Thursday, December 29, 2016

Kosh : Keep Your Tummy Happy and Healthy

Brand: Kosh
Company: Future Consumer

Brand Analysis Count: # 571

Kosh is the new brand launch from Future Consumer Ltd. Kosh is oats brand from the company intending to ride the " healthy food" wave. Kosh is trying plug a gap in the Indian market which is in look out for healthy food alternatives. 
Kosh comes in four variants - Instant Oats, Broken Oats, Oats Atta, Wheat+Atta. 
Indian oats market is worth around Rs 350-400 crore. The oats market is expected to grow further owing to the consumer trend towards healthy food. For anyone who is into health, oats have now become a " go to" food. 

The current oats brands come only in one form which different flavors. Kosh has brought in different forms of the grain that will increase the usage situations. According to reports, currently, oats is used primarily as a breakfast product. With multiple product forms like atta, broken oats etc, there is more scope for usage of this grain. Kishore Biyani wants to make oats the third preferred grain in India. 
If you have observed, the atta ( wheat flour) market in India is witnessing a shift towards healthy food trend. Aashirvaad, the market leader in the organized atta market had launched healthy atta variants under it. The organized atta market in India is worth Rs 3500 crore while the unorganized market is worth a whopping Rs 30,000 crore. 
Kosh expects to carve a slice of these market with its healthy positioning. There is a very strong perception among Indian consumers that oats are healthy. With a wide range of product forms, Kosh is expecting a faster adoption and more usage from the consumers. 
As per the reports, Kosh will be a private label sold through the extensive Future Group retail chain. The brand is already making a lot of noise in the media. The campaigns are highlighting three aspects of the products
a) the versatility of product with reference to the form
b) the health factor
c) the taste. 
Watch the campaign - Kosh Home, Kosh Office 

In the pricing front, Kosh Oats is priced at par with the competing brands. The Oats Atta is priced at Rs 170/kg which is much higher than the ordinary atta ( Aashirvaad costs around  Rs 50). However, for the health conscious (not price conscious), the pricing may not be a deciding factor. 

It's obvious that the product is going to get competition soon. This is a product that can easily be copied and if the product adoption is healthy, then competitors would jump in pretty fast. Till that time, Kosh can reap the first-mover advantage. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Marketing Fundamentals : Branded Content

Concept: Branded Content is a form of advertising where the content is generated by the brand to promote itself. While it is a form of content marketing, the major difference is that the brand takes the center-stage in the content generated. It is a form of storytelling that revolves around the brand. Unlike the advertisements, branded content are more elaborate in terms of content and format. The examples of branded content are the Redbull's events of extreme stunts/sports, Amul's topicals, Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. 
The popularity of social media has created a huge demand for content that has the power to grab the attention of the audience. While traditional content revolved around the brand, in branded content, the story is on the brand or the values that brand project. The engagement is more direct in the case of branded content. 
Application: While Harvard Business Review calls Branded Content as a digital version of content marketing, the application of branded content strategy involves more investment and involvement than the traditional content marketing. Forbes Magazine in an article suggests that the consumer engagement in branded content is much more than traditional promotional tools like ads. There is a sticky factor attached to a well designed branded content. Also, it helps the brands to move up the value that brand projects ( brand laddering). The task will be to identify meaningful stories that the brand can adopt and deliver. 

Marketing Funda Series # 1

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Cadbury Fuse : Chocolatey Feast

Brand :Cadbury Fuse
Company : Mondolez International
Brand Analysis Count : # 570

Mars and Snickers now have competition. Mondolez International, the brand owners of the iconic Cadbury brand has launched a new brand named Fuse in the Indian market. The new brand will be competing in the coated peanut confectionery segment in the Rs 7500 crore Indian confectionery space. 
Fuse was debuted in the UK in 1996. The brand was well received  but was later discontinued in the UK. 

Fuse is now making its second avatar in the highly competitive Indian market. The brand is currently running the launch campaign. 

Watch the TVC here : Cadbury Fuse 

The brand is priced at par with Mars and Snickers. I find the packaging very attractive and instantly conveys the fun attribute to the brand. The endorsement from Cadbury is sufficient to initiate the trial purchase. 

With regard to the promotional strategy, the brand is positioned in the same line as the competing brands. The brand is positioned as a relief to the hunger pangs plus some fun thrown around. So in this front, Cadbury has not really put much thought on differentiating rather it chose to play the " me too " strategy. 
I also felt that the launch TVC is also not something that is unique. After seeing the ad, I had  the feeling of " Saw this theme before also " . 
With the launch of Fuse, Mondolez is trying to plug the gap in the product portfolio. The company may be forecasting a consumer interest towards the product like Snickers which is a convenient way to satisfy the hunger pangs. With the launch of Fuse, Mondolez is in a better position to ride  the consumer interest in this category. 

Thursday, December 01, 2016

O'cean Fruit Water : Sail Through Your Day

Brand : O'Cean
Company : Narang Group

Brand Analysis : # 569

O'cean is a relatively new brand launched by Narang Group in the Rs 1600 crore mineral water category . The brand is in an emerging category of Ready To Drink segment largely in the functional beverages category. This category is witnessing some action these days with players like Danone, Tata Beverages etc entering the category.

Narang Group is known for the marketing and distribution of Qua brand of bottled water. The company was in a JV with Danone Group through which they marketed Qua and B'lue. B'lue was the fruit water brand from Danone. In 2015, Narang Group exited from the JV. While Qua brand went to Narang, B'lue went to Danone Group. 

O'cean is a flavored water which contains fruit juice, water, electrolytes, glucose etc. The target market would be health enthusiasts who want something more than just plain water after a workout or hard day's work. 
Although there is a market for flavored beverages, the adoption of these products is a challenge. The brand banks on the nutritional advantages as the main reason for purchase. The positioning of O'cean reflected in the tagline " Sail Through Your Day" aims at highlighting the benefit of the added ingredients. 
However, the pricing of O'cean at Rs 45 for 500 ml is a bit too steep. The immediate category comparison is the mineral water. So I am doubtful whether O'cean has priced itself in line with the value it delivers. In the distribution front, O'cean is widely available in the market. The packaging is nice but the small bottle with a Rs 45 price tag is a deterrent .
It will be interesting to see who would be interested in purchasing such a product. The brand is aiming at health conscious customers who wanted something other than the carbonated drinks. While the intention is good, I am not sure how the price justify the purchase. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Baby Dove : Johnson's Baby Soap now have a serious competition

Dove, one of the premium soap brands from Unilever has extended into baby care products . The move is expected to give serious competition to the market leader Johnson & Johnson. According to ET, Indian baby care product market is worth Rs 4000 crore. Johnson & Johnson is the undisputed market leader with a share of 74%. The nearest competitor is Dabur with 9.9% share. 

Although many brands tried to break the stronghold of  J&J, none succeeded so far. Now the war has begun with India's premier marketing giant decided to challenge the market leader. Interestingly, Unilever chose to extend Dove to fight J&J.

Dove which was launched in 1993 grows from a soap brand to a Rs 1500 brand which endorses multiple categories of products. 

Dove positioned as mild soap with 1/4 moisturiser is an ideal candidate to challenge Johnson's who has incredible brand equity among the consumers. 

Dove has decided to name its extension as Baby Dove which is a smart choice. The positioning of the extension is the same as the parent Dove brand. Baby Dove was first launched in Brazil in 2015.

Another interesting aspect is the pricing. Unilever has priced Baby Dove almost the same as Johnson's but a little extra. While the 75 gm Johnson's Baby soap costs Rs 45, Baby Dove is priced at Rs 48.

Unilever already started the campaign for Baby Dove. The pitching is similar to J&J - the bonding between the mother and child, purity, skin care etc. The TVC follows the parent brand's comparative advertising strategy of testing the mildness quality of the soap with the competition.

The brand also have a different logo for the extension. The logo designed by Dew Gibbons + Partners feature the iconic master brand's  Dove and a golden baby dove besides it. 

Baby Dove has launched a series of products in the category. This include soap, lotion, skin care wipes etc.. 

With the strong distribution muscle and marketing acumen, Baby Dove is expected to give tough competition to J&J. The market with one large player dominating will definitely have space for a competitor. The launch of Baby Dove is not going to dilute the parent brand's positioning since the positioning of Baby Dove is complimentary to the parent brand. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Milton : Kuch Naya Sochte Hain ( Let's Think of Something New)

Brand : Milton
Company : Hamilton Housewares

Brand Analysis Count : # 568

Milton is one of the leading brands in the Indian home-ware market which includes products like casserole, flasks etc. Milton was launched in 1972 was a humble producer of small plastic items like tumblers. 
Milton's name was earlier synonymous with flasks. Milton and Eagle flasks were the two famous brands during eighties. Later came the casserole craze. Milton was able to capitalize on the popularity of  casseroles. Indian households lapped up the casserole and after functions like marriage and housewarming, homes were flooded with casserole gifts. 
Milton also had the ingredient brand Tuf Puf which was the name the brand gave to polyurethane foam. Tuf Puf became very powerful differentiator for Milton.

Over a period of time , the home-ware market has become a commodity. The products became the same with virtually no credible differentiation. 
In such a market, Milton has devised a two pronged strategy to standout. 
Innovation and Branding. 

The brand Milton already had a very good equity in the market. The company wanted to cement the equity by positioning Milton as a innovation driven brand that is sensitive to the consumer needs. Milton clearly identified the target consumer as an intuitive lady of the house. The brand wants to make life easier for the consumer through innovative products. 

In 2015, the brand initiated its first brand campaign " Kuch Naya Sochte Hain" translated to " Let's think of something new". The brand through the campaign tried to project its innovative products while stressing on the quality. 
One of the innovative product which served as an anchor for the campaign was the World's first microwave safe insulated steel casserole . Watch the ad here  called MicroWow. 
Along with this product, the brand also ran few more campaign TVC highlighting the new products. ( Glasslid casserole). 

Milton is a brand which stood the test of time and has been very proactive in moving to using innovation as a differentiator. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Raymond Whites : 100 Styles, One Color

Raymond, the premier textile brand, has launched a very interesting marketing move- launching of Raymond Whites. Raymond Whites is a collection of  white shirts and the brand has smartly made it a very interesting proposition. ( Hat tip - blog from my colleague Prof. Padmanabhan).

Now every formal menswear brand has a collection of white shirts. White is a preferred formal wear color and is in every executive's wardrobe. What Raymond has done is to make it a talking point for the brand. The brand has done it by launching the collection with an astounding proposition - 100 styles. Can you believe it ? 100 styles of one color !!  It is not difficult but Raymond has smartly marketed ( and owned) it. 

Now I am not saying that this is going to be a game changer move. But for Raymond, this campaign would help in many ways. 
Primarily this collection and campaign will reinforce the position of Raymond as a very Stylish Corporate wear brand.The emphasis of 100 styles will also project Raymond as a brand which is innovative and stylish - both these traits are very critical in this business. 

The Raymond brand is facing stiff competition from Madura Fashions The competing brands like Van Heusen and Louis Philippe are moving ahead with a focus on innovation. Van Heusen is focussing on innovation and Louis Philippe is positioned as Perfect Shirt. So Raymond has to up the ante. 
The Raymond Whites has definitely succeeded in capturing the attention of consumers. The launch campaign is well made and creates a premium feel for the collection.
 Watch the TVC here : Raymond Whites ad
With a price range of Rs 2500, Raymond Whites is well set to own a very important color in the corporate work wear category. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Brand Update : Thums Up in a Celebrity Trap

Thums Up which is one of the most resilient brands in the Indian market was in the news recently when the parent Coca-Cola decided to drop Salman Khan as the brand ambassador. ( source). The reports also suggest that the brand is in talks with actor Ranveer Singh
to replace the Khan. That points  to a celebrity trap which this brand has fallen into.
It is true that Thums Up has always been promoted using a celebrity, be it Akshay Kumar or Salman Khan, but the fact is that Thums Up has moved into a position where it cannot think of a promotional strategy sans a celebrity. That is why the news report announcing  Salman's exit also suggest the search for new celebrity.

Soft drink brands are always after celebrity as if there is no existence without a famous personality endorsing it. While there are a lot of advantages of using a celebrity, the fact remains that slowly but surely, the brand and the brand manager loses confidence to go without the support of celebrity. 
It is sad to see the same thing happening for Thums Up. The brand doesn't need a celebrity. In the brand's early years, the equity of the brand was built  from within. Now the brand is trying to find a celebrity so that it can depend on the celebrity for equity which, at least theoretically, is bad for the brand. Thums Up has the innate strength which made it overcome the existential crisis when the owners decided to kill it. That strength was not from any celebrity endorsement but the image of a rough resilient brand. Coca-Cola should at least try making the brand stand on its own rather than going the easy way out. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Colgate Pain Out : Crafting a New Segment

Indian oral hygiene market is huge with a market size of Rs 7000 crore. Colgate dominates the market with a share of over 55%. The market is witnessing a new wave of competition with the entry of Patanjali brand.

Although the market is live with competition, not much action is happening with respect to product innovation. Except for  some incremental innovations like new flavors/variants, nothing much has happened in terms of new product development.

In this context, the launch of Pain Out stands out. Colgate Pain Out is a new product that aims at express pain relief from sudden tooth pain. The product is a gel form which has ingredients like camphor, Eugenol, and menthol. The product gives a symptomatic relief from tooth pain. 
The brand is interesting because it aims to satisfy an unfulfilled need in the market. Tooth pain comes unexpected and often the fear of going to a dentist forces people to suffer the pain till it becomes unbearable. Then they try using home remedies, then paracetamol and if everything fails , then they go to a dentist. 

So it makes sense to have a product that gives instant relief to pain. The challenge for the brand is to create brand salience where consumers remember the brand when there is a need. It would be optimistic to believe that consumers would stock this product in anticipation of a toothache. So the natural communication choice would be to have top of mind recall which is a costly proposition. 
The brand is currently running the launch ad which focuses on its USP of express relief . Watch the ad here : Colgate Pain Out , The silver line is that the incidence of a toothache is very high and a powerful relief would be welcomed by the consumers. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Kwid : Live for More

Brand : Kwid
Company : Renault

Brand Analysis Count : #567

Kwid is a good example of a successful strategy to challenge a well-established market leader. We have seen many so called flagship killers in the market but also have seen these celebrated launches biting the dust soon. In the highly competitive car industry in India, many firms have been timid to challenge the monopoly of Maruti Suzuki in the small car segment. Maruti holds around 45% share in the car market.

Alto has been a bestseller for Maruti all along. The  brand had a strong equity in the market and unmatched value proposition. No competitors dared to compete with the brand because of the low-cost base of Maruti. Since the small car market is driven by price ( value), unless the challenger can match the cost of Maruti Suzuki, it is unviable to take on a volume brand like Alto. 

It is in this context that Kwid becomes an interesting brand. The brand which was launched during September 2015 has really shocked the market with the huge interest generated among the customers. Since its launch, the brand was able to garner around 1,50,000 orders and has managed to clock a sale of over 9000 units per month. According to company reports, the brand has grabbed a share of around 15% within 10 months of the launch.

The most affected brand with the launch of Kwid is Alto. So what made Kwid generate positive consumer interest ? 
  • Differentiation - Renault changed the game of small car market by launching Kwid with a very bold design derived from its successful SUV - Duster. Kwid doesn't look like a small car but looks like a micro-SUV. This has appealed to many buyers who get the feel of an SUV at the price of a small car. This (IMHO) is the single major factor that aided such a positive response to Kwid. Many small car buyers are the first-time car buyers and Kwid never looks like a compromise at least in terms of design, 
  • Localization : According to reports, Renault has ensured that  Kwid has 98% localization in terms of the parts. This ensured low-cost base for the Kwid. So the high volume of Kwid is not going to bleed the company and the low cost is a deterrent against a price war by the market leader- Alto.
Besides these factors, Alto as a brand has been around for a while. So customers are pretty bored with the product. While the value proposition is still unmatched, Kwid brought in a lot of freshness to the design of the car. 
At the branding front, Renault roped in the star Ranbir Kapoor as the brand ambassador. The brand is not positioned as a cheap car but as a city car. The ad focuses on the accessories and the easy maneuverability of the car. The smart positioning  along with the brand ambassador ensures that the customer perceives the brand as a quality brand rather than a cheap brand ( lessons from Tata Nano).The brand has the tagline " Live for More" which talks about the value proposition of the brand. 
Watch the ad here : Renault Kwid

One of the complaints that many auto reviews highlight was the lack of power of the Kwid. Kwid was launched with an 800 cc engine that was not meeting the expectations many opinion leaders. This month, the brand launched 1000cc version of Kwid which the company feels would address the issue of lack of power. 

So far Kwid has been doing everything right in its challenge against the market leader. The brand has been able to check the right boxes and is rightly rewarded by the consumers. 

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Honda Navi : Whatever it is, It is Fun

Brand : Honda Navi
Company : Honda
Brand Analysis Count : # 566

Marketing enthusiasts like me get thrills when we come across brands which take the road less travelled. We get thrilled when marketers take the unconventional routes to create new product and customer segments.

Recently I came across one such brand - Honda Navi. Honda which has the tradition of upsetting the established market parameters is going to do it again. Earlier when every market pundits wrote the epitaphs of Scooter segment in India, Honda revolutionized the Indian market with Activa. Now the scooter sales growth  is more than the motorcycle sales growth in India. Now Honda is attempting another experiment in the Indian market.

Honda introduced the Navi at the Auto Expo 2016 and generated a lot of buzz among the enthusiasts. The brand was launched in select cities in March 2016.

According to a report in India Today, Navi stands for New Additional Value for India ( link) . The product is essentially a crossover between a bike and a scooter. The company has created a bike out of its best-selling Activa. 

Targeted at the youngsters aged 18-25, Navi is a unique product which offers a lot of customization. The brand also is going to create a new segment of "gearless bikes" in the Indian market.

The brand is positioned as a fun bike which offers practicality. The company has also priced Navi at a very tempting price point around Rs 40,000.
Having said that, this brand is also an experiment. Not every youngster would be interested in buying a crossover bike ( read under-powered) and Navi cannot replace a powerful bike which is often the first choice of youngsters. 
However, this will appeal to youngsters who want a unique bike which is also customizable and fun to drive. According to another report, 25% of the current sales are from women customers which probably indicates the emergence of another segment of customers in the Indian market - women bikers. 
It is too early to predict the success of  an experiment like Honda Navi but surely this brand has the capability to generate a lot of curiosity among customers. I can honestly tell that the brand is really tempting. 
 Big applause for the marketers in Honda Motorcycles.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Brand Update : How Colgate is fighting Patanjali

Colgate holds around 54% market share in the Rs 6000 Crore Indian toothpaste market. Of late, the brand is facing tough competition from Patanjali Ayurveda. Patanjali which is a brand which is closely associated with Yoga guru Baba Ramdev is touted to be a disruptive force in the consumer products market.

Patanjali which recently got aggressive in the market has garnered around Rs 5000 crore within a short span of time. It has overtaken firms like Jyothi Lab, Emami etc in the turnover. 
According to business news reports, Colgate is expected to face the toughest challenge with Patanjali's Dant Kanti cornering a Rs 450 crore turnover in 15-16. 
Colgate is a very aggressive marketer and is not expected to take competition lightly. Even with a market share of 54%, the brand is not known to be complacent in the addressing of competition. This case also Colgate took pro-active steps in countering the onslaught of Patanjali Ayurveda.

Colgate chose to fight  Dant Kanti using the variant Colgate Active Salt Neem. It is interesting to see that Colgate Herbal was not aggressively promoted rather it chose the Active Salt variant. Secondly, Colgate chose to rope in Priyanka Chopra to endorse the variant.

Watch the ad here : Colgate Active Salt Neem
While the neem + salt combination brings the brand parity with Dant Kanti, the celebrity endorser enhances the strength of the counter attack. 
Since Dant Kanti's main positioning is the Natural Platform, Colgate now has three variants - Herbal,Active Salt , Active Salt Neem in its portfolio. 

With the aggressive counter attack, Colgate expects to arrest the growth of  Dant Kanti. Some damage will be done since Patanjali uses price as the major strategy for market growth. But with the natural attribute neutralised, Colgate expects to retain its current customer base  with the Colgate brand portfolio. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Apsara Pencils : Extra Marks for Good Handwriting

Brand : Apsara
Company : Hindustan Pencils Ltd

Brand Analysis Count: # 565

Apsara is a brand of Hindustan Pencils Ltd, which also owns the Natraj brand. Natraj and Apsara together control 60-65% of the pencil market in India. According to The Business Line, Indian stationery market is worth around Rs 10,000 crores. With more than 250 million students and 10million schools, the market is huge and growing. 

Hindustan Pencils Ltd follows a dual-brand strategy in the market.The dual-brand strategy is using two independent brands ( or sub-brand)  to cover the market. 
[In some literature, dual-brand is interpreted as using two words in a brand name or combining two brands to form a new brand name]. 

There are advantages and disadvantages for dual-brand strategy. The strategy is good for covering the different segments of consumers. Since the two brands are independent, there are no issues of positioning conflicts. Another advantage is to build barriers to entry for the competition.  Further the company can use one brand as a flanker in the case of an aggressive competitor. The disadvantage is that of cannibalization and increased cost in servicing two brands. 

In the case of Natraj and Apsara, both the brands have the same range of products that include pencils, erasers, sharpeners, pens, etc. Apsara has a good range of professional and drawing pencils. Apsara Pencils are priced higher than Natraj and offer more options.
In the promotion front, Apsara has been consistently focusing on the darkness of the pencil and the benefit of good handwriting. The ads showing 105/100 marks where five extra marks for handwriting is very clear in communicating the benefit that brand offers.
Watch the ad here: Apsara handwriting ad
Natraj maintains the focus on the long-lasting quality of the product. It recently launched an excellent advertisement highlighting the benefit. Watch the ad here

The dual-brand strategy works when the market is closed and with limited competition. Indian stationery market is witnessing huge competition which has intensified after ITC forayed into it with the Classmate brand. With a commanding market leadership, Hindustan Pencils Ltd had not rested on its laurels. The company invests in product development and promotions. The range of pencils that both the brand offers are a testimony to that. 

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Bajaj V : The Invincible

Brand : V
Company : Bajaj Auto

Brand Analysis Count : # 564

Bajaj V is the company's latest foray into the commuter segment. For a long time, Bajaj Auto has been looking to get a foothold in the commuter segment. The company's brand in the segment - Discover is not doing well and the competitors are making merry of the market opportunity. 

The brand story of V is very interesting. This is one of the examples of client - agency synergy working wonders. As the report suggests, Leo Burnett suggested the idea of using the INS Vikrant's decommissioning to create a new product. 
INS Vikrant is India's first aircraft carrier and it has played a stellar role in the India- Pakistan war. The aircraft carrier was decommissioned in 1997 and the government decided to dismantle the carrier this year. The agency suggested that Bajaj use the INS Vikrant to launch a new bike. 

The brand V was born inspired by INS Vikrant. Bajaj Auto bought the metal of INS Vikrant and used it in the bike manufacturing. Thus V became a part of the story of Vikrant. 
Bajaj Auto went on an overdrive in connecting the Brand V with the Brand Vikrant. The campaign tried to enthuse the customers to get a piece of history with them when they buy Bajaj V. The variant was named V15. 
To emotionally stir the passion, the company used content marketing very effectively. The brand launched a documentary titled - The Sons of Vikrant , highlighting the contribution of the heroes who manned the carrier. 
Watch the video here : Sons of Vikrant
The  launch ad also tried to create a sense of patriotism and also history into the brand. More than the historical association, the use of INS Vikrant also helped create instant brand trust in the new brand launch.
Watch the ad here : Bajaj V launch ad

Behind all these stories, the company also have sound product strategy. The new brand is positioned as a premium commuter bike. Priced at Rs 60000-70000, the company aim to create a new category for itself. The Bajaj V is a 150 cc bike and is styled as a Cafe Racer. The target customer is one who looks for a stylish bike but cannot afford to buy a Pulsar. 

Since the entire brand is being built on the legacy of Vikrant, the question is what happens after the entire metal of Vikrant is exhausted. The company has launched the Bajaj V15 as a limited edition. So the V15 would be there till the metals last, then there will be another variant of V. 
The brand Bajaj V already have won lot of accolades for the marketing idea and will be a case study for aspiring marketers on using opportunities to get an edge. 

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Brand Update : Appy Fizz repositions to lose its cool factor

This summer, Parle Agro has made a drastic repositioning of its unique  product - Appy Fizz. Launched in 2005, Appy Fizz had carved a unique place in the Indian market with its fizzy apple drink. The brand was built on a cool quotient exemplified by the strategy of anthropomorphism. The drink became  the cool character and the ads too supported the positioning. Appy Fizz had one of the good taglines  " A Cool Drink to Hang Out With"

Now Parle Agro decided to undo all those with the new campaign. A lot of things have changed in the new repositioning.

  • The package was changed. The logo was tweaked and the design is in line with the Frooti logo design.
  • The tagline was changed to " Feel the Fizz".
  • The Appy Fizz  character has been discarded.
  • New celebrity endorser in Priyanka Chopra.

watch the ad here : Appy Fizz Repositioning
The new repositioning came as a big dampener. The brand changed its personality completely. The tagline " Feel the Fizz" is also a poor replacement of " Cool drink to hang out with". This " Feel " thing is an overused tagline. For example, the scooter brand Hero Maestro has the tagline " Feel the Josh". Ford earlier had the tagline " Feel the difference ". So Appy Fizz really fizzled out in the tagline section. 

Secondly about the celebrity endorser part. Appy Fizz was personified as a male. Now suddenly when the brand is endorsed by a female celebrity, I really felt odd. Moreover, the new ad is too much Priyanka and very less Appy Fizz. In all the earlier campaigns, it was the brand which had the prominence.  In all sense, Appy Fizz lost its coolness.

My hypothesis is that Parle Agro wants the brand to come into the mainstream. Appy Fizz by nature is a niche product. Because it is apple drink, the salience will also be low. Trying to change that would be a risky affair. At the same time, the brand can work to strengthen salience and build preference. The current route taken by Appy Fizz is too risky and unnecessary.

Cool Quotient is something that is very difficult to attain. Appy Fizz was fortunate to successfully position itself as a Cool brand. In one stroke,  the company has undone all the investment it has made in the brand. My forecast is that at some point in time, the brand will be forced to be a " Cool drink to hang out with ".

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Khadi : Is the potential realized ?

Brand : Khadi
Company : Khadi and Village Industries ( KVIC)

Brand Analysis Count : # 563

Last day I visited a Khadi Outlet looking for some Khadi cloth to beat the scorching heat wave sweeping across God's Own Country. The interest in Khadi was a result of a miserly search for an alternative to the much expensive linen. The visit had inspired this post because I saw both opportunity and disappointment.
Khadi ( as mentioned in Wikipedia) is an iconic symbol of the independent struggle. The cloth became a movement when Mahatma Gandhi exhorted the nation to boycott British Cotton and embrace the homemade Khadi. 
Khadi again came into limelight when our Prime Minister urged the Indians to support Khadi. As per the reports, there was a surge in the sale of Khadi after the appeal by our PM.

As a marketer, I saw a huge opportunity for Khadi because of the very nature of the product. As per the reports, the cloth has a  unique property of being cool in summer and warm in winter. Further, the product is very rugged and durable. 
The disappointment was the lack of branding and product development for this product. I visited the largest Khadi outlet in Cochin and the lack of product choice and variety was appalling. The colors and choice were limited which shows the lack of investment in product development. This product had the alternative to the expensive linen had it come out with better product choice. 

Regarding the branding front, Khadi was not a trademark or no one thought of protecting Khadi as a brand. It was a generic term for handwoven cotton cloth. This changed in 2014 when a German firm Khadi Naturprodukte registered it as trademark in European Union. 
The Government of India had since challenged this and asked Khadi and Village Industries to register Khadi as a trademark. 
In India too, there is no clear ownership for Khadi. You can buy different types of Khadi products from different vendors. This creates many problems in terms of product quality and consistency.

What the Government needs to do is to take ownership of the Khadi brand and try to encourage more product development in terms of color, clothes etc. KVIC. Khadi can be positioned as an ingredient brand. The firms can be encouraged to develop Khadi based products . At the brand level, KVIC should take ownership of the brand and promote Khadi's image. The unique selling proposition of " Cool in Summer and Warm in Winter " should be exploited.

Khadi is a heritage brand with great potential. Only if the ownership is clearly defined and a concerted effort in branding is done, the potential will not be met. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Brand Update : Cinthol wants to re-invent deo

In an interesting move, Cinthol is trying to change the deodorant game by focusing on the form factor. In the latest campaign, the brand is trying to bring back the focus on the stick form of deodorant. 
During the formative years of the deo market, the deo stick was the popular form of the product. But later the spray form took over the market and the stick faded away.  Although the stick product form was less priced, the spray was perceived to be convenient. The spray did not have that soapy feeling which the stick had. And the deo marketers prompted the consumers to trade up to the spray form.

Cinthol wants to change that game. The new campaign which focuses purely on the form-factor highlights 3 advantages of the stick form -  less priced, skin friendly and 3 times long lasting. 
Watch the ad here : Deo Reborn
The new campaign has used the slogan - Deo Reborn for the new initiative. The brand has taken a risk in pushing for the form-based differentiation since it has the spray form factor in the portfolio. 
The Indian deo market is crowded and confusing with a lot of brands and promises. So the Cinthol's stick form factor push stands out from the crowd at least for a while. Another advantage is that the stick form factor effectively negates the " gas vs perfume " war that is currently going on in the Indian deo market. After Fogg stormed the market with No Gas proposition, every deo brand has joined the bandwagon. In this move, Cinthol has taken the gas out of the spray form-factor. 

It has to be seen how the consumer behaviorally reacts to the new initiative. Marketers had taught the consumers to use the spray and bringing back to the stick form is not easy. 

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Marketing Practice :Why fooling customers is a bad idea !

Google's April Fool joke -Mic Drop's epic failure throw some lessons for marketers. The most obvious lesson is " Think hard before fooling customers". If Google which had been doing this April Fool joke for a while can land up in trouble, you can see the risk involved in pranking customers. 
Many brands have hopped in the bandwagon of getting the cool quotient. Humor is the most obvious route to building the cool quotient. But often brands gets edgy and then burn its fingers. In the case of Google, surprisingly the brand failed to understand the risk of such a venture. Yesterday I also saw the mic-drop button on my gmail. As a fan of the brand,I trust anything that comes from Google and will not think much before trying it out. Luckily I was too lazy yesterday to click on the button. Things would have been embarrassing since my official mail is linked to gmail. 
I think brands should resist the temptation to look cool at all cost. When there's a matter of Brand Trust, coolness quotient should take the backseat. 
Having said that, it takes lots of courage for a brand to be humorous and mistakes do happen. The mantra I choose about brand humor would be-When in doubt, be serious. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Brand Update : Good Bye Innova, Welcome Crysta

In a surprise move, Toyota decided to stop the production of its best seller MUV- Innova to pave the  way for the launch of the new generation Innova Crysta. The plot seems to be the repeat of the stoppage of Toyota Qualis for the introduction of Innova.

Toyota decided to replace Innova not because it is in the mature/decline stage of product-life-cycle. The first generation Innova is still the best selling segment leader. Replacing a best-selling model when the sales are at peak requires a lot of guts and visionary thinking. The new Innova Crysta will be running on the new product platform TNGA which enables multi-product  configurations.

Innova which was launched in 2005 has so far sold more than 5.75 lakh units. As per auto.ndtv, the brand Innova is selling approximately 5000 units per month - a task its low-priced competitors despite their aggressive pricing and marketing strategies could not achieve. 

The brand is practicing planned obsolescence where the brand deliberately makes its product obsolete by launching updated versions. 
According to reports, Innova has struck a chord with Indian consumers through its robust build quality and high quality. And despite being a large vehicle, the handling part of this vehicle is best in the class. 
First generation Innova had set a benchmark for the category it has helped create. Now true to Toyota tradition, the brand is redrawing the benchmark with the launch of Crysta. It is interesting to note that Toyota will not be selling the first generation Innova side-by-side Innova Crysta. It is foregoing that sales opportunity to sustain the brand equity of Innova 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Crisp and Shine : The fabric Enhancer

Brand: Ujala Crisp and Shine
Company: Jyothy Laboratories

Brand Analysis Count: 562

Ujala Crisp and Shine is the re-branded version of Ujala Stiff and Shine. Ujala launched its fabric conditioner Stiff and Shine in 2005. The brand was an addition to the post-wash fabric care product line of Jyothy Lab which was dominated by the liquid whitener Ujala. 

Although launched in 2005, Stiff and Shine was a regional brand. The brand did business around Rs 25 crore in Kerala where it is concentrated ( Source). The post-wash category of fabric care is now witnessing a lot of interest among FMCG companies and HUL is upping the ante with the high profile promotion of its global brand - Comfort.

When launched, Stiff and Shine was primarily viewed by consumers as a product that would offer the convenience of a fabric stiffener ( starch) like Revive. The brand name also reinforced the perception.

HUL launched Comfort not as a fabric stiffener but as a conditioner. Through sustained promotions, the brand has continuously grown in the market.
Probably this growth of the brand Comfort may have led to the re-branding of Stiff and Shine.
The new brand name Crisp and Shine is backed by a product - descriptor  - Fabric Enhancer. Through the product descriptor, the brand is trying to position itself as a complete fabric care product rather than a stiffener.
Jyothy Lab is trying to pitch Crisp and Shine nationally and the re-branding releases the brand from the constraint of " Stiff and Shine " proposition.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Britannia Good Day : Har Cookie Mein Kayi Smiles

Brand: Good Day
Company: Britannia

Brand Analysis Count: # 561

Good Day is an interesting brand. Launched in 1987, the brand had come a long way. The brand was launched by Britannia when it identified a gap between the glucose biscuit category and cream-biscuit category. According to a report in Business Line, the company felt that customers want an indulgence product which they can consume during tea-time. The company thus pioneered the "Cookie" category in India by positioning Good Day just above the glucose biscuits. The  new product was different from the glucose biscuits by the inclusion of berries and dry fruits. 
The Indian biscuit market is worth Rs 25,000 crore and the cookie is the fastest growing category in the industry. According to ET and Business Standard, the cookie category is worth around Rs 6000 crore. Good Day is leading the category with around 30% market share. Parle and Sunfeast are close followers with a share of 27 % and 25% respectively.

Good Day, which created the cookie market at one time enjoyed more than 70% share in the market. The decline is attributed to the competition it faced from Parle and Sunfeast. 

Good Day as a brand was promoted on the basis of the happiness platform. The brand had the very famous tagline " Have a Good Day " which was reinforced by some very good campaigns. 
Watch the earlier campaign of Good Day: Campaign 1, Campaign 2

According to news reports, the core philosophy of Good Day is happiness and optimism. The brand has been consistent on the positioning platform since launch. 
2015 saw a relaunch of the brand. The brand has been suffering from the onslaught of ITC's Sunfeast. Sunfeast virtually changed the face of the biscuit market. Sunfeast brought lot of energy to the biscuit market with lot of new launches and varieties. 
Britannia is now responding by elevating Good Day into an umbrella brand with lot of new varieties and sub-brands. For example the Chunkies is a premium cookie brand launched as a sub-brand of Good Day, endorsed by Deepika Padukone. 
During the relaunch, Good Day also have changed the tagline to " Har Cookie mein kayi smiles " roughly meaning - every cookie has many smiles. The brand is reinforcing its happiness positioning through the packaging also. Good Day now has put a smile into the packs and is now selling the curved lines of the biscuits as smiles. 
Watch the ad here : Smile Good Day
The new avatar of  Good Day is a smart move by Britannia. The brand is not complacent in the face of competition. How ever, the brand could have retained the tagline " Have a Good Day " . The original campaign is so powerful and popular, Good Day has virtually let go a very powerful brand element.