Saturday, May 30, 2009

Marketing Funda : Logic of brand extensions

My article on logic of brand extensions published in : read it here

Friday, May 29, 2009

Marketing Funda : The Difficult Task of Differentiation

My article on Differentiation published in : Read it here

Brand Update : Fastrack

Fastrack has recently launched a new campaign based on its new positioning " Move On " .The latest campaign comes in two version - His Story and Her Story

Watch the commercial here : His Story
Watch the commercial here : Her Story

The new ads are an extension of the Move On positioning of the brand. The brand is based on the current psyche of youth .The premise of the new positioning is that Indian Youth tend to be very "detached " in their relationships.

The new campaign has taken this premise to a new level. While the previous campaign was based on a romance break up , the new campaign goes deeper than just flirting.

The ad is definitely interesting and the two versions makes it more interesting. The younger crowd is going to enjoy it .

How ever the question is whether the brand is taking the Move On concept a bit too far. It is true that such kind of dating and experiments happen and the debate is still there as to whether such a kind of indulgence is to be encouraged or not.

I am not a moral advocate or a Srirama sena member !!! . I personally believe that it is the choice of an individual to live the life he/she wants provided it is within the social framework.

It may be true that the younger generation are non-committal in their relationship. It is also true that there is a trend of irreverence and " take it or leave it " attitude prevalent among the urban youth community.

But the question is whether a brand like Fastrack should align with such a trend ?

Read the perspective of Adman Lakshmipathy Bhatt here .

There is nothing immoral or unethical in the new TVC. But I personally feel that such a trend among the new generation is not something that should be celebrated.

"Gotta get rid of him " and " Who s next " seems too extreme for me ( conservative as Iam). How ever I am sure that the youth will love it .

Related brand


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Premium : Pleasure,Ecstasy ,Euphoria

Brand : Premium
Company : JK Helene Curtis

Agency : Impulse

Brand Analysis Count : 401

Premium is one of the most under utilized brand in the Indian personal care category. A brand which has been in existence for more than 40 years has not been able to make its mark in Indian market.

Premium is a brand owned by JK Helene Curtis which is a Raymond's group company. Despite from a group that owns iconic brands like Raymond's and Park Avenue, Premium failed to reach anywhere near its peers.

What usually comes to my mind about this brand is its Cologne. Premium Cologne is one of the very few affordable colognes in the Indian market. I was initially surprised at the price of this brand because I felt that Premium would cost more.

Premium brand is not a failed brand . Infact company claims that Premium is the market leader in room fresheners.

Premium is an umbrella brand that endorses various products like Talc, Shaving products,perfumes and Room fresheners. There are experts who argue that the unrelated extensions have created problems for the brand.

In a report in Business Line, another brand expert suggested that the brand name Premium has created positioning issues for the brand. The name has caused a perception that the product is priced higher which created a problem of Narrow Positioning.

But more than the brand name, Premium is languishing because of lack of marketing effort. The company has never cared to create a Brand DNA for Premium. There is no brand manthra, no core brand values or a brand persona. There is not even a tagline that gives the brand an identity. There is also no memorable brand campaigns.

I personally feels that the company is not able to fit the brand in its portfolio along with Park Avenue. Park Avenue has its own range of men's toiletries and Premium may be sidelined for making space for Park Avenue range.

Premium is really a sad story. The brand has a good name, a good company to back it and an opportunity in the market but there is no will from the brand owners to develop it.

Marketing Funda : The art of story telling

My article on the Art of Story Telling published in : Read it here

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marketing Funda : Creating Brand Experience

My article on Creating brand Experience published in : Read it here

Marketing To Youth : Youth Power or Myth

Economic Times (25/05/09) has a very interesting and enlightening article on Indian youth. Written by Mr Rajesh Shukla, the article throws light into some important data regarding the Indian youth market.

Read the article here : Harnessing Indian Youth Power

Some of the important statistics are reproduced below :

The total youth population (13-34) is 390 million which is 38% of the total population and is expected to rise to 440 million by 2020.

70% of the youth reside in over 600,000 villages.
72% of youth are literate.
41% of these literate youth fall in the age group (13-19 years) , 23% fall in 20-24 and 36% are in 25-34 years.

59% of literate youth are male. 7% are graduates and 12% have passed higher secondary.

The article also presents a clear view about the definition of youth. According to Rajesh Shukla , youth refers to a category rather than a group. The difference between category and group is that category has diverse or heterogeneous elements unlike groups which are similar in its composition. Youth relates to an age group that is transiting between childhood and adulthod and may comprise of a conglomeration of sub-groups with differing social roles, expectations and aspirations.

UN defines youth as those in the age group of 15-24 years. UNICEF defines youth in the age bracket of 15-30 years. Indian National Youth Policy considers all individuals in the agegroup of 13-35 years as youth population. NYP divides the youth population into two groups - 13-19 years as adolescent and 20-35 as Youth.

As far as marketers are concerned, the sheer size of this market is a huge opportunity. But no one so far has been able to rightly understand the Indian Youth's psyche.

As the article points out, the youth market cannot be considered as a group because it is not homogeneous. So does it mean that marketers cannot segment this market on the bases of age alone ? . Segmentation is based on the assumption that the members display homogeneity . So if the members of a specific age group display heterogeneous characteristics, it no longer becomes a segment.
The implication is that marketers should find out variables other than age to segment the Indian youth market.So when age becomes irrelevant, does it mean that the so called Youth Market is a myth just like the much hyped Indian MiddleClass ?
Most of the marketers tend to use Lifestyle as a variable to define segments with in the Youth market. How ever lifestyle segmentation is tricky and highly subjective in nature.

This probably explain the reason why Indian marketers are still finding it difficult to find a formula to tap this huge lucrative market.

What do you think ?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Brand Update : Cadbury Eclairs

This year Cadbury Dairy Milk Eclairs has comeout with a new campaign and a new positioning. The brand has identified itself with a sweet chocolate time bomb that will explode in your mouth. 

The brand is running an interesting TVC to communicate the postioning. 

Watch the ad here : Cadbury sweet bomb

Cadbury's Dairy Milk Eclairs has always been focused on its chocolate inner and as a consumer  we get a special feeling when the crispy outer covering of the eclairs give way to the soft chocolate liquid inside.  The brand is now trying to capture this feeling through the new campaign. 

The brand is equating this experience akin to the blowing up of a chocolate bomb from inside. The ad captures this concept quite beautifully. 

Although the ad is quite good, there is a striking resemblence with the recent KitKat ad claiming to be more chocolatey. The only difference is that the chocolate explodes outside the head.

Watch the Kitkat ad here : Kitkat exploding

Competition is not only for market share , it is also for the ad copy.

Related brand

Cadbury Dairy Milk Eclairs

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Brand Update : Popy

Rainy season has started in Kerala and the ad blitz of the umbrella marketers has reached the pinnacle. As usual, the umbrella marketers of Kerala has proved that innovation can be a game changing strategy.

This season is also no different ,where the two major brands in the Kerala umbrella market - Popy and John's vying for consumer attention with mind-blowing new umbrellas.

Popy has come out with a new commercial for its Nano sub-brand. Popy Nano claims to be the smallest folding umbrella which has a hieght of 16 cm when folded. The brand is being promoted as the " World's smallest big umbrella " .

The company claims that the umbrella when opened covers a larger area compared to ordinary umbrellas. The brand also claims to be the lightest and strongest in that category of 3 fold umbrellas. Popy Nano has come out with a decent catchy campaign which superbly communicates the brand promise.

Watch the TVC here : Popy Nano

While Popy Nano is aimed at older customers, it is the kid segment where there is intense competition.
In the kid's umbrella segment, Popy has come out with a new product " Popy Kuppi Kuda ". Kuppi in Malayalam language means bottle. So Kuppi Kuda means umbrella in the shape of a bottle.
The brand has introduced this product using a teaser campaign.
Watch the ad here : Popy Kuppi Kuda

The competition is not sitting idle. The main competitor John's has also come out with two new products . John's Air was launched this year which claims that the umbrella will be able to withstand wind speed upto 50 Kmph.

In Kerala we can see lady pillion riders of two wheelers desperately trying to hold the umbrella during the rain. Most of the time, these umbrellas cannot withstand the wind and will collapse creating an embarrassing situation. John's Air is aiming to fill that need for a stronger umbrella that can withstand wind.

John's also came out with a product for kids branded as John's Macha Mia. This is an umbrella with a bubble maker and bubble breaker. Kids can make bubbles with an attachment fitted with the umbrella handle and then try to break those bubbles using a dart gun fitted along with the umbrella. Sounds complicated isn't it ?

Both Popy and John's are flooding the media with their campaign and kids are a happy lot with lot of options to choose for.

Popy and John's are proving once again that innovation can bring life into a once dull product category like Umbrella.

Related Brand

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scoobee Day : My Friend

Brand : Scoobee Day
Company : Anna Group ( Kitex Garments)

Brand Analysis Count : 400

I am celebrating the 400 th brand analyzed in Marketing Practice with a Kerala brand.

Scoobee Day is a pioneer in the branding of school bags in Kerala. The brand is from the Anna Group which is a major player in the textile and Aluminum products in the state.

School bag market is essentially dominated by the unorganized sector. Except for a few national brands like Duckback and Bata, most of the players are local manufacturers.

During the early 2000, Anna group launched the brand Scoobee Day in the school bag segment.
Scoobee Day quickly captured the attention of the kids. One of the reason for the quick attention and recall of the brand was the brand's phonetic resemblance to the popular comic character Scooby Doo. During the launch of Scoobee Day, Scooby Doo cartoons were a huge hit among kids .

Scoobee Doo became a quick success through a very careful brand building process. The brand knew the pulse of the target market and the strategies were bang on target.

Scoobee Doo was primarily targeting the young school children in the KG and Pre primary segment. This brand was built on the art of story telling.

School bags are seasonal products . The consumers buy these products during May-June period. Mostly the parents let their kids choose the product since a new bag is definitely a motivation for kids to go to school.

Scoobee Day adopted the strategy of hooking the kids. The brand name itself was a hit and there was something more. The brand told a story. The hero of the story is the brand mascot - a Bee named Scoobee.

Scoobee Day is positioned as a kid's best friend. The brand all through its journey had told stories of how Scoobee Day helped the kids in distress , fighting those monsters who tried to attack the kids.

Watch an ad here : Scoobee day old ad

Watch the latest ad here : Scoobee Day 2009 ad

The brand also had the tagline " Scoobee Day en Changathi " ( in Malayalam) translated to Scoobee Day , My Friend.

The brand told consistent stories which involved kids being chased by dragons and monsters and how Scoobee rescues the kids and tames the demons.

The jingle containing the tagline and the catchy stories of Scoobee helping the kids, made a very strong impression in the mind of the kids. Even my four year old child recites the jingle and is very familiar with the brand.

The brand also ensured that it provided excellent value for money for the consumers. The bags are of very good quality and is very durable. So parents are not complaining for the premium paid for the brand.

To counter the price competition from the local players and cheap chinese imports, Scoobee Day is flooding the market with freebies along with the bag. Free offers include tiffin boxes, water bottles, pencil box etc. This year, the brand is offering pencil box, tiffin box, water bottle and a Scoobee mask.

Scoobee 's success is a classic example of brands built on story telling. The brand had a compelling story and it told the stories consistently . When entering a market dominated by unorganized players, the critical factor for success lies in differentiation. Scoobee Day differentiated itself from the rest through strong brand elements backed by product quality.

Now Kerala market is flooded with branded school bags. But Scoobee had the first mover advantage. The brand had already created huge equity and brand recall among the consumers.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Brand Update : Horlicks

Yet again , another brand extension from Horlicks. Horlicks has recently launched a ready to drink flavored milk product branded Horlicks Chill Dood.

The product category is reported to be worth around Rs 250 crore. Dairy based products are now seeing more action these days owing to the shift of consumers to healthier products. Amul is the most visible in this segment with its Kool drink.

Horlicks ChillDood comes in attractive flavors like chocolate and the product is targeting kids. Animated ads are now on air to promote this product.

2009 has seen this brand undertaking aggressive extensions into un/related categories like energy bars and now dairy products.
Horlicks is one of my favorite brands. I liked it because the brand was very flexible in adopting to changing competitive environment and proactive in launching new products in new segments .
But one gets jittery when the brand becomes too ambitious. Horlicks has always been associated with health drinks and it was highly focused on that category.The result was obvious, the brand has been a market leader for long time.
The current extension gave me a feeling that the brand is taking too much far by extending itself into categories like energy bar and milk. All these new launches will get a positive initial acceptance by the consumers because of the huge brand equity of Horlicks but all these launches has the potential to dilute the core brand.
The silver lining is that all these launches are in the health related products and thus cater to the emerging trend among the consumers.

Related Brand


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Havells : Shock Laga Kya

Corporate Brand : Havells
Agency : Lowe

Brand Analysis Count : 399

Havells is one of the leading players in the Indian electrical products industry. The company which was virtually unknown 5 years ago shot into limelight through some clutter breaking campaigns in recent times.

Havells is a part of the Indian business group- QRG group. Established in 1958 as a trading company , Havells came into existence in 1983. The company is now a Rs 1600 crore company with presence in all major electrical categories.

Havells business is primarily focused on four key verticals.
Switch Gear
Lighting and Fixtures
Cables and
Electrical consumer deliverable.

What is interesting about Havells is their penchant for advertising. The company had been making major investments in promotions and has been using the recent IPL for brand building.

Havells shot into limelight with their campaign for Mini Circuit Breakers (MCB) which are used to prevent short circuits . Most of the new homes/offices have it but these products were never advertised.
Havells came out with a clutter breaking humorous ad for their MCB which caught the consumer's attention. The product ad had the famous tagline " Shock Laga Kya ".

Watch the ad here : Shock Laga Kya

The ad was a hit because of the creative execution. I think the positive response from the consumers prompted Havells to invest heavily in brand promotions.

Another classic ad was for Havells CFL bulbs. The Rimpoche ad too was a highly interesting ad for a dull product.
Watch the ad here : Rimpoche

Havells followed its ad campaigns with a touchy mother son campaign for its cable product range
Watch the ad here : Mother- son
I like this ad very much because it conveyed the " heat resistant " feature of the product very smartly and touchingly.

For its fan range, Havells came out with another funny campaign : Bijilee

Recently Havells made use of the Recession to come out with another creative one for its MCB range : recession ad

Havells also has been using the recent IPL for brand promotion. Whenever some batsman gets out or when he scores a six, the two second message ad comes on the screen " Shock Laga Kya"

These clutter breaking ads has significantly increased the brand familiarity and liking of Havells brand. The brand is fighting very well established players like Crompton Greaves, Usha,Anchor , Legrand etc. Havells scored over these brands through its higher share of voice.

Regarding the branding campaign, Havells has been focusing more on product advertising rather than building its corporate brand.
There is an interesting piece written about this in hindu : read here

If you see all these ads of Havells, the ads does not have a common thread . The cable ad and the MCB ad and CFL ads are all very different. Although it all comes from Havells, one cannot find a common thread.
This is a problem for Havells as a corporate brand. The company has so far not tried to bring in a corporate brand theme. Havells does not even have a tagline.

Now everyone associates Havells with the Shock Laga Kya tagline which is a specific tagline for its MCB range. I am not sure whether this is a planned strategy where the company tries to develop its corporate brand through product ads .

There is no doubt that these product ads are well crafted and has served the purpose. But when we analyse the branding , Havells as a corporate brand has built strong familiarity but no brand depth.

If you ask me what Havells stands for, I would say that it stands for " Shock Proof MCB". So Havells stands to be identified for a single product rather than as an umbrella brand.

One disadvantage of developing a common corporate brand theme is that every Havells ad should then have to align with that common thread which may constrain creative thinking. But a brand should own a distinct place in the consumer's mind. Havells corporate brand right now does not have than distinct space for it .
The logic of the current strategy is that through the product ads , Havells will gain familiarity and thus brand equity. There is now flaw in this logic. But the issue is about the brand personality.
A brand should have some core brand values and manthra which makes it unique and distinct. This mathra has to be created by the brand and communicated to the consumers.It is in this context that the current strategy of product ads driving a corporate brand becomes ineffective.

Havells need not stop its product based advertising, what it can do is to develop a brand manthra and a corporate tagline and when show the tagline in the product advertisements. The individual product ads can retain their taglines like " Shock Laga " . Thus Havells will be able to create a distinct corporate brand image which will be highly beneficial in future.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Brand Update : Lacto Calamine (RIP)

After a long long time, there is some development for Lacto Calamine brand. This heritage brand was lying low with little or no support from the company.

This year, Nicholas Piramal decided to invest some energy into this age old personal care brand. The brand has been given a facelift, a new packaging and also a new positioning.
The brand has roped in the design consultant Elephant Strategy to revamp the brand. (read the design change report here)
The brand launched a variant containing Aloe Vera.

What is interesting is that the brand have coined a new term Skinsurance .Skinsurance means that the brand is providing protection ( insurance) for the skin. It is a smart positioning statement.
The report in the Exchange4Media site gives a disturbing news also. The brand name Lacto Calamine is going to be shortened to the initials LC . This is to facilitate further brand extensions.

The company feels that the brand name Lacto Calamine is constrained because the name indicates the contents Lacto ( Milk) and Calamine lotion. Hence the brand cannot be used for extensions. This brand is one of those brands whose name restricts the extension. Other examples are Thirty Plus & Band Aid.

The company plans to slowly rebrand Lacto Calamine to LC in a phased manner. At first, the new brand name LC and Lacto Calamine will appear together and gradually Lacto Calamine will be phased out . LC will then be an umbrella brand that will endorse a range of personal care products.

So for all practical purposes, Lacto Calamine brand is going to be killed. Instead we will have a meaningless Two Letters LC.

I don't understand why Lacto Calamine brand has to be killed for a new umbrella brandname which is just a meaningless initial. Piramal could have easily launched a new brand for personal care products. Shortening Lacto Calamine to LC will not add any value and will not trasfer any equity to the shortened brand name. It is going to be just a waste of valuable promotional money.
Lacto Calamine is a niche brand. I think the company should have made it a profitable niche. Lacto Calamine is a good product with lot of good properties. It had the equity to remain a profitable niche but the firm think that it is better to convert it to a umbrella brand.

What the company should have done was to introduce a new meaningful umbrella brand for personal care products. It could easily integrate the Lacto Calamine brand into the new brand folio by endorsing Lacto Calamine by the new umbrella brand.

So RIP Lacto Calamine ( 1970-2009)

Related Brand
Lacto Calamine

Monday, May 11, 2009

Brand Update : Amul Macho

After creating controversies through the previous two commercials, Amul Macho (innerwear) decided to be decent. I suppose this is a unique season where controversial brands have decided to be subtle. We have seen that in the case of Wild Stone.

Amul Macho is running a new campaign this year

Watch the new ad here : Amul Macho

The new ad is a spoof of the typical Bharatiya Naari ( Indian Women ) as depicted in the K - Serials. The twist is that in this ad, the role is exchanged.

While the previous ads of Amul Macho was defenitely of bad taste, the solace for this one is that its funny. The brand retains the tagline " Yeh To bada Toing hai "

Related Brand
Amul Innerwear

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Best Marketing Practice : ZOOZOO

One of the best campaigns I have seen so far is the Vodafone's ZooZoo campaign. Never in the history of Indian advertising we witnessed a campaign that generated so much interest and curiosity among all the segments of the society be it young or old.
So much has been written about ZooZoo in various media. Hence I am not going to repeat it all over.

Read a wonderful analysis in afaqs here : Afaqs on ZooZoo

Another nice one in Businessline : Business Line on ZooZoo

Rajesh of Blogworks on ZooZoo : Here

Some ZooZoo ads here : ZooZoo collection

I never expected Vodafone to be a creative volcano.When Hutch became Vodafone, I was little sceptic whether the creative spark of Hutch will be carried forward by Vodafone. The news of the famous Pug being discarded deepened my scepticism.

But the brand just beat all those cynicism . The Happy to Help campaign and the VAS campaign all proved that this is a brand that will do anything to be creative.

ZooZoo was created to promote the value added services ( VAS) of Vodafone. Vodafone was trying hard to capture the VAS Space because it is a potential cash cow for cellular companies.
Vodafone also wanted to make the most of the IPL season 2. Although IPL is a crowd puller, it is also a marketer's nightmare because of the clutter. IPL attracts all the deep pocket advertisers and to standout, one needs to think out of the box.

Thus ZooZoo was born. ZooZoo is a semi alien semi-human character living in an earth-like place ( lot of which is left to the viewer's imagination).These are very very simpe biengs who are very expressive. They laugh aloud , cry loud and have a child like simplicity around them. I think many of us wanted to be such an expressive being which makes ZooZoo very personal .

The success of ZooZoo is the success of minimalism and simplicity. Although the production process of ZooZoo ads are not simple, as a consumer I was attracted to the simplicity of the concept and the execution. ZooZoo also highlights the power of storytelling. Each ads tells a very simple story. Afterall brands are made through story telling.

Another factor that aided the success of ZooZoo is the scale of the campaign.Reports suggest that there are around 25 different ads of ZooZoo to be aired during this IPL season. This unprecedented scale has kept the curiosity high among the viewers. It has infact dwarfed all the other advertisers in this season.
There is lot of risk being taken behind this campaign. The Vodafone managers who okayed this campaign may have risked their jobs to bring out such a massive campaign. The agency also risked their credibility. One should appreciate the creative talent of O&M and Nirvana Films who proved that Indian Advertising has come of age.

Vodafone has taken ZooZoo beyond advertising. The fanclub in the facebook page of ZooZoo has already touched 70,000 and counting. The brand has comeout with an interactive quiz that shows the type of ZooZoo you are : here
There are also mobile downloads of wallpaper, screensaver etc.

All these has transformed into a great viral movement. There are already a plethora of mail forwards and blogposts celebrating ZooZoo.

ZooZoo is a great marketing story. Vodafone has benefitted immensely by this campaign. It caught the attention and fancy of the consumers, aroused curiosity, told stories and made people retell the story.

Marketing Guru Seth Godin always emphasised that Brands should be Remarkable. He defined remarkable as " Worthy of Making a Remark about "

The ZooZoo is a classic example of being Remarkable...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Grappo Fizz : Another Cool Drink To Hang Out With

Brand : Grappo Fizz
Company : Parle Agro
Agency : Creativeland Asia

Brand Analysis Count : 398

Parle Agro has launched a " new brand " Grappo Fizz . Grappo Fizz is a sparkling grape drink similar to the successful Appy Fizz.

Grappo Fizz is launched as a cousin of Appy Fizz. Appy Fizz had created a successful niche for itself among the young consumers. The drink has a unique taste, look and also interesting positioning as a Cool Drink.Parle Agro is trying to replicate the success of Appy with the new grape drink.

I have a little confusion in the branding of Grappo Fizz. Should Grappo be considered as a brand extension or is it a new brand.

Theoretically , brand extension is where the company uses an existing brand name for new products. But Grappo Fizz is a new brand name which has significant association with Appy Fizz. Both these brands share a common term Fizz in their brand names.

Another similar case occured when Perfetti launched a brand called ChocoLiebe which has the same association with Alpenliebe.

Technically Grappo Fizz should be considered as a new brand . Then it become a unique case where two brands share common brand elements like packaging and even positioning. I would consider this as a new brand for theoretical purpose. For all practical purpose, Grappo is an extension of Appy. ( confusing isnt it?)

Marketing is more of a historical subject describing the past actions of marketers.So when the marketers devise new strategies, marketing academicians find it difficult to explain those with existing terms,concepts and jargons. Hence we come out with new jargons to explain the new practices. I would invent a new jargon - Association Extension to describe brands which are launched with significant associations with an existing brands.

Coming back to Grappo Fizz, the company considers this brand as an extension of Appy Fizz. In an interview with Business Standard , the CMO describes this brand as a product extension of Appy Fizz ( Read Here)

Grappo Fizz is trying to create another niche like its cousin. Grape is a neglected flavor in the Indian market. There are virtually no grape based drink in India except for some 100% fruit juice brands. Grappo is trying to fill in such a gap.

Like Apple drink, Grapes may not become a mainstay beverage but it will be a welcome option for those users who would like to have something different. I have observed that people tend to like grape juices, but seldom this flavor is marketed.

Grappo shares every branding element with its cousin . The packaging is the same , the nature of the drink is the same and the positioning is also the same.

Watch the launch commercial here : Grappo Fizz

Like Appy Fizz,Grappo also has a personality. The brand has a interesting CV which you can see in the packaging. He is a ex- call center employee who has lost his job because of recession. Grappo is a rap lover and loves rhyming.

The brand is targeting the same segment which Appy Fizz is targeting - The Youth.

Grappo shares the same positioning of Appy . Now the brands come together in ads and the tagline is " Two cool drinks to hang out with ".

I am a person who fears brand extension. So the same fear appears when I see both Appy and Grappo sharing a common positioning platform.

A few question arises in my mind.

I love Appy Fizz, so the fear is whether Grappo dilutes the positioning of Appy Fizz ?

Why should Grappo share the same tagline as Appy ? Will they always be together in ads ? If so then what is the differentiation of Appy ?

My personal opinion is that Grappo sharing the positioning will dilute the equity of Appy. When two brands say that they are cool, the question arises who is the coolest ?

My apprehension was deepened when I saw another campaign where Grappo outsmarted Appy . So is Grappo more cooler than Appy ?

Since the tagline is " Two cool drinks to hang out with " , has Appy lost is individuality ? Will we ever see an ad featuring Appy alone ?

Is there a chance of more drinks coming like Orange Fizz, Guava Fizz with the same positioning ?

Alries and Jack Trout always argues against extensions. Their argument was that by extension, the brand will lose its unique position in the mind of the consumer. It is true also. There was only one cool drink - Appy Fizz. Now there is two.. So Appy Fizz definitely is going to get affected interm of positioning.

In the company perspective, it makes sense to put these brands together because the cost of building a new brand is huge. Grappo could easily ride on the popularity of Appy. Since these brands are niche without much competition, the consumers will stay with these drinks switching between Appy and Grappo. Marketing costs will come down because one ad will sell both.

On a branding perspective, I would have loved the brand Grappo if it had an individual positioning. Appy Fizz should be the ultimate cool drink and no other brand even if it is the cousin should be allowed to take that mind space.

So which is the cool drink to hang out with ?

Related Brand

Appy Fizz

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Brand Update : Wild Stone

Deo brand Wild Stone has come out with another wild commercial. The new ad is in line with the previous themes but the brand has become more subtle.

Watch the new ad here : Wild Stone Guddi

The ad centers around the theme where innocent ( decent) ladies gets automatically attracted to the man who uses this deo. The previous campaign was set during Durga Puja which caused some controversies regarding the decency of the ad.

The new campaign is where a young girl (guddi) being floored by the Wild Stone Man. The ad is leaving many things to the imagination of the audience .

What is interesting about the new campaign is that the brand has a new tagline . Wild Stone has changed its tagline to " Barely Legal". The earlier tagline " Wild By Nature " has been dropped.

Compared to Wild by Nature, Barely Legal is more subtle and is not outright raunchy . I guess that the change is happening because Wild Stone is now managed by Future Brands.

Wild Stone is being developed as a personal care brand for men. The brand has talc ,deos, perfumes and shaving products in its product portfolio.

Related Brands
Wild Stone
Secret Temptations

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Marketing Funda : Above The Line & Below The Line

Above the Line ( ATL) and Below The Line ( BTL) are the two most commonly used terms in marketing. Both these refer to the nature of promotional activities done by companies.

The simple and most common definition for Above the Line promotions is that ATL refers to all promotional activities done by companies through mass media. In common parlance Advertising is the major ATL activity and all other form of promotions except direct marketing falls below the line.

There is another jargon Through The Line (TTL) which refers to the activities that try to integrate both ATL and BTL.

Both ATL and BTL jargons does not form a part of the core marketing concepts hence you will not find a clear academic definition in marketing text books ( esp. Kotler).

Above The Line and Below The Line terms are centered around the word " LINE". So it is essential to understand the meaning of the term LINE inorder to see the difference between the two jargons.

Interestingly the term LINE is hypothetical and there is no defined boundary that exists between ATL and BTL

According to Mr Michael John Baker ( The Marketing Book) , the term came into forefront in 1954 through the practice of Proctor and Gamble, where the advertising agencies were paid differently from those who undertook promotional activities other than advertising. Marketers began to delineate activities other than advertising as a separate marketing practice called Below the Line Promotion.

Below The Line promotions include sales promotions, consumer promotions, PR, events , point of purchase promotions and all those unconventional tools that marketers adopt. Direct Marketing how ever could not be fitted into both these jargons and hence is kept stand alone.

Frankly there is no need for such a hypothetical boundary and classifications like ATL and BTL. The current developments that are happening in the media space makes such jargons highly irrelevant. Because boundaries are blurring. Now we see consumer promotions heavily advertised in mass media. Events are highly publicized using advertising, so the LINE is actually non-existant.

For example a viral video in Youtube which is watched by millions of netizens can be theoretically put as a BTL but it is reaching even more people than the traditional media like TV and print. The recent ZooZoo campaign of Vodafone cannot be bracketted along ATL and BTL because the campaign has already become viral with many blogs writing about it. The campaign was designed to be viral.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Fa : Feel Good Freshness

Brand : Fa
Company : Henkel
Agency : Mudra

Brand Analysis Count : 397

Fa is one of the largest deo brand in India. The brand is from the global giant Henkel. I was surprised to know that Fa is one of the largest selling body care brand in Europe.
Fa was launched in India in 2000. The brand has a portfolio of talcs ,deos,bodywash, soap etc. It is a personal care brand endorsing multiple products.

Fa is famous in India for its range of Deos. I used to buy their unique glass bottled roll on deos that comes in various fragrances like Aqua, Lemon etc.
Despite its legacy and its international pedigree, Fa has not got the kind of respect an international brand gets.That is why the brand is still a small brand in the personal care segment compared to the brands like Lux, Ponds etc.

Fa globally is positioned on Freshness. Its global tagline is " Feel Good Freshness".

Regarding the marketing practices of this brand in the Indian market , Fa was never an aggressive player in terms of promotion or brand building. I remember a couple of ads of this brand but no memorable promotional campaigns. How ever the brand was able to create a strong association with freshness which is a strength for this brand.

Watch an ad for Fa here : Pink or Black

Most of the ads of Fa was directly imported from its parent brand's database. The advantage of foreign ads is that it creates an international image . But the biggest disadvantage is that the local connect will be lost. Brands like AXE escaped this danger but Fa failed to create a connect with the Indian consumer.

Why Axe was successful because they were talking to a globally connected younger crowd. But Fa is talking to an older crowd who do not feel connected with the brand. That is why this brand is not able to reach its potential.
Understandably this brand operates on a limited budget. Hence one cannot equate the promotinoal activities of Fa with brands like Axe. But  I have a feeling that the brand undertakes sporadic promotional campaigns rather than an organized contonuous brand campaign. 
As a consumer, it has been a long while since I came across any campaign of Fa either in print or in visual media. Henkel is a global gaint and has the money power to drive reasonable brand promotion. 
Fa had a relaunch in 2004 when the company undertook a rationalization of its product portfolio . Fa was identified as a core brand and its ad spend increased. 
Fa fights with the best brands in one of the hottest segment in the Indian consumer market. It battles the gaints like P&G, HUL and the likes. Fa also has a rich heritage and international pedigree. What the brand needs is the WoW factor and a great campaign. Dove made it to the iconic league through a great campaign - campaign for real beauty.
Fa desperately needs a break-through campaign. Freshness platform is a very relevant positioning for the brand but the brand has to utilize this platform through some clutter breaking campaign. If the brand continues to import its international campaign and continues its unorganized /unfocused media spends, the brand will at best survive in its current position. 
Fa has some good products , what it needs is some breakthrough campaigns.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Brand Update : Loreal

Business Line (30/04/09) had an interesting news. L'Oreal is going to bring out sachets. L'Oreal has been in the Indian market for the past 15 years. The brand is positioned as a premium skin care brand and enjoyed tremendous equity among the upper segments of the consumers. The brand have the famous tagline " You are Worth It " and the brand is endorsed by WHO is WHO of the glamour world.

The move evoked two set of reactions in me. The consumer inside me was happy because the brand became affordable while the marketing person inside me was apprehensive about the dilution of premium image due to this affordable SKU.

Sachet has been a double edged sword for most of the fmcg marketers. This SKU offered tremendous volume potential. In the game of sachets, there is no premium class . There is only one class -Affordable class. On the other hand, it is a tough task for marketers to get customers to move to the high margin bottles.

The question is whether the availability of Loreal products at the price points of Rs 5 or Rs 7 will dilute the brand equity ? Will the higher segments drift away from this brand because the product now has a low priced SKU.

Since this is India, the lower price point is only going to benefit the brand sales. Indians love value for money Masstige brands. The new affordable SKU will bring in lot of customers who once thought that the brand was unreachable / unaffordable.

This will enable the brand to get into a new set of customers who shied away from the brand. But the difficult task is to get the brand in all the shop formats ( if the company is aiming volume). Putting the brand in a sachet and restricting the distribution will not yield desirable results.

The only issue for the brand is to make the consumers trade up for larger SKU because sachets are low margin units.

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Read BL report here

Friday, May 01, 2009

Brand Update : Spinz

Spinz now has a new brand ambassador. The brand has roped in the new bollywood diva Genelia as the brand ambassador replacing Asin. According to a report in Business Line, the brand had revamped its entire portfolio. Spinz had launched men's deo versions trying to make the brand unisex.

According to BL, Spinz has a market share of 5 % in Rs 450 crore deo market. Axe leads the market with a share of 23 %.The report also pegs the talc market at Rs 800 crore and Spinz has a share of 7 %.

The brand will retain its youth positioning. It came as a surprise to me that Spinz had launched male deos. I don't remember seeing any ads but if it is true, then the brand will have trouble because Spinz will essentially be perceived as a female brand. And Genelia will further reinforce the brand as a girly brand.

Spinz has not been able to leverage the opportunity of an affordable fragrance brand. The new brand ambassador may give some push to the brand but in my personal opinion, rather than depending on a celebrity , the brand should identify and invest in its own USP

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