reason is simple, traditional media is facing competition from CGM which they did not expect. Traditionally the power of information and their dissemination was a monopoly of journalists. From time immemorial, the power was vested on the media and they enjoyed it to the maximum. The evolution of CGM just took the power away from the traditional media. Now the World Wide Web has enabled the common man to publish... That is what I call Disruption. The logic of the cartoon is now clear isn't it? The editors of the newspaper now feel powerless. The depiction of the blogger as a monkey also reveals another side of the arrogance: do the editors feel themselves as someone above the readers? Bloggers and users of CGM also are readers of the newspapers. Here we can see the editors looking down upon the CGM from an Ivory tower that does not exist now.( I know it better because I also worked in a media).

The editors should take a cue from the product failures caused by disrespecting competition and I encourage them to read case studies on how traditional encyclopedias got thrashed by Microsoft Encarta because they underestimated competition. The cartoon is also a part of the traditional media's move to enforce some sort of restraint on the emerging CGM space in India. Recently Burkha Dutta of NDTV vociferously demanded censorship for CGM. I would like to see it as not as a genuine worry of a journalist but a worry of a business executive. In India, the media always have tried to block competition in all possible ways. Even those media which encourages views of freedom of speech and expression and free economy have lobbied hard to block the entry of foreign media into India. Print media has so far succeeded in blocking any form of competition from outside. Now they face competition from a different kind: You and Me !
Having said that, not all media have the same views as "The Hindu" presents. Time Magazine has celebrated CGM and has chosen YOU as the person of the year 2006. The editors of the Time are enlightened enough to see you and me as something more than the primates. Lev Grossman puts it this way
"But look at 2006 through a different lens and you'll see another story, one that isn't about conflict or great men. It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people's network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes." ( Time Magazine December 2006).

Most of the enlightened magazines and journalists have realised the importance of CGM and has found ways to use the CGM to their advantage. Even CNN IBN have given the name " Citizen Journalists " to the viewers who wish to contribute news and views to the media.
To the Editors of Hindu, I wish to say " You don't control the information age"

Welcome to our world.

And by the way You just lost a brand loyal customer... forever.....

Friday, January 19, 2007

Brand Update : Amul

Amul has launched India's first Probiotic Wellness Icecreams. Probiotics are live beneficial culture which when administered in adequate amounts confer a beneficial health effect on the host. Probiotics help in digestion, fight allergic reactions and even helps in controlling traveler's diarrhea. It also prevents colon cancer and is said to enhance brain activity. Amul will gain a huge first mover advantage by launching this product now. The Indian Wellness market ( including beauty ) is huge with a market size of around $ 9 billion. Icecreams are considered to be a junk unhealthy food . The wellness range is expected to change the way Indian consumers look at Icecreams. Now consumers can indulge in icecreams without worrying about the health.
Great thinking ....

Icecreams were often a dream for Diabetic patients...but not any more...Along with the Probiotics, Amul is set to shake up the icecream market with the launch of India's first Sugarfree icecreams.The icecreams contain digestible sugar substitutes which enable the diabetic patients to indulge. The company communication excerpts is given below:

"For diabetics, consuming ice-cream had remained a dream. Amul is all set to change that with the launch of India's first specially created SUGAR FREE low fat diabetic delight. In Amul Sugarfree Probiotic diabetic delight Frozen Dessert, Sugar has been replaced with ZERO calorie and low calorie sweeteners. Fructo-oligo saccharides are soluble dietary fibre that improve the mineral absorption and bone health in addition to increasing the disease fighting ability of the body. Digestive enzymes sparingly digest these sweeteners in stomach or small intestines and therefore do not cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels unlike in a diabetic condition where intake of digestible sugar causes fluctuation in the blood sugar level.

In diabetic condition it is advisable to consume less fat, less calorie to maintain proper metabolism. Amul SUGAR FREE probiotic diabetic delight contains 50% less fat and half of the calorie than normal ice cream. Further, it has been supplemented with pro-biotic cultures for health improvement. All these special range of ice creams/frozen desserts would be available in 125 ml, 500 ml and 1.25 litre packs in five flavours, vanilla with chocolate sauce, strawberry, chocolate, shahi anjir and fresh litchi. They would be available in the price range of Rs. 15 (125 ml.) to Rs. 120 (1.25 ltr.) "

India has 37 million diabetic patients and around 400 million overweight. That is a huge market for healthy foods. With the media and doctors in an overdrive to educate Indians on the efficacy of healthy foods, the market is expected to grow multifold. With the launch of healthy icecreams, Amul is all set to ride the healthy foods wave.

Kwality Walls Are You Listening .....

Related brands
Kwality walls

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lux : Celebrating Beauty

Brand : Lux
Company: HLL
Agency : JWT

Brand Count :190

Lux is a super brand that celebrated beauty across the world since 1925. The soap which was endorsed by the beautiful film stars came to India in 1929. Lux has been the largest selling personal wash brand in the country.

Lux has effectively managed its PLC through careful brand building and changing the product in line with the changing consumer. The brand is being positioned as the favorite soap of Film stars has been consistent interms of communication and positioning. The brand is also the classic example of successful celebrity endorsement. The first celebrity to endorse the brand was Leela Chitnis . From Leela to Aishwarya , From Madhuri to Madhubala, Lux has been endorsed by more than 50 film stars ( a sort of record isn't it). But in all these communications, the celebrity never shadowed the brand.

Lux was always changing with the times. Whether it be interms of the product or interms of promotions, the brand kept the consumers excited. Lux has two basic extensions interms of segments. Lux beauty soap and International Lux.
Lux was initially a premium brand. Lux was being projected as an aspirational brand and the endorsements by stars further reinforced the positioning. The increasing competition in the soap category forced Lux to rethink on its targeting strategy. The brand had a choice either to compromise on market share and uphold the premium positioning or to retain the market share and dilute the positioning. Lux wanted to ensure that the brand be positioned as premium but also did not wanted to compromise on the share. Thus born International Lux which is the premium variant and the affordable segment was catered by Lux beauty soap.
Lux beauty soap is available in Four variants : Exotic Flower Petals,Fruit Extracts,Almond and Sandal. Lux has a common ingredient of Milk cream in all the variants.

Although the brand enjoyed success and has sustained its leadership position, of late this brand has been facing issues of stagnation. The stagnation is caused by the plethora of brands competing for the market share and the scope for differentiation has reduced to almost nil. Together with the rush for celebrities to endorse anything from salt to cars, Lux is finding it difficult to sustain growth in this cluttered market.

In 2005 Lux celebrated its 75th anniversary sparking of a controversy. Deviating its tradition of roping in Bollywood Divas , this time none other than Shah Rukh Khan endorsed Lux. The ads created instant controversy with marketers discussing whether the brand has suddenly become MALE.Paul Newman also has endorsed Lux soap which shows that Lux makes such stunts to excite the market. Whatever be the controversy, the brand again succeeded in creating excitement in the market. Some argue that HLL was testing a new positioning to appeal to male users while others say that it was a one time endorsement to break the clutter. For marking the 75th year Lux came out with a celebration range endorsed by Kareena Kapoor . The Celebration range too created news because of its variant :Chocolate Seduction. These innovative products created lot of excitement that ensured that Lux remained in the top of mind of the consumers. Another variant which I like personally is the Lux with Orchid which looked cool in terms of packaging and looks.
Over these years, the positioning of Lux also evolved. Earlier the brand used the positioning " Beauty soap of Film stars" . But as the customer evolved, the positioning lost its charm because customers began to doubt whether the film stars actually used this brand. Taking a cue from the customers, Lux changed the positioning appealing to the need for becoming a star. The new positioning is communicated with the tagline " Bring out the star in you".Although worldwide the brand is being endorsed by film stars, the actual package usually contains picture of international models and not film stars.

While Lux beauty soap is sticking to the age old positioning, Lux international has moved from being a soap brand to a skin care brand. Lux International has the tagline " Not Just Soap, Its Skin Care". Under the Lux umbrella brand, HLL has introduced variety of personal wash products like body shampoo,hair shampoo etc.
Lux is the classic example of HLL's marketing genius. The brand will experiment and explore more in the days to come....

Related Brands

source: hll.com,superbrandsindia,businessline,yahoomoney
imagesource: superbrandsindia

Monday, January 15, 2007

Santoor : For a Younger Skin

Brand :Santoor
Company: Wipro
Agency: FCB Ulka

Brand Count : 189

Santoor is the second largest soap brand in the Popular segment in India. This Rs 500 crore brand comes from the Software giant Wipro. The brand was launched in 1985 as an ordinary soap with sandalwood and turmeric as its main ingredients.

The brand was initially test marketed in Bangalore and encouraged by the positive response, the brand became national a year after.The brand was positioned as the beauty + skin care at a reasonable price and the brand derived strength from the efficacy of the ingredients. At that time the brands which had sandal as the main ingredient was Moti and Mysore Sandal Soap.

The brand derived the name from combining Sandal + Turmeric and it is not from the musical instrument that it got the name Santoor.
Although the brand became popular, the company was not satisfied with the results. The customers was not buying the ingredient story : says MG Parameswaran in his book on Brands: FCB Ulka case studies. The research suggested that customers are not correlating the brand with skin care and beauty.

Thus started the brain storming on getting the " WOW " factor to build the brand. The wow factor came in the form of the new positioning " For Younger Looking Skin". The positioning come from the consumer insight that ultimately the customers look for a younger skin which is another smart way of defining beauty. The focus on " Younger Skin" also act as a powerful differentiator because other brands were focusing on "beautiful skin" or "looking beautiful".
The next big idea came in the form of communicating the " Younger Skin " concept using "Mistaken Identity " theme ( source : MG Parameswaran's Book). The brand has consistently developed this theme over these two decades of its existence.

Santoor is a brand has consistently understood the consumers and was not complacent to change. The brand was the first one to use a Mother and her five year old daughter to endorse the brand. Most of the ads showed spinsters in their campaigns while for Santoor, the protagonist were Mothers. But showing Mother as the protagonist had its share of issues also. The customers felt that since this brand is meant for adults, it will not be soft on skin. This made the company to change the size texture and the shape of the product.

In Brand Management , I used to teach that changing consumer values were one of the major forces that affect a brand. The case was true for Santoor also. Indian women's mindset were evolvingand breaking free from the traditional mindset. The Mother-daughter equation and the campaigns set in the supermarkets, wedding and bangle shop did not do well with the achievement oriented customers. That was a message to the marketers that the product communication has to change. The achiever protagonist was introduced in 2004. The campaign showed the mother as a successful fashion designer with the same positioning and theme.The brand also extended itself to a range of beauty products and to talc. Now Santoor have face wash, talc , soap and fairness cream.
2006 saw a big change in the marketing strategy for Santoor. The campaigns showed Saif Ali Khan ( in North ) and Madhavan ( south ) in the TVCs. The TVC's shows these celebrities along with the Mother and child in the usual mistaken identity theme. Many were asking whether the brand is going to appeal to males also. I was also taken by surprise seeing Male celebrities endorsing ( acting ) in the Santoor ad. The following questions remain unanswered:
a. Whether this brand needs celebrity endorsement?
b. Is bringing in a male celebrity going to make this brand less appealing ?
c. Has the equity of the protagonist getting diluted with the introduction of celebrity?

For the first two questions, my personal opinion is that using a celebrity without a change in the overall positioning will have a positive impact to the brand. The use of celebrity will make the ad sticky thus making the campaign more effective. For the question C, I believe that with the celebrity, the power of protagonist will get diluted because she is plays a second role in the campaign( debatable point). But as long as the positioning remains consistent, there are no issues isn't it?
Santoor is a super brand that has build itself to a Rs 500 crore brand with its own strength and not piggy banking on any celebrity. The brand is facing tough competition from heavy weights and is now seeking support from outside to stay as a leading FMCG brand.

Related Brands
Pears, Mysore Sandal Soap, Margo, Lifebuoy,Rexona,Dyna, Johnsons,Fair and lovely, Cinthol,Dove, Ponds

Source: Businessline,wiprowebsite,FCB Ulka on brands.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Brand Update : Lays

Lays has launched its new variant Lay's Stax in India. Although this brand was launched way back in 2005, the brand was limited to select outlets in select markets. This year saw the national launch of Stax. Lay's Stax is a fabricated potato chips which is positioned as healthy snack. The product launch is in line with Pepsico's new orientation towards healthy foods. Stax contains zero trans-fat, no added MSG and is cholesterol free. The brand is targeted towards the young health conscious people. The brand comes in a canister pack which has the unique pullout tray. Pringles was the only brand that has this packaging. The rationale behind this variant is to keep the brand ahead interms of being the innovation leader and also tap the increasingly health conscious Indian consumers.The brand comes in 7 flavours which is enough to keep the Indian consumers testing (tasting) the brand for a long time. These innovations keep Lay's exciting and creates a strong entry barrier for competitors. Lay's have a market share of around 50% in the Rs 1800 crore organised salty snacks market in India. Low fat snacks is definitely a high potential market taking into consideration the changing lifestyle of Indians.

Related :

Friday, January 12, 2007

Brand Update : Taj Mahal Tea

Taj Mahal tea has changed its Brand Face ( brand ambassador). Recent TVCs show Saif Ali Khan endorsing the brand. Taj Mahal has been using the Tabla Maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain as its brand ambassador from 1990's. Since Ustad Zakir was endorsing only this brand, the recall was high. Over the period of time, the brand ambassador became synonymous for the brand. Ustad and Taj Mahal was touted as the classic example of a successful celebrity endorsement. The collaboration with the brand and the ambassador went that far that Ustad once challenged in a TVC in 2001 that he will stop playing tabla if he come across a better tea. That TVC created lot of controversy.

The new brand ambassador is Saif. HLL may have reasons for changing the brand ambassador. The brand manager may have been bored using the same face?. Saif may be an attempt to make the brand more contemporary. Ustad and his fans are getting older. Hence there is a chance that the new generation may miss out on the charm of Ustad ( generation gap?). So the attempt may be to make the brand relevant to the new generation. In theory we site examples where the users of the brand getting older and the brand not able to connect with new generation. HLL does not want this to happen with a power brand like Taj Mahal. But by using Saif, the brand is losing its face. Taj Mahal had an exclusive face which was something that made a difference to the brand. Saif does not have that exclusivity. The transition could have been more effective if the TVC had both endorsers......

Related brand
Taj Mahal Tea

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Brand Update : Tata Salt

Tata salt has introduced a new brand of salt in South India named " i-shakti". Although no TVC is aired, the brand is being promoted through ads in regional magazines. The ad in this post is in the regional language- Malayalam. Surprisingly the website of Tata Chemicals do not have any information about this brand. There is a possibility that i-shakti is test marketed in Kerala.The brand is being positioned as Iodised Free Flow salt that will help your child to become smart. Tata Salt do not have that much popularity in South India . That may be the reason for the new brand launch.The packaging and the color usage seems to be eye catching . Although the ads are in place, the product is yet to reach the supermarket -it seems.The brand is also endorsed by ICCIDD which stands for International Council for Control if Iodine Deficiency Disorders. i-shakti will take the competition head on from HLL's Annapurna brand. Annapurna is positioned on the iodine platform

Related Brand
Tata Salt

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pedigree : We're For Dogs

Brand : Pedigree
Company: Effem India
Agency: TBWA India

Brand Count: 188

Pedigree is world's largest pet food brand . The brand is owned by the Mars group which also manufacturers confectionary products. In India Pedigree is marketed through a 100% subsidiary Effem India Pvt Ltd. Pedigree was launched in India in 2001. The brand is all set to cater to the boom in pet food market largely accounted to the changing lifestyle of Indian consumers.

The Indian pet food market is large estimated to be in the tune of Rs 1500 crore. It is estimated that India has around 4 million pet dogs and the consumption of petfoods is at 4 lakh tonnes per annum. That is a big market and is expected to grow at around 35% per year.
Although many players are already there in the market, Indian petfood market is still in its nascent stage. Almost all global players like Nestle,Royal canine,Hill, Lams, Ralston are fighting it out in the market. Pedigree is considered to be the brand that is expected to lead this market.

The petfood market is seeing comeptition not among the brands but these brands are competing with the home food that is given to the dogs. Unlike the West, Pet owners seldom look( aware) at the nutritional needs of their pets.
According to the petfood marketers, the nutritional needs of dogs is 5- 8 times higher than the humans. Hence giving the same food that we eat will create nutritional deficiancy in the dog. But there are vetenarians who argue that commercial petfoods are harmful for the pets. The fight goes on..

Pedigree has embarked upon a comprehensive marketing campaign for developing its brand. Although well known across the globe, this brand has new challenges in the Indian market. The main challenge is to educate the pet owners that Pedigree offers more nutritional value for the dog than the ordinary food. Second is to convince spending a premium on petfoods. The cost of giving Pedigree to a dog works out to be Rs 25 per day.

Pedigree is positioned on the nutritional platform and the ads try to educate the consumer that ordinary food can make the dog lazy and inactive. Globally the brand is positioned using the tagline " We're For Dogs" while in India this has been modified to " We care for the Dog".The company have ensured a strong distribution network and is also trying to get the retailers to influence and educate the pet owners. The brand is also tapping events to popularise the brand.
Although now purchases are yet to pick up, the brand is now in a position to tap the growth curve once the market becomes positive towards petfood.

source: businessline,magindia,pedigree.au

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Marketing Funda : Masstige

Marketing Funda is a new series from Marketing Practice. A lot is happening in the marketing field which has created new JARGONS. " Marketing Funda" series is aimed at keeping you and me updated on the new fundas.

Funda #1 : Masstige

Masstige is a term introduced by Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske to refer to a new category of products aimed at providing "Luxury To the Masses". The term Masstige is derived from the words Mass + Prestige. Silverstein and Neil published a wonderful article in Harvard Business Reveiw (April 2003) titled "Luxury for the Masses" explaining this concept in detail.

Due to a variety of reasons, the luxury market has evolved into different types like
a. Accessible Super Premium products which are priced in such a way that middleclass will be able to afford it.
b. Old Luxury brands extending downwards to catering to mass market
c. Mass prestige brands or Masstige brands which occupies the sweet spot between Mass and Class.

The term has great relevance in the Indian context because Indians are more value conscious and the market for masstige is very large. According to the authors, several factors have caused the evolution of masstige brands. The causes are in the Supplier side, Company side and in the Customer side.
The rise of the income and the change in the retail sector ( discount retailing ) and the emotional awareness has sparked the consumption of such brands. This has forced many firms to look at tapping this market. The accessibility of global resources and efficient supply chain helps the firms to control the cost thereby offer more value. The customer also has evolved in the sense that they began to demand more for less. Indian society is moving towards NUF (Nuclear Urban Family ) where each individual has their own tastes and preferences.

The marketers also find ways to make the brand stand out as a prestige product without the 'expensive ' tag. Brands like Peter England has succeeded because of the prestige image and the value delivery. Pond's has moved to cater to wider mass without compromising the image.The authors point out that inorder to successfully implement the concept has to make sure that they create a ladder of genuine benefit to the customers. The firm should have a passion for innovation on the marketing mixes. More over an outsider ( outside-in)view of the category should be encouraged to ensure that managers are not myopic to the changing marketing environment.

Related Brands
Peter England
Tata Indica

Monday, January 08, 2007

Speed : High Performance Petrol

Brand : Speed
Company: BPCL
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Brand Count : 187

Speed is India's first branded petrol.Launched in 2002 by Bharat Petroleum Corporation ( BPCL) , the brand assured in the concept of positioning and differentiation in the Petroleum marketing which was by nature a commodity.
Speed is marketed as a high performance petrol. Speed is the blend of petrol with high speed additives sourced from Chevron Texaco. The additives are expected to increase the performance of the vehicle.
The branding of petrol is more difficult than any other products because of the following reasons:
a. The customers are very price sensitive. With the petrol prices moving upwards always, spending a premium for branded petrol is a tough call for a customer.
b. There is no tangible benefit that branded petrol can offer to the customer. The advantage of using Speed will not be visible to the customer at the outset. The change may have to be noticed on the performance of the vehicle .

In that sense, Speed has been very successful in creating a niche in this market. The brand is said to be contributing 25% of the total petrol sales of BPCL. Speed is said to have 50% share in the branded petrol segment.
BPCL has carefully nurtured this brand. The brand name itself gives a headstart to the acceptability for the brand since Speed is linked to Performance. Speed is positioned as High Performance Petrol. The company has roped in Narain Karthikeyan as its brand ambassador. The TVCs and the print and outdoors reinforced the positioning of the brand as a performance booster. Narain's was a right choice for the brand since he personifies performance driving in India.

Speed has competition from Indian Oil brand: Extra Premium. Besides using Narain as its brand ambassador, BP also has other campaigns promoting the brand on performance . Speed also extended itself to include Diesel fuel under the Hi-Speed diesel brand.

Even before the launch of branded petrol, BP had initiated a corporate campaign " Pure For Sure" to position the company as one that provides the Purest Petrol/Diesel.The campaign was aimed at promoting retail outlets selling fuels. Another corporate campaign was " Energising Lives" aimed at raising the corporate image beyond fuel retailing. These moves were to preempt the competition arising out from private players like Reliance Industries entering the fuel retailing segment.
With fuel prices touching new heights and with customers looking for alternate fuel options, it will be tough for Speed to convince the customer to pay a premium for the brand.

Related topic
Branding a commodity


image source: agencyfaqs

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Market Statistics : Volume 3

This is the third volume of Market Statistics.

Airfreshner market size :Rs 50 crore

Pressure cooker market size : 6 million pieces

Non stick + cookers market size: Rs 600 crore

Smart Kitchen market size: Rs 3000 crore

LPG market market size :Rs 9 billion

Small Appliances market size : Rs 15 Billion

Pressure Cooker market size: Rs 6 Billion

Branded Indian breakfast market size : Rs 300 crore

Lavatory Care market size : Rs 320 million

Indian cosmetic market size : Rs 2.2 Billion

Leather Goods market size : Rs 1000 crore

Branded Leather market size : Rs 100 crore

Diaper market size: Rs 110 crore

Chocolate Bar market size : Rs 350 crore

Powder market size : Rs 600 crore

Baby Cereal market size : Rs 300 crore

Tyre market size : Rs 10,000 crore

Sewing machine market size : 1.1 Million units

Eye Care market size : Rs 1000 crore

Ice cream market size : Rs 1000 crore

Cigarette market size : Rs 10,000 crore

Desktop market size : 4 million units

Sugar substitutes market size : Rs 60 crore

Branded Sari segment : Rs 7100 crore

Ethnic dress segment : Rs 17000 crore

Women’s wear market size: Rs 28500 crore

Salwar market size : Rs 1800 crore

Sugar Market : Rs 25,000 crore

Iodised Salt Market : Rs 10 billion

Burn Care market size : Rs 30 crore

Over All balm market size : Rs 200 crore

Bus Market :Rs 10000-12000 bus per annum

Casual wear market : Rs 4500 crore

Apparel market : Rs 6000 crore

Branded garments market size : Rs 2500 crore

Toy market size: Rs 2500 crore

Taps & Fittings market : Rs 1000 crore

Organised Bath Fitting market : Rs 500 crore

Wound care market : Rs 520 crore

Bandages market : Rs 20 crore

Pain Balm Market : Rs 100 crore

Related Links

Market Statistics :Volume 1

Market Statistics : Volume 2

Friday, January 05, 2007

Crocin : Your Trusted Paracetamol

Brand : Crocin
Company: Glaxo Smithkline
Agency: O&M

Brand Count: 186

Crocin is a three decade old heritage brand. The brand was once generic to the antipyretic category in India . The brand is currently sold through Over The Counter (OTC) route. The brand is the market leader in the paracetamol category.

Crocin was launched in India 30 years ago by the company Duphar Interfran Ltd. During the early years, the brand was marketed through the ethical route. The brand was bought by Smithkline in 1996. The brand was so successful in the market that GSK bought it for a consideration of Rs 45 crore. There was a logic behind the brand acquisition. GSK had the brand Calpol in the prescription market and was a market leader in the Ethical segment. Crocin was proving to be a major threat for Calpol. So the brand was acquired inorder to safeguard the position of Calpol.

The Indian Pharmaceutical market is huge with a valuation of $45 billion. The OTC segment accounts for a value of $ 1 Billion i.e Rs 4500 crore. Crocin is in the analgesic/antipyretic market. The analgesic (pain Killer) market is a large market with a size of Rs 900 crore and the mild analgesic market is worth Rs 300 crore. With in the analgesic market there are two types : Aspirin based and Paracetamol based. Paracetamol based formulations constitute a major part of the market. Crocin formulations has a 5% share in the total market.

Crocin although a generic name in the paracetamol segment faces an interesting problem. 65% of the brand usage is for its antipyretic i.e fever related use. The antipyretic segment in the OTC is very small with a size of Rs 30-40 crore. In the painkiller market which is large, Saridon leads the pack in the OTC segment.

Crocin's market became limited sadly because of its efficacy or popularity as a drug for fever although it had pain killer properties. Sometimes success can become a limiting factor for further growth. The paracetamol segment is witnessing competition from the generic tablets. Most of the time the druggist has the influencing power in the sale of OTC products. During the 1990's if Crocin was a generic name for paracetamol tablets, the situation is different now with consumers asking for Paracetamol rather than Crocin.
Crocin was in the maturity stage of its product lifecycle in 2000 with the sales stagnating.There was intense competition from generic products and other brands.Paracetamol became a commodity with little scope for differentiation. The brand then went into Market Development Mode in 2003 by repositioning the brand as an analgesic. The brand roped in Kapil Dev to endorse the brand. The high profile ad campaign gave a new life to the brand. The brand also came out with variants like Crocin Quik that boasted of faster relief . Quik was essentially a concentrate of the classic Crocin. Crocin also came out with Crocin 1000 aiming at patients having arthritis. Crocin is promoted as an ethical product.

Crocin had its fair share of problems from the " Watch Dogs". Typically when a brand moves from Ethical to OTC and embarks on brand building , there is going to be someone who will cry foul. Crocin faced objections from FDA for some of its campaigns but those were later sorted out.

As far as a customer is concerned, Crocin is still perceived as a drug for fever( antipyretic) rather than as a pain killer(analgesic). It will take a lot of money and time to change that perception.

Related Brands

Source: walletwatch,agencyfaqs,pharmabiz

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sanspareils Greenlands: Without Parallel

Brand : Sanspareils Greenlands
Company : Sanspareils Greenlands Ltd

Brand Count : 185

Many of us may not be familiar with the brand Sanspareils Greenlands but may be familiar with SG cricket bats. Sanspareils Greenlands ( SG) is the market leader in the cricket bat and cricket related accessories in India. Sanspareils is a french word meaning " Without Parallel "

The Indian Domestic sports goods market is worth around Rs 200 crore and has all the potential to grow in the coming decade. Cricket related products contributes to around 70% of the total market. The market is mainly considered as a cottage/small scale with the industry concentrated mainly on Northern India.The export market is much larger with an approximate figure of Rs 300 crore. SG is the largest exporter of cricket goods in India.

SG came into existence in 1932. The brand was primarily concentrated on exports and only in 1982, the company began selling in India under the brand name SG. SG is also the only authorised supplier of cricket balls to BCCI in the domestic circuit.But SG cricket balls are facing the end of the road because of the competition from the world leader " Kookaburra".

SG shot into prominence as the brand used by the Little Master Sunil Gavaskar. Gavasker used SG bats all through his long illustrious career. SG rode on the success of Gavaskar and introduced Sunny Tonny Range of cricket bats endorsed by Gavaskar.The bat became instant hit with the cricket fans in India.
Cricket bats are primarily made from English Willows. There are many types and specifications of bats and most of the professional bats are customised. The one and the only way to build a brand in cricket bats and accessories is to get a cricket star to use the bat. Sunil Gavasker has helped SG to stay on top of consumer minds for a long time.

roped in The power of the cricket star is so immense that it even results in new business venture for a company. The company in case is MRF which is a company manufacturing Tyres. MRF roped in Sachin Tendulkar to endorse its range of tyres and paid a huge amount of money to feature the brand in Sachin's bat. At that time MRF was not into bat making. It was a smart move to keep the brand on India's most loved cricket player's bat. MRF is also one of the first brand to feature in a cricketer's bat. Seeing MRF logo in bats, there was a flood of queries at sports good stores for MRF bats. Eventually MRF ventured into Bat making/marketing to tap the potential.At that time there was a regulation from Cricket board that non sports brand cannot feature on cricket bats. That also fueled the venture. Now MRF bats are endorsed by Lara, Waugh and Sachin.

Now many brands have started featuring in cricketer's bats. This has pushed up the cost of endorsement to as high as Rs 3 crore per year. But the investment is worth a hundred TVCs if the player is on form. But in the case of failing stars like Sourav and Sewag, the brand stays on the pitch for less than 2 minutes which makes the promotion a costly affair.

This new trend of non sports brand endorsing cricket bats is a setback for brands like SG. Traditionally these brands relied on the players for brand building and seldom do these brand advertise in the media. There is a chance that marketers will start buying " SPACE" on helmets and pads in the near future. That makes the cricket player look like a playing Hoarding. The cricket control boards will also be happy as long as their cash register is ringing.
Besides the marketing issues , another issue that affects SG most is the proliferation of cheap and fake products. Other than the professional players, the normal consumer is price conscious and will not pay much for a cricket bat/accessories.

The brighter side is that with the popularity of cricket touching the levels of religion, the cricket related products will do well. But the market despite the immense potential is small because of the basic lifestyle of Indians. Here unlike the west, Sports are considered as a waste of time.Parents restrict their kids from taking too much interest in playing any kind of sports. Our educational institutions also lack the proper set up for encouraging sports related activities. Hence the people who involve in sports are restricted to two groups
a. Those who want to take sports as career
b. Those youngsters who like to play. These youngsters stop their sports activities when they get a job/get married.
Those who play after reaching 30 years is small in number. That is the TG which have a lot of money to spend. Sadly sports marketers don't target this group.
Sports marketers should try to market SPORTS as a way of life and a way for keeping you healthy . Unless and until that happens, the market is going to be small.

Related Brands

Sources: SG website, eximbank report, sportstar
image courtsy: SG website

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Maaza : Real Mango in the Bottle

Brand : Maaza
Company: Coca Cola
Agency: Leo Burnett

Brand Count : 184

Maaza is the market leader in the Rs 600 crore Indian Fruit drinks market. The brand which is now 30 years old have an iconic status in the segment. The brand came into existence in 1976. The brain child of Parle's Chauhan, the brand came into Coke's fold in 1993. Like Thums Up and Limca, Maaza also had its own power to live.

Although the Indian soft drinks market is huge- valued around Rs 2 billion, the non carbonated drinks constitutes only 10% of the total market. With the Indian consumers expected to become more health conscious in the coming decade, the non carbonated market will witness a huge growth in coming years. The non carbonated drinks are dominated by fruit based drinks. The fruit based drinks market is further classified into Fruit Juice and Fruit Drinks and Fruit Nectar market. Fruit Juices typically have more than 85% fruit juice content while Fruit Drinks contain less than 15% fruit content. The rest is included in the fruit nectar category. While Maaza is the leader in the fruit drinks category, Dabur's Real is the leader in the fruit juice category. The nectar category is dominated by Frooti.
Maaza brand is synonym with the Real Mango. The brand initially was positioned as " Mango in the Bottle". The rich creamy taste of Maaza ratified the positioning and gave the brand a huge fan following. Along its product life cycle, the brand changed its positioning in tune with the times but keeping its core value intact. Although Pepsi tried to break into this market with its Slice brand, it was not able to make a market owing to the lack of clear positioning.

Maaza had the famous tagline" Botal Main AAM, Maaza hai Naam" translated loosely to " Mango in the Bottled Named as Maaza". The brand later metamorphosed to include the fun element. The tagline was changed to the famous jingle " Taaza Mango , Maaza Mango" loosely translated to" Excitement of Mango with Maaza".
Maaza was targeted at the whole family. The brand's primary consumers are children and the company at one point tried to tame the mothers ( influencers) by the campaign relating the brand to health. Maaza boasts to be fortified with calcium. Although kids are a huge fan of the brand,Maaza was clever enough not to restrict itself to being a Kid's drink. The new campaign featuring Satish Shah takes the brand to the next level of Friendship and Fun. The brand is laddering up to higher state of Friendship moments and is trying to tell the consumer " How drinking Maaza brings People together" : A tall order for a fruit drink... I still feel that the original positioning of Real Mango in Bottle still make sense.

The core brand value for Maaza is "Wholesome Funfilled Real Fruit Experience". The brand over these 30 long years has seldom diluted the core values. One time it changed its track was in 2001 where the brand tried to come out with Orange and Pineapple variants. Customers rejected it . It is a sort of Non-sense to extend a brand known as Mango in the Bottle to other flavours.
Maaza also experimented with packaging . The brand has ventured into smart attractive 1.5 litre Pet bottles and even to tetrapack. The brand also changed the look and changed its logo to become more contemporary.Coke surprisingly has spent considerable amount of money to build and sustain this brand. The brand returned the favour by being the largest selling fruit drink brand in India.

Related Brands
Thums Up

Source: agencyfaqs,magindia,fnb,businessline
imagesource: agencyfaqs,cocacola website

Monday, January 01, 2007

Acuvue : Healthy and Convenient

Brand: Acuvue
Company: Johnson&Johnson
Agency: Lowe

Brand Count:183

Acuvue is a major brand in the Rs 60 crore contact lens market. Although the market is led by Bausch and Lomb with around 70% market share, Acuvue can be termed as the innovation leader in this segment.
Acuvue, the brand of the Johnson &Johnson ( J&J) is a pioneer in the disposable contact lens category. Acuvue was the first disposable contact lens brand in India. The brand is the market leader in the disposable lens category.

Although the eye-care market is estimated to be around Rs 1200 crore, the contact lens category forms a minuscule part of the market. The penetration of this category is abysmally low even in the metros (5%). The changing lifestyle hold immense potential for this category in the years to come.

There are many factors that has inhibited the growth of contact lens. The primary factor being the price perception. Contact lenses are perceived to be priced higher and considered to be out of reach for the middle class. Another factor is the health and maintenance issue. Users of contact lens will agree that regular /prolonged use of lens often causes irritation . Although the marketers talk about convenience, the lens should be cared more and the limitation of its use ( example : you should remove the lens while taking a nap/ cooking etc) makes the consumer averse even to try this category. More over consumers are not aware about this category and its uses. Some reports suggest that most users have a fear of inserting foreign object in the eyes which is termed as Pokeaphobia that further limits the popularity of this category.

The target market for contact lens category is the SEC A B in metros ages anywhere between 15-35. While the consumers aged below 20 will not have their say in the purchase of contact lens, it is the working youngsters who show the maximum potential for a contact lens marketer.

Acuvue is a brand that had tried to make the category popular by addressing the two issues : cost and maintenance. The brand came out with disposable lens that can be used for two weeks and can be disposed thus freeing the customer from maintaitenance hassles. The brand became successful because customers of contact lens use ordinary glass as the primary eye wear and uses lens for special occasions/events. Primary need that these lens satisfy is the need for looking good. The brand is positioned as a healthy and convenient brand stressing the comfort factor. The brand has also embarked upon an e-trial initiative to prompt the potential consumers to try out this category. The consumers can go to the site and register themselves to get a trial pack of lens. The aim is to get the non users to try out this brand. The brand is optimistic that the majority of trial users will turn to be regular users. The brand is also trying to train the opticians because majority of sales happen at the shop and opticians acts as a major influencers.
Acuvue was also an innovation leader by coming out with lens that is bifocal and also color lens. One of the major innovation was the Acuvue 1-day lens that was launched in 2006. The new variant is a use and throw lens. It is the shampoo sachetisation of contact lens. The consumer insights is that people may need to look good on some special situations like marriage or interview or company presentation etc. One cannot afford to spent Rs 1000 just for that occasion. The solution is the 1-day use lens that costs only Rs 90. Theoretically it makes perfect sense.The product effectively seals a gap in the market.

But the larger issue is that the product related issues are limiting the category growth. The inherent product problems limit the popularity of this product category. The target which these marketers aim are those who will be using computers. Using lens while working on a computer will cause irritation in the eyes. This is just one example of how product problems can obstruct growth. Using lens while traveling in a motorcycle also is not advisable which alienates many young men from trying out lens or using it regularly. In such a scenario the 1-day lens or disposable lens make perfect sense. Till the contact lens marketers sort out the product related limitations, the category is going to remain a niche.

Related Brands

source: businessline,rediffmoney,acuvue.com
image source: agencyfaqs.com,opitek-dietze.de