Thursday, December 27, 2012

Brand Update : Gems wants you to Raho Umarless

Gems Surprise launched in 2010 is a poor cousin of Kinder Joy. The variant launched to fight the Kinder Joy  became a poor second cousin because of unimaginative gifts and poor campaigns.Last week my daughter demanded she wants a Gems Surprise but I flatly refused saying that the toy that comes with it may not be attractive  and we settled for Kinder Joy for Girls.

Now Gems Surprise has corrected the mistake by launching a new set of toys featuring the Panda which has been  the main character in Gem's campaign.
The variant is currently running a TVC featuring adults in line with the brand's strategy of targeting adults .

Watch the campaign here : Gems Umarless

The TVC is well made but one wonders whether there is some confusion regarding the targeting part of STP.
As I understand, Gems Surprise is fighting against Kinder Joy which is targeting kids. Now Gems Surprise wants adults to buy the brand and collect the toys. Now that is ridiculous. Expecting that adults would indulge in a product like Gems Surprise is imagination running wild. Now if the brand expects the kids to buy Gems Surprise by seeing the campaign is also a highly optimistic thought since the ad is appeals to adults rather than kids.

So this is another brand which got confused because of its own actions. The brand should have left this variant to kids. Infact my feeling is that Gems is beginning to alienate the kids and is not making right noises to get adults on board. 
Ideally the brand should have found some universal message that has appeal across age groups. Cadburys has done that with Dairy Milk. In the case of Gems, the brand is just saying that it is Umarless ( Ageless) but not saying Why ?. What Gems needs is the universal brand mantra that appeals to everyone regardless of age.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Brand Update : Can SRK save Lux ?

SRK is once again featuring in the ad of Lux. It was in 2005 that SRK stunned brand watchers in an ad for Lux. At that time Lux was celebrating 75 years of stardom. Circa 2012, Shah Rukh Khan again stars in Lux ad  not for  celebration of any milestone but a desperate attempt to rejuvenate the brand.

Lux which always centered around celebrities has been struggling for the last few years.Reports suggest that Lux is witnessing a de-growth thanks to competition from the likes of Santoor. Lux over the years has been facing a positioning problem which I have highlighted in my previous posts about the brand. Too many variants shifted the HUL's focus from strengthening the core brand to leveraging or rather squeeze the brand equity. This virtually made the core Lux brand vulnerable to competition. The commoditization of celebrity endorsement further diluted the celebrity-focused positioning of Lux. Virtually the differentiation of Lux was no longer existing. 

Lux is now in an un-enviable position. The core positioning of Lux- beauty soap of stars is virtually being killed by competition. Celebrities now are no longer differentiators. Lux also cannot risk going for a heavy repositioning sans celebrities because of its connection with Stars for over 75 years. The brand is in deep trouble.
With SRK, the brand is attempting another come back. Last year, Lux successfully leveraged Abhishek and Aishwarya and smartly took the platform of  ' Beauty'. 

The current campaign features SRK with the current Lux Diva Katrina Kaif. The brand completely changed its beauty based positioning ( benefit)  and decided to focus on fragrance (product feature ).The brand is pitching that  it contains international quality fragrances. From  benefit to  feature based positioning is a step backward for the brand. Usually brands start with feature based positioning and later graduate to higher -order attributes ( Laddering). Here Lux chose itself to downgrade from a higher -order positioning to basic stuff.The brand is absolutely confused about its future direction. 

Lux in the new campaign has the tagline : "Bas Zara Sa Lux " roughly translated to " Just need a little Lux" . The tagline is ideally suited for a detergent rather than a beauty soap. The treatment of the ad is below average with zero creativity and usual theme. No wonder the brand is on a downward spiral.

Watch the ad here : Lux SRK

What Lux right now needs is a thorough clarity about its brand manthra and its positioning.No amount of celebrity endorsement will work if the brand is confused about its positioning. It had earlier focused on beauty oil and now it is saying that fragrance is the key USP. This confusion is only going to kill this brand unless the marketing brains of HUL sit together and decide on the brand manthra for Lux. Other wise we are going to see the slow death of an iconic brand.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Brand Update : Kinder Joy sharpens its Offering

Despite its higher price, Kinder Joy has found lot of popularity among the consumers. Recently Kinder Joy sharpened its product offering by launching a variant - Kinder Joy for Girls. This is a very significant and smart move by the brand . As a regular purchaser of the brand for my  girl child, often I find that the toy, that is the main attraction for kids, is usually more skewed towards boys. The cars and other characters appeal more to the boys than girls . Most of the time, my kid is not enthused by the toy but she keeps  hoping for a toy she could play with.
I was surprised to see when the shopkeeper gave me the option of choosing Kinder Joy for girls. And my girl was thrilled when she got a Barbie bracelet from the egg.
Now Kinder has made life easier for parents of girl child but if you have a boy and a girl, then you are in for trouble.
The move by Kinder offer lot of challenges in the distribution side, Firstly it needs to convince the retailer to stock these two SKUs . So more shelf space means more effort by the sales team. Since one cannot expect that both these SKU will move in the same way. So it will take some time for Kinder to get a grip on the demand of these two SKUs.
The launch of Kinder Joy for girls is an example of brand listening to customer needs and proactively addressing the needs. 

Related Brand

Monday, November 26, 2012

Brand Update : RIP Tata Tion ( 2009-2011)

Tata Tion- the non-carbonated beverage drink from Tata Beverages has bite the dust. The brand which was derived from tea extracts and the differentiator was the presence of Ginseng which gave the drink a healthy proposition was discontinued merely after one year of existence . 

Although the product had good intentions, consumers gave it a lukewarm reception. Two factors may have affected the life of the brand a) Taste b) Price . Tion's taste may have acted as a big downer and it never appealed to the masses. Second factor is the price. Tion was very expensive and even though Tata launched a smaller SKU, the quantity was never enough to quench the thirst. That was also the first impression when I tried out the brand. 

Another issue was the segmentation. Tion was not able to clearly focus on its TG. Who would actually buy a product like Tion ? Tion infact tried to cater to every one hence the brand positioned itself very loosely. The tagline " Why Let Go " is a result of such a unfocused positioning. The brand at best would appeal to the set of consumers who wanted a healthier alternative to softdrinks and that is definitely not youngsters.

Tion was bit too early in targeting the mass using the health proposition. Although many experts harp on the trend towards healthy foods, the idea is still in the utopian stage and has not translated into purchases . 

Related Brand 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Totem Pens : Carving Out a Segment

Brand : Totem
Company : Win Pens Pvt Ltd

Brand Analysis Count : # 518

Totem is an interesting brand. You may not have seen an ad of this pen but this pen is selling like hot cakes in various markets across India. Totem ballpoint pens are manufactured by Win Pens Pvt Ltd which is based in Culcutta. 

What is so special about Totem is that this simple pen effectively met  the need of the customers. Forget the fancy expensive pens or the highly advertised ones because many does not serve the basic function as effective as Totem. Many customers have realized that products like these perform much better than the high profile ones. 

Totem which is priced at Rs 3 is now one of the fast selling brands in the category. There is strong demand for this brand among students and also from office segment. The reason being the utility. Many pens in the sub Rs 10 category have serious quality issues. Most of the pens smudge , are not ergonomic and often the ink gets messy . I have seen many students (during their exams) carrying a piece of cloth to remove the smudge from their gel pens which messes up their answersheets. Many consumers say that products like Totem has more quality than its expensive counterparts. 

Brands like Totem virtually created a new segment of Rs 3 pens. Consumers ask for Rs 3 pens and many well known brands have started selling their products in this segment. The success of these products can be attributable to 
a) Value For Money
b) Utility
c) Better Performance
The Rs 3 category is now getting crowded with many brands entering the space. Totem has not invested in any brand building activities. Its playing the commodity game and soon can be outperformed by more established players. The company will be losing a big opportunity if its not able to capitalize on the current demand. Right now consumers are not asking for specific brand in this category and its a matter of concern for brands like Totem. Brands like Nataraj, Linc etc are capitalizing on their brand's awareness to make their way into this high volume category and for Totem, its losing an opportunity to build a brand .

Friday, November 09, 2012

Godrej Aer : Aer it Out

Brand : Aer
Company : Godrej

Brand Analysis Count : # 517

Godrej has entered the Rs 300 crore Air Care market with the new brand Godrej Aer. Godrej was instrumental in developing the category of air-freshners in Indian market through the JV Godrej - Sara Lee. Ambi-Pur was the brand which had created this category in India. But in 2011, Sara Lee sold its personal care division to P&G and the brand Ambi-Pur has moved to P&G.

Not to be left behind in the category which Godrej's JV had created, the company was quick to launch its own brand Aer in the Indian market. Godrej Aer is now running its launch campaigns across the Indian market. 
The brand has started off with some thoughtful branding strategies. To being with, Godrej has chosen a very powerful brand name " Aer ".Aer which is the marketer's way of using the generic word " Air" .

Ambi-pur is the most visible brand in the air-freshner category in India. Air-Wick is another brand which is focusing on the home category . There are also many local and imported brands in this category.Odonil was one of the pioneers in the room-freshner category but some how this brand is restricted to washrooms ( pun intended). This lifestyle product is expected to see better growth in coming years. According to reports, this category is growing at the rate of 20% each year.

Godrej in the launch campaign is focusing on the car -freshner segment of the category. 
Aer has tried to tackle the market using two differentiating attributes. First factor is the design. Aer has put lot of thought into the design aspect of the container. The design is eye-catching and very contemporary. Second differentiator ( in car freshner) is the ON/OFF switch. The brand is harping on this factor in the television commercial .
Watch the ad here : Aer 

Godrej Aer's focus On/Off switch  as the key differentiator may not be sustainable since any competitor can easily replicate the feature. Launching the brand purely on this easily copy-able feature is a marketing mistake on the part of Godrej. Its also surprising to see that Godrej is downplaying the wonderful design element of the brand. The brand is focusing on functionality + fragrance as the main focusing point. The brand has the tagline  " Aer it Out " and has put its mission as to change the way air smells and spells. The brand has priced the product a little above the Ambi-Pur but I feel that the design will encourage many consumers to switch to this product for a trial.

Related brand

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Marketing Funda : Why "iPhone Killer " is a bad marketing idea

The marketing world is now full of wannabe iPhone Killers - the new products that aims to kill the market leader or iconic brands. Although Frontal Attack is a celebrated strategy in marketing text books, the risks are pretty high and the possibility of a bloodbath is even  higher. Market Challengers will do better if they don't attack iconic brands directly.
The recent Apple Vs Samsung war of smartphones and the ultimate fall out of painful lawsuits warrants a recheck on the strategy of a frontal attack on market leaders.  Apple rule of the smartphone market with iPhone has prompted many mobile marketers to try and comeout with " iPhone Killers" but with no success. Market leaders like iPhones are seen in many markets. In India we have market leaders like Colgate, Alto, Maggi, Axe, Parachute, Johnson & Johnson, Horlicks etc who command a very large share of mind and also the market. There were many attempts from market challengers to dethrone these leaders by directly confronting them. In many cases, these challenger brands stay in a distant second position while the market leaders are not pretty much hurt. 

The famous wars between Pepsodent Vs Colgate, Maggi Vs Top Ramen J&J vs Sparsh , Complan Vs Horlicks were high profile frontal attack by market challengers but could not dethrone the leaders from their positions. My hypothesis is that rather than frontally attacking the leaders especially iconic brands, competing brands will do well if they could build a position that avoids direct comparison with the market leaders . Its not a blue ocean strategy where you would go in search of a new market but positioning away from the market leader so that consumers would not directly compare the brand with the market leader attributes.
The problem with a direct frontal attack is that consumers will directly compare the attributes with the market leader and if the competing brands do not have strong parity and even stronger differentiation, the strategy will have a negative fall out. In the case of iPhone, the competing brands which tout themselves as iPhone killers were not able to create strong parity with this iconic product especially in the brand image front.

Market challengers could do well if they can position their product away from the iconic brand and create a market and grow by expanding it on their unique strengths . 
Its my hypothesis, what do you say ??

Friday, October 12, 2012

Brand Update : Axe Extends to Soaps

Axe deo , the market leader in the Rs 1000 crore Indian deo market has extended itself to soaps. In the typical Unilever style of experimenting with successful brands the current guinea pig brand is Axe. The rationale is very simple  a) The soap market is witnessing a growth while deo market is now full of competition
b) With Cinthol brand becoming unisex, there is a vacuum for a men's soap brand and Axe is the best fit for filling the gap.
c) The lure for incremental profits from an established brand.
Indian soap market is around Rs 6500 crore and the men's grooming market is around Rs 1500 crore ( Economic Times). The brand may be looking to become an umbrella brand endorsing multiple products across the men's grooming category. The big question is whether these extensions will make the original deo brand vulnerable ? 
I think so.
I wonder why Axe is being extended when there is so much competition in the deo market. Axe is now attacked both on positioning front as well as on product attributes front. The Axe positioning is aped by most of the deo brands to the point that everything is so predictable and boring. Now HUL is further diluting the brand by its extension into a different category. 

The new extension carries the same positioning as the Original Axe brand . Axe bathing bar has the tagline " Engineered for Guys ". The ad campaign follows the same theme as the Axe Deo brand.

Watch the ad here : Axe Deo
Priced at a premium of Rs 35, Axe expects the brand loyalists to be the early adopters for this brand. HUL will be leveraging on its huge distribution strength and its reach to make sure that Axe Bathing Bar is available across the markets. To be fair to this experiment, Axe globally also is extended to various categories like Body Wash, Talcum powder etc but none of the extensions has been as successful as the original product. The same will be the case in the case of Axe Soap also. 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Roma Switches : India's Largest Selling Modular Switches

Brand : Roma
Company : Anchor ( Panasonic)

Brand Analysis Count : 516

Indian switch market is estimated to be around INR1800 crore and is dominated by Anchor with a share of 50%. Anchor Electricals which is one of India's largest electrical  products company was formed in 1963 and virtually created the branded electrical accessory market in India. The company effectively filled the need for quality and reliable electrical products in a market dominated by unorganized players.

In 1976, the company launched India's first Piano type switch with the sub-brand Roma. The product was highly successful and Roma became India's largest selling modular switch. ( Source : superbrand). In 2007, Anchor was taken over by Panasonic and now is a subsidiary of the global giant.

Roma is the market leader in the INR 800 crore modular switch market. The brand was earlier promoted as a sub-brand of Anchor ( Anchor Roma) and was heavily supported by the company interms of its brand building efforts.
Anchor should be very much appreciated for building a brand in a boring product category like switches. The brand was able to change consumer's perception about products like modular switches. One has to take into account that consumers where not considering switches as style statements but as a functional product.

Roma was promoted by Anchor by highlighting its aesthetics and reliability. The brand earlier had the tagline " Zindagi Khubsoorat Banaye "  Watch the ad here : Anchor Roma 

After the acquisition by Panasonic ,  Roma was elevated as an individual brand endorsed by "  Anchor by Panasonic " . Roma also launched its premium range branded as Romoa Viola and promoted by a hyperbole type ad.

Roma is again in the consumer's mindspace because of the new campaign revolving around the brand's claim of being the " Largest selling modular switch brand in India". In positioning parlance, the brand has taken on Category Positioning .
Watch the ads here : Roma Butterfly ad
                                Roma Marble Ad
The ads are created for only one purpose i.e to highlight the fact that Roma is the best selling switches in the country. The brand also have the tagline " India's largest selling modular switches ". This is a straight textbook strategy of owning up the category and positioning as the category leader.
The basic premise of the campaign is that consumers are not aware of the leadership position and the brand wants to remind them so as to assure that they are buying the market leading brand. Although the theme of the ad, its setting has a total disconnect with the product, the campaign however drives the message to the mind of the consumer.
I remember Orpat and Ajanta brands positioning on the platform of being the " Largest ". Being the largest, biggest, etc give some kind of an assurance to the consumers regarding the quality, reliablity , support etc.
Although being the " Largest " has its own set of  advantages, Roma needs to cover its flanks because lot of brands like Legrand, Havell etc were able carve out mindspace by positioning on aesthetics , reliability etc.Harping on being " The Largest " may not be enough.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Denim : For the man who doesn't have to try too hard

Brand : Denim
Company : Hindustan Unilever

Brand Analysis Count : 515

Denim is one of the oldest deodorant brands in India. Although the brand's original launch date is not known, the brand is in existence even before Axe deo's launch in 1996. The brand had a fair share in the Indian market before being eclipsed by Axe Deo. 

Axe deodorant's launch was the event that triggered the near annihilation of Denim brand in India. Axe virtually captured the entire male deodorant market and Denim was left in the sidelines. 
HUL felt that there was no need for two brands with almost similar brand personalities and decided to choose Axe as the major focus area.During that time, there was a brand rationalization exercise code named " Power Brand" strategy where Levers decided to prune the number of brands in its portfolio.

How ever Denim had a small but loyal customer base ( like me). There was something innate for the brand which forced HUL to retain the brand but not as a standalone brand. In 2002, Denim was merged with Axe . Denim had a reasonable presence in the men's grooming market with Talcum Powder ( 4% share) , After Shave ( 18%) and Shaving Cream (8%). The deo was retained as a Product Line Extension of Axe and other products were axed. 
From then on, Denim was staying in the Indian market as a variant thus satisfying many loyal consumers who ware initially charmed by the fragrance, brand name and the character of this brand.

In early 2012, HUL began to turn its attention to Denim . Without much promotion, Denim was  again relaunched as an independent brand. Denim was heavily pushed at the retailer shelves as a low priced deo and Axe endorsement was removed. When most of the deos were at Rs 130 -200 price point, Denim was retailed at Rs 100. Now the company have started promoting Denim through television campaigns. 

Watch the ad here : Denim Deo ad 
The brand retains the original positioning and the classic tagline " For the man who doesn't have to try too hard". 

The Denim brand has moved from an Independent brand to a Line Extension and then to an Independent brand. The brand name has moved from Denim to Axe Denim and to Denim. Where in the marketing textbook we see such a branding strategy !!! We can see these kind of funny experiments only from HUL which houses the best marketing minds of India. In a span of ten years a brand being repositioned twice and brand name changed twice !!
One thing needs to be appreciated is that even though Denim was migrated to Axe, HUL made sure that Denim's brand character is not lost by retaining the brand elements like the color. This has helped the firm to relaunch Denim as an independent brand without confusing the consumer. 

Denim is now the low priced flanker brand for Axe. Denim will protect the Axe brand from the low priced local brands which is nibbling away Axe's share by imitating the positioning. Denim also stands a chance to develop volume from the loyalists and also those looking for a VFM deo brand. 
As a consumer who loved the brand, I am happy that Denim had regained its individuality.Beyond price, there is some powerful brand elements like the brand name , fragrance and a character that still have potential to make this a worthwhile player in the deo category.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Brand Update : Cinthol says Alive is Awesome

It is very easy to kill a brand or weaken its positioning. Ignore it, reduce investment and within no time, the brand will fade away from consumer's mind. But to bring a brand from obscurity to stardom is a Herculean task. 
Cinthol is one such iconic brand which now has the daunting task of bringing the old glory back. The neglected 60 year old brand from Godrej's stable saw some activity in 2008 when the brand was re-packaged and Hrithik Roshan was introduced to endorse the brand.  The brand also saw a new tagline " Don't Stop" . Some hope was restored about the brand's future. But alas, the enthusiasm was temporary and the campaign died down. For the last couple of years, the brand went again into slumber except for some sporadic campaigns.

Now with much hope, the brand owners have decided  ONCE AGAIN to reposition Cinthol. The brand will be launching the new campaign soon .
Watch the new ad here : Cinthol campaign

The brand has hit upon a new idea " Being Alive is Awesome ". The ad is targeted at the younger consumers who wants to live their life to the fullest and the brand has tried to squeeze itself in the entire scheme of things. In a sense, the tagline represents the brand essence of  a very active lifestyle. But the question is did the brand used the earlier positioning of  " Don't Stop" to the maximum ? These frequent changes in the tagline and the positioning has affected this brand by confusing the consumers with different messages and brand promises. 

I feel that in the new campaign , the brand is trying little too hard to relate to the new generation. For a brand like Cinthol, it need to resist from trying hard to convince. The lyrics and the singing ( rather screaming) gives me a feeling that the brand is desperate to connect to the new generation consumers. That desperation is sadly visible in the campaign. For example the term awesome is a very visible  and obvious attempt to show that the brand is young. But why try hard ? 
To be fair to the brand, it is a smart idea for the brand to go back to the classic form factor and  packaging.  The classic Cinthol comes in the rectangular bathing bar form while the variants came in the usual  soap form with rounded edges. The brand had earlier retained the traditional paper wrapper to the Classic Cinthol and used the common plastic pack for the variants. Here in the new avatar, the brand uses the  rectangular bar form in all the variants and the packaging is also same as that of Classic Cinthol soap. The form factor can give the brand a unique identity.

Alive is Awesome as a positioning platform makes sense. I hope that in subsequent campaigns, the brand will take this concept to a higher level. Sadly the experience so far suggest that after the initial spurt, the brand has a tendency to go to hibernation. And when it rises again, then there will be a new agency and a new positioning. 

Related Brand

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Brand Update : Tata Safari and the Art of Laziness

I always loved Tata Safari. Despite the bad reviews, nagging product issues, this brand was always an aspiration for me ( yet to be fulfilled). The brand which was one of the first SUVs in India had something in it which attracted people like me. And as reports validate, there are die-hard Safari fans who cling to their brand despite frequent visits to the workshop.

Sometimes we look at certain products and say ' What a Potential Wasted'. Alas, looking at Safari, I am forced to think about a wasted potential. 
This brand was launched full five years before the launch of Scorpio and see where these two brands are now . Scorpio redefined the SUV market but Safari is still on the sidelines.
And till now the brand has not learned its lessons.

When was the last time you saw a Tata Safari Advertisement and said WoW. When was the last time the product was upgraded ?
It seems that Tata Motors suddenly lost its marketing acumen. More worrying is that the company has lost interest in investing on this ageing brand. According to news reports, Tata Motors is planning to launch the much  spruced up version of Tata Safari branded as Safari Storme later this year. But going by the fate of Aria, I don't give much hope to the new launch because suddenly Tata Motors seems to lose interest in brand building. 
Tata Safari lost one of the most opportune moments in its lifecycle. Indian consumers were shifting towards diesel models, markets were indicating potential of smaller SUV and new price points were opening up in the SUV market. But Safari was blind to all these. To my surprise, it did not even acknowledged the presence of new competing brands like Duster, Xylo, Evalia or even Scorpio. The brand was in a perfect blindness. 
There was no product improvement or campaigns for the brand in these times except for some dull discount ads by the dealers. 
To my utter disappoinment, Tata Safari is now an example of Myopic Marketing wasting a potential to build an iconic brand. 
Related Brand

Monday, September 17, 2012

Brand Update : Design. It Matters for Xylys

Xylys,  the premium watch brand from Titan is on a repositioning mode again. The brand has been toying with many positioning platforms seems to have zeroed in on Design as its major USP. Having said that, Design was always the USP for Xylys but it took many positioning experiments for the brand to state the obvious.
Xylys also has a new brand ambassador in Farhan Akthar- the famous bollywood director and actor.

The brand is running a new television campaign featuring the celebrity and the new positioning theme. Xylys also has a new tagline " Design. it matters " emphasizing on the new positioning. The new tagline is far far better than the earlier one " It possesses You ". The brand in a way changed the focus from the user to the product.

Watch the new ad here : Xylys
The ad although nicely made does not have any WoW factor in it because the style of execution of a narrative has been used by many brands before. 
The brand has hit upon a pretty decent positioning platform which gives it enough firepower to build its image. Design is a powerful term and the brand must live its promise through its products. Unlike many words like Style, Elegance etc, Design is a term that encompasses all facets of a product. It is the sum total of all features, attributes, benefits of an offering. And as the brand says, Design matters very much in this era. Hope that the brand sticks to this positioning and make the best out of this good idea.

Related brand

Friday, September 07, 2012

Brand Update : Maggi's 2 Minute Mein Khushiyam With BigB

Maggi , which created the noodles category in India has now none other than Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador. The brand is being endorsed by a celebrity for the first time in its history. And Big B is an intriguing choice for a brand which is most patronized by young children.

Maggi holds a commanding position in the Noodles Segment with over 60% market share. Off late, the brand is facing competition from brands like Horlicks, TopRamen Sunfeast Yippie etc. And further the brand is feeling a disconnect with the new generation customers who now have more choices for indulgence other than noodles. Maggi now faces not only brand competition but also industry competition from similar products like Pizzas. Even fast food joints are taking away consumers from the brand. At this point , the brand needs to stay relevant to the consumers since consumers have a wider choice of indulgence.

Maggi's choice of Big B as the brand ambassador is little puzzling. Amitabh Bachchan as a celebrity commands immense respect among the audiences. He is an amazing story teller and has unmatched screen presence and Maggi wants to build more authenticity through his endorsement. The new campaign featuring Big B is an extension of the highly successful Me and Meri Maggi theme where the brand tried to crowdsource stories of customer experience with Maggi. 

The campaign brought back many segments of consumers who moved away from the brand since they have grown up. The brand again brought back focus on itself and its heritage and the USP of 2 minutes. The campaign in a way was the counter strike against the competitor's focus on health and nutrition.

Big B was introduced as a story teller who narrates the various stories supplied by the consumers through the various touchpoints created by the brand. The brand is running a campaign featuring this stories.
Watch the ads Here
The ads focus on the ease of cooking  ( convenience) and the happiness thereby attempting to take the consumer's focus away from the health platform adopted by Horlicks, Sunfeast Yippie etc. Sunfeast has roped in Saina Nehwal as its endorser.
The brand has a new slogan " 2 minute mein Khushiyan " . It is interesting to note that the brand has brought back the 2 minutes proposition after a long time. 
Although Amitabh Bachchan is a master story teller, I find some how a disconnect between the brand and the celebrity. The thought is that  " he is not the right person to endorse the brand". This is despite the fact that he commands respect from across age groups.
Having said that the presence of the powerful celebrity along with the smart collection of real life stories of brand consumption adds a big boost to this brand. The brand exactly needs such a boost at this point of its life cycle. The problem with such heritage brand is that over the period of time, the communication becomes boring. Booster shots like these will again revive the energy levels for the brand to move and face competition head on.
Related brand

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Brand Update : Sparx adds Akshay Kumar to its Life

Sparx, the shoe brand from Relaxo has replaced the brand ambassador Neil Nitin Mukesh with the Action Superstar Akshay Kumar. 
Relaxo Footwear Ltd , the owner of the brand is on a roll these days. The company is seriously in to celebrity driven branding and has roped in stars like Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif to endorse its brands Hawaii and Flite respectively.
For the sports shoe brand Sparx, the brand chose to rope in a new brand ambassador - Akshay Kumar. The brand is running its print campaign now featuring the new celebrity.

As far as the brand's personality and positioning is concerned, Akshhay fits the bill perfectly. Akshay is the most atheletic Bollywood star and is the ideal pick for a sports brand. How ever, the celebrity is highly stereotyped by the ad campaigns and his stunt-oriented ad campaigns have lost the wow factor due to this stereotyping . Brands have failed to exploit his personal characteristics and is lured by the obvious athleticism and martial art stunts.
Sparx also is using the star in the same manner. This also-ran theme does not do any good to the brand except for some amount of attention and a possible recall. Sparx could have gained a lot if it tried to exploit Akshay Kumar's personal qualities like confidence, self-made, hardworking nature etc rather than just those flying kicks.
Akshay would definitely help the brand gain more eyeballs nationally but the way the ad campaigns are executed will define the brand's position in comparison with competitors. With global brands like Nike , Reebok etc have lowered their price points to cover the mass market, Sparx should try to make use of its celebrities much more powerfully rather than just gain brand awareness.
Related Brand

Monday, August 13, 2012

Marketing Funda : Marketing and Osborne Effect

Osborne effect is a phenomenon where the sales of an existing product gets affected because of the announcement of future products. Osborne Effect's story goes like this :- During 1980s, Osborne computer corporation was a highly successful computer manufacturing firm which marketed the personal computer named Osborne 1. The chairman of the corporation Mr. Adam Osborne during 1983 announced several future models promising consumers highly efficient and fast machines. When he made the announcements, none of these machines were in the pipeline.

The announcement prompted a heavy cancellation of orders of Osborne 1 because consumers and trade expected the arrival of advanced machines. This event have virtually driven the company to bankruptcy ( although many other reasons also contributed to it ). Source : Wiki , Report

The same effect is now played out in the case of Nokia- a brand which is struggling at the onset of competition from Apple and affordable Chinese brands. Nokia in 2011 announced with much fanfare, its tie-up with Microsoft for the mobile O/S. Nokia announced the shift in the OS from Symbian to Windows much before the actual shift. The first shock for existing Symbian users who began to ditch the existing Symbian models in favor of other platforms like Android. 

Then came the much touted Nokia Lumia with the hyped Windows Mango ( 7.5). The well designed Lumia range was expected to lift the fortunes of Nokia in the smartphone category. The company also launched an affordable version of Lumia in the Indian market thus effectively covering various price-points. 
Then came the announcement of Microsoft about the Windows 8 and the shock that the existing Lumia phones will not be upgradable to the new much talked about Windows 8 platform. No wonder, many of the prospective Lumia buyers will be postponing their purchase.

The trouble is not with Nokia alone. Even Android based mobiles also are facing the issue of frequent upgrades and the existing phones not being able to be upgraded to the new platforms. Google has rapidly introduced upgrades from Froyo to Gingerbread to Icecream Sandwich within a short span of time much to the confusion of  consumers and marketers.
One needs to learn from Apple on how to handle this rapid changes in the technology and specifications. Apple has an advantage since it is tightly controlling the eco-system. It makes the entire upgradation process highly secretive and this prevents any shocks on the existing inventory and product line. 

Android based phone marketers have a huge issue since the platform upgrades are beyond their control. So how can a marketer prevent Osborne effect when they do not have control over the platform changes.? The million dollar question is whether the consumer buy a Ginger Bread Android Phone even after the launch of Icecream Sandwich ? 

The only way is to build a powerful brand having value more than the platform. So till now, the Android makers were riding the equity of Google and Android ingredient brand. But to insulate the after-effects of platform changes, one needs to build their own brand showing more value so that consumers doesn't ditch the brand because of future version announcements. 

Another method is to customize the product so that consumers are lured by the customization rather than the platform itself . Amazon has tried to do that in the Kindle Fire where  the version is customized and hence the user experience is owned by Amazon rather than Android.
Brands can also insulate itself by building a comprehensive package of features and attributes rather than just depending on one single platform.

In the new fight over the platforms, the key to success is the user experience. Firms are now forgetting this and running after platforms. Although platforms are important, it will be the unique user experience that will be luring your customers to your product

Saturday, August 04, 2012

ONN Inners : Keep It On

Brand : ONN
Company : Lux Hosiery

Brand Analysis Count : #514

ONN is the new brand of premium innerwears from the house of Lux Hosiery. The brand is targeting its share in the high growth premium men's innerwear segment. Indian innerwear market is worth around Rs 13000-14000 crores. The market is equally split among organized and unorganized players. The men's inner-wear segment is worth around Rs 5800 crore. According to reports, the premium segment in this market is growing at a scorching pace of around 40%.
It is in this context that the launch of ONN gains significance. Lux Hosiery has been a dominant player in the innerwear market with its Lux brand of inners. Lux gained prominence in the affordable segment with its celebrity endorsements and the famous slogan " Ye ander ki baat hain ". Lux had the brands Lux Cozi and GenX with endorsers like Sunny Deol and Neil Nithin Mukesh.

ONN has gained lot of eyeballs by roping in Shahrukh Khan as its brand ambassador. The brand is running its campaigns across the media
Watch the TVC : ONN with Shahrukh

Just like most of the innerwear brands except Jockey, ONN also is following the celebrity centered brand building route. The saddest part is that there is nothing more to the branding strategy other than the celebrity. 
Here also there is Shahrukh Khan and the brand ONN. The brand owners failed to convey any meaningful message for this brand. For a low priced inner-wear brand, creating brand awareness is the key to success. But for a premium brand, it needs to justify the premium and a mere celebrity endorsement may not work. The task becomes more important when there are international brands like Jockey upping its noise and most of the readymade brands like Vanheusen , Louis Philleppe etc have their own innerwears. 
The quality of the TVC is  much below standards interms of theme and execution.The ad doesn't suit the premium segment but will be ideal for a low priced segment. By choosing a hyperbole around the movie Don and with a stereotyped characters has virtually downgraded the positioning to a lower level brand. The brand's site says that ONN wants to fight Jockey but with this kind of creatives, the dream will be a distant one.

ONN needs to focus more on creating a credible differentiator or atleast position itself on the basis of some important attributes like Fit, Design, Range, Comfort etc. Just having an expensive brand ambassador will not work well in the segment it is in.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Brand Update : Scooty wants to Shake EM Up with Scootygiri

In its new campaign for Scooty Pep+ , the brand features the new celebrity ambassador Ms Anushka Sharma. The campaign titled Scootygiri projects the Scooty user as a young confident girl willing to question the status quo. The theme of empowered confident girl has been the major positioning platform on which Scooty has built itself to the current position. 

Watch the campaigns here : Scootygiri Romeo
                                           Scootygiri Dress code  
The brand now has the slogan " Shake Them Up with Scootygiri" exhorting girls to standup confidently and face issues head on.
The brand should be commented on being consistent in its message over these years.
An analysis of the brand's portfolio gives certain interesting facts. There are  three sub-brands under Scooty - Scooty Streak, Scooty Pep+ and Scooty Teenz.
Scooty Teenz is a sub 60cc scooter aimed at the first-time user of the product category. Scooty Streak and Scooty Pep+ are almost similar products interms of technical specifications. The difference is in the styling and promotion.Scooty now can be considered as a primary brand with sub-brands - Teenz ,Streak and Pep+.

Although Scooty has been performing quite well in the category , there is a gradual shift in the category moving in the direction of powerful scooters. This shift is now boosted by Hero Honda Pleasure and also gender-neutral new scooters like Access 125, TVS Wego Vespa etc. 
Scooty seems to be contented with the current technical specifications but it should not be blind to the fact that increasingly the ladies' scooter market is moving towards powerful scooters. TVS has a product Wego which is in the segment of powerful scooters . My contention is that Scooty should be modifying its product offering to reflect this shift. It cannot let Hero Honda Pleasure take up leadership position in this emerging  category. 
Scooty needs a presence in the higher engine capacity scooters to counter Pleasure . It cannot use Wego to counter Pleasure since Wego is a unisex scooter. Pleasure has been very aggressive in its promotions and will be creating a big chunk in the Scooty's existing customer base. The issue is much deeper that cannot be handled with high decibel ads or celebrity endorsements. Scooty has to see whether the entire category of ladies' scooter is shifting towards higher engine capacity ones. Ofcourse there will be a market for less powered scooters but that will be much smaller and unprofitable in future.

Related Brand

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brand Update : Lux Extends to Deo

Lux, India's most famous personal care brand has extended itself to deo. The campaigns are on air featuring the extensions. The deo market in India is witnessing huge amount of brand activity with new brands being launched almost every month. According to Economic Times, the deo market is estimated to be around Rs 1300 crore and growing at 40%. 

The question as always is what can be logic behind HUL extending its iconic brand to deo. It is not that Lux is not extended before. The brand has soaps, shampoos, bodywash in the product-line. Globally this is the first time that the brand is extending to deodorants. 

HUL has been a pioneer in creating the deo category in India. The company holds its leadership position in the market with its iconic brand Axe. HUL also has its anti perspiration deo Sure and also Dove. So rather than investing on these brands why would HUL try to extend Lux into this category ? 

One of the reason can be to pre-empt competition by flooding the market with its own brands. Lux has a huge equity which will translate to trials and incremental sales. Further, the company is also wary about the launch of competing brands like Santoor, Nivea etc into this category. 
However, HUL is taking the risk of spreading the budgets too far on these extensions. After Axe, the company was not able to come out with another blockbuster deo brand. It pulled out Rexona and Sure was not able to replicate the success of Rexona ( during the initial years). Dove is also another brand which is extended to almost all imaginable personal care categories.

Lux as a brand will get more diluted  if HUL tries to milk its equity too much. None of its earlier extensions could replicate the success of the core brand. Rather than diluting, HUL could have launched new focused deo brands.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Mahindra Stallio : RIP (2010-2011)

Brand : Stallio
Company : Mahindra 2 wheelers

Brand Analysis Count :  #513

Question : What else do you want for a  perfect product launch when there is a reputed Corporate Brand, Aamir Khan and a decent campaign ?
 Ans : A good product !

Mahindra Stallio is a sad story of a perfect plan foiled by a poorly built product. Mahindra Group was very vocal in its plan to enter into the Indian two wheeler market. It surprised the industry by acquiring the ailing Kinetic Motors' two wheeler division. The company  followed it up with the successful launch of automatic scooters Duro and Rodeo. Then came the much anticipated entry into the bike segment.

Rather than launching a macho, performance bike to impress the technological prowess of the company, Mahindra chose to enter the much crowded and highly competitive commuter bike segment. The first product in the bike segment was the 106 cc Mahindra Stallio. 

Stallio had a dream launch. The PR team of the company had built in enough suspense in the market. The entire automotive industry was looking for something similar to a Scorpio that will shake up the established brands like Splendor and Pulsar. Then Stallio happened. The brand instantly gained eyeballs through the endorsement of Aamir Khan. Aamir Khan's endorsement was a master marketing move. The actor had huge equity in the market and his endorsement of a two wheeler was something no one anticipated.

Stallio put on an aggressive face in the market with a cheeky campaign pitting against all those macho bike brands which advertised with more hyperbole than a Bollywood movie.
Watch the launch campaign : Mahindra Stallio1 
                                            Mahindra Stallio 2
Stallio was positioned as a commuter bike that combined style and performance. At a price around Rs 45000, the brand promised enough features and quality and was aiming to compete with the segment leader Hero Honda Spendour.

The brand sold more than 5000 units in two months time, then the problem started. The brand had serious issues in the clutch and gear box. Noticing this issue, the company stopped producing the product and the brand was withdrawn from the market. For a marketer, it is a nightmare come true. The issue was not a product recall but a complete withdrawal from the market. 

It has been more than 8 months since the product withdrawal and the company is still not able to relaunch the brand in the market. It is highly intriguing of the fact that a company like Mahindra would land in a product quality issue of this scale. 

As of now, Stallio is almost dead and it will be difficult for the company to revive the brand since it failed at the launch itself. Renewing the brand and regaining the lost trust will be Herculean task. Aamir Khan also lost his bike endorsing credibility and if he comes again to endorse Stallio, I wonder how the consumers will react. If Mahindra relaunches Stallio, it will be easy for the competitors to kill the brand by refreshing the past failure memories. How ever, Mahindra did  a good job in swiftly taking the brand out of the market thereby limiting the PR damage. Also the media has been benevolent about the failure with limited coverage on the debacle.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Vespa : Fashion Unchanged

Brand : Vespa
Company : Piaggio

Brand Analysis Count : # 512

Vespa is back in a new avatar or rather in its Original avatar. The brand which died in 2006 is being resurrected by its original owners is set to change the way Indian consumers think about scooters. Vespa initially came to India in 1960 with partner Bajaj  and later through LML. The brand had a tough ride in the Indian market with some few successes like LML Vespa Select. But the brand failed to bring in volumes which eventually led the demise of this stylish brand.

Although Vespa had a different image compared to its rival Bajaj, the brand was never considered to be lifestyle oriented. Consumers considered it as a stylish scooter and the image ended with that.

This 2012, Vespa has come back to Indian market with its original persona of an Italian Scooter. The launch is significant because of the iconic status that Vespa enjoys elsewhere in the world. It is also interesting to see how Indian consumer will welcome the second homecoming of the brand.
The main reason behind the relaunch of Vespa is the increasing interest shown by consumers towards the scooter segment. According to Economic Times, Indian scooter market is around 2.5 million units growing at CAGR of 20%. Lot of new launches are happening in this market and consumers seems to prefer the utility of this product.

What is interesting in Vespa is the brand's positioning as a fashion statement. For the first time in this segment, a brand is exploring the possibility of creating a new market - lifestyle scooter. The target segment is youth who wants to be different, make a style statement. Essentially a psychographic segmentation. The brand is now focusing on print campaigns which makes sense .
The brand has the tagline " Fashion Unchanged" and is drawing power from its legacy dating back to 1945. The brand uses funky colors and evokes as sense of youthfulness that fits a fashion brand.

The brand has done it right in terms of the product design. The scooters looks cute and stylish and the advertisements looks chic. Although the product reviews are average, Vespa is expecting to sell for its looks and more importantly its brand image. The brand owners are repeatedly telling that Vespa is not for power-hungry as an excuse for the poor engine specifications. But hope they don't forget that consumers should get a decent deal when the brands commands a premium. Poor specs cannot be masked through colorful advertisements and lifestyle positioning.

The challenge for the brand is to show value. The brand is expensive and the specifications is nothing special so getting Indian youth to open up their wallet for the sake of looking fashionable seems to be a tough task.
The silver lining is that this is the era of design and experience. Lot depends on the brand's ability to convey fashion statement through the product. 
The steep price will force customers to compare value with the workhorses like Activa, although Activa is not a style statement. There is a chance that the brand will remain aspirational restricted to a few. The brand could have done wonders if it was priced at an affordable range and get more on the road - some thing like an affordable fashion statement. But Italian arrogance is visible in the pricing. The brand with the styling and premiumness can make Indian consumers drool or will they ?

Related brand

Friday, June 22, 2012

Brand Update : Advance RIP wishes for "Only Vimal"

In a rather sad news for brand lovers, Reliance Industries has decided to sell off their textile business including their iconic brand " Vimal ". The brand which once had an iconic status now is on the verge of extinction.Vimal was also one of the few consumer brands of India's largest private sector company Reliance. 

The future of this brand will be decided by the new brand owners. Although its is premature to write RIP for the brand, its sad that Reliance chose to sell of the brand despite the fact that the company is rich with cash and could have revived the brand anytime.
The brand which  marked the arrival of the advertising agency Mudra will be known for some classic advertisement campaigns featuring brand ambassadors like Allan Border and Vivian Richards.The writing was on the wall for some years. There was virtually no investment in building this brand in the last decade except for some random campaigns. The move is a part of Reliance strategy of exiting loss making business and focus on new sunrise sectors. 
The brand has failed because of negligence on the part of the owners who lost interest in building the business nor the brand. 
Lets hope that the new brand owners will try reviving this brand . Till then RIP Vimal ( 1980-2012)

Related Brand

Monday, June 18, 2012

Brand Update : Cadbury Gems changes Target Segment

In a surprising move, Gems decided to re-position itself. The brand so far had appealed to kids suddenly decided to change the target market to  adults. This move is fueled by two campaigns now on air.
Watch the ad here : Gems Sculpture
                               Gems Lady
I am still wondering the logic behind this drastic re-targeting which obviously has to be backed by 
re-positioning. The brand now has the tagline " Raho Umarless" roughly translated to " Be Ageless" .The concept is that the brand encourages the users to enjoy life regardless of the age. Another perspective is that the brand brings the child in you. Although the concept ( although not new) sounds reasonable but the way the agency has executed it is nothing but atrocious. The fact that it is Ogilvy who has done this hopeless work makes it even more surprising. 
From the two ad, the ad featuring the lady is the most atrocious one. Neither the lady looks Child-like nor the hyperbole theme is interesting. The sculpture ad is predictable but still does not convey the brand's intended positioning. 
What is puzzling is the brand's reason for targeting adults. The brand sales may have been plateauing over these years and this may have forced the firm to think about the segments.It is true that Gems is seldom patronized by adults.This is a predominantly kid's chocolate but adults do indulge in it when he buys for the kids.
Some newsreport suggest that Gems has broadened the TG but  the advertisement message suggest that the brand has gone for a complete re-positioning and a change in the targeting strategy rather than broadening. 

While there is a logic behind the new TG, the brand failed to provide any compelling reason for adults to buy Gems. " Raho Umarless" is a weak attempt to attract adult to rethink the way he looks at Gems.Ideally the brand should have attempted a non-hyperbolic, real life enjoyment which would have attracted the TG. The brand is assuming that by looking at a campaign, the adults would indulge. But in my opinion, when repositioning, the brand needs to build salience. So it cannot afford to miss details like Why buy the brand and when to indulge in the brand. Those finer details are missing in the new campaign. 
It is also interesting to see that the brand is not trying to rope in youngsters but adults. Wonder why they chose to target 30 year olds rather than 20 year olds? Remember this is the company that built a brand like Cadbury's Shots in a short period of time. That magic is sadly missing in the ads. It pains when execution fails for a powerful brand like Gems that too when it attempts a repositioning. 

 Having said that the nostalgia of Gems is still there will hopefully drive the brand into adult's mind sans the hopeless repositioning execution. 

Related brand 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Brand Update : Parachute Advansed Owns World's Best Hair

In an absolutely fabulous positioning initiative, Parachute Advansed has owned up the " World's Best Hair" proposition. I would term it as one of the smartest positioning move in 2012 so far. Parachute Advansed which is the line- extension of Parachute Coconut Oil brand takes care of all the value- added coconut personal care products. Under the Advansed sub-brand, Parachute has products like Ayurvedic hair oil, hair gel for men, cooling oil etc.
This year , brand has decided to own the most important positioning platform " World's Best Hair". The campaign featuring the celebrity endorser  Deepika Padukone is on air in most of the channels.

Watch the ad here : Parachute Advansed
The campaign which includes digital ( in a big way) is based on a research finding that users of Parachute Advansed hair oil has better hair than the non-users of hair oils ( source ).

It is not the research but the positioning platform which is an absolutely wonderful and powerful one. By taking the ownership of " world's best hair" and backing it up with a research ( which will be ignored by skeptics), Parachute Advansed moved a notch up interms of positioning. The ad agency did a smart job in passing the message in a beautiful manner.

" The world's best hair " campaign is one of the very thoughtful and powerful campaign in recent times. The brand has put itself into a powerful position and will force the competitor to negate this aggressive stance.As for the consumer is concerned, the current campaign will reinforce their choice of using hair oil for hair protection and may prompt non-users ( of category) to try out this brand.

Related brand

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Choc On : Khaas Mithaas

Brand : Choc On
Company : SK Industries

Brand Analysis Count : # 511

SK Industries which is a player in the food processing and beverages sector launched a new brand in the highly competitive confectionery industry. The brand Choc On  which competes with the like of Cadbury Dairy Milk will be vying for a pie in the Rs 2000 crore chocolate market ( source : Exchange4media).
The brand has roped in Katrina Kaif as the brand ambassador and the launch ad is now running across channels
Watch the ad here : Choc on ad
The endorsement from Katrina has given the brand instant eyeballs and ofcourse curiosity about the new brand's aggressive marketing practice. 

The brand is positioned ( as usual) on the basis of irresistible taste. According to media reports, the brand wants to deliver 'ultimate delight in chocolate' to the customers.
The target segment for the brand is of age group 9-16 years. 

The theme of the ad is " Dreams Meet Reality " but  I found it really difficult to understand what the ad really meant. Katrina plays the part of  Cinderella and Red Riding Hood in the ad.  Choc On has the taglne " Khaas Mithaas " roughly translated to " A very special chocolate ".

Apart from Katrina Kaif, there is nothing much being said by the brand about itself. Since it is a new launch, I had expected the brand to say something about itself in terms of what it is and how it is different from others. But the ad fails in the primary responsibility of establishing the credentials of the brand. The fact is that Choc On relies heavily on the brand ambassador for credibility. And the endorsement of Katrina definitely will give some credibility to the brand. 
It is interesting to note that in this digital era , the presence of Choc On is almost nil in the web. There is no brand site nor any information about the brand owners.  
Having said that, Choc On has done a right thing by picking a high profile celebrity for the launch campaign. The presence of Katrina gives the brand instant visibility and prompt consumers to try the brand.  
The brand could have done more in the launch phase by talking more about itself in the ad. The ad is filled with visuals and rest is left to the imagination of consumers. Since this is a new brand from a less known brand owner, more communication could have been included in the launch phase with regard to the brand attributes.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Brand Update : Santoor Celebrates 25 years with Rebranding

Santoor, India's third largest soap brand is celebrating its 25 years of glorious existence in the fiercely competitive Indian toilet soap market.  The brand is celebrating this event with a rebranding exercise which consists of a new look, new fragrance and interestingly a brand anthem. Also the brand roped in Saif Ali Khan as the celebrity model for its campaign.

The rebranding  showcases new pack with a new logo which gives the brand a contemporary look. The interesting part is the Santoor brand anthem which is a well made theme presentation which reflects the core positioning of Santoor which is " A soap for younger looking skin".

Watch the Anthem here : santoor anthem

There is also a new ad featuring Saif Ali khan. The ad follows the same theme of mistaken identity where a young mother is mistaken for a spinster because of her younger looking skin. Congratulations to the brand for sticking to the theme which made it one of the most successful fmcg brand in India.

In a related article in exchange4media, one of the ad gurus  commented that the theme of mistaken identity has become old and boring and too predictable. In a sense the ad is predictable but we are not here to solve a puzzle, the more the ads become predictable, the more the message will be impressed upon in the customer's mind. The criticism of being a boring advertisement is relevant and the brand could have done more interms of making this theme more interesting. The anthem is fabulous and does justice to the brand's equity. 

Related Brand

Monday, May 21, 2012

Brand Update : From Kajol & Croc To Kareena & Bear

Alpenliebe, the brand which redefined and rejuvenated the sugar candy market has come a long way since its launch in 1994. The brand recently launched another sub-brand 2Choco with huge promotional noise. The new eclair brand came into limelight because of the endorsement from Bollywood diva Kareena Kapoor.  The launch also marks the entry of Alpenliebe into th Eclair category.

Watch the ad here : 2 Choco

The alpha-numeric branding signifies that this eclair has two chocolate flavors ( source : website).

So what is now Alpenliebe ?

From a very simple caramel based sugar candy which was positioned on the basis of taste and irresistible lust for more, the brand is now , a candy ( three flavors), lollipop, flavor filled candy - Creamfillz and Mangofillz sub-brands and now an eclairs.

Infact the brand has become an Umbrella Brand endorsing different products in the same confectionery category . So when you ask for Alpenliebe from a shop, you may get any of these products !!
In my opinion, the brand owners needlessly extended this powerful brand for incremental sales benefit.According to reports, Alpenliebe alone was around Rs 160 crore and may be these franchises may help the brand show more worth but the core brand Alepenliebe will suffer because now the brand means many things.

Take the case of the new brand 2 Choco endorsed by Alpenliebe. What prevented Perfetti to launch 2choco as an independent brand ? If it could afford Kareena , then it would have enough money to build a powerful independent chocolate eclair brand. But it chose the easy way of making it endorsed by Alepenliebe which may have helped the new launch and trial but at the expense of making the brand architecture of Alpenliebe complex.

The positioning of the original Alpenliebe and the new Alpenliebe 2Choco are poles apart. 2Choco has the tagline " Love and Share " and Alpenliebe has " lalach Aaha Laplap " ( means some crap in Hindi). It has to be seen whether Kajol will continue endorsing the original Alpenliebe candy. Perfetti earlier launched a brand Chocoliebe in the eclair category but does not met with much success. Alpenliebe 2Choco is also a premium play since the brand is priced at Rs 1/- price point.

The launch ad for 2 Choco is amusing and I don't understand why Alpenliebe franchise is fixated about the combination of Bollywood Divas and animals. Earlier it was Kajol and Croc , then came Kajol and Apes and now it is Kareena with a polar bear.
I have a feeling that the Alpenliebe brand itself is getting confused interms of positioning and the reason is the large number of diverse product forms it endorses. The confusion is going to be more if the brand owners decides to extend it further.
Alpenliebe was a powerful brand and it is being weakened by the brand owners just for the sake of convenience.
Related brand

Monday, May 14, 2012

Marketing Funda : Indian Ingredient Brands

Marketing Guru Kevin Lane Keller defines Ingredient Branding as a special case of co-branding which involves creating brand equity for materials component or parts that are necessarily contained in other branded products. Prof. John Quelch  of Harvard defines ingredient branding as putting the brand of an ingredient out of the product to increase its appeal. 

Ingredient branding concept started as a co-branding where the brand owners of ingredient and product brands are different. In my opinion, the strategy has evolved where firms have started branding their own ingredients in order to create differentiation. Intel and Dupont are considered to be pioneers in this regard. Increasingly brands in India too have tried to develop ingredient brands to create differentiation. Some of the below cited examples are loosely connected to the concept of ingredient branding in the sense that the brand owners may not have registered as a trademark.

          Parent Brand             Ingredient brand

  1. Orient fans               PSPO
  2. Exo dishwash bar     Cyclozan
  3. Chandrika soap        Activ Ayurveda
  4. Clinic All Clear         ZPTO ( now not using it)
  5. Horlicks                   DHA ( using it very less)
  6. Maruti Suzuki        K-Series Engines
  7. Bajaj Pulsar            DTSI
  8. Titan Watches        HTSE
  9. Citizen                   Eco-Drive
  10. Tata Motors          DriveTech / Quadrajet
  11. Ford Motors         TDCi
  12. Hyundai                CRDi
  13. Good Knight         Activ +
  14. Godrej Fairglow   Fairness Proteins
  15. Louis Philippe      Permapress ( Nishinbo Japan owned tech)
  16. TVS Apache        RTR
  17. Panasonic            Eco-Navi Sensors (for refridgerators)
  18. Gariner Men        Active Perlite ( for deo)
  19. Pantene               Pro-V
  20. Fiama Di Wills    Derma Revitalizers ( for men's fairness cream)
  21. Saffola                LoSorb Technology
  22. Kent water purifier   Mineral RO technology