Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brand Update : RIP Logan ( 2007-2011) , Welcome Verito

Logan is being laid to rest. Mahindra Rise , the new owner of Logan has decided to rebrand Logan to Mahindra Verito. The death of Logan marks the volatile life of a brand and the logical end of a sour Joint Venture between Renault and Mahindra.

The death of Logan brings into life a new brand Mahindra Verito. The product has a new brand name and a new set of marketing mix elements too ( may be except distribution  channel). It is expected that Mahindra will make some cosmetic change to the existing Logan and bring in a new identity for Verito. Verito is derived from the Latin word Veritas which means truth. It is said that Mahindra is particular that its vehicles name should end with O hence the name change !

The good news is that Verito will ensure that the car which is considered to be a good product suited to Indian conditions will continue its life. Mahindra is keen to develop new products based on the Logan platform and this ensures that the legacy of the brand will go on. And the existing owners of Logan can be relieved because the service support will continue. All these however depends on the success of Verito and the future relationship between Renault and Mahindra.
The rebranding of Logan to Verito makes sense to Mahindra because it marks the formal entry of the company into passenger car segment. Since the product is good, Mahindra needs to work on the branding part and the service support and I am sure that Verito will be a formidable brand in the market. 

Related Brand

Monday, April 25, 2011

Brand Update : Daikin focuses on Country of Origin Positioning

It has been 5 years since I updated about this brand. Last time I wrote about this brand, Daikin was having a fair share of  voice with lot of ads focusing on the Silence attribute. The brand was running the " Complete Silence " ads for a while and then went into silence for five long years. I don't remember any campaign from Daikin  during the last five years ( atleast in my place). But even without any hype, the brand still commands around 5% of the Indian  residential A/C market. The brand may be doing the sales activities in the B2B market in these years but in the consumer market, Daiken was having complete silence.
In this IPL 2011, the brand started making some noise. The brand is now showing some reminder ads and the presence is also felt in OOH media. 

What is interesting about the brand now is that it has been repositioned. The brand has done away with the attribute based positioning and is trying out the Country of Origin proposition. The brand has adopted the positioning " With Love from Japan " . From a highly creative Complete Silence to basic Made in Japan  tag seems intriguing.

Along with the tag, the brand seems to have adopted some aspects of  parent company's approach to branding. Infact the brand has imported some brand elements from the parent. Daikin now introduces a mascot for the brand - a character called  Pichon- Kun. Pichon-Kun is a mascot which is a droplet with a small body. The mascot embodies the brand's philosophy of best of nature, fresh and eco-friendly. 
Globally, the brand uses the tagline " Here , There , Everywhere". 

The new brand line " With Love from Japan " at first sounded very archaic to me. I thought that the era of Made in Japan tag was over. But on thinking, I have a feeling that this could work in practical sense better than high profile branding stuff. The association of quality and innovation is still very much connected with  Japanese products. But the issue is that most of Japanese brands sell their Chinese made products so the manufacturing excellence associated with Japanese products have diminished significantly. If Daikin could reinforce the connection of quality and Country of Origin, then the consumers will embrace the product.

The brand has been existence in India for the last 10 years . The brand has a market share of hardly 5 %. This surely means that the brand has not reached its potential. One of the factor being the lack of investment in brand building. 
The brand can boost its sales if it could position itself as a true blood Japanese product (like Toyota) emphasizing on quality , innovation etc. But that need a series of campaigns reinforcing each of those attributes rather than just advertising the  " Made in Japan " tag.
Related post

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maa : Sweet Taste of Success

Brand : Maa
Company : Cavin Kare

Brand Analysis Count : # 480

Maa is a serious challenger brand in the Rs 500 crore Indian fruit juice market. This South Indian brand is on the way to a national launch is expected to give a tough competition to brands like Frooti and Maaza. Maa brand was originally created by Maa Fruits Pvt Ltd. The brand was acquired by CavinKare in 2008. Ever since the acquisition, the brand has been growing consistently in the markets like Kerala and TamilNadu. 

The Indian non-carbonated Beverage market is around Rs 3500 crore and of which fruit based drinks constitute around Rs 3000 crore. The market is divided into various categories like 100 % fruit juices, fruit based drinks ( that has less than 20% fruit pulp) , nectars which has fruit pulp between 25% -85%.

Maa for the last two years has been consolidating its position in the South India. The brand has scored well interms of distribution reach and brand awareness. The brand is closely associated with the mango flavor but also has three more flavors - Apple Guava and Pineapple.

Maa has also invested lot of money in brand promotion. The brand had adopted a positioning strategy based on aspiration and success during the relaunch in 2008-2009 under Cavinkare. The brand targeted the young consumers and positioned itself as a brand that will refresh you to move towards success in life.
Watch the ad here : Maa Success
In 2010, the brand resegmented the market and ran a campaign targeting kids rather than older consumers. The brand is running this commercial in the media this season.
Watch the ad here : Maa Mother 
The two ads however are poles apart interms of marketing strategy. Since the company is going to fight the likes of Frooti and Maaza, it will be proper if the brand identifies the right STP.

The success of Maa in South India is largely driven by smart distribution strategies. The brand is heavily promoted by the retailers and in some cases the retailers stock only this brand and no other mango drink. Since consumers are willing to switch between brands in the case of beverage category , Maa was able to boost the sales and establish connection with the consumers. The brand will be hoping to recreate the same strategy in the Northern market also.
In the branding front, the lack of a clear positioning is evident from the past campaigns. Maa needs to have clarity in its brand manthra and core value proposition. The brand is highly associated with Mango drink and the brand should be clear whether it should reinforce that association or try to position itself as a multi-fruit drink. Getting retailer support will also be a key determinant of the success of Maa in the National market. 

It is good to see a brand growing and scaling up for more challenges and a larger market. Maa should get its marketing funda sharp and clear and then take on the leaders with confidence.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Brand Update : 7 Up gets into Anger Management

After a long period of neglect, Pepsi has given some life to its sparkling lime brand 7UP. Ever since the spectacular brand launch in 1992, the brand went down in its share of mind and the market share. Pepsi is to blame for not nurturing the brand enough. The space left vacant by 7 Up was successfully taken by Sprite and Pepsi still is confused between Mountain Dew and 7 Up.

Now after almost 3 years, some decent marketing campaign has been launched for this brand. The last campaign was in 2009 for the launch of 7 Up Nimbooz which further diluted the existence of the parent 7 UP brand.

For the summer of 2011, 7 Up has roped in the Bollywood star Sharman Joshi as the brand ambassador. The brand is currently running a series of TVC featuring Sharman.

Watch the ad here : 7 Up Truck 

Along with the new celebrity comes the new positioning platform. The brand has taken up the role of Anger Management Expert. The new ad puts 7 Up as the best way to chill the anger. The ad can be seen as a continuation of the earlier positioning of " Bheja Fry , 7 Up Try".

One of the grave problem that this brand faces is its positioning. The brand has never been able to find a right positioning for itself  in the Indian market. Although it came first, it had to play second fiddle to Mountain Dew and Pepsi was confused about the position of 7 Up  in the brand portfolio. This confusion enabled Sprite to become the third largest soft drink brand in the country.

The new ad and the positioning of Anger Manager is not going to do anything better for 7 Up . The ads are quite catchy and Sharman offers some amount of  " cool factor " . The brand has the new tagline " Chill Machao " . Again the tagline is skewed towards the Hindi speaking consumers and I cannot find a better English translation for that. Anyways the brand talks about keeping cool.. 

The new campaign and the celebrity will raise the share of mind for the brand. 7 Up still have strong awareness in the market. Fido Dido is still alive in the mind of the consumers and in this era of ZooZoos, Fido could have done wonders to the brand if it made a comeback now.

In my personal opinion,7 Up still has not found a right positioning but has come close. By explicitly focusing on Anger, the brand lost a chance to position itself as a " Keep it Cool " positioning . The brand should have taken a broader platform than just Anger . Anger is just one of those instances where one loses cool.   Hopefully the follow up commercials may take the brand to a much broader positioning platform than just anger management. 
Related Brand 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nutricharge Man : Smart Nutrition

Brand : Nutricharge Man
Company : Tropical Wellness Pvt Ltd

Brand Analysis Count : # 479

Indian nutraceutical market is estimated to be around Rs 4500 crore . The nutraceutical market consists of products like functional foods, nutritional supplements etc. The market is on a growth mode and is expected to touch more than Rs 10,000 crore in a few years.
Tapping this high growth market is a new brand  - Nutricharge Man. This brand is marketed by Tropical Wellness Pvt Ltd and manufactured by Panjon Pharma Ltd.  

Nutricharge was launched in a phased manner and the brand was in certain market from 2010. In 2011, the brand has been launched nationally. Nutricharge Man is a nutritional supplement in the form of capsules. The product contains 35 essential nutrients  which will supplement the normal food. The logic is that the regular food may not be able to supply all nutritional requirements and hence one needs to take the help of such nutraceutical products.

The most interesting factor about this brand is that Nutricharge Man is endorsed by none other than Amithabh Bachchan. The brand is currently running a print campaign in most of markets featuring the brand ambassador. The communication of the brand is quite rational and informational in nature. The brand ambassador talks about the need for a healthy life enhanced by Nutricharge. The brand has adopted the positioning platform of Smart Nutrition. 
The brand is targeting the middle-aged man who is health conscious and has the potential ( fear) of contracting  lifestyle disease. 
When I saw the print ad of this brand, I went on to search about this brand and to my surprise, little was available on the internet. The brand has a well made website but there is no mention about the company that makes this brand . Since this is a health related product, consumers will look for details like the brand -owner because they have to trust the product before consuming it. Although Big B will give credibility to the brand, it is important that the consumers know about the manufacturers of a product like food supplement. 
The brand has definitely boosted its prospect rightaway with its association with Big B. But the downside is that it will be perceived to be a brand for older men rather than the middle aged man. The brand is targeting the people above 40 years of age.  The competitors of this product is the products from brands like Amway ( Nutrilite). 
In a way Nutricharge will be creating a new category of OTC nutritional supplement. The brand is relevant since there is a huge rise in lifestyle diseases and burn out in the middle age is now a common phenomenon.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Nerolac : Painting A Greener Tomorrow !

Brand : Nerolac
Company : Kansai Nerolac

Brand Analysis Count : # 478

Nerolac is an interesting brand story. This brand which has a rich heritage of over 97 years is on an aggressive mode in the Rs 2.1 Billion Indian paint market. The company which created this brand was born in 1920 as Gahagan Paint and Varnish Co in Mumbai.In 1957 the company was transformed to Goodlass Wall Pvt Ltd  later to Goodlass Nerolac Paints Ltd . The company was a part of the Tata Group till 1999 when its technological partner - Japan based Kansai Paint Co Ltd took a controlling stake in the company from the Tata Group. Now Nerolac is a subsidiary of Kansai Paints and the company has been rechristened as Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd.

Nerolac is a leader in the Industrial paint segment of the Indian paint market. The Indian paint market is huge with an estimated market size of over Rs 17000 crores of which decorative paint segment constitutes over seventy percentage. The market is typically Indian which means that it is fragmented. According to a report by the brokerage firm Equity Master, the unorganized sector commands around 35% of the market. In the organized  decorative paint segment, Asian Paints is the market leader with a share of 30% followed by Nerolac with 20% , Berger Paints with 19% and ICI with 12%. 

Nerolac from the beginning of 2000 has been trying to attain leadership position in the decorative segment and the fight makes it a really interesting brand story. Nerolac had to fight the tremendous brand equity of Asian Paints in that segment.

Nerolac is a brand which never hesitated to invest in promotions and brand building. The brand has a really commendable awareness which was created through heavy brand promotions. The jingle " Jab Khar Ki Raunak Badhana ho, Deewaroan ko jab sajana ho , Nerolac , Nerolac "  still lingers in the memory of the public. Such catchy jingles and campaigns lifted the brand to double digits market share levels but could not bridge the gap with the market leader. 
It was in 2003 , that the brand made a huge plunge in celebrity driven promotion by roping in Amitabh Bachchan. The endorsement from Big B was a big news at that point in time. One of the major positioning move for Nerolac also happened at that time.Nerolac was originally positioned on a beauty-enhancing  proposition. The brand talked about decoration and in a plain speaking style successfully associated itself with that proposition otherwise that jingle couldnot have survived this long.

In 2003, the brand tried to emulate the Asian Paint's positioning based on colors. The ads featuring Big B had the tagline " Ye Rang Jo Hain, Zindagi ko Chootha hai " ( This color touches your life). In my personal opinion, the adoption of a positioning similar to Asian Paints confused the consumer.Although the endorsement of Big B put the brand on a high awareness state, the similarity of positioning had a negative effect on the association of brand and celebrity. I remember reading a report which mentioned that during the Big B endorsement, when consumers where asked about the brand which Big B endorsed, rather than Nerolac, they mentioned Asian Paints.

Before that positioning change in 2003, Nerolac had many things going for it. The brand had very powerful brand elements like the jingle and even a popular mascot - a painting tiger named Goody. The mascot was very popular and shared a powerful association with the brand. But the mascot was discontinued in 2003. Goody was created in 1970 to act as a differentiator and also create an identity for the brand. Since there were many players, the owners wanted as mascot to make the brand stand out. The decision of dropping such a powerful popular brand element was a mistake that Nerolac made. The brand should have made the mascot contemporary and that could have added some additional power to the brand .

During the late 2008, the brand still felt that it is not able to close the gap between itself and the market leader. The association with Big B was discontinued and the brand went for non-celebrity campaigns.

This year, the brand decided to make another high profile attempt using none other than Shah Rukh Khan to endorse the brand. The brand is now running lot of TVCs featuring the new celebrity ambassador.
In a significant move the brand has repositioned itself. In tune with the global positioning of its parent Kansai Paints, Nerolac also adopted the positioning based on environment -friendly attribute. The new campaign positions Nerolac as a healthy paint with no lead content and Eco-clean property. Shah Rukh sells this idea through the TVCs
Watch the Ad here : Nerolac 
So far Nerolac's major marketing issue was its inability to create a meaningful differentiation from Asian Paints. While Asian Paints established itself on the Color platform , Nerolac was confused about its own strength. This was reflected in most of their campaigns. Although the campaigns were well made, these ads did not reflect any image for Nerolac. Now the brand seems to focus on the Environment Friendly Healthy Paint as its core positioning platform.

The question is whether this positioning is important and meaningful for the consumers. It is true that Indian consumers are aware of the harmful effects of paint fumes. But this issue happens only during paining and after the painting is done , the harmful effects are hardly noticed. So will a focus on the Healthy Paint attribute be considered a powerful differentiator ?
Healthy Paint is a meaningful differentiator but not a powerful or sustainable one. Asian Paints or any other competitor can easily achieve parity with this feature. Infact Nippon Paint is already running a campaign for its Odour free paint  product.

In comparison with Asian Paint's focus on colors, Nerolac needed a much more powerful emotional differentiator rather than a eco-friendly platform because eco-friendly has now become a most used one rather a passe . Every brand talks about its eco-consciousness in one way or other. So putting that as the main positioning may not stand against a powerful competitor like Asian Paints.

Having said that , the presence of  Shah Rukh Khan will give a terrific boost to the brand. But this boost will be because of the celebrity power rather than the brand power and will fade when the association stops. The brand have adopted the tagline " Kuch Change Karo, Chalo Paint karo " roughly meaning, " Change Something, Start Painting  " ( !!!!!!) . Frankly I did not exactly got the idea behind the tagline. The tagline is not at all related to the core positioning of a Healthy Paint. So there is some confusion regarding the core brand manthra . Theoretically  the taglines are derived from Core Brand Manthra and the lack of that core manthra is the reason for most of positioning errors.

On a branding perspective Nerolac still needs to identify meaningful positioning to beat Asian Paints. Environment Friendly or Healthy Paint is an idea whose time has not come to India as of now.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Brand Update : Accent refuses to die !

12 years and over 300,000 cars sold worldwide, Accent still proved to be relevant in the Indian market. In the marketing world where brand managers gets bored with the brand even before consumers do, Accent is a different story altogether. 

Launched in 1999, the brand is one of the oldest selling sedan in the Indian market. Despite poor marketing support from the company, Accent once again shows that value-for-money and product performance is the key to unlock the purse of an Indian consumer. This brand is surviving just because of these two factors.

Accent got little or no promotional support from Hyundai for the last few years. Most analysts have written off this brand with a view that Hyundai will eventually phase off this brand. But it did not happen that way. Despite being a perceived dated model, Hyundai still sells decent number of Accent in the Indian market. Priced between Rs 5 Lakh - Rs 5.5 Lakh, this is still the most affordable and reliable entry level sedan in the Indian market.
One of the major factors that contributed to Accent's long run is the lack of competition. Although many brands tried to cater to the entry level sedan market, very few have survived. The only noteworthy competitor being the Indigo CS. With the death of Ford Ikon, Accent's chances of survival got a boost.

Having said that, Accent should have been given more promotional support by the company. Brands don't die. It is often killed. Accent will die not because of poor product performance but lack of marketing support. Hyundai never tried to build a brand image for Accent. The brand never had a memorable positioning . There was never an excitement around this brand and people chose Accent through a rational decision. This lack of emotional quotient of the brand will prove to be the reason of its eventual death.
Ideally Accent should have been nurtured by the company. If BMW or Benz can retain its charm all these years, why not Accent ? 
While product performance helps bring the consumers to the brand, emotional engagement keeps the brand live for ever. There was no attempt from Hyundai to build any type of emotional engagement about the brand.

Hyundai recently launched the 2011 version of Accent. The brand gets a facelift and some cosmetic changes. The launch was a muted affair and the brand's micro-site doesn't have the new pictures uploaded. In one way Hyundai executives were forced to keep the brand alive because of external pressure - lack of competition and demand. Given a chance, they could have just killed the brand ! What a paradox.