Friday, December 30, 2011

Brand Update : 5 Star Lost in Amnesia

5 Star has a special place in the Rs 2000 crore Indian chocolate market. The unique caramel filled chocolate has been a favorite among kids who wanted a legitimate break from the usual chocolate bars. Over the last few years, 5 Star has been adopting a consistent message of " Lost in the taste " but losing the bigger picture as far as positioning and targeting is concerned.
It was in 2009  that 5 Star adopted the positioning of " Jo Khaye , Kho Jaye " meaning "lost in taste " where the basic plot is that the 5 Star lover suffers a temporary amnesia after eating this delicious product. The idea was good as the brand was always claiming superiority in taste and its USP was always the taste. One major change the brand was made was regarding the target group. 5 Star began addressing the adult chocolate lovers just like its counterpart Dairy Milk. All the characters in the ads of 5 Star was grown-ups while the message was universal. 
Then came the two protagonists ,Ramesh and Suresh, who were long-lost friends meeting in a small shop. From then on, 5 Star's entire brand was centered around these two characters. Sadly the quality of the creative has gone alarmingly down and in the name of humor, the entire brand personality was projected akin to idiotic. 

Watch the latest campaign here  : 5 Star Tailor ad
Although the ad was meant to tickle your bone, the protagonists here being  projected as sort of idiots is sad for the brand. In pursuit of humor, the brand forgotten what it wants to convey with respect to brand persona. 
The brand needs to be congratulated for its consistency with the message but it should not get carried away with the message .

Why I am concerned about the portrayal of the main characters is that in the first ad featuring Ramesh and Suresh, both were normal guys meeting each other and unknowingly lost in the taste of 5 Star. But now both these characters are portrayed as idiots ( by their look and behavior) and I feel that without eating 5 Star, they would behave in the same way. 
If these guys reflect the 5 Star users, then the brand has landed itself in a bad position. Although the ordinary consumer may not think as cynically as the author of this blog does, the brand needs to careful in the portrayal of the main characters of the story.
And why forget kids ? 
Related Post

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stop Not : Whatever Happens !

Brand : Stop Not
Company : Perfetti van Melle

Brand Analysis Count : # 505

Perfetti Van Melle ( PVM) the leader in the Indian confectionery market and a master marketer who built brands like Alpenliebe, Centerfresh etc has ventured into Indian snacks market. In its biggest diversification, PVM launched its first brand Stop Not in the Indian market. 

Indian snacks market has been a lucrative market thanks to the impulsive great Indian middleclass. Indian consumers has always pampered themselves with  homemade snacks and marketers lured them to switched to packaged snacks. ET has pegged the Indian snack market at Rs 12000 crore ( source) and Hindu Business line puts a figure of  Rs 3000 crore for the packaged snack market . The market is highly competitive and has seen many brands burning out because of intense competition. 

Stop Not is launched in two formats - Stop Not FOFS - which is a filled snack and Stop Not GOLZ which is in the form of rings.The product is made for India using rice and wheat flour and comes in Indian flavors like Yummy Tomato, Khatti Meethi, Spicy South etc.

The main differentiator for  the brand is its packaging and product attribute of   "filled and not fried ". The packaging really is clutter-breaking and gives lot of visibility to the brand.The packaging can also repel many  consumers. The brand has tried to emulate the packaging strategy adopted by Hippo brand of snacks.

Naturally a product launch from a company like PVM evokes lot of interest among the marketers. Marketing enthusiasts look forwards to some clutter-breaking campaigns from a star marketer like PVM. 
Stop Not brand is currently running its launch campaign for its GOLZ variant.

Watch the ad here : Stop Not Golz

The launch ad is nothing but a complete letdown from PVM. Nothing is new in the ad that will create any meaningful impact for the brand. The concept of " taste to die for " has been raped many times by many brands. Wonder why PVM chose to air such a commoditized idea  as its launch campaign.
Stop Not has chosen the tagline " Whatever Happens " relating to addiction to taste. It is interesting to note that the brand is trying to take the earlier positioning - " No one can eat just one " of Lays. Lays had discarded this position and Stop Not is trying to capture that vacant space. But the creative was a big letdown in this regard . 

The clutter-breaking packaging may induce lot of trials by the consumers but the sad fact is that the brand campaign has failed to create any excitement about the brand. Let us wait and see " What ever that happens " to the brand.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Brand Update : Your Time, Your Place, Your Moods

Moods, the Rs 40 crore brand from Hindustan Lifecare Ltd , is back in media with a clutter breaking campaign. The campaign " Your Time, Your Place, Your Moods "  has  already being well received among the marketing community.
Moods' last campaign  " My Man " had also received rave reviews from marketing analysts across the country. The only doubt is whether the brand  hurriedly took the previous positioning platform without extracting maximum juice out of it.
The new campaign shows various characters like a plumber, mountaineer, museum care-taker discovering evidence that moods users were there  in those 'most unlikely ' places . The surprised look of these characters give the punch to the new tagline " Your Time, Your Place, Your Moods ".

Watch the ad here  : moods 

The advertisement campaign is an attempt by the brand to bring humor into its communication. A drastic change in the brand's approach since most of the earlier campaigns were sensual in nature. The ads are refreshing and fun to watch and also gives lot of creative headroom for future campaigns . According to reports, the brand campaign is also aimed at the global markets which is a key focus for this brand. Moods is exported to more than 40 countries and in some middle east nations, the brand is a market leader. 

Condom brands are lazy marketers. The brand campaigns are sporadic and it seems that no brand is specifically interested in becoming a category leader.Gone are the days when brands like Kamasutra blazed the category with some bold advertising.

The current campaign of Moods is aimed at improving the brand recall . Although there is a significant change in the brand's personality, it does not warrant further analysis since the brand is not aggressive in the promotion front. Positioning strategy lacks relevance if it is not backed by consistent promotional activity. The changes in the positioning of Moods will not help in developing a lasting impression in the consumer's mind. How ever the condom marketers now are more interested in promoting brand recall rather than developing a powerful positioning. 
To be fair to the brand, the new ads are clutter-breaking and watchable. Without venturing into sensuality, the brand is able to convey its message. The elderly couple creates a definite iconic picture to this new idea. The new tagline is also good and packs lot of scope for further creative executions. Hope the brand stays with this idea for some time.The new campaign does its job of increasing the brand's visibility and recall which will be there till the brand decides to go back into hibernation. Kudos to the creative team behind the job.

Related Brand
Moods : My Man

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brand Update : Bournvita Drifts in its Positioning

Bournvita is one of the major players in the Rs 4000 crore Indian Health Drink market. The brand has a market share of around 15% according to Business Standard. The brand has been a darling for kids who liked the chocolate flavored drinks.
Cadbury has been nurturing the brand well focusing on kids and their affinity towards good taste. The brand got initial traction in the market by focusing on the chocolate taste. It further reinforced the taste factor by associating with its fellow brand  5 Star.
Later the brand went for a laddering exercise and brought in the concept of confidence. The positioning worked really well for the brand since confidence was a very important attribute as far as kids ( and parents) are concerned. The brand backed the laddering up with the creation of Bournvita Confidence Academy and followed it up with a media blitzkrieg.

2011 saw a marked difference in the positioning of Bournvita. The brand began drifting away from confidence based positioning. Early 2011 saw the brand professing the concept of " Prepare to Win " proposition. The brand adopted the tagline " Tayari Jeet Ki " meaning - Preparing to Win.
The ads were beautifully made and explained the concept beautifully. 
Watch the ad here : Bournvita Judo Ad.
Besides the change in positioning, the brand's primary audience ( protagonist) also changed. Rather than focusing on Kids, the brand directly began addressing the Mother. Kids began to play the supporting role in the advertisement. The brand began to move into the way of Horlicks and Complan where the principal character in the campaigns are mothers and not kids.

Now in late 2011, the brand made another significant change in the positioning . The brand discarded every thing it did in the past and began talking like Horlicks. In the recent campaign, the brand began talking about calcium and the script of the ad is almost the copy of Horlicks' ad. More over the brand has now the tagline " Badhaye Doodh Ki Shakthi " which is strikingly the same as the latest Horlicks campaign.
Watch the ad here : Bournvita Calcium
And compare it with Horlicks ad here

I have never seen anybody asking questions like " Calcium ke liye kya karthe ho ? " , Vitamin C ke liye kya karthe ho ??? It looks totally out of synch with the characters in the TVC.

Am not sure whether it is sheer coincidence or a competitive move. What ever it is both the brands will suffer because of the same talk. More importantly Bournvita will suffer the most because it ditched its earlier positioning in favor of the Milk based positioning.
Another interesting factor is that in the ad , there is no character representing the user ie kids. It is one of those rare occasions where Bournvita ads are without kids. 
The absence of kids in the ads and focus on ingredients mark a major shift in the marketing strategy of Bournvita. By talking in the same language of the market leader Horlicks, the brand is trying to directly attack Horlicks which commands more than 50% of the market hoping to expand its base. But this move is at the expense of the positioning of Bournvita. 
Related Brand

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Brand Update : Pureit Ups The Ante

HUL's first foray into the consumer durable market- Pureit is on an aggressive mode. The brand which was launched in 2004 has taken the battle into the premium segment of the water purifier market with the launch of Pureit Marvella. 

Pureit is a classic case of a brand exploiting an important need-gap in the market. Indian water-purifier market worth around Rs 1200 crore is evolving, growing at 15%. The marketing of water purifiers were skewed towards urban markets of India. Only 8 % of the Indian consumers use water purifier which indicates the poor penetration of this product category into Indian households. The major hindrance for this being high price, installation difficulties, electricity consumption and lack of awareness. Eureka Forbes pioneered the growth of this category in the Indian market. Now this category has lot of players and  new product-lines like RO water purifiers has been introduced.

The major players in the electricity -powered water purifier market however ignored the mass market focusing more on the margin rather than volume. These products which were priced at Rs 5000 upwards were beyond the reach of the average middleclass customers. Even though many such consumers were aware of the health benefits of a water-purifier, it was never in the priority list of high value purchases.
Sensing the opportunity, HUL launched Pureit range of battery operated storage-type purifiers at a price range of Rs 990- Rs 1250. These purifiers did not necessitated any installations which was a definite advantage for those who lived in rented houses. The brand was widely tested in South India before the national launch . According to reports, Pureit has already sold more than 1.3 million units becoming the largest selling water-purifier in India in volume-terms. The brand also created a new category of  non-electric storage- water purifier market which is now worth around Rs 300 crore and growing very fast than the electric category.
One of the problems that Pureit faced during the launch was the doubt about brand's efficacy in the purifying business. HUL is new to this industry and not an expert so consumers rightly doubted the effectiveness of its product . To counter that, Pureit ran a very highly advertised " 1 crore challenge " to convince the consumer that its product is more effective than the competing brands. 
After establishing its name in the mass market, Pureit is now targeting the market-creator Eureka Forbes in an aggressive frontal attack by launching the premium brand Pureit Marvella. Marvella is also a a non-electric purifier with storage capability priced at Rs 7000. The brand also launched its Reverse Osmosis water purifier Puerit Marvella RO at a price point of Rs 13500. These sub-brands directly competes with Eureka Forbes's major product-lines. 
The entry of HUL into the Eureka Forbe's territory was marked with lot of legal fights between the brands because of advertising claims and counter-claims. Now the fight is in the field with both the brands trying to out market each other.
HUL in its typical FMCG style is launching Marvella range with a celebrity endorsement. The brand has roped in Farhan Akther and Praachi Desai as the brand ambassador. The campaign is now running featuring these celebrities. 
Watch the ad here : Pureit marvella
The USP of the brand is its advanced warning system which alerts the consumer to change the RO membrane before it stops working.
The entry of HUL has virtually changed the dynamics of the water-purifier market in India. The market creator was totally out-maneuvered by HUL. Eureka Forbes decided not to counter HUL's foray into mass market because of lack of margin. In strategic terms , the decision made sense because low priced products tend to affect both margins and brand -equity. But Forbes failed to see the shift in the market and the growth of the non-electric segment to become the fastest growing segment. The popularity of the mass market segment also gave confidence for HUL to enter the market of Eureka Forbes. Eureka Forbes countered the HUL's entry by lowering the price of its base models. But HUL is such a formidable player that Eureka Forbes may need all its marketing strength to fight this giant.
Related Brand

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Brand Update : Indica Vista Goes Sedan Class

Brand Indica got a big boost recently by the launch of the new Tata Indica Vista . The new Vista comes with a spruced up looks and classy interiors packed with goodies. While the competition is hotting up in the premium hatchback market in India, Tata Motors is leaving no stones unearthed to regain its position in the Indian car market. Tata Motors launched its Vista product-line in 2008. The attempt was to strengthen the brand's foothold in the growing premium hatchback segment. 
Although Vista was launched as a sub-brand of Indica, the car was built on an entirely new platform and the refinement and the quality was entirely superior to that of Indica V2. However, Tata Motors decided the new launch to be under the umbrella of Indica brand. This move however was faulty and the response to the premium offering from Indica product-line found reluctant takers despite being value-for-money package.

This year, the brand relaunched the Indica Vista with lot of refinement and tweaking in the pricing. The frequent fuel price hike proved to be a boon to the predominantly diesel focused Indica range. 
The new Indica Vista  finds its point of parity with the sedans. The brand compares itself with a sedan and tries to convey the message that the car is  " Like Sedan".
Watch the ad here : Sedan Class
The new Indica Vista has the tagline " Sedan Class " reinforcing the new positioning. The ad is very sensible and conveys the message quite forcefully. The brand's idea of exemplar comparison with another category is quite effective in communicating its USP of better space and comfort.

During the early months of 2011, there were several reports of the plan of Tata Motors to make the Vista brand independent. The visibility of Indica brand name has been made insignificant and Vista is made prominent. So technically, Vista has become the primary brand in this case. The question is why Tata Motors is reluctant to let go of the Indica endorsement of Vista and make Vista a completely independent brand ? The damage has already made by associating an value-for-money brand ( Indica) with a premium offering ( Vista). Vista is going to suffer by continuous association with Indica brand. Other wise, the brand should be priced significantly lower than the other premium competing brands. 

The confusion regarding the branding of the premium hatchback offering from Tata Motors is evident in the case of Vista. The initial mistake was to stretch the Indica brand to a premium offering. It is very difficult for a VFM brand to build an equity in the premium segment. Second was the reluctance to make Vista an independent brand together with the fact that the premium offering had lot of similarities in features with the VFM offering. On hindsight, I feel that Tata Motors lost an opportunity to build a premium hatchback brand Vista. Three years is pretty long lost years in branding world. Would be interesting to see how the New Tata Indica Vista going to play up in the market. The timing has never been so perfect for a diesel car launch. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mederma : Leave Your Scars Behind

Brand : Mederma
Company : Win Medicare Ltd ( Licensed from Merz Pharma)

Brand Analysis Count : # 504

Mederma is a globally renowned brand for scar treatment. The brand from Germany based Merz Pharma  is marketed in India by Win Medicare Ltd under licensing agreement. The brand was launched in India in 2005. 

Indian skincare market is pegged between Rs 4000-5000 crore characterized by heavy competition and micro-segmentation. All the major global brands have entered this highly lucrative market. Another less visible but huge market is the specialty skincare market otherwise known as Dermatology market. According to Express Pharma, Indian dermatology market is worth around $ 513 million (roughly Rs 2500 crore) . This dermatology market consists of prescription products and OTC products and most of this products are niche products.

Mederma is such a specialty product with expertise in treating scars. An interesting fact about this product is that it is derived from an extract of Onion. The brand currently upped its share of voice in the Indian market with a series of campaign highlighting the product efficacy. 
Watch the ad here : Mederma Kid
                             : Mederma Adult
The ad is simple and convey the message in a very effective manner. Most of the Indian consumers worried about scars but not aware about a possibility of scar management using creams. The brand's aim is to build awareness about such an option . 
Mederma does not claim to remove those scar marks permanently but helps make scar less noticeable.  Mederma has the tagline " Leave Your Scar Behind ". The tagline is the same globally for this brand. The main positioning of the brand is based on  regaining confidence and self-esteem of people faced with this issue. Scars, acne, pimples etc can cause a loss of confidence and social withdrawal in many people. This issue is growing since our locus of control has shifted outside and people are getting more and more worried about their image and social acceptance. Marketers are adding to it through campaigns highlighting the need for looking good, fair and beautiful. Mederma's pitch looks appropriate in the Indian context. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Parx : Live Easy

Brand : Parx
Company : Raymond's Apparels

Brand Analysis Count :  # 503

Parx - the premium readymade casual wear brand from Raymonds Ltd is in a relaunching mode. This Rs.185 crore brand from Raymonds wants to play an aggressive role in the hyper competitive ready-to-wear category in the Indian market.

Parx was launched in 1999 as a premium ready to wear brand targeting the highly mobile young corporate customer. The brand was targeting the users for their after- office hour dress requirements. Despite the backing from one of India's reputed textile brand and perceived high quality & expertise, Parx did not quite make it to the big league. It was dwarfed by the success of brands like Color Plus ( which was later acquired by Raymonds) and Allen Solly.

The Indian ready-to-wear market is highly lucrative in terms of market size of approximately Rs 24000 crore. The casual wear market is expected to be around Rs 7200 crore.  
Despite the fact that Parx belonged to one of the most respected textile houses , the brand did not quite caught the fancy of the consumer. As a consumer, I found the brand very pricey and failed to give any meaningful justification to the pricing either interms of brand or product features. Over a period of time, the brand also failed to keep itself aspirational due to increasing competition from global brands.

Parx was also laid-back in its branding efforts. The brand owners was not quite clear about the positioning of Parx. Neither the brand had any meaningful positioning. The brand was neglected by Raymonds and most of the promotional investment was given to the flagship brand Raymonds and Park Avenue.The brand was perceived to be just another casual wear brand from a reputed manufacturer. This lack of a clear positioning failed the brand to justify its premium pricing. Having said that, Parx has a good fan following in tier II cities. The brand is pushed back in metros and large cities by the competition. 
The promotions of Parx was also very erratic. I don't remember any work of this brand nor any of its taglines. This lack of proper investment on brand promotion also weakened the brand's position in this highly cluttered market.
In 2011, the brand went in for a relaunch. The brand redesigned its logo and also introduced a brand- symbol  :- a Racing Stag. This symbol will be in all garments from the brand. The brand also launched its first ever television campaign since its birth.
Watch the tvc here; Parx
Parx now has a new tagline " Live Easy ". The brand is focusing on building a personality traits of independence, attitude, casualness, freedom  through these commercials. The use of foreign models aims to bring an aspirational  touch to the brand. The attempt is to brand ladder to the higher attribute of freedom rather than product characteristics.
The new effort is commendable but little too late for a brand like Parx. The positioning idea of Live Easy is nothing new and the same theme is used by various brands across categories. The brand lost precious 12 years in creating a space for itself in the Indian consumer's mind. The brand now needs to tell compelling stories of the brand attributes it is trying to tell. It needs a lot of catching up to do. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Brand Update : Horlicks Extends to Breakfast Segment

In pursuit of the stated objective of making Horlicks a megabrand, GSK announced the launch of Horlicks Oats. According to ET, packaged, ready-to-cook oats market is worth around Rs 200 crore and growing at 25% . Horlicks expects to leverage its equity in the new product category also.
From healthy malt drink, Horlicks has come a long way. Now  the brand has become so big and diversified, there is no point in criticizing these extension. ( one can only pray for its survival).
Regarding the brand extension towards oats, the existing health based brand association of Horlicks will be a huge advantage . According to academic researches, consumers evaluate brand extension on the basis of these parameters - 
Brand loyalty towards parent brand
Confidence of consumers about the competence of parent brand in the new category
Perceived quality 
Positive brand associations 
Perceived fit between parent brand and the extensions
Attitude of consumers towards the brand.

For Horlicks, because of its rich heritage and product performance, it scores well in most of the above parameters. Hence the chances of consumer trial will be high compared to any new brand.Brand dilution will happen for sure since the brand is trying to leverage its expertise in too many categories. 

There are also chances of the oats to be viewed as a Kid's product since Horlicks in India traditionally targeted kids. This kid's association may prevent many adults to switch to the brand. However Horlicks will be addressing this issue in the launch ad. My feeling is that Horlicks oats will be targeting the family as a unit rather than adults.

Related Brand

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Brand Update : Havells Ventures into Small Appliances

Havells brand which made everyone look up with its clutter-breaking  " Shock Laga " ad has diversified into small appliances. Indian small appliances market is worth around Rs 5000 crore with premium segment contributing around Rs 1000 crore ( Source : Business Standard)

Havells is now running its commercials announcing the launch of the domestic appliances. By the theme of the ads, it is assumed that the foray is targeting the premium segment. Indian domestic appliances market is highly fragmented and intensely competitive. Brands like Philips, Bajaj  etc dominates the market. There are also local brands which have powerful equity in certain product-lines. Havells have already marked its presence in fans and water heater product categories.
Havells would be hoping that it can leverage the equity of its electrical products into the new product range. This time also , there is no specific brand value or USP that Havells is trying to project although subtly the ads try to position the brand as futuristic or technologically superior. In some ads, Havells is displaying the tagline " Future Ready " implying the futuristic technology that its product has. Having said that , the ads are able to convey the premiumness of the brand quite effectively.
I still see the absence of a corporate tagline for Havells as one of its major branding mistake. Since the brand is trying to be an umbrella brand endorsing products across categories, it is important to create a positioning platform for the corporate brand. Hope that the brand will get serious about its parent brand's positioning.

Related brand
Havells- Shock Laga Kya

Monday, October 31, 2011

Brand Update : Sure taps men's deo market

Unilever's global brand Sure which was launched in 2010 has launched a new variant Sure Men's Deo in the Indian market. The brand is a pioneer in developing the anti-perspirant deo category in India.Sure was initially launched as a women's deo. The brand initially imported its global commercials in India and later adopted a local communication strategy roping in celebrity endorsers like Bollywood actress Asin. 
Indian deo market is worth Rs 900 crore and growing at a pace of 25% ( source). 70% of this market is men's deo. Hence it make sense for Sure to launch a variant tapping this large segment.
The brand variant took the celebrity endorsement route by roping in the action hero Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador. The brand is running a television campaign featuring the star.
Watch the ad here : Sure men
Thankfully the brand did not take the " seducing women" route and chose a rational positioning instead. The variant follows the same positioning of the parent brand - No Sweat.
The USP of Sure men's deo is that it works even at 58degree Celsius highlighting its efficacy in relatively hot Indian weather conditions. There is nothing much to talk about the creative part of the ad since it follows the same stereotyped typical Akshay Kumar commercial.
As a consumer, I feel that the anti-perspirant brands needs to take consumers in to confidence regarding the health-related worry of such products. A lot of consumers have  a worry whether anti-perspirants are good for health because it stops the formation of sweat which is essential for the regulation of body temperatures. Many consumers are shying away from the use of anti-perspirant because of this worry.
The deo market is getting crowded with lot of players vying for a pie of this growing category. Sure is trying to standout of the crowd by focusing on its " effectiveness". The endorsement from Akshay Kumar gives a definite advantage for this brand for sure.

Related Brand
Sure deo

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Brand Update : Rasna brings back " I Love You Rasna " Tagline

After around 5 years of messing up and experimenting with various taglines and positioning, Rasna has reverted to its original and famous tagline " I Love You Rasna " in 2011. The brand is now running a campaign for Rasna Fruitplus with the original tagline.

Watch the ad here : Rasna 2011 ad 
The brand from 2006 has been unnecessarily dabbling with its taglines and positioning. The change in the classic tagline was  prompted by increased competition and to attempt to attract youth towards the brand. The tagline of Rasna was first changed to " Relish a Gain ". Then came the tagline " Taste the madness".The campaign theme was also drastically altered. The cute girl child which formed the protagonist was changed. The target segment was also changed to include adults.  The brand was totally confused as to how to go about attracting the youth who were hooked to aerated softdrinks. Rasna could have attempted this using a sub-brand rather than changing the parent brand's positioning strategy. 
One good thing that the brand did was to focus on the health platform. But the communication during these years were totally below average ( personal opinion ). Another smart marketing practice adopted by Rasna was to launch products at interesting price points like 50 paisa, Rs.5 Rs.10,Rs.15, Rs.20 to Rs 85. The brand came out with smaller packs, Sachets and a packaging innovation like Rasna Sticks at Rs 5. These price points acted as a strong entry barrier for the competing brands.
Rasna is the market leader in the power-segment of Rs 1000 crore Indian prepared beverages market. The powdered beverages segment is valued around Rs 400-450 crore. Source : Business Standard.  The market has witnessed lot of competition but these competitors were not able to make a big dent in the market share of Rasna. Even the globally renowned brand like Tang was not able to make its mark in the Indian market. 
The brand hold tremendous recall and equity in the market and is the preferred choice to consumers thanks to the earlier brand building efforts. The kids who relished the " I love you Rasna " era has now grown up and the brand needs to establish the same connect with the next generation. Unlike the earlier Rasna generation, the new kids are growing up with Pepsi, Coke and Lays. 
In the last few years, the brand was trying to woo the so called " Youth " towards itself and messing up the brand. Afaqs Reports say that the brand earlier desperately wanted to break out of the earlier positioning worrying that it will be perceived as a kid's brand . I don't understand why the brand wanted to breakout from kid's market ( which is sufficiently large). In that process, the brand went into a positioning mess. 
How ever, Rasna did many right things in the other marketing mix elements. The brand priced itself smartly, launched many variants including squash and glucose powder , strengthened its distribution reach . 
Now the brand got back to the old ways. I am not sure about the reasons for this reversal of positioning strategy. How ever, it brings back the old memories for sure. 

Related Brand.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Brand Update : Blackberrys wants to Go Sharp

India's premium textile brand- Blackberrys has been relaunched with a new positioning. The brand which earlier expressed itself as 'Sharp, Smooth and Sure ' now decided to be Sharp. Blackberrys is now running a television campaign with the new positioning.
Watch the new ad here : Blackberrys Go Sharp
The brand has not gone for a major repositioning exercise but has attempted to tweak its positioning and focus on one core brand value. The brand Blackberrys had three brand values which formed its positioning strategy. The key attributes were Sharp, Smooth and Sure ( Intelligent, Classy/Fashionable and Confident). Now the brand decided to focus on one attribute ie Sharpness in the brand communication. The tagline of Blackberrys has been changed to " Go Sharp". 

Having said that , the brand has not fully removed the other attributes. The new campaign also touches on fashion and confidence attribute but the most visible communication is anchored around ' sharpness'. According to a newsreport , the brand owners feel that the earlier positioning is too lengthy for the consumers to understand. Hence there arouse a need for a shorter positioning statement . Hence from the three attributes , the brand decided to chose to Go Sharp. The thinking is very correct because there is no need for a brand to communicate all its brand values through its positioning statement.  The positioning statement would ideally focus on the most important of the brand value ( or attribute). 
The current ad went above my head, and  I found it difficult to decipher the exact meaning conveyed by the brand through this advertisement. Thankfully this report gave lot of insights into the current campaign. As per the report, the protagonist represent the sharpest mind who is chased by the paparazzi .   

" Go Sharp " is a nice tagline and the concept and thinking behind the branding is also good .The ad also aims to be clutter-breaking ( although I couldn't get the idea). The problem now most textile brands face is the clutter. All brands now talk about their protagonists to be the best in the world. Hence Blackberrys ' current pitch will be lost in the sea of celebrities and super-human brand ambassadors. 
Related Brand

Friday, October 21, 2011

Brand Update : RIP Tata Indicom ( 2006-2011)

Tata Indicom is dead. The CDMA brand from Tata Teleservices is going to be integrated ( migrated / replaced/exorcised) to Tata Docomo. According to various newsreports, the Indicom brand will be killed and the entire mobile telephony and related services will be brought under the Tata Docomo brand. 
By bringing the entire services under a common brand, Tata Teleservices will be able to reduce the marketing costs and avoid brand confusion. 
But a dead brand is a dead brand. For me every dead brand is a failed brand. 

The new move also marks the larger role played by NTT Docomo in the mobile services JV with the Tata. The branding to Tata Docomo shows the prominence of DoCoMo brand which is the primary brand and Tata brand name is being used as an endorser brand. 
Tata Indicom as a brand was not able to create any strong image in the consumer mindspace. The poor quality ads and confused positioning put the brand way behind aggressive competitors like Vodafone, Idea and Airtel. But compared to Tata Indicom , DoCoMo is an aggressive brand and the promotions are clutter-breaking. By bringing all services under a single brand especially in a low-margin, highly competitive market like cellular services make immense business sense. 

CDMA services also did not quite clicked in the Indian market and consumers were not convinced about the technological supremacy of CDMA over GSM. Now that Tata Teleservices got a foothold over the GSM services through the Docomo JV, the relevance of Tata Indicom's CDMA services has diminished considerably. I wouldn't be surprised if the entire CDMA services will be put in the backburner by Tata Teleservices. 

RIP Tata Indicom ..

Related Brand

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Vodafone Blue : For Facebook Lovers

Brand : Vodafone Blue
Company :Vodafone

Brand Analysis Count : 502

Vodafone Blue is a Facebook dedicated mobile phone from Vodafone. The brand is thoroughly interesting because of its unique positioning. Vodafone Blue was launched in September 2011 targeting the ultimate Facebook fan. 
It is not unusual for a mobile service provider to dabble into the hardware . But most of such launches went largely unnoticed by consumer. This bundling of hardware and software although very much popular in the Western market is not yet being popularized in the Indian market. 
Vodafone Blue is manufactured by Alcatel and is co-branded by Vodafone and Facebook. This brand is an example of co-branding between two service providers. India is witnessing a huge surge in social networking usage. Facebook is leading the pack with an estimated 33 million Indian users. Vodafone is a leading player in the Indian mobile telephony with an estimated subscriber base of around 143 million. So coming together to tap synergies is the aim of this co-branding exercise.

Since most of the mobile service providers are grappling with the issue of wafer-thin margins, data usage is being viewed as a revenue generation & survival opportunity by most players. The rise of popularity of social networking sites provides ample opportunity for mobile service providers to gain revenue and also increase subscriber base. Vodafone's interest in this venture will be to increase its data usage subscriptions. For Facebook, India is a crucial market both interms of users and also advertisers. Partnering with a major player like Vodafone will bring in more users and importantly more usage of its site. So on paper , everything sounds logical and good.

Vodafone Blue's USP is its tight integration with Facebook. The product can be said as a Facebook phone and the product is aiming to give a pure Facebook experience to the consumers. This is not the first brand to come out with a Facebook phone. Earlier HTC has launched HTC ChaCha brand with a dedicated  Facebook button. Vodafone Blue has product features like - dedicated F button, FB is always working on the background, easy sharing of photos and messages etc.

The big question is whether Indian consumer needs such a product that is heavily integrated to only one social networking site ? The product is a niche but only time will tell whether this product is going to have enough takers to justify its existence. It is true that Facebook is hugely popular in India but will a consumer be willing to shell out Rs4500 for a dedicated phone is  a doubtful proposition.
There are many good things about this phone. The hardware is decent so are the looks. But there are many other phones in the same price range that offers many more features than Vodafone Blue. Hence for an average consumer, Vodafone Blue may not be a compelling buy. 

Another interesting facet of this brand is its communication. The brand is running a high profile tvc for its launch.
Watch the ad here : Vodafone Blue 
The ad conceived and executed by Ogilvy  is being shot as a Broadway Musical. This is the first time that an Indian brand has taken up a Broadway musical theme. The ad was interesting as a first-watch then became too long and boring. 
Although the ad had some elements of creative brilliance, the purpose of the ad baffled me. Is that ad for Facebook or Vodafone Blue ? Do Facebook needs such a campaign explaining FB features ? Why such a long ad failed talk any single feature about the phone ?? 
According Business Standard,  the brand is targeting non-metro consumers. The brand feels that the next social networking wave will come from these tier II cities. In that case the advertisement is way off the mark. Secondly, the consumers who already are the users of FB need not be re-educated about FB features. So an expensive advertisement made to show creative brilliance and no strategy.

According to the reports, Vodafone is offering one year unlimited FB access to the buyers of Vodafone Blue. The phone comes locked with the service providers and the consumer has to chose a pre-paid plan for this phone to enjoy the FB services. 
I am no expert in forecasting the success of brand launches. Vodafone Blue is an interesting experiment in the social networking space. A dedicated social networking phone without over-focus on any one social networking site would have worked better, but here in the case of Vodafone Blue, it is a co-branding initiative. Time will tell whether this experiment was worth it or not. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Brand Update : Scooty becomes Sinful

Last year saw a dramatic change in the brand personality of Scooty- the Scooterette brand from TVS.The brand is attempting a makeover to woo the young Indian consumer. In that process, the brand changed its entire persona to cater to the new target segment.
The change in the brand personality of Scooty also reflects its change in its targeting strategy. The brand is now targeting a much younger consumers. Earlier, Scooty was targeting lady consumers who were looking for a personal transport to office/college. The brand's initial communication was catered to young women who just started going to office. The message of a successful independent women was the positioning platform adopted by the brand.The brand also tried to ladder up using " Empowerment " as the core value. 
Last year, the brand went in for a complete makeover. The brand has become much younger, colorful and naughty. This was a drastic change from the earlier positioning based on style and power. The brand also rationalized its portfolio  to three sub-brands - Scooty Pep, Scooty Teenz and Scooty Streak. 

For Scooty Pep, the brand has made it more youthful and colorful by changing the advertising strategy. The brand has adopted the new tagline " Go Babelicious ". The brand campaign features the new age girl with the so-called bold attitude. The brand message is " Do your own thing, girls ". To support the new positioning, the brand has launched more colorful variants. 
Watch the campaign here :Go Babelicious
The brand is now running another brand campaign for its Streak  sub-brand. Scooty Streak was launched in 2009. The brand was aimed at young girls with more styling and colors. The brand also introduced additional features for the Streak . Scooty Streak used the ( then ) tennis sensation Sania Mirza as the brand ambassador.The styling was the key differentiator for Streak at that time. 
This year, Scooty became more bold for its sub-brand. The brand is currently running a campaign for Streak called " Sinfully Black ".
Watch the ad here : Sinfully Black 
The new campaign is a big shift in the overall brand personality of Scooty. From a positioning based more on rational aspects like features and style, the brand moved to a kind of hedonistic form of advertising. In the Sinfully Black campaign, the brand is featuring seven sins -
The brand is running ads for each of these sins. The brand is clearly targeting the new urban youth and is following the clich├ęd  image of the young urban Indian consumer. Most of the brands are now using a kind of a rebel, indulgent, sexy, naughty, independent image to portray the Indian youngsters. Scooty Streak is no different. So from a " empowered, rational " personality, the brand has moved to a naughty, indulgent, personality. For the campaign , the brand uses foreign models which again is to position itself as an aspirational brand. 
What I liked about the campaign is the use of seven sins in the campaign which makes the ads different and interesting. The use of positioning statement " Sinfully Black " is also different and I think the brand has done away with other color choices for Streak and is now focusing on black Streak with colorful graphics. This also is something that is not seen in campaigns targeting ladies. Earlier Bajaj Pulsar had launched a campaign for Black Pulsar 180cc. 
Another reason for the Sinfully Black campaign is to make the sub-brand relevant and different from Scooty Pep. Since Scooty Pep has also changed its targeting towards younger consumers, the Streak sub-brand will be occupying the same mental space with Scooty Pep. So by relaunching Scooty Streak with focus on black color + new personality, the company has effectively differentiated the two sub-brands from each other ( atleast in image).
The new campaigns of Scooty marks another interesting change for this brand. Scooty has been a market leader in this category for long . The brand is careful in making itself interesting to the TG. This time, the brand smartly uses promotional strategies to keep the interest alive in the market. 
Related Brand

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tata Grande : Size Matters

Brand : Grande
Company : Tata Motors

Brand Analysis Count : 501

Another Indian brand has moved from a sub-brand status to an Independent brand. Tata Motors has upgraded the Grande brand to an independent brand status delinking it from Sumo Brand. Tata Sumo Grande was launched in 2008. the brand was expected to raise the sagging fortune of Tata Sumo.
Tata Sumo which was launched in 1994 was a poster boy in the Multi-Utility Vehicle segment. The brand became hugely popular in the Taxi segment .
 But the launch of Innova, Scorpio, Xylo etc soon began to eat into the share of Sumo. Soon the brand began to be perceived as dated. Coupled with the bad PR and image about Tata Cars, the consumer interest began to shift to new MUVs and SUVs.
Tata Sumo Grande was launched as an attempt to shift the consumer's interest back to Tata MUVs. The Grande design was very different from Sumo and the positioning of Sumo grande was also different from the Sumo's positioning. Tata Sumo Grande had the tagline " More than Meets the Eye " focusing on the personality of the brand owner. 

In 2011, Tata Motors decided to make Grande brand independent. The new brand was soft launched and the brand is currently running the launch campaign in various channels.
Watch the campaign here : Tata Grande

The new brand has the tagline " Size Matters ". From the tagline itself it can be assumed that the brand is 
positioning itself as the most spacious MUV ( common sense !). Grande is also hoping to be perceived as a family car , rather than a commercial vehicle. The brand is priced at Rs 7.5 lakh +.

In one of my posts, I had criticized the Tata Motor's strategy of launching Grande under the Sumo brand. Now that that error was rectified, it needs to be seen whether consumers will perceive Grande as different from Sumo. My judgement is that it will be difficult since that association is already being made. So the task for Tata Motors is to put Grande out of the Sumo association as quickly as possible. Interestingly Grande is focusing on the USP - Size which is also the same USP of Sumo.  The brand has been priced competitively but Tata Safari is also priced in the same range so it has to be seen whether these two brands will compete with each other .
The launch of Grande is a move to strengthen the MUV portfolio of Tata Motors which suffered heavily because of sophisticated competing products. Sumo although was a well accepted product was rather getting old in terms of product and image. Tata Motors was not aggressive in making radical product innovations on Sumo or its image to counter competitors like Mahindra and Toyota. Tata Grande is expected to complement Sumo Victa in its fight against the sophisticated competitors. 

Image wise, Grande's launch campaign has done nothing. The ad is very basic and rational and will appeal more to the taxi segment rather than family segment. How ever the pricing and the spruced up interiors will definitely put Grande in advantage over its competitors. The brand could have burned the market if it had priced it less than Rs 7 Lakh. Tata Grande should have aimed at disruption and not incremental value addition since the market is mature and highly competitive. Mahindra is currently doing that with its XUV 500. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Brand Update : Parachute Extends to Skincare

In a significant move, Parachute - the flagship coconut oil brand from Marico has extended itself to skincare. Recently Parachute launched its new brand extension- Parachute Advansed Body Lotion. This is a major brand extension from Parachute since its After Shower hair cream launch.

According to newspaper reports, this category extension is to de-risk the brand's dependence on the hair oil segment . The move to launch body lotion also marks a significant shift in the brand's positioning and its image. Parachute now will have to shed its close association with hair oil segment and move to another set of brand attributes and image. 
Parachute is currently running its launch campaign across various media.
Watch the Parachute ad here : Parachute Body Lotion

The ad is very sensuous in nature  trying to convey the message of soft skin that tempts you to touch it again and again. The brand extension has used the tagline " Love Dobara ". The idea and the theme of the campaign is not new. The concept of  a husband rediscovering his love for his wife has been used many a times in Indian advertising for various product categories. Parachute body lotion's campaign hence was not able to make any creative distinction in the launch campaign. The ad also raised some eyebrows among certain consumers owing to the overdose of sensuality in this ad. The use of hedonistic advertising is becoming very popular in the personal care category in recent times.

The brand has retained its focus on coconut based ingredient in this product. The brand is claiming to have 100% natural moisturizers promising a smooth skin. More than the promise, Parachute Advansed Body Lotion is using its price to lure the consumers to it. The brand is priced very competitively at Rs 99 for 250 ml which makes it one of the most value-for-money body lotion available in the market. I think the brand has priced itself to success . Smart Pricing + Existing Brand equity  will ensure that consumers will try out this product for sure.

Body Lotion segment is witnessing lot of activity these days with many brands vying for consumer attention. Consumers are also waking up to this product category and the frequency of usage also has increased. Earlier, these products were predominantly used in winter season. 

Marico has used Parachute Advansed ( sub-brand) to launch value added products to the brand line of Parachute. While parent brand Parachute is being used in the pure coconut oil category, Marico has launched many variants under the Parachute Advansed brand-line. 
The launch of body lotion has made Parachute brand  an umbrella brand endorsing a range of products in various product categories like - Skin care, hair oils, hair care , cooling oil etc. This also necessitates a shift in the overall brand positioning of Parachute brand.

Marico may be looking at making Parachute a personal care brand in future. The brand should then come out of its perception of a hair-care brand. It will be interesting to see how Marico makes this transformation for Parachute. The brand had earlier ran a campaign " Gorgeous Hamesha " for Parachute. The tagline seems very apt for a transformation to a personal care brand for this brand. 

Related Brand

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tata Aria : Luxury That Thrills

Brand : Aria
Company : Tata Motors

Brand Analysis Count : # 500

Game Changer, New Breed, Super Luxury, Most Awaited, Eagerly Awaited, Flagship ... These were the terms that were used during the much publicized launch of Tata Motor's luxury offering - Tata Aria. Aria was launched in 2010 - touted as the most luxurious, sophisticated and most expensive offering from Tata Motors in the passenger vehicle segment. After a year of the launch, Aria is struggling to reach the position where the brand expected it would be. 

Tata Aria was publicized as India's first 4x4 Crossover. Crossovers are those vehicles that combine the attribute of cars and SUVs. Tata motors aimed to create a new segment of luxury crossovers with the launch of Aria. Tata Motors has been trying hard to create new niches in the Indian automobile market the last attempt was through the brand Tata Xenon.

Tata Aria which was expected to create new market and a new image for Tata Motors however is now struggling hard to create volumes. According to news reports, the brand is finding it difficult to convert the interest  and good reviews to sales. 
Tata Aria was launched with an expensive price tag of Rs 12 -15.5 Lakh making it the most expensive model from Tata's brand portfolio ( excluding JLR). To compensate for the high price tag, Aria came with many features, attributes and gadgets which was available only in super luxury segments. Many gadgets was even not present in those expensive sedans. But even with this heavy loading of features and goodies, consumers were reluctant to accept the high price tag.

Blame it on the Positioning.

It is easy to put the blame on the pricing strategy of Tata Aria. There are critics who argue that Aria could have priced at around Rs 10 lakh and  blazed the sales chart. To a certain extent the argument has lot of validity. But I feel that more than the pricing , there is a larger issue of positioning. Not only with regard to Aria, but it points out to the luxury foray of Tata Motors as a corporate brand.
First let us look at the positioning issue. Tata Aria wanted to position itself as a pioneer of a new category - a Crossover between a sedan and an SUV. 
Positioning theory talks about Points of Parity and Points of Difference as the two main focal points of positioning process.Marketers use Points of Parity to establish a membership in a category and also to establish parity with competitors. For brand launches in existing product category, category membership is automatically established because of similarity in product form, pricing, attributes etc. For example a new soap brand need not establish category membership since consumers know that the brand belongs to soap category just by seeing the product. Category Points of Parity is important for "really new products" where consumers are not able to connect any existing category to the new product. In such cases, marketers try to tell the consumers that the new product is related to an existing product category. 

Here Tata Motors failed to understand the perceived points of parity of Tata Aria with brands like Innova and Xylo. It is obvious to any person that Tata Aria looks very very similar to Toyota Innova which is the market leader in the premium Multi-Utility Vehicle segment. So just by looking at Aria, consumers establish its membership in the MUV category of Innova. Whether Tata Motors likes it or not, Aria's category membership is with Innova and not as a crossover. 

What Tata Aria did was to ignore this obvious similarities with an existing category products and tried to establish a new category which it called a Crossover. The brand wanted to use breakaway positioning strategy where by Aria will be positioned as a new category vehicle different from the existing category of MUVs. 
The first launch campaign was expected to identify Tata Aria with the new category - Crossover
Watch the ad here : Tata Aria Crossover 

For a brand that aims to create a new category that too a luxury one, the launch campaign failed miserably to communicate the concept of a new category. A sedan and an SUV colliding ( mating) to form Tata Aria  crossover was too basic , too amateurish communication strategy. The brand initially had the tagline " A New Breed ". The campaign managers failed to understand that just by labeling the product as a crossover does not make it a crossover. The brand should produce sufficient evidence that it belongs to a new breed. In the case of Aria, the campaigns failed to provide a significant reason to be called as a new category pioneer.

For any product aiming for breakaway positioning, the acid test is to differentiate itself from the category from which it is moving away. A classic case of breakaway positioning is that of Swatch brand which successfully positioned itself as a fashion accessory rather than a watch brand. For that the brand created strong identity interms of design, price , distribution etc which convinced consumers to consider Swatch as a fashion accessory rather than a watch.
Here there was no significant WOW factor in Aria which made consumer think that Aria belonged to a different category distinct from MUV brands like  Innova. So when consumers checked out the brand Aria, they began to compare it with Toyota Innova. Innova had established itself  as one of the most reliable and comfortable MUV in India. Innova was priced at around Rs 12 lakh. When consumers began to compare Innova and Aria, Aria was perceived to be expensive despite the presence of many new features and attributes. 
Sensing the mood of the market, Tata Motors launched a lower priced version of Tata Aria in the form of a 4x2 variant. The brand priced the product at par with the competitors and launched it with a different positioning. 
Watch the ad here : Tata Aria Spy ad

Here again Tata Aria was unsure about the positioning. The brand discarded its Crossover positioning and began to focus on features. The tagline was changed from " A New Breed " to " Luxury that Thrills". Within one year of launch , the brand had to make significant positioning changes which again proved to be a disadvantage for establishing a consistent brand image. The plot of the repositioning ad which shows foreign models with an unbelievable storyline and an attempt at humor creates a confused positioning to the audience ( my personal opinion). Along with these campaign in TV, the brand also ran a series of print campaigns highlighting the 36 new features of Aria. Those campaigns helped the brand to create a positive image of a fully loaded premium MUV. But the steep pricing dampened the enthusiasm over the features.

If Tata Aria wanted to be perceived as a new category pioneer it should have looked very distinct from the pack. But since it looked exactly similar to Innova, the brand shouldn't have ventured into creating a new category positioning.
The brand had a better chance of survival had it accepted the similarities and competed with Innova using the features and goodies and a competitive price. Still fighting Toyota's reliability is a uphill task but with better value offering, Aria could have raked up enough volume to keep the enthusiasm up in the market. 
If at all the brand Aria wanted to create a crossover category, it should have created a design which had no similarity with any of the existing product categories in the Indian passenger vehicle market.
Tata  Motors always nurtured an ambition to compete in the luxury segment in the Indian automobile market. It tried with brands like Estate, Safari, Manza etc but couldn't find huge success because Tata Motors was perceived to be a value-for-money brand and consumers were never comfortable with paying a premium for Tata cars. 
A radical move for the company can be to create a separate identity and a division which is not endorsed by Tata Motors. Honda , Toyota and Nissan used this strategy successfully for entering the US luxury car market. Honda used Acura, Toyota used Lexus and Nissan used Infiniti as separate brands ( divisions) and found success in the US market. They used this strategy to tide over the perception that Japanese car brands are utility vehicles rather than luxury vehicles.Likewise Tata Motors can create a luxury division which will not have the Value-For-Money baggage of  the parent brand Tata Motors.
I love the Tata brand and always wished that its products met with success. But these brand launches were disappointments because very obvious , fundamentals are overlooked and valuable time and brand equities are lost. But Tata Motors are know for perseverance and resilience. Hope that Aria will clean up the positioning mess and reach its rightful destination.  It needs to redefine its identity by answering this simple question - What exactly is Tata Aria ??

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tri-Activ : Anti-Bacterial Protection

Brand : Tri-Activ
Company : Piramal Healthcare

Brand Analysis Count : # 499

Tri-Activ is an anti-bacterial soap from Piramal Healthcare. Piramal Healthcare has been increasingly active in the OTC and personal care space. Tri-Activ was launched in early 2011 and will be competing against the like of Dettol and Lifebuoy. 
Tri-Activ is positioned as an anti-bacterial soap with germ killing property. The brand is claiming to be India's Grade 1 anti-bacterial soap. The brand belongs to medicinal soap category of the Rs 8000 crore toilet soap market.
The medicinal soap/ hand-wash category got lot of attention in the Indian market recently after the outbreak of H1N1 epidemic. Marketers cashed in on the opportunity by scaring the hell out of consumers and presenting their products as the ultimate protectors of humanity against such epidemics. The medicinal personal care products which was a niche category before these outbreaks suddenly began to be a part of the mainstream category. 
It is in this context that the launch of Tri-Active become significant. The brand is a pure medicinal type soap with strong clinical positioning focusing on germs, protection, doctors etc. The brand is currently available only in medical shops further reinforcing its medical positioning. This restricted availability will reduce the scope of sales of such a product .
The brand will be initially looking at consumers who are too worried about getting sick. Over these years , such kind of consumer segment is increasing in size. Despite the economic growth , Indian cities are prone to such outbreaks. Take the case of my state Kerala which boasts about high human development index and 100% literacy, the state is now reeling under frequent outbreaks of epidemics like Dengue fever, H1N1, hepatitis etc. The fear evoking coverage across media about these diseases force the consumers to scramble for whatever protection that they can avail of. Products like Tri-Activ will benefit from this hysteria.

Indian soap market has always accepted these germ killing soaps wholeheartedly. India's largest selling soap Lifebuoy is ruling with its health positioning so is the mega brand Dettol. Tri-Activ will be vying for a respectable position among these big players.
Having said that, the challenges for Tri-Activ are many. First challenge is the distribution. Piramal Group is well known in the pharma market but its distribution expertise in FMCG market is very limited. This may be the reason for Tri-Activ 's initial retail strategy being done through medical stores. To reach the vast Indian market is not that easy and Tri-Activ may have to leverage its strength in pharma segment to fmcg segment and that is not easy. 
Second challenge is the value proposition. Tri-Activ being a specialist is expensive and it will take lot of effort to convince the consumers to accept premiumness of this soap. Consistent brand promotion is key to such convincing and going by the current promotional strategy, Tri-Activ has gone silent after the initial launch campaign.
Tri-Activ with in a few months of launch, introduced a brand extension - liquid hand sanitizer. That was surprising move since the parent brand was not even well established to support an extension. 
The success of Tri-Activ will largely depend on the brand's ability to garner the retailer support and the investment it makes in brand promotion. Infrequent campaigns will not help for such a product if it wants to fight brands like Dettol and Lifebuoy. 
Alternatively Tri-Activ can thrive as a niche brand which is positioned as a specialist. Such brands thrive on positive word of mouth and attracts that segment of consumers who either is affected by problems or are too concerned about health issues. In a highly competitive market like India, such niche strategy often makes more sense than going mainstream.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Benadryl : Triple Action Formula

Brand : Benadryl
Company : Johnson & Johnson

Brand Analysis Count : # 498

Benadryl is one of the most popular cough syrup brands in India. Benadryl have a high brand recall among Indian consumers and at one point in time was the second largest selling cough syrup brand in India. The brand was originally owned by Parke Davis which later got acquired by Pfizer. Pfizer then sold this brand to Johnson & Johnson in 2008.
These ownership changes have affected the brand to a large extent. The brand virtually had no growth in the past few years. There is virtually no news or noise about this brand in the media. 

When the brand was in the fold of Parke Davis, it was a prescription product. In 1999, the brand became an Over-The- Counter (OTC) brand. Benadryl was known as an anti-allergic cough syrup. Benadryl is the brand name for the molecule Diphenhydramine. The product was created by George Rieveschl and was first prescribed in 1946. ( source

The brand had a huge equity in the Indian market. Although most of the cough syrups are prescription products, Indian consumers generally bought these brands over the counter. Most of the sales happen through word of mouth recommendations. Indian consumers have a feeling that consuming cough syrups does not result in any side-effects and hence they buy it without consulting a doctor. This practice has prompted many cough syrup brands to move into the OTC segment. Having said that the largest selling cough syrup brand is Corex which is still sold as a prescription product.

The problem started when Benadryl brand came into Pfizer's product portfolio when Parke Davis was merged with Pfizer. Pfizer owned the market leader Corex . The new owner had the dilemma of having two competing brands under the portfolio. Although technically Benadryl is an OTC and Corex is a prescription product, in effect these brands were cannibalizing each other. The confusion resulted in Pfizer selling this brand to Johnson & Johnson in 2008.
Benadryl was positioned as an anti-allergic cough syrup. The brand talked about a triple-action formula which gave relief to three issues- Cough, Cold and Sneezing. The brand launched several communication highlighting these 1-2-3 action. These campaign was based on the insight that Benadryl was narrowly positioned as a pure cough syrup while in reality cough is the end result of severe cold and sneezing. Benadryl offered relief to the other symptoms also.

Last two to three years, the brand is being virtually silent in the media. Globally Benadryl faced negative publicity for its recall of Benadryl ( for kids). This may be one of the reasons for the brand being silent in the media. The cough syrup market is heavily crowded with both prescription brands and OTC ones. There is a new wave of ayurvedic/herbal cough syrups entering this market. This long silence of Benadryl is going to hurt is position in the market very badly.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quco Hair Perfume : For Great Smelling Hair

Brand : Quco
Company : Vini Cosmetics

Brand Analysis Count : # 497

Have you ever thought of buying a perfume specifically for hair ? Were you ever conscious of how your hair smells ? If not, then marketers are out there to make you conscious about how your hair smells. From armpits to hair, perfume/deo brands are indeed expanding their horizon !! 

Quco is a hair perfume brand from Vini Cosmetics. Vini Cosmetics was founded by Mr Darshan Patel who was the co-promoter of Paras Pharmaceuticals. In 2010 , Mr Darshan Patel sold his stake in Paras to start on his own venture. Quco hairspray is one of the many products the company has launched in recent times.

Quco is trying to create a new category of hair perfume in the Indian market. The hair perfume products are virtually unheard of in Indian market and the launch of Quco has created lot of buzz in the market . 

There are lot of ! and ? about the scope of such a product category in India. One of the most important challenge that Quco face is to establish its usefulness in the mind of consumers. The brand is attempting to create a new category. The product is virtually unheard of in the market and consumers are not even aware of the need for a hair perfume spray . So even before establishing the brand, Quco needs to educate the consumers about the need for a nice smelling hair. The brand has launched its campaign in Television and is attempting to create awareness about the need in its first TVC.
Watch the ad here : Quco TVC

There are many factors that influence consumer adoption of new products like Hair Perfume . Some of the factors are Perceived usefulness, Perceived risks , attractiveness etc. The brand has addressed the perceived risk by claiming to be alcohol-free and safe for hair.
The fundamental problem is whether this product category has perceived usefulness in the mind of the consumers. Many consumers are not aware about the " hair smell " and even if they are conscious , the consumers depend on shampoo to handle the problem. Another issue is whether the consumer feels compelled to purchase a specific product to solve this issue. 
Quco will be a niche brand because of the nature of the product. It has to be seen how Indian consumers will warm up to the idea of a perfume for hair. Just like Rexona and Close Up taught Indian consumers about odor, Quco will have to educate and convince consumers about hair smell.Will Indian consumer will find the need strong enough to invest in a new product and use it on a continuous basis. These are the questions which the market will answer in future.