Friday, June 29, 2007

Real Twist : Come ,Let Us Twist

Brand : Real Twist
Company : Dabur
Agency : Lowe

Brand Count : 244

Dabur has come out with a new brand Real Twist in the highly lucrative Indian Fruit Drinks market. The above statement is wrong... because Real Twist is not a new brand but a Product Line extension and the brand is not new because it was launched way back in 2005. But since the brand is now having an entirely new marketing mix, I thought I would call it a new brand.

Dabur's Real brand of fruit juices are market leaders in the Rs 350 crore Fruit Juices + Nectar market. The brand has a whopping 85% share. But this market is small compared to the Rs 1200 crore Fruit Drinks market which is dominated by Frooti and Maaza.More over this market is growing at an impressive 25%. Interestingly majority of customers doesn't fully understand the difference between fruit juices , nectar and fruit drink. The deciding factors behind their purchase decision is Product quality , Price and Promotion.Dabur which aspires a high growth in FMCG and foods business cannot ignore this mass market.
Dabur's Real brand which has a variant named Real Activ is positioned on the Health platform. Recently Real is running a campaign " Tastes Like a Real Fruit". Although Twist is now launched as a product line extension, on a closer look the Real brand is just endorsing the new brand. I feel that over time Twist will have its own identity. When it was launched initially in 2005, it was a real product line extension. But now it seems to be a real product launch rather than a relaunch.

Twist is a fruit drink which is positioned as a fun brand. The target group is obviously young people which forms a larger part of the consumer population in this category. Currently Twist is promoted heavily in Television. Twist is really a Mango drink with an addition of other fruits. There are initially two variants with Mango remaining the base in both the variants.

Watch the ad here : Real Twist

The brand uses the tagline :" AAo Twist Kare" translated to "Come Let us Twist" . The ads are well made and creates some amount of fun and energy for the brand. Essentially the brand is trying to promote itself as a highly young and vibrant brand.According to reports, along with the promotion , the brand's strong point is the price. Twist is now retailing at Rs 10 for 200 ml and Rs 25 for 600 ml and Rs45 for 1200 ml. The attractive price with some good promotion can give Frooti some serious touch of competition. For the customers the endorsement from Real will give them some confidence about the health factor in this drink. And since Twist is not going to depend on Real for its existence, there is no issue of the dilution of Real's equity as a healthy Fruit Juice.
As a lover of ads, I am impressed by the ads in the sense that it is fun and not boring. But the real test of Twist comes in the product performance.Frooti sensing the competition has already running a few campaigns. The competitors are going to up their ante and lot of ads may be on air soon.
Dabur has always surprised market watchers. This company which had the image of a chyavanprash company has changed itself to become the one of the major FMCG company in India. Twist is the byeproduct of their aggressive growth strategy. Will TWIST make a REAL difference is something to watch for.

What do you think?

Source : businessline, businessindia,agencyfaqs,ET

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Brand update : Clinic All Clear

Clinic All Clear has launched India's first anti-dandruff shampoo for men. The brand is launched in two variant : Active Sport and Hairfall Decrease. According to the press release, HUL has conducted intensive research which revealed that Men's scalp is significantly different than the female scalp and hence require specialized care. Also men's scalp is found to have 33% more dandruff than that of females, reason being more sweat and less hair care. These insights have helped the company to launch a variant addressing this segment.
Although the company states these reasons, the real reason behind this launch is that Men's grooming market is booming. Clinic wants to retain its overall leadership position in the shampoo market and does not want to be lagging in a booming segment. Moreover, the brands like Garnier is already targeting men for their shampoo range.
It is interesting to note that Clinic is smart enough to retain and extend its core positioning of No Dandruff for this variant also. The brand is priced at Rs 130 for 200 ml and Rs 72 for 100 ml and Rs 3 for sachet. The packaging is also eye-catching and stylish. The new launch is expected to make the male grooming market more interesting and is going to see a lot of new launches.
Related Brand
Clinic All Clear

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hindustan Unilever Ltd : Adding Vitality to Life

Brand : Hindustan Unilever ltd
Company: HUL
Agency : Lowe

Brand Count : 243

Its now official. From today onwards, Marketers have to learn to call India's Largest FMCG company by its new Name : Hindustan Unilever Ltd. The company has officially rebranded itself.
According to the press release, the rebranding aims to align this brand along its global positioning of the parent Unilever.

According to the CEO of HUL Mr Douglas Bailey the new logo and name symbolizes the idea of vitality. He says

“The identity symbolises the benefits we bring to our consumers and the communities we work in. Our mission is full of promise for the future, opening up exciting opportunities where we have competitive advantage for developing our business and our new identity will help us confidently position ourselves in every aspect of our business.”

There is more to the new logo than it meets the eye. The logo is a combination of 25 icons that symbolizes the vision and mission of the company, the brands and the concept of vitality. The new corporate brand takes the tagline " Add Vitality to Life".
The twenty five icons form the unique U of the new corporate logo.

Incorporated in 1933 as Lever Brothers India ltd and adorning the name Hindustan Lever ltd in 1956, HLL never was serious about its corporate brand. All these years, this FMCG giant was building individual brands.
It was in 2005- 2006 that HLL seriously began to use its corporate logo in its TVC's. The company felt that a powerful corporate brand can give power to individual brands especially the new brands.
This year, the company made a huge change in its logo and the name.From the reports, I feel that the company is embarking on a serious corporate brand building activity in the years to come. This makes sense because theoretically Corporate brands Legitimizes products and individual brands individualizes it. This was important for those product categories which need to establish trust because of high cost or high customer involvement. Hence you can see consumer durable brands and automobile brands using both Corporate Brands and Individual brands together.

The current rebranding of Corporate brand is not going to make a difference in HUL's position in the market. The reason being that all of the HLL's brand stand independently from the corporate identity. I also doubt whether customers care about the company behind the Surf ?
The new brand is also unique since it is the only market in the world where Unilever has allowed the use of regional name . To show solidarity to Indian market, Unilever is retaining the term Hindustan in the new brand name.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Brand Update : Pepsodent

The toothpaste war is going to get hotter. Following the high profile launch of Colgate Citrus Blast, Pepsodent has started fighting back with a new variant Pepsodent Center Fresh. The new variant is positioned as a toothpaste that fights germs and also with mouthwash. Now promoted heavily through TV and Print, this brand now adopts the tagline " Protection Outside Freshness Inside".I think that this is the first time Pepsodent is venturing outside its domain of germ protection.Theoretically, Pepsodent is diluting its core positioning of germ protection by adding one more feature. ie Freshness. Interestingly Mouthwash and freshness is the core strength of Close Up.
More interestingly Close Up has come out with a new variant with Fluoride that offers protection. Hence both Pepsodent and Close Up have exchanged its core positioning and now both have the same properties i.e Freshness and Protection. Utter confusion isn't it? So with one stroke, HLL has diluted the core positioning of both power brands. Remember that Colgate throughout its life has stuck to one positioning . ie Strong teeth and Pepsodent has successfully differentiated itself by Germ Protection. Now all these are stories of the past. Technically Close Up is Pepsodent in Gel Form and Pepsodent is Close Up in another brand name. Close Up earlier had a unsuccessful experience with its Anti Cavity Fluoride variant.

Having said that, there are certain lessons from the latest Pepsodent variant. The brand has used visual imagery to promote the new differentiation of Mouthwash. The color scheme and the analogy with Swimming Pool .. all supports the new thrust of mouthwash with in the toothpaste. But the marketing idea does'nt stop there. The brand uses visual proof of the presence of the attribute inside the toothpaste which can be physically seen by the customer. Hence three is a physical evidence of mouthwash within the toothpaste. This is not a new idea since HLL has succeeded in giving visual evidence for its Surf brand . ( Remember Power Booster with Granules). Such visual evidences provide the brand a powerful support and can be even considered to be a brand element. While the Pepsodent uses Blue liquid like visual for Center Fresh, Close Up uses White Color inside to represent Fluoride.
So whether it is mouth wash inside or outside, these brands are venturing outside its successful positioning. It has to be seen how market responds to these strategies. What do you feel?

Related Brands


image source : agencyfaqs

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Brand Update : Nivea

Finally Nivea is getting serious on Indian market. According to media reports, the German parent is getting its acts together in India. The company is going to launch around 33 products in India. Starting its new aggressive mode, the brand has launched 6 products for Men. Surprisingly the brand is aiming a nascent market of Men's grooming market.
Launched this may was Nivea Whitening range for men which consists of 6 products. The TVC's are on air and the new range has identified the following five differentiators for its Men's range :
Whitens skin
Remove dark spots
Lightens discoloration
Prevents Skin ageing
and Soothens skin.
The brand uses the tagline " Advanced Face Care" to promote this range. The company estimates this grooming market to be of the range of Rs 700 crore. The brand uses the term "Whitening" rather than fairness and asks men to "Join the Whitening Revolution".
Related Brands

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Chevy Spark : Full of Life !

Brand : Spark
Company: Chevrolet ( GM)
Agency : Leo Burnett

Brand Count : 242

Spark is the latest entrant to the highly crowded and comptitive Indian car market. Spark is the second life for the erstwhile Matiz brand of Daewoo Motors. When Matiz came to India in 1995, the brand was a huge success. The cute car loaded with luxury soon created a premium small car segment giving significant competition for Santro.

But the internal financial crisis and subsequent death of Daewoo Motors almost killed this brand.. almost. 2007 saw this brand rebirth as Spark. Although GM denies that Spark is not Matiz reloaded, the resemblance cannot be ignored. In marketing terms, Spark should be considered as a new product launch.

Spark makes huge sense for the ambitious plans of GM to dominate Indian market. No marketer can make headway in Indian market without their presence in the Small car segment which constitutes almost 80% of the Indian car market. The small car market dominated by Suzuki is not an easy nut to crack either. And since no manufacturer can match the cost structure of Suzuki , the small car should be highly differentiated.
Indian small car market has evolved itself over the last decade into different segments within itself. The current market looks like this

Rs 1.8 lakh - 3.5 lakh :Maruti 800 ,Alto ( Basic Small Car)
Rs 3- 4 lakh :Santro /Wagon R/Zen Estillo /Spark/Indica ( Premium small car)
Rs 4 lakh and above : Swift,Fusion,UVA ( Luxury small car)
( This is my classification)

Spark is directly competing with Hyundai Santro and Maruti Wagon R in the premium small car segment. Priced very competitively at Rs 3-4 lakh, Spark is definitely will hit Santro hard -for a simple reason that customers were waiting for a choice. Be it Santro or Wagon R, customers are pretty bored by these two models which are there in the market for pretty long period of time. If you are a person who doesn't like the tall boy design, then there was no other choice but go in for Indica. Now Spark fills that gap effectively.
Not only that Chevrolet had priced the brand rightly, it had also marketed this brand correctly.Spark is positioned as a fun (cute) car and aptly uses the tagline " Full of Life". The vibrant colors and the cute looks is definitely going to make this car desirable . Customers may buy this brand just for the looks.
The brand is promoted heavily through TVC's which effectively captures the brand's essence.

Watch the TVC here : Spark
Although the brand faces intense competition from the leader Santro ( which has already giving huge discounts to counter Spark), for a while Spark may not be able to match Santro. But I feel that Spark will create a market for itself. The positioning of Spark as a vibrant lively brand is going to help it a lot. The brand will be attracting the young customers who are desperately looking for something different ( from the OLD Santro and the STAID Wagon R).
Like any products, the ultimate test for this brand will be on the ROAD. If Spark can prove itself to be a trouble free car on the road, Chevrolet have a winner at hand.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Boomer : Boom Boom Boomer

Brand : Boomer
Company: Wrigley's
Agency : Grey

Brand Count : 241

Boomer is a pure kids brand. When most of the chewing gum marketers are spending heavily on the adult segment with sugarfree variants and outlandish ad budgets and creatives, Boomer followed the kids.
I feel that Boomer now takes the position of BIGFUN which was the best selling chewing gum during my school days. BigFun is currently not in the market.
Boomer was launched in India in 1995 by Joyco-which is a confectionery major from Spain.Boomer actually revived the chewing gum market in India and in 2000 became the single largest brand in the segment with a market share of over 40%. But later the company lost out to Perfetti which redefined the entire confectionery market. In 2005 Joyco was taken over by Wrigley's . Today Boomer is fighting for leadership position with its competitor Big Babool .

Boomer is targeting kids aged 10-15 . I am little confused about the positioning of this brand because I could not make out the exact positioning strategy. But Boomer focuses on the fantasy hero who helps the kids who land up in the midst of villains. Its a kind of story book fantasy that this brand tries to adopt. The brand has effectively made use of its brand elements like the Boomer Hero and the famous jingle "Boom Boom Boomer". Hence this brands is positioned as a friendly companion for the little customers. The ads of Boomer is another example of Absurdism in Advertisements.
Boomer is an international brand and uses the same Boomer Hero. Worldwide this brand uses the same theme to promote itself.
The brand thus have advantage of its competitor because Babool lacks such powerful brand elements. Boomer is able to catch the attention of kids through various heroic stories of Boomer and that can very often translate to sales. Moreover in the kids confectionery, the product sales now are driven by sales promotions rather than brand. Kids may choose Babool if it offers more goodies than Boomer.
In the highly competitive market for Kid's mindshare , Boomer stands to gain because of the strength of its brand elements.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Brand update : Amul

I cannot resist the temptation of sharing some of the Amul Topicals with You. Enjoy.
Related Brands: Amul

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Brand Update : Dove

After building its equity as one of the mildest soaps available in India and having created a small space in the premium segment of soap market, Dove has extended itself into hair care segment.Although internationally Dove has a range of hair care products, officially the range is introduced into Indian market this year.
Indian shampoo market is segmented on the basis of price. The top segment consists of premium brands like Lo'real,Garnier and other imported brands, midsegment consists of popular brands like Clinic, Sunsilk,Lakme,Head & Shoulders etc and the lower segment dominated by Sachets and local price warriors.
It is evident that the premium segment was created and dominated by Loreal and Hll feels that it should be having a brand in that segment too. Dove will be pitted against Loreal and is positioned as a premium shampoo with moisturizing properties. The presence of milk lotion acts as the differentiator. The brand takes the strength from the equity of its soap and will be trying to leverage on that strength. The brand uses the tagline " More beautiful hair with every wash" to promote the range.
The extension of Dove to shampoo is an example of brand extension. There are industry experts who say that this extension will fail because the customers can never relate Dove to haircare. I feel that for HLL Dove brand is the best bet to counter Loreal.

Related Brand
image courtesy :businessline

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Head & Shoulders : Making Hair Soft & Dandruff Free

Brand : Head & Shoulders
Company: P&G

Brand Count : 240

Head & Shoulders is world's No.1 anti-dandruff shampoo. A power brand from P&G , this brand made its debut in India in 1997. In the highly competitive Indian shampoo market which is estimated to be worth around Rs 1800 crore, Head&Shoulders is a major player in the Anti-Dandruff niche. The entire shampoo market is dominated by HLL with a whopping market share of around 46%.
When the brand was launched in India, the anti dandruff market was in its nascent stage and dominated by Clinic All Clear. The high profile launch of Head & Shoulders fueled the growth of this specialty market. Now anti-dandruff segment constitutes around 15% of the total shampoo market. While some reports suggest that Head & shoulders lead this segment, there are no exact market share figures available. My feeling is that Clinic All Clear has a lead over Head & Shoulders.

Head & Shoulders is positioned as a pure play anti-dandruff shampoo and for these 20 years has stuck to this positioning.When the brand was launched, it really gave HLL brand Clinic a run for its money. The brand had carried its heritage as worlds largest selling anti-dandruff shampoo and also maintained a good share of voice. The brand used the Markonym ZPT ( Zinc Pyrithine)Formula which has anti-fungal properties as its differentiator.
But during the 2000, Clinic All Clear outsmarted Head & Shoulders through some very aggressive campaigns. As usual HLL banked on high profile celebrities to endorse this brand. Shah Rukh and Shahid Kapoor and recently John & Bipasha made sure that Clinic All Clear retain its share of mind. Surprisingly during this period, Head & Shoulders kept a low profile.

It was during 2005 that Head & Shoulders began its aggressive campaign to regain the lost market.The brand roped in the bubbly Preity Zinta to endorse the brand. Earlier Ajay Jadeja had endorsed the brand.During this period, the brand also extended its positioning from Anti-Dandruff to "Soft hair + dandruff removing " proposition. The brand also introduced different variants like Menthol, Aloevera, Black, Naturally Clean,smooth & silky to increase the product line depth.
The brand also changed ZPT formula to Vitazinc to support the new positioning. Along with the new brand ambassador, the brand also talked about eliminating 5 problems arising out of dandruff : Flakes,Irritation,Itchiness,Dryness and Oiliness.The new extended positioning makes sense in the new consumer environment where customers are looking more at combo products rather than specialty products.
Although Head & Shoulders has aggressive in the market, it is still lagging behind Clinic All Clear in terms of creative campaigns. Globally, Head & Shoulders had come out with some highly creative campaigns which was not replicated in India by the agency.The brand is now available in a new look and with the aggressive campaigns, the brand hopes to keep its Head High

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Brand Update : Yamaha

This year Yamaha launched yet another bike branded Alba 106. Surprisingly this bike is a 100 cc bike which is an absolute contra strategy because almost all bike marketers are moving away from the 100 cc segment. Alba was launched after the reasonably successful run of Gladiator. But according to reports, Yamaha India is in deep trouble and time is running out for them to give a winner. As discussed in the previous blog about Yamaha, it is sad to find an iconic brand now slowly dying.
Alba 106 again is a mass market brand. The brand is once again going to dampen the brand equity of Yamaha which went down the drains with the failures of Crux,Frazer and YBX. What was needed for this brand was a SUPER BIKE and what came was a cropper.
To top it, ALBA 's campaign is one of the worse media campaign I have seen in recent times. The ad surprisingly do not feature the brand ambassador John Abraham. The brand uses the baseline " Got It?" which does not mean anything. The story , the positioning and the USP all missing in the campaign. If the agency feels that Indian consumer will be impressed by showing a tattooed girl and a dude, they are terribly mistaken or they lack commonsense.
Alba 106 fails to convey any sort of differentiation for the product. One print ad says " Ride it if you can handle it" which is a dampener. Another major issue that the brand faces is the failure of the earlier launches like Crux,Frazer etc. Customers who bought these brands are worried about the after sales support. This issue further damages the equity of Yamaha.
Yamaha is again trying wrong medicine to its disease. What it needs is a product like Pulsar that will bring back the confidence of customers back to the brand.

Related brand


Image courtesy : magindia

Monday, June 11, 2007

Book Review : One Land One Billion Minds

Another addition to the Marketing Practice : a section on books. Starting with a review of " One Land One Billion Minds " published originally in SCMS Journal of Indian Management Vol iii Oct-Dec 2006


Insights on branding in India

Author : Ramanujam Sridhar

Edition : 2006

ISBN : 81-85984-17-4

Price : Rs.850/-

Pages : 400

Publisher : Productivity and Quality Publishing Pvt.Ltd., Madras.

The book by Ramanujam Sridhar talks about his journey from the world of finance to the universe of marketing and branding. Starting a career in Banking and moving over to the world of advertising, Mr.Ramanujam is known for his advertising acumen.
The book is an autobiographical insight into the Indian marketing and Advertising. Spread in 13 chapters, the book is rich with examples and case studies that make it and interesting reading.
The book starts with a peep into the travel of the author from banking to advertising and moves over to the most important topic of Understanding Indian consumers. Moving over, the author covers the concept of brands and brand management. Then towards the end of the book, the author explains his views on the role of advertising and public relations.

The book emphasizes on the importance of brands and more importantly on the strategy that should drive the brands. He cites many prominent Indian brands that succeeded because of careful planning. While criticizing on the over use of Celebrity endorsements, the author gives certain guidelines on using Celebrity to the brand’s advantage. The author also gives an effort to give the readers an insight to the future of brands in India.

The experience of the author is shared to the readers when he deals with the Advertising part of the book. He reminds the Brand Owners about the power of advertising and how advertising build brands. The case of Advertising agency’s position in the Client –Agency relationship is dealt with in the chapter aptly titled “Is Your Ad Agency Truly Your Partner? The author says, “Truly great work happens when the agency feels electrically charged about the client and his brand.”

The topic selections, the name of the book and the profile of the author, build up lot of expectations about the book for a reader. The readers would expect a highly insightful commentary on Indian brands will little disappointed after reading the entire book. The reason is that although there are lot of examples and consumer insights, the author has been saying the obvious. For an uninitiated to the world of advertising and branding, this book will prove to be a storehouse of information. But for a management graduate of a marketing practitioner, the concepts are not new and the examples already discussed in various forums. The author often repeats lot of points again and again in various occasions sometimes gives a feeling of boredom. For example, TVS Victor and Titan feature in different chapters more than once. Although the book starts with an autobiographical note, somewhere the personal touch is lost in the book that leaves the reader craving for more of his personal experience than the oft-repeated theories.

Neat layout and impressive presentation makes this book easy to read but at the end of the book, messages fail to get imprinted in the mind.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Market Statistics : Volume 4

Topical Steroid Market Size (Skin care) : Rs 100 crore Source : ET 9/6/07

Digital Camera Market Size : 7 lakh Units per annum source : ET 9/6/07

Size of Luxury Market : $ 444million Source: ET 09/06/07

Used Car Market Size : 1 million units Source : ET 09/06/07

Home Furnishing Market Size : Rs 15,000 crore Source : ET 09/06/07

Indian Soft Drinks Market size : $ 2 Billion Source: ET 09/06/07

Telecom Equipment Market Size : Rs 75000 crore Source: ET 06/06/07

Air Conditioners ( AC) Market Size : Rs 3600 crore Source :Businessline 5/4/07

Branded Home Furnishing Market Size : Rs 5000 Crore Source :Business Line 02/02/07

Indigenous Tiles Market Size : Rs 700 Crore Source : Businessline March 2007

Food & Beverages Market Size : $5640 Mn Source : AC Nielsen 2007

Shampoo Market Size : Rs 1800 crore Source : Business Standard 29/05/07

Frozen Non Vegetarian Snack Food Market Size : Rs 150 crore Source : Businessline 08/01/07

Frozen Vegetarian Snackfood Market Size ; Rs 200-250 crore Source Businessline 08/01/07

Industrial Glove Market Size : Rs 150 crore Businessline 05/05/07

Friday, June 08, 2007

Amul Innerwear : Crafted for Fantasies

Brand : Amul
Company: JB Hosiery
Agency: Saint &Warriors

Brand Count : 239

Amul brand of innerwear is in the limelight for all the wrong ( right?) reasons. This brand from the Kolkata based Hosiery is a major brand in the Rs 5162 crore Indian innerwear market. Amul shares the brand name with the famous diary brand Amul and I wonder whether the two had fought a legal battle on trademark?

Amul innerwear have a huge share of voice. In 2005, the brand was the leading advertiser in TV among the innerwear brands. The brand was mainly targeting the mass market and the ads were also designed for the SEC B&C.According to agencyfaqs, the company is targeting mainly UP and Bihar which is their core market.
Now this brand is the hot topic in the blogosphere with a real controversial ad.
watch the ad here : Amul innerwear
Now that is clutterbreaking. The ad features a young bride washing her hubby's innerwear at a dhobi ghat. The ad has created so much controversy that it was challenged at the ASCI .But interestingly ASCI ruled in favour of the brand. The agency is all set to release a sequel to this advertisement.
According to the company officials the brand has reported a 35% increase in sales after the release of the advertisement.I was very much intrigued with the ad when I first saw it. And I must say that my first reaction was to change the channel since my whole family was viewing the TV at that time.I thought it was either an ad for condoms or for an aphrodisiac or a spoof. But never in my life I had an idea that it was for an innerwear. Did I liked the ad ... No not at all. My personal opinion is that the ad is of bad taste.

As the article in agencyfaqs aptly titled an article about this brand as " Crafted for controversies". The brand wanted controversy and publicity. The best way to get that is to create a controversial ad. That worked wonders for the brand. Just type Amul Macho and you will get all commentaries and opinions : some supporting and some criticizing. But people are talking about the brand.
Innerwear advertising is always challenging to the marketer. You have to find the differentiator and also convey that to the customer. The market is full of unorganised and unbranded cheap products. Only a section of the market is brand loyal. While VIP, Jockey etc are taking up the premium segment, the brands like Amul, Lux, Rupa etc are trying their luck at the mass market. Hence Amul was forced to take the clutter breaking approach to build the brand. Even I feel that celebrity endorsements had lost its sheen this market. Hence this brand 's new campaign qualifies for a guerilla tactic which was successful.

I feel that the agency has taken an easy path to publicity. Most of the publicity generated was negative. The iconic brand Axe uses sensuality to perfection without repelling the customers. The ads are watched and discussed. We marketers wait for the next creative.There the agency is enlightened. Here whether creative or not, the ad for Amul lacks that enlightenment or refinement.
Compare the amul ad with the latest ad of VIP : No Adjust
which is more sensible than the controversial one. Ofcourse the Amul ad delivered results , I am not sure whether VIP's ad delivered results.
Amul Macho uses the tagline " Crafted for Fantasies" which I am not sure as to its relevance.But for the TG I think it conveys the meaning.
The ad makes sense to the market it serves because it created instant brand recall and that is what is important in a cluttered mass market.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Brand Update : Hero Honda Pleasure

Hero Honda Pleasure is on a celebrity overdrive. After using Hrithik Roshan for a print ad, the brand is now running a TVC featuring Priyanka Chopra. The brand expects the Priyanka to neutralize the Preity Zinta effect of TVS Scooty.

Pleasure had only an average success in the market. The brand is expecting a surge in sales once the massive roll out of Just4her showrooms are completed.

Picture courtesy : businessline
Related Brand

Monday, June 04, 2007

Kent Mineral RO : For Mineral Rich Water

Brand : Kent RO
Company :Kent RO systems
Agency : Glaze Ads

Brand Count : 238

Kent is a challenger brand in the Rs 600-700 crore Indian water purifier industry dominated by none other than Aquaguard from Eureka Forbes. Kent was launched in 1995 by Mahesh Gupta an IITian .

Kent is positioned as a premium brand of water purifier targeted at SEC A&A + Most of the existing purifiers are based on Ultraviolet technology .The brand Kent is differentiated from the main competitor Aquaguard through its Reverse Osmosis ( RO) technology. The brand uses the Markonym " RO" to communicate this to the customer. Most of the existing water purifiers use Ultraviolet technology which is much inferior to RO technology.

Identifying this gap, Kent was wise enough to own this technology and is now known as the brand which pioneered RO technology in India. In competitive strategy, the brand Kent adopted a bypass attack on the market leader Aquaguard.Here the company has leapfrogged new technologies to supplant existing products ( Kotler).Although RO technology is superior to UV, the major drawback is in the price front. While UV purifiers sells at Rs 5000-7000 range, the price of RO based purifiers starts at Rs 15000. This big differential in the pricing is expected to come down with the increase in the volume of RO purifiers.

We know that having a superior technology is not a recipe for success in marketing front. The brand faced two major issues, one to establish the brand equity and second to educate the customers about the new technology. The brand then chose the eay way out in establishing the brand inthe market i.e through celebrity endorsement. Kent roped in the Dream Girl ( or lady) Bollywood diva Hema Malini and surprisingly her daughter Ahana to endorse the brand. Hema Malini gave the brand instant eyeballs in the sense that viewers ( including mine ) was intrigued with the new brand Kent. The media chosen was print and TV. Hema Malini made sense because the target audience who are Mothers could easily identify with this celebrity homemaker. More over the presence of Ahana made this a family brand .

Last year ,the brand roped in Hema Malini's eldest daughter Esha Deol to support the brand . Thus Kent became the only brand which is endorsed by a celebrity mother and two daughters. According to reports, the new brand ambassador Esha is expected to give this brand an entry into the younger generation customers. The move also makes sense with the rise of lot of young professionals managing their own homes.
The brand had gained good reputation in the market which has prompted the market leader Eureka Forbes to come out with its own range of RO product.
Besides water purifier, Kent also innovated a fruit and vegetable purifier. This when used on vegetables and fruits, will clean the impurities and make them fresh. But the price of Rs 5000 makes it little unaffordable to ordinary customers.
Kent is positioned on the specific feature whereby the mineral content of the water is sustained even after purification. Hence the brand takes the positioning platform of Mineral Rich Pure Water which also acts as a differentiator.
The real impact of this brand on the market leader Aquaguard will be felt when the price of the RO purifier will match that of the popular UV purifiers. It will take a little while before that happens. Industry watchers predict that the product is moving towards the Reverse Osmosis Purifiers . When that happens Kent RO will reap the rewards of its investments.

Source: Kent website,businessline

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Brand Update : Eyetex

I had written last year about the brand Eyetex and its initiative to tap the new generation with the new brand Dazzler. The Senior Management of the firm was kind enough to provide me further information about the brand which I would like to share with you , Excerpts from the mail
  • Last year we sold 23.4 million pieces of our traditional EYETEX Kajal,
  • We believe that no brand of any Eye Care Cosmetic sells such a volume in India - value is a different matter,
  • This year, the target is appr. 25.8 millions of pieces - the low growth is due to the near saturation level of penetration,
  • We also produce five varieties of Eyeliner Liquid under the same brand EYETEX - but this is synthetic product like the Brands that you have mentioned,
  • We sold 1.42 millions pieces of our EYETEX Eyeliner Liquid in 2006-07;
  • We believe that this is the Second largest next to LAKME who are reported to have sold close to 4.0 millions pieces of their Eyeliner liquid,
  • This year the target is 1.75 million pieces
  • In your state KERALA, our Eyeliner Liquid is by far the Number I Brand in volumes - this can be easily verified,
  • These 1.42 millions sales in 2006-07 comes on top of just 1.60 lakhs pieces of Eyeliner Liquid sold as recently as 2000-01,
  • As your BLOG aptly titles - Eye On The Next Generation - we are also into Eye Mascara {since 2005}, Eyebrow Pencils {since 1975},
  • We are also into - under the Brand DAZLLER - Nail Polish {3 varieties}, Nail Polish Remover, Lip Sticks {2 sizes}, Lip Gloss, Compact Powder, Liquid Makeup {Foundation Cream}, Lip Eye Makeup Remover etc.,
  • We are also the largest BRAND in the Kumkum business in India - the Umbrella Brand is EYETEX and this has sub Brands namely POORNIMA, PALLAVI & DIVYAA,
  • We sell Kumkum in Powder, Paste, Liquid, Pencil & Sticker forms,
  • In 2006-07 we sold over 64 million pieces of different varietis of Kumkum

Great going for a heritage brand like Eyetex. It is always good to see Indian brands keeping their forte even after the onslaught of Global brands. But the threat is real. A dipstick study at my institute revealed little percentage using the heritage brands and majority going towards global brands ( may not be statistically relevant) . But these brands has their strength of the equity that it has created over these years. Only thing they have to do is to strengthen it.

Related Brand

Brand Update : Lays

What I have feared has happened. The brand mandarins at Pepsico or at JWT seems to be bored with the highly successful tagline " No one can eat just one". The brand Lays has changed its positioning statement to " Har Program Ka Main Food" which means " Main Food for All Programs" .
When the first TVC featuring this new tagline was aired during the world cup, I thought it was a temporary change in tagline to suit the event. But now the new tvc is on air with the same tagline. My personal feeling is that the brand has decided to try suicide because it is bored with the success. When no competitor is having the capacity to kill your brand, then why not try it yourself.
For so many years, the tagline "No one can eat just one" was able to communicate the brand DNA to the customers. Those who liked Lays would say with conviction that you cannot stop eating Lays. The creative guys at JWT had the flexibility of using this tagline to come out with new and different campaigns. But yet, someone out there felt experimenting.
The new tagline has taken the focus away from the USP of the brand ie. "Taste" to the " Usage Occasion " which is not a strong differentiator as the previous one. By doing so, the brand has given away the best differentiator it had...

It was the same case with Pepsi, it had the habit of messing up the tagline just in the name of freshness and experimenting. From the iconic tagline " Yehi hai right choice baby" to ?????? can anyone remember the new tagline?
I am not saying that the brand shouldnot experiment with its taglines and positioning. I am not saying that tagline is the MOST important brand element. But the point is that a change in the successful tagline should be guided by solid reason. Messing up a blockbuster positioning statement like " No one can eat just one" is going to cost heavily on this brand. Frito Lays may be investing lot of money experimenting new taglines in coming days... I pity them.

Related Brand

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Popy Umbrella : Dancing In The Rain

Brand : Popy
Company: Popy Umbrella Mart
Agency : Jelitta

Brand count : 237

Popy is the market leader in the fiercely competitive umbrella market in Kerala. Looking at the number of umbrellas it sold every year, I think that Popy is largest selling umbrella brand in India. Annually this brands sells more than 2 Lakh umbrellas.

Popy has a legacy that is associated with the rise of the product umbrella from a staid ugly accessory to an interesting product. The brand comes from a family that is credited with branding a product that once was considered commodity.
In 1954 Mr Thayyil Abraham Varghese established St George Umbrella mart with its base in the Alleppy District of Kerala. Soon the brand St George began aggressive marketing which made the brand number one in the market. In 1995, the family business split into two : Popy Umbrella mart and John's Umbrella mart. The competition between these two companies marked the umbrella market in Kerala - a haven of innovation and smart marketing.

Umbrella market is a highly seasonal one ( not a big discovery from my part !) and selling a seasonal product is any marketers nightmare because he may have to sell all the inventory during the season and also device methods to tide over the seasonality factor also. On the top of it, the product category was considered a commodity.
But Popy and Johns did wonders in the market. These brands made brands out of commodity through sheer innovation. But Popy got a headstart with its successful campaign that caught the attention of the consumers. The popular malayalam jingle " Mazha mazha kuda kuda mazha vannal popy kuda" became an instant hit in the market.

The brand Popy ( also Johns) is more interesting because it was able to make the product from a lousy dull product to a lifestyle product through sheer innovation. The brands made innovations that are aimed at all segments of customers be it kids, young customers or older ones. Some of the innovations are include auto-open/close umbrellas,walking stick like umbrellas,5 fold ones, umbrellas with steel rims water gun umbrellas for kids, umbrella with torch, umbrella that is too small in the size of a Ray Ban?,umbrella that has UV protection,umbrella in different colors etc.
If I have to write all the innovations, it will take two blog posts because that is the extent of innovations that these brands have done.This season the brand has come out with a Laser umbrella aimed at kids.
On the marketing front also the brands have carefully segmented the market according to the age and demographical variables and innovated to suit their needs. For example, one of the common problems faced by lady commuters is the problem they face with the closing of umbrella when they board a bus. The auto-close umbrella will close the umbrella with the click of a button. Also the brands come out with another umbrella that will resist heavy wind. For the older ones, the brand has umbrella that double as a walking stick.These small but customer centric innovations have kept the product an exciting one.
These innovations also has helped the brand to command a premium over the usual black ones.The brand comes in different price range from Rs 59 to Rs 35000. Popy has tie- up with Futai umbrellas of Taiwan mainly for the sourcing of cloth. The brand has more than 140 varieties of umbrellas in the market.

Despite these innovations and smart marketing, the brand faces issues from the entry of cheap umbrellas from China.These can take away the mass market from Popy because mass market is price sensitive and the product is seasonal. The life of umbrellas are less than 2 years and customers may not be brand loyals. Both Popy and Johns are on an overdrive to build the brand equity so as to sustain the imminent price war.