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.