Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brand Update : Wild Stone

Wild Stone has become milder. It is interesting to see a brand evolving and trying to find the right kind of positioning. Wild Stone which started off as a very very naughty brand is now moving to a mature , approachable platform.

In the last few years Wild Stone has been experimenting with its positioning. The brand looking at the huge potential in the deo market created a stir with its "explicit" controversial ads. But those ads were infact doing lot of negative word of mouth in the media space. Although Wild Stone brand got noticed, the image got entangled in the negative mindset. The brand had the tagline of " Wild By Nature " and its ads were nothing but wild.

Later Wild Stone's marketing was taken up by Future Brands ( source) . Then a shift happened in the brand's approach. The brand became subtle but of course it couldn't let go its " sexual overtones". The brand adopted the new tagline " Barely Legal".

Now the brand is running a new campaign for its variant Wild Stone Aqua.
Watch the tvc here : Wild Stone Aqua
The new ad is a refreshing change from the earlier campaigns of Wild Stone. The ad is nicely made and the brand's positioning theme fits in nicely with the ad. What is more interesting is that Wild Stone has adopted a new tagline " It happens". The new tagline is a far better one than the " Barely Legal " . More over " It happens " gives the agency lot of room to work on. And also it gives a message that Wild Stone man doesn't have to " Try Too Hard". Hopefully the brand will retain the new tagline and explore its possibilities.

The positioning of Wild Stone is not a remarkable one. Almost all the men's deo has adopted the same positioning of " Women Chasing Men". Brands like Axe Fuel,Denver, Set Wet Zatak all have adopted the same theme. The advantage that I see in Wild Stone is that the brand has adopted an Indian theme while all the other brands are going for foreign models and settings. This can prove to be a good advantage for Wild Stone. Although the market leader Axe is going great guns with regular product launches, its ads have become little detached with the Indian market ( my opinion). Axe may face the issue of a consume disconnect if it continues to import ads.
Related Brands

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yakult : The Kiss of Good Health

Brand : Yakult
Company : Yakult Danone India Pvt Ltd
Agency : Hakudo Percept

Brand Analysis Count : 419

Recently I was intrigued by an ad featuring the bollywood actress Kajol where she endorses a drink in a small bottle. The brand name also sounded strange . The quest after that small drink brought me into an interesting brand - Yakult.

Yakult is a probiotic drink from Japan. The drink is brought to India by Yakult Honsha of Japan in collaboration with Groupe Danone of France. Yakult is a world leader in probiotic drinks and has a rich heritage dating back to 1935.

Yakult was launched in India in the late 2007. The brand was initially available only in Delhi. Now Yakult is being launched nationally in a phased manner.

Probiotic market in India is in a nascent stage. Although many players like Amul, Nestle has entered the market, the category has not yet witnessed a heightened consumer interest.

Probiotics refer to those drinks which contains live micro organisms which are healthy to human body. These micro organisms help the body in digestion and also in fighting diseases.

Yakult is fermented milk that contains healthy bacteria Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota. According to the brand site, a 65 ml Yakult bottle contains 6.5 bn probiotic bacteria ( Source).

Yakult has been testing its marketing strategy for around a year and is now ready for the national roll out. The brand is currently available in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Jaipur. The entry of Yakult is expected to increase the visibility and growth of probiotic category in India.

What is interesting about Yakult brand is its marketing strategy. The brand has adopted a two prong strategy to crack the Indian market.

Yakult has roped in Kajol as the brand ambassador. The brand is also making enough noise in the media. These advertisements are bound to increase the brand visibility and also may prompt consumer trials. The choice of the brand ambassador also gels with the target market. The brand predominately targets the health conscious ladies as the primary consumer. The brand has taken the positioning of a " health enhancer " and adopted the tagline " Daily Piyo, Healthy Jiyo". The brand has the global tagline of " The kiss of good health".

But a product like a probiotic drink may not be easily adopted by the consumer since she may have lot of doubts about the product. It is in this context that the brand adopted its strategy of direct marketing.
Yakult has a strategy of direct marketing where the consumers can order the product through home delivery. Yakult has a DM team of ladies known as Yakult ladies who visit homes, educate the homemakers about the product and also regularly supplies the product. This ensures that the product is being regularly used by the consumers and also the Yakult ladies will be able to answer the doubts of the consumers.Yakult is also available in supermarkets.

Another interesting fact is about the pricing strategy of Yakult. The 65ml bottle is priced at Rs 10 and the product is available in a pack of 5. The price sounds reasonable for those consumers who are health conscious. The main challenge for this product is to make the consumers believe that the product is delivering benefit to them. Most of the health foods have the problem of giving measurable visible results to the consumers.

Yakult primarily targets those consumers who are health conscious and is aware of the importance of functional foods like probiotics. The brand will be initially operating in a niche category and its strategy will be to expand the niche category into a mainstream one. It has adopted the right marketing strategy to educate the consumers and also encourage them to make regular use of this product.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Z3 : Relaxed Luxury

Brand : Z3
Company : Zodiac Clothing
Agency : Draft FCB Ulka

Brand Analysis Count : 418

Z3 is a brand from the house of Zodiac. Z3 is a refreshing brand amongst the plethora of brand extensions that we witness in the Indian brand scenario. Zodiac is one of the most respected premium readymade brands in India. The brand has huge equity and a loyal customer base owing to the excellent craftsmanship and unmatched quality. The brand has a very understated style of promotion and has been able to retain its premium positioning despite clutter in the market.

In the eighties, Zodiac epitomized the premium readymade category but the situation has changed now. The readymade category has changed drastically with the creation of various segments and sub-segments. The Indian menswear market is huge with a size of Rs 40,000 crore. Almost all major fashion labels are in the market right now. Zodiac is very focused in its approach to the market and has been very consistent in its approach toward brand building and promotions.

The Zodiac brand has so far resisted the temptation to go for a volume play. According to a report in Business Standard , this is a brand which is produced against firm orders. I found the fact very very unusual for an Indian brand operating in a tough business environment. The report says that 85% of what the company produces is pre-sold .This is a remarkable achievement by any standards. ( Read the report here).

The market in which Zodiac operates also has witnessed huge shift interms of consumer behavior. The new generation has a very different outlook with regard to fashion. Zodiac has a perception of a very formal brand for the old professionals. It is in this scenario, that Z3 launch becomes relevant.

Z3 is the casual readymade brand from Zodiac Clothing. The brand was launched in 2008. Usually successful brands like Zodiac will have a temptation to extend itself to casual wear. But Zodiac being a smart marketer decided to opt for a new brand rather than extending its formal wear brand to casual wears. Extending a formal wear brand like Zodiac would have easily diluted the positioning of the parent brand.

Z3 is being positioned as a premium casual wear. The brand has the tagline " Relaxed Luxury" which talks about the brand promise. According to a report in moneycontrol , the brand is being differentiated using these qualities :
Handfeel : The brand is promising a luxurious look and feel.
Fabric and

Z3 is targeting the new breed of professionals and entrepreneurs who does not have to wear formals to work. Besides this new breed, Z3 will also fill the need of die-hard Zodiac loyals who shopped elsewhere for casual wear.

Like Zodiac, Z3 is also a premium brand. The products are priced between 1599-1699 and aiming those young rich class. (unreachable for poor professors like me !!!).

What I like most about this brand is its communication. Like Zodiac, Z3 is also concentrating on print media. The brand's campaign is cool with a very smart use of space and color . The product is projected in such a way that it creates an urge to purchase. The brand campaigns remind me of the classic print ads run by Color Plus . I think that Z3 is on its way to become another Color Plus.

Related Brand
Color Plus

Print ad source : Afaqs

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Brand Update : Onida

Onida has launched its new campaign after putting the devil to rest. The campaign is aimed at repositioning and rejuvenating the brand. The brand is trying for a comeback after years of uncertainty which made this (once) iconic brand lose its share in the market.

Watch the new campaign here : Onida new campaign

In my last post on Onida, I commented that Onida's real problem is not branding but marketing. The brand desperately needed break-through products and embrace new technologies. If the new ads are any indication, the brand is moving in the right direction. The brand is trying to launch products with new features, which is the right thing to do .

Regarding the brand campaign, Onida now has a new tagline- " Tum Ko Dekha to ye design aya" meaning " Designed with you in mind ". The brand replaced the iconic devil with a new-age couple as the protagonists.

Onida is now repositioning on the basis of " Customer Oriented Design". The brand is saying that its products are designed with the new-age customer in mind. The new tagline has nothing new in it and "customer-oriented" design positioning is used by many brands before. In comparison with the classic "Neighbor's envy , Owner's Pride", the new campaign falls short of expectation. ( Another viewpoint here)

In the consumer durable space, it is the product features that attract the buyers not the ads. If Onida can give technologically advanced products at reasonable price, consumers will definitely try it out. But there are issues in such a product oriented strategy. Most of the new features can be copied easily by the competitors unless otherwise protected by patents. When Onida launches a DVD player which plays micro-sd cards, other players are bound to follow. It is in this scenario that branding becomes important. Onida needs to convince the consumers that its products are better designed and technologically superior. It is about managing perception .Features can be copied by competitors easily but changing perception is a difficult task.
Onida needs to work hard on creating and nurturing new perceptions about itself in the mind of the consumers. Long way to go for this brand......

Related Brand

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Brand Update : Quaker Oats

I am a big fan of the concept of brands taking up cause marketing. Although academic research has two opinions about the impact of such cause based promotions, I strongly believe that brands will benefit positively if it can align with a worthy cause.

Recently Quaker Oats launched a new campaign " Make India heart healthy". The brand is trying to promote the cause of healthy heart. The brand has taken up the mission of spreading awareness about the risk of heart diseases and educate the public about healthy living. The campaign is being launched in association with Appolo Hospitals and Times of India.

The brand also launched a portal where individuals can do an online heart check. Once the person entered the details, he will receive customized diet plans and also his risk profile.
Quaker Oats needs to be lauded for taking up such an initiative. In this fast world where health is compromised for materialistic pursuits, some one needs to take the initiative to educate the public.

For a cause based brand promotion to work, brands need to focus on certain basic requirements.
a. There has to be a worthy cause
b. The cause should be related to the broad solution that the brand offers.
c. The brand should be consistent in supporting the cause.
d.The initiative should be long term.

Quaker has taken an initiative which is worthy and also aligns with the brand's core promise. Quaker is a healthy food and hence it makes sense for the brand to take up the cause of a healthy heart.
Time will only tell whether the brand's initiative is going to be consistent and long term. Currently the brand is spending its energy on awareness building. We have to see whether the brand will further the cause to next level.

Related Brand

Friday, September 18, 2009

Brand Update : Calcium Sandoz

Calcium Sandoz is in an over drive now. This 40 year old brand now has a new look and also a new tagline.
The brand is currently running a campaign in television : watch it here

Calcium Sandoz now have a new packaging and the brand has redesigned its mascot- the puppy. According to the company, the redesign is aimed at connecting with the young consumers. The kids used to love the classic white puppy bottle and used to collect them also. But as time passed, the brand and the puppy became disconnected with the young generation. ( Source). The total market for calcium products is estimated to be around Rs 328 crores.(source)

Rightly so, the brand feels that the mascot puppy is the best way to establish a reconnect with the new generation of kids. The new puppy now is colored and also is smiling.

The brand is currently trying to woo the users. Typically the kids resist taking food unless it is junk food or confectioneries. Mothers love to give kids healthy food and supplements .But making the kids eat such products is a Herculean task. Calcium Sandoz is trying to make kids love the brand by launching the product in various flavors . With the new packing and the campaign, the brand expects the kids (users) to ask for the product.

Calcium Sandoz has adopted the tagline " Agdam, Pagdam,Tagdam " whose meaning only kids will understand. The ad campaign centers around the usual theme of kids being overwhelmed by their daily routines and how the brand helps in making their lives easier and happier. The brand wisely uses the mascot puppy to convey the message .
The challenge for the brand is to keep the excitement going . Kids gets bored easily with these types of products and keeping them engaged is no easy task.

Related Brand

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

IFB : Set Yourself Free

Brand : IFB
Company : IFB Industries
Agency : Saatchi & Saatchi

Brand Analysis Count : 417

IFB is a major brand in the premium home appliances market. The brand is famous for its washing machine range especially the front loading type. I would say that IFB was a pioneer in popularising the front- loading washing machines into the Indian market.
In the Rs 20,000 crore Indian consumer durable market, the washing machines contribute for Rs 2300 crore.(source). At one point of time IFB was the second largest player in the Fully Automatic category.

IFB is a Kolkata based company which had its origin in 1974. The company was earlier known as Indian Fine Blanks. The company was specialised in manufacturing Fine Blanks and supplied to many industrial multi-nationals. The company later ventured into consumer durables under a joint venture with the German major Bosch in 1990.

The technology collaboration with Bosch gave IFB a headstart. The company was able to give consumers products with exceptional quality. IFB soon became the leader in the premium washing machines in the country. But in 1997, Bosch severed its ties with IFB.

Despite the termination of the JV, IFB was able to hold on its own. The brand was able to maintain its image in the Indian market. It had a share of 23% in the washing machine market in 2002.

How ever, IFB was caught in a serious financial trouble during 2005 where it was referred to BIFR. Later the firm came out of the financial trouble with a debt restructuring exercise.

IFB still holds the premiumness in the mind of the consumers despite maintaining a low key . The brand's share of voice is abysmally low . But fortunately the brand maintains a strong aspirational pull in the mind of the consumers.

IFB is a brand which is priced exorbitantly high. Its washing machines are priced more than 50% compared to the competitors. But the question is whether IFB can maintain the premiumness without adequately spending on brand promotion. Almost all the major global brands are competing for space in the Indian market. Technological differentiation is virtually impossible now since all brands are bringing their latest products to India.

In such a scenario, IFB needs to reinforce its brand equity. The brand is perceived to be a technologically superior but that perception can fade if the brand become complacent .

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Book Review : Customer Mania

Book Title : Customer Mania
Authors : Ken Blanchard,Jim Ballard & Fred Finch

Publishers : Harper Collins
Price : Rs 195

Book Review #9

Customer Mania is a small but a highly insightful book. I am a big fan of Ken Blanchard and his inspirational One Minute Manager Series. And this time too, he does not fail to inspire.
The book is the authors' account of Yum Restaurant's customer service strategies. Using the story of Yum! Ken Blanchard tries to hammer in some of the critical customer service principles.
I feel little wary about books focusing on a particular company because we cannot predict what will happen to this company in future. There are best selling books that glorified Enron when everything was hunky dory. So I was little skeptical when I started reading this book.
Gladly the message of the book transcended the example. Ken's insights were powerful enough that makes the ' one company ' focus irrelevant.

Customer Mania gives the readers four key principles that will help to build a customer-focused company. The authors firs illustrate the principle and then uses Yum! to give a practical insight. The four principle that this book put forth is as follows

Step one : Set your sights on the right target.
The principle asks the managers to identify the right set of consumers and then focus on the right way to pamper him

Step Two : Treat your customers the right way .
Here the authors stresses on strategies to create Raving Fans rather than ordinary consumers

Step Three : Treat your people the right way .
In a service business, employees are the key to providing world class customer service. The authors give some very important insights into recruiting and retaining the right kind of people.

Step Four : Have the right kind of leadership
I always believed that customer service initiatives will fail without the right kind of leadership. Infact customer service starts from the top.

Customer Mania is a very simple book but yet packed with powerful messages.
A must read for any marketer

Monday, September 14, 2009

Brand Update : Knorr Soups

Finally Knorr brand decided to do what it does best - Selling Soups.After messing up with extensions and brand name confusions, Knorr has decided to concentrate on soups. The brand is currently running its latest campaign featuring the brand ambassador Kajol.

Watch the Tvc here : Knorr Soups

The ad is interesting because it aims change the way Indian consumers look at Soups. Soup is not a popular part of Indian consumer's cuisine. According to Financial Express, Indian prepared soup market is worth Rs 120 crore and Knorr have a market share of over 70%. But given the size of Indian consumer space, the brand feels that the pie should be bigger.

The new campaign aims to do just that. HUL is a master in building and owning categories. The current campaign is aiming to build the soup category. To build the category, the brand has to bring in new consumers regularly buy and use soups.

Knorr is now being repositioned as a 7'o'Clock snack. Don't confuse the usage of the term Snack. Knorr is not going to compete with Lays or Bingo but aims to give the consumers a valid reason for buying this product by calling it a snack.

As a consumer, I never thought of regularly buying soups at my home. We used to indulge in soups at the hotel but seldom at home. Only some times I bought soups but not regularly because there was no perceived reasons for buying it regularly.

Knorr is giving consumers like me a reason for regularly buying it. It is common for little ones to become hungry at around 7-8 pm. This is a problem that most mothers face. You give something to kids and they will not take dinner .
Knorr is now offering a solution to this common problem.Give soups to the kids as a seven o clock snack. The brand tells mothers that giving soup to kids is a healthy option compared to any other snacks. Such a repositioning will help many non users to try out the product category. Kajol adds more punch to the entire exercise.

The brand now has a tagline " Tummy bhi Khush, Mummy bhi khush " meaning " Tummy is happy and Mummy is also happy ". The only issue whether the kids gets bored with soups.

The current campaign is a marketing lesson. Being a market leader does not make good brands complacent. Smarter brands build categories and end up owning it.

Related Brand

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Consumer Insight : Customer Loyalty

This post is inspired by the article by Mr Prasad Sangemeshwaran in Brand Equity ( 09/09/09) titled "Goodbye Mr Loyalty". (Read it Here). I feel that the basic premise of the article is wrong.

The article starts with a very bold statement - " The Customer is Infidel" ( which is a nice attention grabbing technique). The author then went on to argue that the concept of customer loyalty is now a thing of past.

I feel that the author made an assumption that all marketers believe in customer loyalty. Customer Loyalty is a concept- an ideal state where the consumers keep coming back for your offering. Marketers know fully well that consumers will keep coming back for the offerings only if it satisfies the need continuously. Marketers are also aware that consumers are looking for new ways of fulfilling their desires.

The moment you think that consumers are permanently loyal to your brand, you are in a state of marketing myopia. Marketing myopia is a condition where marketers become too narrowly focused on the product rather than the consumer & his need. Why Nokia is highly successful in India is its constant endeavour to bring in new products in tune with the changing consumer needs. Even in the case of Nokia, it missed out the " touchscreen" mania and even the " smartphone" trend. Marketers today are more aware about the impact of disruptive innovations which can create havoc in the market. Successful brands today are focusing not only in meeting consumer needs but also in shaping those needs.

It is also wrong to say that in the past consumers were more loyal to brands. The choice before consumers in yesteryear's were very less forcing them to stick to certain brands. That is not an indication of loyal behavior.

Having said that, there are brands which are able to create not only brand loyals but also raving fans. Brands like Harley, Apple,Google,McDonalds, Disney etc are considered iconic because of its ability to create communities and fans. But even these brands needs to keep running very hard to keep those consumers from switching.

If Customer is the King, how can you expect him to be loyal ?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Brand Update : Pears

It has been a long time since I wrote anything about Pears. The fact was that there was no big development about the brand for the past two years. The brand is regularly and consistently promoted across various media.

The brand extended itself to kid's category with the launch of Pears Junior and also into personal care segment with products like face wash. Pears also launched variants like Mint, Aloe Vera,Oil control etc during this period. Although the brand launched these variants, the core positioning of the brand remained the same for the original soap.

Recently I saw the new commercial of Pears
Watch it here : Pears

The brand is very consistent about the positioning strategy. Pears is built on the wonderful relationship between the Mother and
Child. All Pears ads captured this emotion quite perfectly. The brand focused on its " Transparency " and is positioned as a " Pure and Gentle " Soap.
This time too, the brand follows the same theme. The significant addition is that now Pears has a tagline - Masoom.
Masoom translates to Innocence . So Pears now celebrates a new brand value - Innocence.

The new campaign is nice but as a Southie I did not quite understood the dialogue. But the cute child and the theme always work the magic.
I am assuming that Pears brand is serious about the Masoom Tagline. Masoom concept works very well for Pears. The concept of innocence fits with the " transparency " and Pure & Gentle positioning.

Pears was one of those brands which did not have a tagline. With out the help of the tagline , the brand was able to communicate its core positioning. The core brand values of Pears was communicated through visual cues .
The tagline of Masoom seems to gel with the brand. Whether and how the brand is going to use this tagline in future is something to watch for.

Related Post

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Marketing Funda : Line Filling

Marketing Practice Reader Balaji asks a very pertinent question about the series of brand launches by Maruti Suzuki in the hatchback segment. He asks :

I want to know about New product development in automobile industry especially in Maruti.They are launching different small cars.Is it really makes a profit for them.Can you give the explantion with example.Introducing new car in the small car segment(Maruti) makes confusion among the customers that which car to buy /which is best?.Is really they are benefiting or just in order to compete with other company they are introducing the new product ? "

Maruti Suzuki is following the product line strategy of Line Filling. Line Filling is a strategy where the company introduces new products within the same( existing) price range.

Maruti Suzuki recently launched a series of brands in the hatchback segment. A look at the price ranges of hatchback brands of Maruti will give you a clear picture of Line Filling.

Maruti 800 - Rs 2,00,000 - Rs 2,12000
Maruti Alto - Rs 2,22,000 - Rs 2,70,000
Maruti Estilo - Rs 3,17,000 - Rs 3,98,000
Maruti Wagon R - Rs 3,18,000 - Rs 4,32,000
Maruti A Star - Rs 3,40,000 - Rs 4,12,000
Maruti Ritz - Rs 3,89,000 - Rs 5,10,000
Maruti Swift - Rs 4,06,000 - Rs 5,20,000

( All prices are Ex-Showroom Cochin)
Source :
The overlap is diagrammatically represented below.

From the price ranges, it is evident that there is a significant overlap among various brands.The question is why Maruti chose to bring out products with similar price ranges. Another question is whether this overlap will create cannibalization among these brands.

There are several reasons for such a line filling strategy. According to Prof. Philip Kotler, firms adopt this strategy for
a. Incremental Profits
b.Satisfy Dealers who complain about lost sales because of missing items in the line
c.Utilize existing capacity
d.Try to become a full-line company
e.Try to plug holes to keep the competitors away. ( Source Marketing Management ,11 edition)

In the case of Maruti, more than one reasons prompt it to fill the line. Maruti Suzuki has tremendous brand equity in the Indian market. Hence having a full line catering to all segments of consumers offers tremendous advantage to the company.
There are customers (like me) who would like to buy a car from Maruti. Having various offerings at various price points keeps that customers happy and make them stick to the company. If I want to upgrade to a bigger car, I have a choice or a A star or a Wagon R or a Ritz or a Swift. In such a scenario, I may not go in to a competitor's product.

Another reason for Maruti's line filling is to keep out the competitors. The company is facing lot of competition in the hatchback segment. At the lower end Nano may give Alto and 800 a run for its money. Santro, i10 and Spark is giving tough competition for mid-range hatchbacks and products like Fabia, Palio,Punto,i20 are giving competition at the higher segment of the hatchback market. Hence to keep the market share intact , Maruti is keeping a full line of brands covering various price points.

When there are brands which has similar price points, it is natural that some sort of cannibalization will happen. When Ritz was launched, it definitely took away some customers of Swift. But Maruti can be happy that the customer has bought its product rather than that of its competitor.
Regarding the profits, Maruti is one of the lowest cost producer in the automobile industry. This low cost base enable the firm to make a profit irrespective of cannibalization.
One of the critical factor that a firm should consider while line filling is the Differentiation. There has to be a just-noticable difference between the offerings other wise consumers will get confused . In the case of Maruti brands, there is a clear differentiation either interms of design or performance between these brands.

Line Filling is the strategy adopted by Maruti Suzuki to retain its grip in the Indian market. But in the Indian Automobile industry , may be only Maruti can do it.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Brand Update : Onida

According to a report in Economic Times, Onida has decided to send its iconic mascot- The Devil to Hell. According to the report, the brand feels that Devil is no longer attractive to the consumers and hence the decision to remove it. The report further says that the brand is working on a new mascot.
The report gave me a sense of Deja_vu. This is not the first time that Mirc Electronics ( brand owners) has scrapped the Devil.
In1998, Onida withdrew the mascot citing the same reasons that they have given now. The explanation given in 1998 was that Indian consumers no longer find Devil, who symbolizes Envy, relevant. So they scrapped the famous tagline " Neighbour's Envy, Owner's Pride " together with the Devil. But ever since it changed the tagline and mascot, Onida never found a powerful positioning .

After six years of drifting around, Onida brought back the Devil with much fanfare in 2004. Media and brand enthusiasts welcomed the move and eagerly awaited the Devil in a changed modern avataar. But the comeback was damp squib. The brand suffered heavily due to ownership issues within the company. There was no brand promotion or new product launches worth talking about since 2004. If at all there were launches, promotions were not sufficient enough.

Now in 2009, Onida is redoing its old strategy.

Onida is facing a marketing problem and not a branding problem. Everything is fine with the brand. People recognize the brand, love its mascot. The issue is on a larger perspective. It needs to concentrate on its entire marketing mix not just the brand elements. Changing the devil and bringing in a new mascot is not going to do any good to Onida.

The Economic Times report suggest that Onida is changing its brand elements because of competition from Korean brands like LG and Samsung. These Korean majors has built its position in Indian market riding on Product strategy rather than on heavy duty brand promotions. Their products were good, reasonably priced and well promoted. In the case of LG and Samsung, nobody really cares about the tagline. For them , the product speaks for itself.

Onida failed because its products failed. I was a die hard Onida fan . I loved my Onida KY Thunder Television. But after that there was nothing remarkable about Onida. No high technology products came from this brand.Onida became successful because the Devil was backed by products that really created envy in others. Now there is nothing to envy about Onida. Last year, I bought an Onida DVD player which boasts about playing scratched DVDs but the product failed miserably.

Now in the consumer durable space, brands are coming out with new advanced products on a monthly basis. Technology keeps changing and most brands are moving with break-neck speed to catch up with consumer expectations. In the case of Television, flat is now old and brands are talking about plasma, LCD etc. What is Onida doing in this space ?

Onida is now in one of the most difficult times. The brand needs to come out with a product that will change the game. Changing the mascot is secondary at this point of time.
Related Post

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Gatsby : Inspired by a Movie

Brand : Gatsby
Company : Mandom Corporation ( Japan)

Brand Analysis Count : 416

I used to notice Gatsby brand of hair gels in beauty salons.I have seldom seen any advertisements of Gatsby but the popularity of this brand among salons often surprised me. This has prompted this small post about this shy brand.
I was really surprised to know that Gatsby is an international brand with its origin in Japan. The brand is owned by Mandom Corporation. Gatsby is a leading men's beauty care brand in Japan.

Gatsby brand was born in July 1978. The most interesting fact about this brand is about the brand name.The brand name was inspired by the movie " The Great Gatsby " starring Robert Redford. ( Read the History here). I think Gatsby is one of the rare brands which derived its brand name from a movie.From a hair gel brand, Gatsby then morphed into a complete beauty care brand for men with wide range of products in Japan.

No information is available about when Gatsby was first launched in India. How ever, the brand have significant popularity among hair stylists . It has to be noted that Gatsby also has a strong retail presence also.Recently Gatsby launched its range of deos in the Indian market.

What is puzzling is the lack of any sort of brand promotion for Gatsby. Internationally this brand is famous for its hair care products. The brand's latest launch of " Moving Rubber " Series of hair gel was a hit across various markets. But this brand has so far being very silent in the Indian market. The competing Indian brands like Brylcream and Parachute After Shower are very aggressive interms of share of voice.

The recent launch of deo range is an indication that Gatsby is getting interested in the Indian market. The men's grooming market in India is witnessing lot of action and the pie is getting larger. We may see some action from this brand also in future.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Brand Update : Kelvinator

Marketing Practice reader Ms Simran asks an interesting question about Kelvinator. She wanted to know about the prospects of rejuvenation of Kelvinator brand.

In my earlier post on Kelvinator, I had predicted (assumed) that the brand will be killed after being acquired by Electrolux. To a certain exte
nt, it was true also because Kelvinator was sidelined for Electrolux brand. There was no brand promotion and the product was also not visible in stores.
Electrolux too had difficulty in surviving the highly competitive Indian consumer durable market. In 2005-06, Electrolux Kelvinator Ltd was acquired by the Videocon group ( source). The acquisition gave Videocon , the rights to use Electrolux brand for five years and Kelvinator brand for unlimited period. ( Source).

My prediction of Kelvinator's death was proved wrong. Videocon had other plans for this brand. The brand was rejuvenated in 2008-2009. Recently I saw the commercial of Kelvinator in one of the local Kerala channel. ( Watch the TVC here : Kelvinator)
The brand retains the famous classic positioning of " The Coolest One".

I think that Videocon is using Kelvinator as a flanker brand . Kelvinator will be the price warrior for the Videocon. Even after all these years, Kelvinator still have lot of brand recall. Vidoecon will just have to create some noise in the media to rejuvenate the brand . I am sure Kelvinator still have lot of potential to succeed in the Indian market.

It is good to see the good old Kelvinator back into the branding world. It is also wonderful to see the brand owners retaining the famous positioning and tagline which made Kelvinator famous.
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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Aliva : Thodi Sharafat, Thodi Shararat

Brand : Aliva
Company : Frito- Lay ( Pepsico Group)
Agency : JWT

Brand Analysis Count : 415

There is a new kid in the block in the Rs 10,000 crore snack food industry. Aliva is the latest launch from Pepsico in the intensely competitive Snack Food Industry. Every one in the branding world is excited about this launch since it is the major(food) brand launch from Pepsico since Kurkure.

Aliva comes in the category of Crackers. Cracker is a new category in the Indian market. The product is a combination of biscuit and Namkeen. Aliva ,if successful, will create a subsegment in the 1500 M ton Indian biscuit industry. According to news reports, the brand is trying to create a new category for itself just like what Kurkure did.Aliva comes in four flavors and is priced at Rs 12 for 60 gms ( introductory offer).

Since Aliva is trying to create a new category, it does not face any immediate brand competition . It faces competition from other categories of snacks . Aliva faces competition from the non-glucose biscuit brands like Britannia 50-50 and Parle Monaco and Sunfeast Snacky. ( read report here). Lays and Bingo also gives this brand a competition since all these brands are in the snack food business.

Aliva has roped in the actress Chitrangda Singh as the brand ambassador . Aliva is currently running its launch TVC across various channels

Watch the TVC here : Aliva

Just like Lays and Bingo, Aliva targets predominately youth and adults . The brand is being positioned as a healthy snack. The brand has adopted the tagline " Thodi Sharafat, Thodi Shararat " roughly translated to " Little Nice, Little Naughty ".

There has been various reactions to the launch ad. Read Afaqs review here and a view of ad man here

Frankly speaking, I think that the launch ad is nothing great to talk about. The theme is not new and there is no big idea. Britannia Bourbon is currently running a campaign similar to Aliva.

The brand could have come out with some clutter breaking stuff but chose to go for a lousy also-ran commercial.The tagline is also nothing to talk about compared to Lay's earlier campaign " No one can eat just one " or Bingo 's " No confusion, Great Combination". The launch ad also does not highlight the core positioning of a healthy snack. There was too much focus on the plot rather than the brand.

Having said that, the high profile media blitz will generate lot of trials.My 5 year old daughter has already demanded one. If the product delivers, then Aliva will just have to ride the wave. Lays became such a blockbuster product because the product delivered.

Aliva is a launch from a very powerful marketer . Hence the brand has a huge support base . It will be interesting to see how Aliva will make a space for itself.
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