Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Provogue : Redefining Fashion

Brand : Provogue
Company : Acme Clothings

Brand Analysis Count : 286

Provogue is a pure play fashion brand. Born in March 98 , this brand is a classic case of a small company making a big brand. A brain child of first generation entrepreneurs Mr Anand Chaturvedi and Nikhil Chaturvedi, Provogue has been carefully positioned as a fashionable executive brand.

Provogue was launched at a time when Indian readymade segment was moving on overdrive. The brand had peers like Color Plus which redefined the way people dress. Provogue was conceived as a fashion brand. Over these years Provogue has been consistent in its communication and has never diluted the positioning.
Typically a small brand faces the issue of financial muscle while fighting the heavyweights like Arvind Mills and Madura Garments. But Provogue has been exploring various media to promote itself. The brand was innovative in using events as a major brand building tool.

The brand has been sponsoring major fashion shows across metros and was highly effective in creating its position as a " Fashion Brand". The brand used common sense that the best way to build a fashion brand is through ' Fashion Shows". During the cricket world cup fever, the brand did something that was nothing but smart marketing. Provogue conducted a Men's fashion show and women were only invited to attend the show. The move was aimed at targeting the " Influencer " . Women who are non users of this brand were a major influencer in the purchasing process of men's wear. In some cases women were actual decision maker and purchaser of men's wear . This innovative fashion show gave Provogue much media coverage and helped the brand to tide over the onslaught of Cricket Fever.
Provogue was a brand which used a lot of celebrity endorsement. The brand used John Abraham, Hrithik Roshan and Fardeen Khan as its brand ambassadors/ models. The brand ran into trouble when Fardeen was booked for a drug related case. The brand also ran through a rough patch when one of its promoters were booked by the police in a similar case. But the brand survived these issues and had enough equity to tide over these crises.
Now Provogue is being endorsed by three celebrities. The brand uses Saif Ali Khan to endorse the men's wear, Upen Patel for the accessories and Esha Deol for the Women's range.
To project itself as a premium fashion icon, Provogue uses the tagline " Redefining Fashion ". The brand is targeting the high profile young executive.The company had raised capital through an IPO and is on a growth mode. The company have a separate retail division which is rolling out various Provogue Retail outlets across the country. But as usual the brand is getting into a celebrity trap. In readymade category, every brand is endorsed by one celerity or the other. From SRK to Big B, the list is endless. In this market, Provogue may have to walk the tagline " Redefining Fashion "

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Anne French : Smooth and Silky Skin

Brand : Anne French
Company : Wyeth
Agency : Grey

Brand Analysis Count : 285

Anne French is a niche brand. The brand is a major player in the Rs 50 crore hair remover cream market in India. The brand owned by the pharmaceutical major Wyeth is now facing the heat of competition.
The Indian hair remover cream market is small because of the fact that hair removal is a touchy subject for women and this product category is seldom discussed across media.The campaigns are usually low key and brands gain popularity more through word of mouth and highly targeted advertising.
Anne French is a Depilatory cream. Depilatory creams removes hair at skin line. These creams use alkaline chemical ( Calcium thioglycolate ) which dissolves the protein structure of hair and causes it to separate from skin. Although there are different method of removing unwanted hair like plucking, tweezing, threading, waxing bleaching, shaving etc, depilatory creams have gained popularity in Indian market owing to the convenience and ease of use. The only drawback is that it may cause allergy for some.
This category was in a stagnant stage for long till 2004 when Reckitt launched the global depilatory cream major Veet in the Indian market. The brand caused a stir in the Indian market. Veet used the super model Katreena Kaif to endorse the brand .
The entry of Veet threatened the leadership position of Anne French. Veet had the advantage of its Global image and also the high profile celebrity endorsement. Veet also tried to differentiate by launching this product in a tube form. These moves force Anne French to launch its own tube package and also increase the adspend.
Anne French in 2007 launched the Squeeze tube and two perfume variants to counter the threat from the Global leader Veet. The ad campaigns are currently on air .
Watch the tvc here : Anne French
The brand has tried to add value by adding moisturizer and vitamin . Anne French is trying to position itself as the easiest way to have a smooth and silky skin. The latest campaigns are focused on promoting the tube variant.
Although Anne French has been leading the market, now its position is being threatened by a global brand. It is expected that a marketing war between these two brand can lift up the category into a high growth path. Already Anne French has taken the threat head on. Whether Veet will take the market from Anne French will be an interesting story to watch.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Brand Update : Vimal

Reliance has officially announced the relaunch of its Iconic brand Vimal. The brand which has already relaunched its suitings range is now entering the Ready To Wear segment. The new move is a significant move by the brand to tap the youth market. The brand will have the entire apparel range from Shirts, trousers, jackets and suits.
The brand will also sport a new logo and a new look. The letters of the name has been tweaked to look more contemporary . The brand intends to display the character of openness and freedom. The oblong has been done away with to symbolize the open spirit and the brand intends to project itself as a contemporary hip-hop brand for the youth. The brand however retains the red color as its brand element. Vimal will be positioned as "Fashion for Everyone " . The brand focuses on its core strategy : Premium innovative products that will delight the consumers.

The latest relaunch will see three sub-brands of Vimal making its debut.
Vimal Red : Basic formal in the value segment catering to the mass market. I think this brand will take on the likes of Peter England.
Vimal White : Premium trendy range of apparel. This sub-brand will target the premium segment.
Vimal Black : The top end category that retails only the exclusive finely crafted apparel designed in Italian fashion. This range will be designed under the guidance of Italy's well known fashion designer Maurizio Bonas who is the President of " Made in Italy " Committee.
As discussed in my earlier posts on this iconic brand, the relaunch of Vimal coincides with the aggressive foray of Reliance into retail. According to rumors , Vimal is trying to rope in Icons across various domains from AR Rahman to Vishwanathan Anand for its brand building exercise. Any way the relaunch of Vimal is a nostalgia for lot of us who has once loved this brand.

Related Brand

Source : RIL.com, hindu

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Brand Update : Crocin

Crocin is yet again in a repositioning exercise. The brand which was struggling itself to break the " fever pill " perception is trying to enter a new segment : Cold and Flu tablet segment.
Crocin was earlier trying to position itself as a pain reliever ( Analgesic) and met with limited success.
Crocin is trying to enter the domain of brands like Vicks Action 500 and D'cold with a new extension Crocin Cold N Flu.The television campaign is already on air.
Watch the TVC here : Crocin Cold N Flu
The execution of the ad is perfect and the message very straight forward. The brand is pitting head on with Vicks Action 500 by emphasizing on the four main symptoms of cold : headache, congested nose, back pain and throat pain. The message is strikingly similar to that of Vicks. However the execution is much more classy that that of Vicks Action 500. That means that Crocin variant is targeting urban crowd with this variant compared to the much more down to earth targeting of Vicks Action 500.

I feel that this time Crocin has got its positioning correct. I checked with a local druggist and to my surprise, the stock was sold out ( its rain out here....) . So the ads seems to have clicked.
One reason for the success of this variant is in the concept called Brand Association. In the Pain relief variant, the brand tried to downplay the brand's primary association with fever. That caused a confusion in the mind of the consumer. How can one take a fever pill for headache ?

This time the variant "Cold N Flu " takes the primary association into its advantage by using the term Flu with the brand name. This rings a bell since we feel that Catching cold is a symptom of catching fever. Hence the customers will feel much more secure by taking a pill which is a combination of ' Fever and Cold " remedy.

This variant is going to create some dent into the market dominated by Dcold and Vicks. I feel we are going to see a lot of sneezing models on television in days to come

Related Brand

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mango Bite : With Real Mango

Brand : Mango Bite
Company : Parle

Brand Analysis Count : 284

Parle's Mango Bite is a highly successful brand which stood the test of times. The brand which was launched in 1990 stood up and faced competition from the plethora of brands which invaded the Indian market post liberalization.
Mango Bite as the name suggests is both a benefited and constrained by a Descriptive brand name. Benefited because the brand name Mango Bite without doubt conveys what the brand means to the customer. Constrained because Mango Bite cannot bring too many variants.
Mango Bite has been consistent in its focus as far as its positioning is considered. Mango Bite was positioned as a candy made of real mango pulp. The brand was promoted heavily and the jingle " asli yeh goli mango wali" was very famous.

Mango flavor has been close to Indian palate for a long time. Many brands have take a cue and made a successful brand out of this flavor. But the problem is that once registered, the brand will be strictly associated with this flavor by the consumer and brands like Maaza have burnt their fingers by coming out with different flavors.
So in a category where impulse buying is the norm, these brands have to struggle to catch the fancy of the customers. Marketers try to rely on new variants to create excitement in the market. Mango Bite also has made some effort in its looks with a Single Twist Wrapping and also in 2002 launching a juice filled candy variant Juizy Mangoh.
The brand in a way succeeded in the market because of the sheer taste of the product . The brand lived upto the expectation of a real mango bite.

The brand is now running a campaign of its new variant Kaccha Mango which is a new unique flavor ( raw mango flavor). Although the idea of Raw mango flavor was experimented by Frooti, Kaccha Mango Bite was more successful compared to Frooti's variant. Kaccha Mango Bite is positioned as a Copy of Kaccha Mango. The launch campaign featured a boy giving a raw mango to a Photostat Shop and asks for a Copy of the raw mango, what comes out was the brand. The idea was simple and the execution was too simple. But the concept got accepted by the market. Kaccha Mango Bite had that " Some thing different " in it which prompted the customer to not only try out the new brand and also make repeat purchases.

This variant is now running a much more quality campaign in the visual media which reinforces the positioning of this variant as an exact COPY of Raw Mango. Although Kaccha mango bite is entirely a different flavor, the company has been able to create some excitement into Mango Bite. Parle was able to work around the constraint of having a descriptive brand name. I feel that even Mango Bite could use a laddered up version of this COPY concept. The brand has been keeping low profile in the media for a while now and the company is now concentrating on the variant which later can bring the consumer towards Mango Bite.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Brand Update : Airdeccan

It seems this is a season of rebranding. Along side the mega rebranding of Hutch to Vodafone, another high profile rebranding is taking place .... at Airdeccan. After the high profile and highly surprising " acquisition " of Airdeccan by Kingfisher, the brand is going through a makeover.
When the media announced that Kingfisher has taken control over Airdeccan, one thing that will have popped up in the mind of a marketer is about the brand "Airdeccan ".
How will Mallya treat Airdeccan ? was the million dollar question. Personally I thought that Vijay Mallya will keep the two brands in two different platforms. How dare one can even think of integrating a low-price brand with a lifestyle brand ? My reading was that Mallya will definitely try to cut unprofitable routes , may tweak a little with the level of service at Airdeccan but keep the brand at arms length from Kingfisher.
But what Mallya did with Airdeccan made me realize again that I am still a student of Marketing.
Airdeccan has changed completely. From the brand name, the logo, positioning and all the brand elements. Airdeccan is now " Simplifly Deccan " . The earlier logo of Hands has paved way for the Kingfisher logo. The color of Yellow and Blue has changed to Red. The old tagline has been integrated to the new Brand name and the new positioning statement is " The Choice is Simple ".
According to agencyfaqs.com, the rebranding exercise is costing around Rs 15 crore ( media spend).
The rebranding and the heavy secondary association with Kingfisher was surprising to me because I thought that it is highly risky for a premium brand to be associated with a price warrior brand. So any association of Kingfisher and Deccan may hurt the Kingfisher brand most. But having seen this repositioning exercise, I now have a changed point of view.
The new Simplifly Deccan is promising many things to the customer :
Excellence in timely performance
Wider Network
and more importantly " Little Delights all the way ". The new repositioning identifies all the weakness of Airdeccan. There were constant harping about poor customer service, delays and no free food. In blogs and forums , harried customers aired not so good words about Airdeccan while conveniently forgetting the fact that " You get what you paid for ".
Kingfisher has now bought in a breath of fresh air into Deccan. The Kingfisher airlines brand has established itself as a clear leader in delighting the customers by managing the Moments of Truth. Now that promise is being given to Airdeccan customers. And interestingly Mallya need not do much but just bring in the culture to Deccan. Deccan already have good planes, crew and infrastructure. Bring in Kingfisher culture will be the key change that we are going to see in Airdeccan... sorry... Simplifly Deccan.
The new positioning is also significant. The positioning of " The choice is simple " takes strength from the famous old tagline :Simplifly. It builds on the old platform and aims to be the " preferred airline " for the discerning customers.
So the questions remain. Will Kingfisher brand suffer by associating with a low price brand ? May be no because price was not what Kingfisher is all about. Whether it is Kingfisher airlines or the beer, the brand never was an expensive one. The focus was on experience and lifestyle. There can be huge expectations about the new Deccan and people ( including Kingfisher loyalists ) will try out the new Deccan but will see a clear demarcation on the service levels between the two. The Kingfisher experience will be limited to Kingfisher airlines but you will get a teaser of that in Deccan ( that may be the idea). Having said that , this rebranding exercise is definitely a risky affair for Kingfisher brand.

Related Brand

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fairever : Natural Fairness

Brand : Fairever
Company : Cavinkare
Agency : Fountainhead/Orchard

Brand Analysis Count : 283

Fairever is a challenger brand. It was the first brand to challenge the market leader Fair & Lovely. This brand was once touted by the media as the DAVID who fights against the Goliath.
Fairever was launched in 1998. Initially launched in South India, this brand went national a year after. It was the time when Fair & Lovely ( FAL) was ruling the Indian fairness cream market. The phenomenal success of FAL and the marketing might of HLL scared off many potential rivals. It was interesting to note that ever since its launch FAL never faced any competition from any players till Cavinkare decided to take on the behemoth.
Unlike many challenger brands from small companies, Fairever was never a price warrior. At one point of time Fairever was expensive than FAL. The courage of this small brand to standup and challenge a market leader with clear non price positioning makes Fairever a special brand.

From the launch , Fairever was clear about its positioning and differentiation. The brand was positioned on the basis of its main ingredients Saffron and Milk. Saffron is traditionally considered to be a fairness enhancing ingredient. So a product with the unique blend of Saffron and Milk was appealing to the target segment. With in six months of the launch, Fairever garnered a neat six percent of the fairness market. Fairness market in India is huge with a market size of Rs 800-900 crore. FAL holds more than 70% of the total market.
The saffron based positioned worked well with the brand. The packaging and the excellent use of brand elements like the Color gave this brand an upmarket look.But the ads of Fairever was predictable and was revolving around Girl becoming fair and then attractive to men. But it was Fairever who broke this cliche ads and turned that attention to Achievement rather than Fairness. But in the ad war that ensued, FAL took over the concept of Women Empowerment and owned the positioning. Fairever also faced some legal issues with FAL. HLL challenged that Fairever has violated the Patent formulation of FAL. But later the matter was amicably settled out of court.
Fairever was a brand that has worked hard to survive in the market. The success of Fairever prompted many players to enter the market. This made differentiation difficult for the brand. Fairever then chose the Green Path. In 2005, Fairever went Natural. The brand was relaunched with Natural tag. The brand also launched a premium Fairness cream subbranded Manthra aimed at the Upmarket customers.
These moves along with heavy ad spends have ensured that Fairever carved a 12 % market share Nationally and 17% share in the South India. Fairever uses the popular South Indian actress Asin as its brand ambassador.
Another interesting fact about Cavinkare is that the company is not in favour of Brand extensions. Cavinkare feels that new brands works better than extending a successful brand. The company is also keeping the positioning consistent for Fairever. This careful nurturing has made this brand , the second largest brand in the companies portfolio.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Market Statistics : India's most valuable brands

In 2006, Brand Finance -a global brand consulting firm had ranked India's most valuable brands. The list and the trademark value is given below

Brand Trademark: Value in Millions ( Rs)

Indian Oil Corporation : 250,636
State Bank of India : 137,965
BPCL : 134,673
TCS : 123,485
Reliance Industries : 122,240
HPCL : 116,271
ONGC : 88,822
Tata Motors : 84,652
ICICI Bank : 76,777
Wipro : 67,681
ITC : 64,406
Infosys Technologies : 63,534
GAIL : 58,178
Bharathi Televentures : 54,018
Tata Steel : 44,059
Larsen & Tubro : 39,658
Ranbaxy : 29,038
Bajaj Auto : 27,186
Satyam : 24,302
Hero Honda : 20,580
IDBI : 18,830
HDFC : 14,665
HDFC Bank : 11,992
Jet Airways : 10,410
Grasim Industries : 8,003

The valuaton might seem confusing since major FMCG brands are not visible in the brand league. This is because holding companies of branded products like HUL is excluded and also only those companies which are listed in BSE is taken for this valuation. The valuation also excludes those companies where information is not clear ( read Pepsi and Coke). The valuation also excludes new companies which has not made it to BSE top 500 by market capitalization.
Hence I would say that the above list is India's most valuable corporate brands.
Another interesting facet of this study is the methodology. Brand Finance uses the technique called Royalty Relief Approach. The method simply assumes that the brand is not owned by the respective company and how much the company has to pay inorder to license the brand from a third party. The hypothetical stream of such royalty payments becomes the brand value.
The critical factor is the assessment of the Royalty rates which is usually judgemental and also by comparing with the going rates at similar deals. The royalty rates are usually expressed as a percentage of sales.
According to reports, Royalty Relief Method is the single most reliable brand valuation technique used worldwide.

Its true that no calculations have so far yielded perfect valuations to the brand. The reason is simple, a brand's value exists in the mind of the consumer. Its intangible and to put a value to intangibles makes it the most inaccurate number.

Source : businessindia,rediff,brandfinance ,businessline

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Brand Update : Ultratech

After the success of the heavy duty rebranding exercise of L&T Cement to Ultratech, the brand has undertaken yet another branding venture. This time its not a rebranding but a brand migration. Aditya Birla Group has a premium composite cement branded Birla Plus. The company is migrating Birla Plus to Ultratech. Birla Plus was launched in 2003 and was being positioned as a Premium brand. The brand has been promoted across the media with the tagline " Is Cement main Jaan hai ". Now the high profile migration ads are on air. The rationale is very simple , both Ultratech and Birla Plus are premium brands from same stable. There is a chance of brand cannibalisation. The group feels that all premium cement offerings should be bought under the Ultratech brand for better synergy and cost rationalization.
The company has proved that if there is huge reserves of money, rebranding is not an issue. I feel that Birla Plus brand has lost its relevance when Ultratech was introduced. In the positioning front also, an emotional positioning taken by Birla Plus does not have relevance in the commodity business. By bringing all premium offerings under Ultratech, the company will be able to spent is promotional budgets more effectively.
Related Brand

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Khaitan : The Name is Enough

Brand : Khaitan
Company : Khaitan Electricals
Agency : JWT

Brand Analysis Count : 282

Khaitan is a well known name in the small appliance market especially in the Fans Category. Khaitan is a heritage brand which has a history of four decades. The brand came into existence during 1960s .
The brand is currently in a diversification mode extending itself to become a major player in the small appliances market. Khaitan now holds around 16% share in the Rs 1400 crore Indian Fan Industry.
Although the fan industry size is huge, the industry players are facing issues of competition from unorganized sector. Unorganized sector holds around half of the total market.It has to be noted that in the early 1990s the market was in the hand of four of five players like Usha, Polar, Khaitan etc . But later regional players hit the market with low priced fans which eroded the market share of these major players.
Facing this critical issue , Khaitan decided to enter the small appliances and electrical market since 70% of the revenue was dependent on fans. The entry ( related diversification) is aimed at reducing the risk of dependence of a single product category.
Khaitan was a brand built on trust. The brand was consistently positioned as a trustworthy brand and the tagline was " The name is enough ". From my childhood days itself , I have seen the ads of Khaitan and its popular voice over " What to say about Khaitan, the name is enough" . The brand was trying to communicate its core values of Quality and Trust. Although the ads were poorly executed, the communication strategy was consistent all through these years.
Inorder to reinforce the quality proposition, Khaitan introduced an innovative concept of Replacement bonds which was the guarantee from the Chairman Mr. SK Khaitan that the company will replace the fan if it has any manufacturing defects within one year of purchase.

In 2007 , the company diversified into small appliances (Heaters, Mixers,Iron) Electrical ( CFL,Circuit Breakers etc) . It is commonsense for a brand like Khaitan to enter the small appliances market because of the challenge it faced in its core fan business. I would say that it was late for Khaitan to diversify because the small appliance market has become equally crowded and highly competitive.
Khaitan knew that when entering a new market , it needs to change the perception of a " Fan Brand". The brand chose to take the Celebrity Endorsement route and signed the EX- Bollywood diva Karishma Kapoor as the brand ambassador. The new campaigns featuring Karshma is already on air. It is interesting to note that Khaitan is wise enough to retain the original tagline for its new range of products. The small appliance range is sub-branded as Hommate.
Watch the TVC here : Khaitan

Although Khaitan has diversified, it has not forgotten its core business.The brand has taken on the unorganized sector with a low priced variant Zolta. Interestingly , while the entire fan category is facing price competition, Khaitan has launched Designer Fans priced in the range Rs 10,000 - Rs 1,00,000. The new designer range is branded as Fantasy. Khaitan is also trying to strengthen its distribution by launching two company owned outlets Khaitan Fantasy and Khaitan City. Khaitan Fantasy will sell only designer fans while Khaitan City sells all range of products including small appliances.

Like any heritage brand, Khaitan is also trying to make itself relevant in the Indian market which has seen sweeping changes both interms of Competitors and also consumer taste and preferences.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Brand Update : Tata Safari Dicor

Safari has got better and more powerful. Last month Tata Motors launched a new variant Tata Safari Dicor 2.2 with a price starting from Rs 7.33 lakhs. The new variant is more powerful than the existing Dicor machines. Tata has also incorporated many cosmetic changes in the new Avatar. The changes are both external and internal and includes :
New Front Grill with chrome
Bumper Grill
Spare Wheel Cover
Two Tone beige Interiors
New Design leather seats
Wood Finish Control console etc etc

Safari has been struggling to carve out a space for itself in the highly dynamic SUV market in India. Tata Motors has been very patient with this brand and has been adding value to this product at frequent intervals. The new TVC is on air now and Safari retains the tagline " Reclaim your life ". One of the problem that old brands especially in the premium segment faces is that over a long period of time, the brand becomes dated. Customers are seeing this brand for a while and there is nothing new or exciting in that brand. Highly successful brands like Ford Ikon, Scorpio ,Accent and even Mercedes Benz face this issue of being perceived as dated. So marketers try to either change the look of the brand drastically or come out with a new brand and slowly phase off the existing variant. Safari has been trying to change itself in looks aswellas in positioning. There are rumors that Safari may be phased out in 2008/2009 and will be replaced by a new brand. Highly successful Scorpio is also feeling the pinch of being an old one and the new Ingenio is expected to take the center stage. This kind of issues become critical in the case of premium brands because Novelty and Exclusivity are serious attributes in the Product Choice.

Related Brand
Tata Safari

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dinesh Suitings : Take the World in Your Stride

Brand : Dinesh
Company : Shri Dinesh Mills

Brand Analysis Count : 281

Dinesh Suitings is a heritage brand which commanded much share of mind in the late 1980's. This 7 decade old brand may be a forgotten brand for the new liberalized generation. The brand is a sad story of how a premium textile brand lost its way amidst a rush of competition.
Dinesh is a brand famous for its Worsted Suitings. The brand shot to limelight with its association with the Cricketing Icon Sunil Gavaskar. Sunil Gavaskar endorsed this brand for more than 11 years which I think is a record in the world of celebrity endorsements.
Sunil Gavaskar was in his prime when he endorsed this brand. Luckily for Dinesh, Gavaskar fitted perfectly into the brand's persona. Gavaskar was a unlikely celebrity to endorse a suitings because of his frame : Short and Stout. How ever Gavaskar had a charmed which worked well for this brand
I still remember two TVC of Dinesh featuring Sunil Gavaskar : One featuring him playing baseball which hits the icecream of a fellow and another one with an Egyptian Mummy ( my favorite) . The brand had the famous tagline " Take the World in Your Stride.... Dinesh " . The brand was positioned as a premium stylish brand.
But along came the competition from brands like Raymonds and Vimal. These brands had more financial muscle and more importantly had the production capacity and product range. Dinesh Mills could not match the product range and the capacity of these heavyweights. So slowly Dinesh Mills began to concentrate on being a supplier rather than a marketer.
Dinesh also faced the issue of its brand ambassador losing the cricketing form and getting into issues. This had a rub off with the brand since Dinesh was highly associated with Sunil Gavaskar.Also Gavaskar was becoming too old . The brand tried to change track by roping in Bollywood Macho Jackie Shroff as the brand ambassador. But Jackie and the brand did not match.
Watch the TVC : Jackie with Dinesh
Then slowly the brand went into silence so did its market share.
Now suddenly out of blue, Dinesh is making some interesting noise in the media . The brand now have found a new Saviour in Bollywood Actor Akshaye Khanna. The TVC featuring Akshaye is already on air. The brand retains the original tagline and expects that Akshaye can rejuvenate this failing brand.
Why Dinesh has chosen Akshaye as its brand ambassador is an intriguing question to me . Akshaye has never been a successful brand ambassador. He had a roller coaster ride in bollywood and I have always seen him in funky outfits. However the brand may be looking to break away from its past. But as always Celebrity endorsements alone can never lift up a brand. That too with a celebrity like Akshaye, one can never be sure how he is going to deliver in his field.
I think that Dinesh's rejuvenation effort is halfhearted. The brand feels unsure whether it could fight against the large number of brands aiming for a share of market. The company feels that it should stay in the comfort zone of being a supplier rather than a hardcore marketer.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Brand Update : Perk

Perk has launched a new variant this year . Ulta Perk. This is an interesting variant since it is the the complete opposite of the product form of the parent brand Perk. Perk Ulta is the wafer chocolate with Wafer Outside and Chocolate Inside. ie Complete Reverse of the original Perk.The brand is making much noise in the media with some hilarious campaigns.

Watch the TVC : Ulta Perk
Ulta Perk is rather a smart way to rejuvenate a stagnant brand. The brand was desperate to create some newness into Perk. The brand was not facing competitive pressures but the category is facing stagnation. So these kind of tricks ( innovations) will work. Confectionery market works on inducing impulsive purchases. Ulta Perk may bring in customers who have long forgotten this brand.
Another positive effect is that the agencies will have something to work with. O&M already have some outrageous commercials ( print and tvc) based on this idea. Ulta Perk is having the tagline " Full Palti" means " Complete Reverse" . The new variant has a highly extendable Big Idea which the creatives can work on.
Ulta Perk is targeting the Teen and Youth with this variant. Priced at Rs 5, Ulta Perk is going to Perk Up the market for sure.
Picture courtsey : adsoftheworld.com

Related Brand

Friday, October 05, 2007

Oral-B : Dentist's Choice

Brand : Oral-B
Company : P&G
Agency : O&M

Brand Analysis Count : 280

Oral-B is a special brand. The brand is the global leader in the toothbrush market. Oral-B is a special brand since it bought so many innovations in a low involvement product like Toothbrush. Infact, Oral-B is a brand that made Toothbrush a high involvement product category.
Oral-B was created in 1950 by a Dentist Dr Robert Hutson. The first product was Oral-B 60 which had 60 tufs. In 1984 Oral-B was acquired by Gillette and in 2006 it came into P&G's fold with its acquisition of Gillette worldwide.
Oral-B came to India in 1996.Although globally Oral-B is a market leader, it could not replicate its global leadership position in India. In India, it is the second largest player behind Colgate.India is considered to be the second largest market for toothbrushes and the market is estimated to be around Rs 600-700 crore.
Oral-B is known worldwide for its innovation. Oral-B is a favorite example in marketing classes for Planned Replacement. The case in point is the innovative brand Oral-B Indicator. Oral-B Indicator was introduced in 1991. It had fading bristles which indicated to the customer that its time for him to change the brush. The innovation won Edison award for product innovation. Through the Indicator Bristles, Oral-B overcame a serious issue of delay in repeated purchases due to overuse. Typically consumers do not have an idea of when to replace a toothbrush. Often they stretch the planned life of the product thus posing a problem for the marketers. Oral-B Indicator changed all that.Dentists recommend that the toothbrush should be replaced every three months. Oral-B indicator is designed to remind the customer that time schedule for replacement. Now Indicator Bristles have become a standard feature in all Oral-B toothbrushes.

Although Indicator was referred in most of the marketing textbooks, the innovations of Oral-B is mind blowing. Some noteworthy innovations are listed below :
1984 : Oral-B revolutionized Kid's toothbrush market with its Star Wars range which had the characters in the toothbrush
1984 : The first Power Toothbrush launched under the Braun brand.
1987 : Oral-B Ultraplus was launched which had round head
1991 : Oral-B Indicator with fading bristles.
For the entire range of innovations , visit the brand website at : Oralb.com
2007 saw another mindblowing futuristic innovation from this brand- Oral-B Triumph with Smart Guide Technology. The toothpaste now comes with a wireless digital monitor which will guide the consumer to use the toothbrush in the ideal manner. The wireless digital monitor have a timer which guide the customer to brush for 2 minutes and also indicates the various motions and even indicates the replacement of the toothbrush head.
For details visit the brand website : Triumph with smartguide

These innovations have made this product category a highly segmented and a high involvement category. Earlier, the choice available for a consumer was whether the bristles are soft medium or hard. Now the choice is numerous. The introduction of power brushes ( battery powered) created a new premium segment of toothbrushes. The shape and the size of the bristles and toothbrushes also have changed. From the typical rectangular head to round shaped head. From straight bristles to Zigzag . Many things are happening to the good old toothbrushes. The interesting fact is that these innovations have created a change in the mindset of consumers. Earlier consumers believed that Toothpaste is the central product in the oral care/hygiene. Toothbrush's role is limited in the oral care. The innovations from these players have prompted the customers to think that toothbrush is also an important product that needs some serious thinking before purchase.

Oral-B is positioned as Dentist's Choice of Toothbrush. The brand uses the tagline " The brand more dentists use themselves worldwide". In India too, the brand uses the same tagline. The brand is currently on a hyperactive mode in India with lot of promotions in the visual media.

Oral-B also is getting on the volume game by launching a variant ShinyClean with a amazing pricetage of Rs 13.ShinyClean comes with five features :
Zigzag bristles for better cleaning
End Rounded Bristles.
Translucent Contour handle for better grip
Hygiene Cap
At a price tag of Rs 13, ShinyClean is expected to rejuvenate the toothbrush market for Oral-B. Earlier Oral-B was positioned as a premium brand.
Oral-B is a marketer's icon. A brand which has brought so much value into a dull product category.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Future TV : Media Where it Matters Most

Move away TAM, Move away SEC, Move Away Saas Bahu and Woh, media will never be the same again. There is something now media planners across the country will be watching : the emergence of a new media : In-store media.
This year Kishore Biyani's Future Group kickstarted a new division Future Media which is its aggressive foray into In-store Media. The division which integrates all instore media within the retail formats of the Future Group. The division expects to rake in Rs 200 crore as the non retail revenue for the group.
Future TV is the in-store electronic media offering airtime to the advertisers. The network consists of numerous TV's placed in strategic locations throughout the stores. The concept of in-store TV was pioneered by WalMart. WalMart TV Network which began operation in 1997 is the largest TV Network in US reaching a whopping 127 Million Shoppers. WalMart TV Network is shown in 1,25,000 screens spread across 3100 US Stores.

Future TV is following the same way as WalMart TV and is set to create a trend in the development of this new media.
There is lot of impact of this media over the traditional media like Print and TV. In-store media reached TARGET CONSUMER while traditional media reaches the TARGET AUDIENCE. Future Media uses this beautiful phrase to capture the essence of this media " This media is trying to convert / influence customers in the ambiance of consumption ". Its reaching the customers while shopping compared to reaching the customers while sitting on the couch. That's real targeting. The impact of this media is huge given the fact that most of the purchases (FMCG) in supermarkets are impulse. So catch them with their wallets open !!!!!

For a brand manager, this new media offers yet another opportunity and also more complication. The media again gets fragmented. But its also an opportunity because the reach is more precise. Also for products that need more explanations, in-store electronic media is a boon . For example, in US , Listerine uses WALMART TV effectively since the customers needs to be taught how to use this brand effectively.
For the mediaplanners, once this kind of In-store media become popular, its going to be tough task to allocate the budget. New models of understanding the influence of this kind of media needs to be created.
For the creatives , the task is to make the communication appropriate . In-store ads need more creative juice since it is reaching the customer at the point of sale. The ad is not for building the brand but to make the sale.
For the media owners like Future Media , the challenge is to make this media less annoying for the customer. WalMart TV faced an issue where the customers complained that the screens are put way too above their eyelevel thereby causing inconvenience. WalMart later changed the entire design to keep the screen at convenient eye level. Another challenge is to make the content interesting to the customer. According to reports, a customer spends 6-7 minutes watching WalMart TV. So the task is to get their eyeballs along with the wallet.
For media analysts and academicians, some serious rethinking on concepts like reach , frequency, media effectiveness measurements needs to be done.

Will in-store TVs kill ordinary TV advertising ? No, but its definitely a competition for the traditional media. In-store media acts as a complimentary media for brand managers. I think that in future, traditional media will be used for brand building while in-store TV will be used for sales promotion ( the trend is already there).
In-store media can be defined as all media opportunities available to an advertiser within the retail store. Other than TV, In-store media offers other media formats also like
Shelf branding
Traditional POP's
Banners and what not....
Future Media is now in the process of rolling out Future Radio.
In-store media is in its infancy now in India. The media will grow only with the growth of large retail networks like Big Bazaar. The advertisers will look at this media seriously once it acquires the critical mass.
source : futuremedia.in , financial express,agencyfaqs.

Monday, October 01, 2007

NDTV Good Times : A Unique Co- branding

Brand : NDTV Good Times
Company : NDTV
Agency : Equus Redcell

Brand Count : 279

In September 2007, NDTV launched India's first hardcore lifestyle channel branded NDTV Good Times. This new channel is unique in two ways - its India's first lifestyle channel and secondly its the first time where a product brand has co-branded with a channel.
Co-Branding is where two brands operating in two different domains coming together for a common cause ( objective) . The objective can be anything from tapping a common market or sharing promotions. The oft quoted examples in classrooms were the co-branded credit cards .
NDTV Good Times is promoted by NDTV alone and not with any equity stake by the UB Group.
The new channel is all about lifestyle. In theory , we tend to describe lifestyle with the three descriptors
Interests &
Opinions ( AIO).
Truly like this concept, Good Times is all about activities, opinions and interests. The channel devotes its time to Health, Fashion, Food, Luxury, Technology , Chats with celebrities, life of rich and the famous etc. The channel also wants to create a class of its own by roping in HOT Properties to anchor respective shows. These include the actor Rajat Kapoor, Chef Manju Malhi, Techie Rajiv Makhni etc. The channel is full of aspirational lifestyle programs and contains about 50-60 original programs per week.
The channel is looking at the target market comprising of socially upbeat 20-40 yr old SEC A viewers.
The questions arises as to the benefit of these two different brands coming together in a channel. For NDTV, the brand association with Kingfisher gives it the revenue cushion. According to Agencyfaqs, UB group has committed around Rs 100 crore worth of ads in the next five years. For NDTV this takes away the risk of launching a lifestyle channel with is atmost a Niche . Kingfisher will provide the much needed ad revenue till the channel began to attract other advertisers.

For UB Group, its a boon. We know that Indian law does not permit Kingfisher Beer to advertise. The rules are getting stricter day by day. Hence there is nothing better than a channel that carries your tagline and the mascot. Besides that every businessman knows the power of having a media under its fold. UB Group may not have the capability to run a media, so why not associate with the best brand in the media domain NDTV. Also Kingfisher as a brand epitomizes lifestyle positioning. Whether its the beer or the airlines, Mallya has built the brand on lifestyle platform . Hence Co-branding with a lifestyle channel makes perfect sense.

But things are not as rosy as it seems. This whole concept will work only if NDTV can bring in quality content to the channel. NDTV has proved its capability in the news front but entertainment is a different ballgame altogether. Right now cost of the new launch maynot be a headache since NDTV has its processes and systems in place. What is going to make or break this channel is the quality of programming and the innovation that this channel will bring in to get the eyeballs sticking. For NDTV , Good Times is testing waters since it plans to roll out an entertainment channel in collaboration with the ace director Karan Johar. For Kingfisher, its a promotional expenditure ( nobody ever has perfectly measured the effectiveness of advertising as yet !!!). I feel that Good Times channel will be an integral part of inflight entertainment in the airlines too in future.
So as of now its a win-win game for both the brands. Time will tell if GOOD TIMES will last.
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