Monday, November 16, 2015

Brand Update : Will Tata Motors be made great by Messi

In a really surprising move, Tata Motors roped in the football legend Lionel Messi as the brand ambassador. Tata Motors has been in a sticky wicket in the last few years. Once the Indica magic was over, Tata motors were not able to produce a volume player. Nano was a disappointment and the company watched its competitor  rolling out best sellers year after year. 

The company had been working hard behind the scenes under the revival strategy named Horizon Next. The first two products under this plan were the Zest and Bolt. Both gained good reviews in the market, but the baggage of the Tata Motors brand was pulling down any scope for a spectacular show.
Perception is powerful and often enduring and it is not easy to change perceptions. The  lack of perfection and nagging complaints of earlier Tata Motors cars created strong perceptions which are proving to be a tough nut to crack. Tata Motors is one of those brands which people know, like and trust but doesn't want to buy. 

The big endorsement from Messi is another effort of Tata Motors to change perceptions. The brand knew that it is losing out from the mind of the younger generation. With the competition in the Indian market is global, nothing less than a global icon will do for a brand like Tata Motors. 

The company is currently running the endorsement campaign named " Made of Great ".
Watch the ad here: Tata Motors Made of Great 
The ad is all about Messi. The new campaign is all about Messi and Tata Motors attempt to make some connect with this iconic football player. 

The Messi effect would come into play with the new launches of Tata Motors. According to news reports, the new launch Tata Kite was teased in the above-mentioned ad. The new launches would benefit from this high profile endorsement. 

While Messi would rekindle some interest in Tata Motors, what is important is to make good the flaws that created the perception that is preventing brands from Tata Motors to have customer preference in the buying process. Products from Tata Motors are in the bottom of the consideration set in most cases. Consumers will consider products for purchasing only if caters to some minimum requirements. Sadly somewhere the products of Tata Motors is lacking ( or perceived to be lacking ) on those vital parameters. 
Hopefully, as the ad goes, Tata Motors would rediscover those factors which make the products great. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Baleno : Premium play using a phased-out brand?

Brand: Baleno
Company:  Maruti Suzuki

Brand Analysis count:  # 560

Maruti Suzuki Ltd ( MSL) is in the process of  foraying into the premium hatchback ( B+) segment with the launch of Baleno. The announcement was surprising to me since the company which is struggling to break into the premium segment has chosen to name the product with a phased out brand!

Interestingly, Baleno was MSL's foray into the premium sedan segment, 16 years ago. Baleno was first launched in 1999. Although the car was exceptional in terms of quality, MSL priced the product exorbitantly high. In 1999, the brand was priced at 8 lakhs. This along with the general VFM perception of Maruti brand caused a lukewarm response to Baleno. Later Baleno reduced the price substantially to around Rs 5.5 lakhs. Despite these efforts, Baleno failed to deliver volumes resulting in its withdrawal in 2006. It is said that the quality of the product is evident in the fact that Baleno is still used as a racing car in India.

It is in this context that the launch of the new Baleno hatchback becomes interesting. MSL has stated that it aims to break into the premium segment of the Indian automotive market. The company had created a premium distribution network branded as Nexa. The company had launched its premium crossover S-Cross through Nexa. 
Everyone knows that MSL has the issue of being perceived as a value-for-money brand. Many experts suggest that more than the VFM perception, the brand Maruti have an issue with the design. So far no product from MSL was having a premium design. 
When  the company has such a perception problem existing, why would it launch a " premium" car with a brand which was phased out? Frankly I don't see any logic or rationale behind that move. Baleno, in my personal view, doesn't have a lasting equity which  could help in the new product launch. Further, the new product is a hatchback and not a sedan. 
So what is the value that the old brand Baleno is bringing to the new product is puzzling. Baleno is also a product which failed due to its high ( premium) pricing. Now MSL is launching a high-priced hatchback in that same name is nothing but an irony. The only logic I see is that the Baleno hatchback is a global product and hence the brand. 
In my opinion, MSL has lost an opportunity to build a premium brand. By launching Nexa, the company wanted to create a separate identity away from old Maruti products. When the company has invested so much in creating a different identity, why would it bring back a brand which has the baggage of history? 
Premium-ness comes from exclusivity, stellar performance and brand equity. I wonder how could anyone relate premium-ness to a brand which was phased out because it was not successful?

On the branding front, I consider the Baleno branding as a big mistake. Baleno hatchback would be a successful product probably as a VFM product and I doubt whether it would be a premium brand as wished by MSL.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Brand Update : Peter England wants you to Be Everything You Love

Peter England that came to India with the promise of an Honest Shirt, has undergone yet another change. This time, the brand has seen a significant change in its personality. From a stiff collar personality, Peter England has become a very youth, adventurous brand. The change in the brand personality is now reflected in the new TVC. Along with the new personality, the brand has also adopted a new tagline " Be Everything You Love ".

Watch the new TVC here: Peter England - Be everything you love

The brand that was launched in 1997 had made a significant positioning change in 2010 when it adopted the tagline " Beginning of Good Things ". The brand had a celebrity endorser at that time. Even then, the brand's personality was that of an affable, honest, serious brand.
In the new avatar, Peter England has become a new person. The new personality reflected by the main actor in the advertisement is young, adventurous and probably irreverent. This is a serious shift from the original brand's persona.
Along these years, the brand has also added more products to its portfolio, including belts, bags and the like. The brand is trying to woo the new young generation and this effort is reflected in the new commercial.
But sadly the theme that the brand has used in the new avatar is used many times by other brands. The interview setting, the older interviewers, and the  smart young hero all looks so cliched and stereotyped. While the move towards new personality is justified, the execution of the new positioning seems to be below average.
It is also to be noted that the young man depicting the brand's personality has not done everything he loves and wishes to do so in the next five years. That prompts me to ask why is he not doing it now ?? 

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Mahindra Gusto : Kisi Se Kam Nahi

Brand : Mahindra Gusto, Centuro
Company : Mahindra Two Wheelers

Brand Analysis Count  : # 559

I think, this is the first time I am writing on two brands in one post. Mahindra had launched its 110 cc scooter in 2014. The brand is going to compete with the likes of  Honda Activa, Access etc. Gusto is interesting brand because it calls itself as a car in two wheels ! 

Gusto is positioned on its car-like features. The brand pitches against the cars claiming that it has car-like features like height-adjustable seat, remote flip-key, LED pilot lamps, find-me lamps etc. The brand has based this theme on the insight that car-owners look down upon the two-wheeler riders ( source - afaqs). Hence the campaign of Gusto features car-owners mocking the Gusto rider and become surprised when they find that Gusto had car-like features. 
Gusto was initially launched with tagline " Break Free" and was positioned as a fun scooter. Now the brand has adopted the tagline " Kisi Se kam Nahi".
Another interesting fact is that Mahindra is promoting its motorcycle and scooter using the same concept. There is a common campaign for Gusto and Centuro and both these brands share the common tagline " Kisi Se Kam Nahi . 

Watch the ad here : Mahindra Two Wheeler ad
Along with this long ad, there are small ads featuring the various car-like features. 

The concept and the innovation creates a wow feeling. I think Mahindra two-wheelers has done well in identifying good differentiators. The brands can be proud of being pioneers in bringing in car-like features into two wheelers. 
Having said that, these features can be easily copied by the competitors and hence the extent of sustainability of this differentiation is limited. Since Mahindra Two-wheelers is trying to get a foothold in the market, these feature rich products will help the company very much; provided the brands succeed in the basic product functions like ridabililty , reliability , performance etc. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Brand Update : Cycle Agarbatti ropes in Big B as Brand Ambassador

Cycle Agarbathies has roped in Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador. The organized agarbatti market in India is worth around Rs 2400 crore, and Cycle has approximately 20% share of this market. The move for a high-profile celebrity endorsement is a strategy to take the brand to a national level. 

The brand also changed its slogan to “ Purity of Prayer”. The new commercial is well made, and BigB was able to pack an emotional tone to the brand. According to reports, the ads were created by Soojith Sirkar of the Piku movie fame. 
Watch the tvc here: Big B Cycle 

The agarbatti market that is highly fragmented is witnessing intense competition with the entry of ITC with the Mangaldeep brand.  In a market like this, distribution is the key since customers tend to experiment with new fragrances and brands. Cycle wants to play the game of branding and with a high profile endorser like BigB, the brand stand a good chance of gaining more share of mind in the market. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Brand Update : Honda Relaunches Jazz

After withdrawing the premium hatchback Jazz in 2013, Honda has relaunched Jazz with an aggressive pricing. Jazz is an interesting marketing story of a brand which failed not because of product but pricing. Honda had priced out Jazz in its earlier avataar. Now the company had become very responsive to the value conscious nature of the Indian consumer. 

Jazz in the 2015 version has been priced upwards of Rs 5.31 lakh which makes a great value proposition in the segment. The Jazz will compete with i20 and higher version of Swift. The new aggressive pricing, new styling and the Honda brand equity will definitely boost the fortune of Jazz in the new launch. 
Also unlike the earlier brand-pull strategy of Honda, there is a marked change in the approach of the dealers towards sales. I casually inquired about the Jazz at Honda service center when I gave my car for service and has been getting sales call for Jazz. This marks a clear departure from the earlier " Take it or Leave it " approach.

The brand is launched with the tagline " Nothing Else is a Jazz " and is playing on the sporty features of the brand. 
Watch the ad here : Honda Jazz relaunch TVC

With aggressive pricing, new styling and with a diesel engine under hood, Jazz would further boost the share of Honda in India for sure. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Brand Update : Liril is back with the original jingle and waterfall imagery

Liril is back . After messing up the once iconic brand, HUL has relaunched Liril with the classic jingle and the iconic imagery of a girl in a waterfall  immortalized 40 years ago  by the original Liril girl - Karen Lunel .
 After killing the freshness theme ( for whatever reasons) during early 1990s, the brand went into various positioning themes and later faded into oblivion. Now the brand is back to its roots.

Watch the relaunch here : Liril relaunch

While the relaunch brings back fond memory of this great brand to many of us, it may not ring the bell to the new generation. Nostalgia aside, the new ad is well made in the sense it is almost the same as the original ad.

The brand is positioned on the freshness platform and now has the tagline " Fresh is back ".
How ever, as a marketing enthusiast, I am happy for Liril to have made a come back. Kudos to HUL for biting the bullet and returning to the original positioning. 

This is also a lesson for brand managers who try to change positioning for the sake of change.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Brand Update : Maruti Suzuki tries premium push through Nexa

Maruti Suzuki which has a bear grip on the Indian passenger car market is desperate for a share in the premium car market. While the company has huge lead in the mid and small car segment, it so far has not been able to break into the premium segment ( 10 lakh above). Maruti had tried earlier with its Grand Vitara, Baleno, and latest Kizashi but failed to replicate the success of its affordable car range. 

Maruti Suzuki is now trying to go through the channel route to tap this segment. According to reports, the company is opening a premium channel named ( internally) as Nexa. Maruti plans to launch its premium cars  beginning with S-Cross through this channel. All cars which are in the premium segment will henceforth available only through Nexa. 

Further , Maruti believes that there is a perception that the brand " Maruti Suzuki" is very much linked to " affordability" and hence it will not be able to sell a premium car.   Hence all the new premium cars will now contain only Suzuki name . 

This is an interesting story because the company is now finding its greatest strength ( brand ) as a liability. So probably S-cross will be Suzuki S-cross and the company believes that Indian consumers will consider it a premium brand because there is no Maruti tag on it !! 

What may be hurting Maruti Suzuki management would be that premium brands like Honda are now making huge volumes by down-ward stretching ( launching products at lower price) and threatening some brands of Maruti. 
Maruti is now trying the trick of Japanese brands cracking the premium American car market. They have done through creating new brands like Lexus, Accura,Infinity which was positioned away from the mass market brands.

It is true that an affordable brand ( perception) would find it difficult to move up the value chain using the same brand name. So it makes sense when Maruti wants its premium brands to be kept away from the mass market brands. Here the assumption is that in Maruti Suzuki brand name, Maruti part is creating the perception and by removing the Maruti part, the affordable tag can be eliminated. I wonder whether that assumption holds true. Unlike Honda, Suzuki does not have that premium image in the Indian market. Suzuki brand in the two wheeler segment is not in the best shape and is not in the premium segment either. Hence just by launching a premium car sans Maruti name is not going to do the trick. As auto-expert Hormazd Sorabjee points out, the issue is more of design that positioning . None of the premium offering of Maruti had the wow factor expected out of a premium offering.
How ever, the new channel strategy would benefit the premium push because the premium brand is not sold alongside its cheap companions and better service can be delivered to the premium customers. The downside is that there is a possibility of channel conflict because existing dealers will not be able to sell high-margin cars using their current infrastructure.
According to reports, Maruti Suzuki has created a separate organizational structure for the premium category. It would be an interesting story to watch how Maruti will be able to break into the premium segment with the new strategy. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Brand Update : Slice Downgraded to Sub-brand of Tropicana

In an interesting move, Pepsi has demoted its mango drink brand Slice into a sub-brand of Tropicana. Slice which was launched in 1993 , came in to limelight with some good advertisement campaigns. The notable is the Aamsutra campaign featuring the brand ambassador Katrina Kaif. Tropicana was launched in 2004 as a healthy juice brand. 

What Pepsi has done with Slice is to migrate the brand to Tropicana by launching Tropicana Slice . The first launch being the variant Tropicana Slice Alphonso. The new product is being launched with the TVC featuring Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapur.

Watch the ad here : Tropicana Slice Alphonso

While Katrina Kaif stays to provide continuity to the Slice brand equity, the Aamsutra has been taken off. The focus of the variant still remains the " Taste + Indulgence " proposition. 

In many aspects, Slice as a brand is dead because the individuality is lost. It now has to follow the Tropicana's positioning. And it will remain a second fiddle to Tropicana till the Pepsi brand managers get further confused.

I am not privy to the logic behind this brand merger. According to ET, Slice has a second position in the mango drink segment trailing behind Maaza. 
The advantage I see behind merging Slice with Tropicana is that Slice will get the healthy tag associated with Tropicana. While Tropicana brand architecture will be confusing since it has a non-healthy sub-brand Slice attached to it. All the more, Tropicana also has a mango juice variant ! 

Frankly, I am little confused about this move by Pepsi, probably they will have some logic behind this move. It can be a rationalization of their portfolio. More marketing focus on Tropicana rather than Slice. 
However , as a marketer, Slice will be missed. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

LuvIt Chocolates : If Someone Shares, Ushaar !

Brand : LuvIt
Company : Global Consumer Products

Brand Analysis Count : # 558

LuvIt is new brand from Global Consumer Products - a startup in the FMCG space. Global Consumer Products was started by A Mahendran who was the Managing Director of Godrej Consumer Products. The fact that an entrepreneur is trying to take on the giants like Mondolez and Nestle makes LuvIt an interesting brand.

According to Economic Times, the Indian chocolate market is worth around Rs 6800 crore. The market is lead by Mondolez with a share of over 70% and distantly followed by Nestle with 18% and Ferrero with 8 % market share. 

What makes LuvIt a brand to lookout for is the sheer ambition to fight the giants. The brand has huge ambition and it is seen by the way it was launched. It is reported in the news that Global Consumer Products has the backing of  Mitsui Global and Goldman Sacs 
LuvIt  has launched 9 variants with prices ranging from Rs 4 to Rs 45. The brand is essentially targeting the adults especially the youth. The brand has invested considerable thoughts in its packaging and stands out as a very vibrant young brand and distinct from the competitors like CDM.

LuvIt has been launched in South India with the actor Sidharth as the brand ambassador. For the launch the company has gone the musical route by launching a one minute music video featuring the actor. The Southern India accounts for 30% of chocolate sale.
Watch the ad here : LuvIt
The basic positioning theme of LuvIt is focused on the taste. The brand says that it is too good to be shared. This is conveyed through the ads which says that if someone shares LuvIt then Beware. There is a hidden agenda behind sharing of the chocolate because the best way to enjoy chocolate is to enjoy it alone. 

The brand is using the term " Ushaar " which means Beware in its campaign in South India. The ads are pretty, however, the theme is not new, The recently launched Schmitten Chocolate too had a similar message - it is a crime to ask for a bite.
It is interesting to note that while the market leader Cadbury Dairy Milk says chocolate is to be shared, the new competitors are focusing on being selfish with the chocolate, so it is to be seen whether the challenging brand's pitch on selfishness will find favor with the consumers.

What makes LuvIt different is the brand elements. The brand has used lively and loud colors and the ad is also flashy. So the brand has definitely all the elements to encourage a trial purchase. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Brand Update : Maggi Noodles in a soup !

Its a worst nightmare come true for a marketer, the brand getting into a health controversy. India's favorite noodles brand Maggi landed in its biggest challenge of its life when the health officials from Uttarpradesh FDA asked the company to recall one batch of noodles of a suspected high levels monosodium glutamate (MSG).The news spread like a wildfire both in social media and mainstream media . 

The company sprang into action by denying any addition of MSG to its noodles however with a caveat that glutamate may have occurred naturally to noodles because of some ingredients. ( really !). Another news that went viral is that Maggi Noodles contains excessive quantities of the metal lead and hence it is going to be banned. Again the company in its clarification says that they test noodles for lead content and it is within the permissible limit ( really !) .

Its a crisis for a brand which is having more than 70% share in the Indian market but with competition hotting up. A big blow to the brand which off late has been harping on health platform. 

What is worrying is that the complaint has not originated from a consumer or an activist but by a government agency. Hence the perception of  seriousness of the finding is more and the damage is also grave for the brand. The main stream media also cannot ignore the issue because it is from a government department. Another issue is that since it is  a government department that initiated the complaint, the brand cannot hope for a speedy solution. 

It is interesting to observe how Nestle has responded to the crisis. The first reaction would be of denial. The brand had denied the finding of MSG stating that it has not added MSG to the noodles. The entire episode was amplified in the social media and Nestle was also actively engaging the conversation in the social media. ( Read a good commentary  by Karthik Srinivasan) . The twitter handle of the brand and the brand's micro-site has been updated with the brand's version of the events.

As Karthik has stated in the blog, the brand may be readying its brand ambassador Madhuri Dixit to convince the customer that it is safe to consume. Since Big B has also endorsed the brand, Nestle may rope him also since he already have experience in helping the brand survive such controversies   ( pun intended).

It almost 24 days since the issue began. The brand may be waiting for an independent test by a lab for further action or is it waiting for the issue to die down ? 

As a consumer since my child love noodles, there is a ban on noodles at home as of now. Because whether added or not, Nestle has confirmed presence of MSG or Glutamate and  lead metal inside - whether within permissible limit or not . Ofcourse we will continue to eat other foods till it is found guilty.
So what will happen to Maggi ?
The consumer's memory is short. So he will forget all these after sometime. Can Maggi wait it out ! The brand already had commented that it will challenge the order.

The larger issue is of trust. If one read between the lines of the company's version ( here) there is an admission that the food is not healthy but it conforms to legal norms. The company already knew the presence of glutamate and lead in it but the news came out with the controversy. It would take sometime for Nestle to rebuild its trust especially the health positioning.

It would be interesting to see how Nestle would be handling this crisis. The current strategy seems to be waiting for further clarification from independent lab tests and government actions. Probably the company  would be using the independent lab test to convince the customers that lead metal and MSG is within permissible limits and then continue telling stories of Taste Bhi , Health Bhi !.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

RUOSH : Pity We Don't Make Shoes for Women

Brand : RUOSH
Company : Sara Suole Pvt Ltd

Brand Analysis Count : # 557

Ruosh is an interesting brand. The brand came to my notice through some good print ads in the TOI supplement with a very intriguing tagline " Pity we don't make shoes for women". I wondered how a brand can put such a tagline with a risk of offending women consumers.

Ruosh is a premium brand of shoes from a little-known Bangalore based  company - Sara Suole. Although the company is little known to the consumer world, Sara Suole has been a supplier of shoes to some of the well known global brands like Espirit, Kenneth Cole, Louis Phillippe etc. The company which was established in 2001 is a leading exporter of shoes and soles.

Its natural that a quality product supplier would want to establish its name in the branded world rather than remain as a little-known supplier of shoes. We have seen companies like Mirza Tanners launching their own brand (Red Tape).

RUOSH was thus born. The brand which started small in select cities is now fast expanding its footprint in both online and offline stores. 

RUOSH brand is positioned as an expert in leather shoes. The brand's value proposition is its quality and design. The branding tries to highlight through some interesting cheeky campaigns. The tagline " Pity, we don't make shoes for women" is also an interesting experiment. First it catches your attention and in a subtle way polishes the ego of men through exclusivity. 

Ruosh is currently running its TVC. 
Watch the ad here : Ruosh 1  
                                Ruosh 2

The ads are smart , humorous and conveys the message quite elegantly. Men would definitely like the way RUOSH conveyed the message. The brand has done all the right things in the branding front. The brand is priced little steeply at around Rs 4500 +  to fight it out in the premium space. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Brand Update : Sada Sexy Raho with Set Wet !

Set Wet has now a brand ambassador in the form of Aditya Roy Kapur. Since the take over of the brand by Marico, this is the first major shift in the strategy for Set Wet brand. According to media reports, Marico intends to position this brand for the youth and concentrate on hair styling products. The brand now has the endorsement from the upcoming star Aditya Roy Kapur.
Watch the ad here : Set Wet Aditya Roy Kapur
The brand has retained the " Be Sexy " positioning but added some more class to the brand campaign.  The brand has also changed the tagline from " Very Very Sexy " to  " Sada Sexy Raho " meaning be always sexy.
Despite the much used Sexy positioning, I liked the way Set Wet has used this theme. The brand is perceived to be a cool brand and the latest campaign emphasizes this coolness. I liked the execution of the ad and brings in a freshness to the brand. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Brand Update : Alia Bhatt to Perk Up Cadbury Perk

Cadbury Perk is a confused brand. Perk came into limelight with an epic fight between KitKat and Perk. Then both these brands went to two trajectories. While KitKat was able to find a direction in terms of positioning , Perk was totally a confused brand. Nestle then launched Munch to fight Perk. Perk kept on experimenting with advertising themes and positioning and still has not found its mojo. 

Really I miss the magic of the launch campaigns of Perk . From this classic ad, the brand went to meaningless campaigns and later somewhat settled into its glucose energy focus. While KitKat focused on Have a Break positioning, Perk was no where in the picture.

Now Perk is again trying a new positioning featuring the Bollywood star Alia Bhatt.  The brand is running the campaign featuring the new celebrity endorser. 

Watch the ad here : Alia Bhatt Perk
Along with the new ad, Perk now has a new tagline " Jiyo Lightum Light"  which probably means to live life freely. 
From the ad, I have a feeling that the campaign was created around the celebrity rather than the brand. The thinking would be like , let us make an ad that fits Alia Bhatt ! 
My feeling is that Perk is struggling to find the right positioning. The new positioning lacks a connect with the product and the practical joke theme and the bubbly girl character has been heavily used by many brands in the past. 
Its sad to see the standards of the Perk's ads go down compared to the earlier ones ( featuring Preity Zinta). 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Brand Update : Live-in makes Ajay Devgn say " Can't Live Without"

After some unworthy advertisement campaigns, Live-in has come out with a new campaign featuring the actor- Ajay Devgn. The brand is currently running the new campaign featuring the celebrity.
The brand had come to the limelight with some smart campaign featuring Dino Morea with the focus on comfort as the USP. 
Later the brand changed track and produced some averagely creative campaigns and faded into the clutter.

This time around, the brand is putting its future on Ajay Devgn.
The choice of the celebrity is interesting since he does not feature in the young brigade of celebrity endorsers. So wondering whether the brand is taking the risk of alienating the young consumers.
The brand has retained its tagline " Can't Live Without "
The  new campaign is somewhat ordinary without any wow factor. The presence of the actor gives some freshness to the otherwise forgotten brand other than that the new rejuvenation exercise delivers not much. Along with the new ad, the brand also has a new logo . 
My opinion is that this brand faded into oblivion because of lack of marketing investment from the owners. After the initial high profile branding, there was no  note-worthy campaigns for this brand. Even at the stores, this brand was virtually invisible. Hopefully the brand will receive more sustained investment in days to come. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Brand Update : This summer, Frooti gets a major makeover

This summer, the 30 year old Frooti has got a bold makeover. Frooti has re-branded itself with a new logo, new packaging and ofcourse new brand communication. Frooti has a commanding 80% + share in the tetra-pack segment of the Rs 3500 crore Indian mango drink market. But the overall market share of the brand is only 11% in the total market. This is because the market is dominated by PET packs

The brands like Maaza and Slice dominate the market with their PET bottle variants. More over, the company feels that Frooti is perceived to be a kid's brand thus alienating the young/teen consumers who now form the majority of the consuming class of these products.

So along with the re-branding, Frooti has also changed the product formula with more juice pulp added to it. The re-branding also saw a change in the advertising agency . The company has roped in Sagmeister  & Walsh for this exercise.
The result is a bold logo, new color for the packaging and a new campaign.

Watch the tvc here : Frooti life

The brand has retained SRK as the endorser.

The ad uses the stop-motion animation and frankly I didn't get the plot until I read the detailed story line in an article

The theme revolves around the tiny people in a tiny world living a Frooti Life.
The brand which brought back the classic " Fresh'N'Juicy " tagline has dropped it in the new scheme of things. The new tagline it seems is " The Frooti Life".

The packaging is bold and refreshing. The ad is amusing because of the stop-motion animation but I am not sure whether it has the wow-factor enough to cause the youngsters to flock to it. The brand has attempted a laddering up from the highly functional FreshNJuicy proposition. But I feel that the plot is not that clear. 

While the brand has made a refreshing change, I am wondering what next for the brand ? How is the brand going to take the " Frooti Life " forward ? Just being amusing is a dangerous goal in a re-branding and re-segmenting exercise. 
The 2013 campaign was so good and bought back the freshness to the brand with SRK boosting the presence. A drastic change in the whole branding and segment is something which is quite intriguing.
Some how I feel a disconnect between the tiny people and SRK and Frooti Life ! May be  because I am out of the TG. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Brand Update : Fair & Handsome ropes in Hrithik Roshan

Indian men's grooming  market is estimated to be  Rs 4300 crore market ( Source - Euromonitor). The skin care market is estimated to be around Rs 700 crore. The fairness segment for men was created and dominated by Fair and Handsome . Launched in 2005, FAH became hugely popular. The brand rode to fame with the endorsement from Shah Rukh Khan.

After 8 years of association with SRK, FAH has now roped in Hrithik Roshan as the brand ambassador. Hrithik is featured in the new ad for FAH Face wash. The men's face wash category is worth to be around Rs 250 crore. The 8 years association with SRK has helped FAH to be the leader in the category.

The new brand ambassador is expected to rejuvenate the brand and bring in freshness. The brand is currently airing the TVC featuring the new brand ambassador.

Watch the TVC here : Hrithik FAH

The ad highlights the functional benefits of the FAH facewash with brand ambassador as the user. The reports suggest that Hrithik would be one of the ambassadors and does not indicate that he has replaced SRK. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Brand Update : Sunfeast Brand Architecture

Launched in 2003, Sunfeast has come a long way. The brand has become an umbrella brand endorsing a wide range of biscuit and other products from the ITC stable. It is interesting to see the brand architecture of Sunfeast.

Brand Architecture refers to the strategy in which the company decides on how to use the brand elements and how these elements are shared across products. So Sunfeast's brand architecture refers to the strategy on the usage of Sunfeast brand elements across various products.

ITC has used Sunfeast as an Umbrella ( Family ) brand name for biscuit and snack products from its stable. Sunfeast endorses the following products - biscuits, noodles and pasta. 

Within each category, the brand architecture of Sunfeast is interesting.

According to the brand's website, ITC has divided the biscuits into four sub-categories - Cookies, Cream based biscuits and  Light and Fun biscuits and Healthy biscuits.
In the brand architecture , the company has used sub-brands for various types of products .

In the cookie sub-category, Sunfeast has following sub-brands - Delishus, Special Cookies and Mom's Magic . 

In the healthy biscuits sub-category, Sunfeast has Farmlite, Marie Lite, Glucose and Milky Magic sub-brands.

In the cream biscuit sub-category, Sunfeast has Dark Fantasy,  Bounce , Bourbon Bliss and Dream Cream  sub-brands.

In the light and fun biscuit sub-category, Sunfeast has Sweet'N'Salt, Nice and Snacky sub-brands.
Within the Dark Fantasy brand, there are three modifier brands - Choco Meltz and Choco Fills and Luxuria.

Besides the biscuit category, Sunfeast is also extended to Noodles and Pasta . For noodles category, Sunfeast uses Yippee  sub-brand and for pasta, it has Pasta Treat sub-brand. 
Recently Sunfeast launched a competitor for Choco Pie in the form of  Yumfills which is not a biscuit but a cream filled cake. 
It is interesting that ITC is investing in not only Sunfeast but its sub-brands because it has lot of cash to spend. These sub-brands are differentiated through packaging and other brand elements like color. 

In this brand architecture, the parent brand  Sunfeast is present as a logo in most of the products. In all the packaging and brand related communication, the primary driver is the sub-brand. ITC expects that over a period of time, these sub-brands will acquire equity and Sunfeast would just be a token endorser. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Milso : The ( Goat) Milk Soap

Brand : Milso
Company : Good Buy Soaps and Cosmetics

Brand analysis count : # 556

This post is about a soap brand from my state of Kerala. It feels good when some one from a predominantly consumer state like Kerala dives into the world of marketing with a brand. Milso is a " Made in India" brand of soap from a little known firm - Good Buy Soaps and Cosmetics. According to reports, the company which began operations in 2007 has been marketing soaps in the rural markets. This is the first foray into the branded urban consumer space.

Milso soap's USP is that it is made from goat's milk. According to the brand, goat's milk has many skin nourishing properties. The brand claims to be the first Indian soap brand to have goat's milk. 

The brand is currently running its launch campaign in its home state. 
Watch the ad here : Milso
While there is nothing great about the ad, the thinking behind the ad is to make the " goat's milk" proposition popular. It is true that there is a novelty in the brand which will definitely catch the interest of the consumer. 
The brand has the tagline " The Milk Soap " and I assume that the brand name is also derived from milk-soap. The company has done right in terms of packaging which looks attractive. I am not sure about the pricing part which will be updated soon.

In the highly cluttered toilet soap category, getting a space for a new brand is not that easy. It takes lot of investment to get the eyeballs and also to induce trial. In a cluttered market, the trouble is that one has to continuously burn cash in order to be in the top of the mind. 
Milso has an advantage in the fact that its USP is really new to the Indian market. That gives a certain amount of eyeballs and trial. The brand according to the company is trying to build awareness about the efficacy of goat's milk in the personal-care space. The fact remains that any other competitor can imitate the brand without much of a problem. 
As a new product, Milso has many good things going for it , the fate now depends mainly on how the brand performs and fulfill its promise. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Oris : The Better Switch

Brand : Oris
Company : L&T

Brand Analysis Count : # 555

L&T which is one of the largest player in the construction and infrastructure industry  launched their brand Oris on the consumer electrical space in 2013.  It was recently that the brand has started making noise in the media.

Indian switches and distribution boards market in India is worth around Rs 2400 crore . The home segment itself is around Rs 1400 crore. The market is dominated by Anchor Electricals but now the market is flooded with national and international brands.

Switches has now moved from functional to aesthetic product. Design of the switches and similar electrical products has become an important attribute. Oris claims that it is inspired by music and the switches looks like the keys of a piano. Earlier Roma brand of switches also claimed to be inspired by the piano keys. The USP of the brand is the LED indicator which is branded by L&T as Intelli-i that helps to identify the position of switches in the dark. The company is also offering 12 year warranty for the switches.

Watch the ads here : Oris switches

It is interesting to note the L&T which is a well known Corporate brand has chosen to have a different brand name for its switches. It would have been easy if the company decided to call its switches L&T switches. One of the reasons would be to create a premium brand name and L&T as a brand name is not sexy. 
Since the brand name Oris is new, L&T is running another campaign building the association with the corporate brand L&T. Watch the ad : Leveraging L&T ( it is in Malayalam Language).

The tagline of Oris is " The Better Switch " which I would consider as an unimaginative tagline. Again since Oris is not going to be restricted to switches alone, a tagline anchored on switches is a myopic step. My understanding is that Oris would be later launching a range of electrical accessories including probably MCBs and in future may be fans lights etc. In that case, the company may have to scout for a new tagline. Instead , the company could have started off with a positioning which can be transferred to multiple products in future.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Brand Update : Alpenliebe creates new category with Juzt Jelly

Perfetti, who is the market leader in candy category of the Indian confectionery market ,successfully created a new category of jelly confectionery through the brand Juzt Jelly. Launched in 2012, Juzt Jelly was able to catch the attention of the Indian consumers. The success of Juzt Jelly also prompted ITC to launch the challenging brand Candyman Jellicious.

Juzt Jelly is launched as a sub-brand of Alpenliebe. Alpenliebe launched in 1995 has moved from a sugar candy brand to an umbrella brand endorsing wide range of confectionery products ranging from lollipops,eclairs and jelly .

Juzt Jelly was launched through celebrity endorsement from the Bollywood actress Kajol. The brand had the tagline " mast jelly "
Watch the ad here : Juzt Jelly Launch ad

Later the brand moved to animation based campaign themed Jelly ki Duniya meaning The World of Jelly . 

Watch the ad here : Juzt Jelly Animation

The sugar confectionery category consumers are predominantly kids. Hence the animations and jingles catch their attention. The competitor Candyman has taken the jingle route to fight Juzt Jelly. The jingle " Wiggle Wobble " is quite popular. The entry of ITC is set to make the category bigger.
Although Juzt Jelly is available in strawberry , orange and lychee flavors , most of the marketing promotions is concentrated on the strawberry flavor. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jolly Rancher : Banking on Fruits

Brand : Jolly Rancher
Company : Hersheys

Brand Analysis Count : 554

Hershey has launched its iconic confectionery brand Jolly Rancher in India recently. This interesting because in the 65 year history of the brand, India is the first market outside North America where Jolly Rancher is launched.

Jolly Rancher has an iconic status in the North American market and is famous for the bold fruity flavors. In India, the brand has launched its lollipop products. The Jolly Rancher lollipops are available in three flavors - Mango, Green Apple and Water Melon.

Globally , Jolly Rancher is famous for its fruity flavors. Reports say that the brand has customized the flavors to suit the Indian palate. The brand is currently running the launch campaign featuring the actress Tamanna.

Although crowded, Indian confectionery market is growing at 18%. The launch of Jolly Rancher is a part of Hershey's strategy of building global brands. The company is planning to achieve $10 billion revenue by 2017. 
According to an ET report in 2013 , the adult consumption of chocolate and candies is growing at a faster pace in India. Products like lollipop which lost it charm in early 2000 also has made a comeback. 
Launching lollipops as the first product in India is an interesting move. Although lollipops contribute only 2% of the hard-boiled candy market, it is less crowded compared to candies. Hence the brand would be able to create some space and awareness for the brand. The company has priced the lollipop at Rs 5. 
The question is whether Indian consumer will like the tangy fruity flavors. The answer to that question will determine the fate of this brand. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Brand Update : Moods wants you to Play It Right

After around three years, Moods have come out with another campaign. The new campaign themed " Play it Right" is also a sort of repositioning for the brand. In the last campaign, the brand adopted a naughty " Your Time, Your Place " positioning.

The new campaign   themed around the man who is playing it right takes the focus back to the man. In one of the earlier campaign - My Man, the campaign put the focus on the women which made the campaign standout from the rest of the crowd. The " Your time, your place " was a clutter-breaking campaign with a touch of humor. 
The new campaign - Play it Right is neither clutter- breaking nor humorous. The theme of a smart man getting what he wants is a much used theme and Moods have not done anything different in terms of execution. 

Watch the ad here : Moods- Play it Right
The brand could have brought some kind of creativity into the ads rather than depending on the old theme with a careless execution. 

According to Economic Times, the Indian organized condom market is worth around Rs 700 crore . Mankind leads the market with a share of 28 % . Moods is trailing in the fourth place with 12% share. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

Pril : Nurturing Relationship by Washing Dishes Together !

Brand : Pril
Company : Jyothy Laboratories

Brand Analysis Count : # 553

Pril is the brand which created the dishwash liquid category in the Indian market. A brand globally owned by Henkel  was created in 1951. Sold in over 22 countries, the brand was launched in India in 1999. At that time, the brand was owned by Henkel India which was the subsidiary of Henkel AG. In 2011, Henkel India sold its brands ( in India) to Jyothy Laboratories Ltd. 

Pril was the pioneer in the liquid diswash category. The Rs 10,000 crore Indian dishwash category was dominated by the dishwash bar product-form. The bar product-form had its own limitations like being soggy and messy. Pril saw a need for a hygienic upmarket alternative for the soggy dishwash bars. Pril was launched as a hygienic alternative to the dishwash bars. The brand was launched with the positioning of " tough on grease , soft on hands " platform. 

The journey of the brand was never easy. Its difficult to change the habits of the consumers. According to Business Line  the liquid form of dishwash is used by on 15 % of the consumers. Although the potential seems to be high, to create the shift from one product form to another is not an easy task.
To break the strong-hold of the dishwash bar product form, Pril  entered the market with follwoing product attributes
  • Strong de-greasing property - establishing parity with bars
  • Fragrance ( De-odorizing ability) - established point of difference 
  • Germ killing capability - established point of difference.
  • Hygienic - established point of difference with bars.
The efforts of the brand reaped rewards in creating a category that was growing more than the traditional bar-product form. The brand has created a shift from the soap form to the liquid form in certain segments of the market.
According to Business Standard, Pril now have a market share of over 16 % growing at 26% p.a. The brand is estimated to be worth around Rs 450 crores. 
The brand used a direct comparison with the dishwash bar product category in its campaigns. The brand used celebrities like Sonali Bendre and Shobhana in its ads . In the earlier campaigns during 2009-13 , the brand highlighted its de-greasing and de-odorizing attributes to create a point-of-difference while highlighting the soggyness of the dishwash bar category.
The brand last year tried to ladder up its pitch into relationship. In the latest campaign featuring the new-generation couples, the brand is trying to appeal to a higher level attribute of " relationship".
One may wonder how a dishwash product can " nurture relationship " but Pril claims that by sharing common household chores like washing dishes together, one will further strengthen relationship. The brand uses the tagline " Bartan Chamkein, Aur Ristey Bhi "  meaning  - both utensils and relationship will sparkle. 

The campaign is well made and the brand has to be credited to think beyond just product attribute. Laddering is a risky strategy since the higher-order attribute should be clearly linked to the brand. In this case, the brand was able to establish that link in a beautiful manner. The campaign also gives an upmarket feel to the product. So much for a product like dishwash liquid !

Pril although the first mover in the liquid dishwash market is not having a wonderful time. The category competition is intense with fewer options to create sustainable differentiation. The laddering up of Pril in a way is a smart move to create some amount of visibility in the crowded market.