Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lever Ayush : Sahi Ayurveda

Brand: Lever Ayush
Company: Hindustan Unilever

Brand Analysis Count: #579

It took Patanjali to wake the giant from slumber. The Rs 36,000 crore HUL has been disturbed pretty hard by the Rs 5000 crore Patanjali resulting in the relaunch of Ayush brand. It seems like a replay of the epic battle between Nirma and Surf, however, the outcome of the current fight remains unpredictable. 

Ayush was launched by Hindustan Unilever in 2001. The brand at that time was launched to tap into the premium space in the Ayurveda personal care market. However, the plan failed and Ayush was sidelined in the huge brand-lines of the company.
Patanjali which was established in 2006, began aggressively marketing from 2015 and virtually ignited the growth of Ayurveda based personal care market in India. But what is surprising is that the multi-national giants like HUL, Colgate etc were probably in a state of Marketing Myopia. They failed to see the rise of Patanjali and could not counter the challenger. The result is that within a short span, Patanjali rose to a higher level of brand awareness and reasonable equity in a certain category of products. 

The reaction of HUL was also on predictable lines, take an old brand, dust it off and relaunch. Thus launched the revised version of Lever Ayush. The next challenge is to counter the source of Brand Equity of Patanjali. Patanjali heavily draws its equity from Baba Ramdev. Lever Ayush chose the celebrity route. Along with the celebrity, the brand has chosen to partner with Arya Vaidya Pharmacy for the development of this product. However, the campaigns don't really promote this association which is a big mistake. Arya Vaidya Pharmacy has excellent equity and could have given more firepower to the brand in countering Patanjali. 
In the relaunch, Lever Ayush has roped in Akshay Kumar as the lead brand ambassador. The brand is currently running the relaunch campaign across various media. 

For personal care products targeted at the female segment, the brand has chosen Tamanna as the brand ambassador. 

Lever Ayush is positioned as an authentic ayurvedic brand. The tagline of the brand is - Sahi Ayurveda - translated to ' True Ayurveda'. 

It has to be seen whether the customer would buy that positioning endorsed by the celebrity. 

In the pricing front, Ayush has shed the premium tag and is taking Patanjali head-on by launching the products in the price range of Rs 30 - 130. According to newspaper reports, HUL is promoting the Ayush brand in the Southern States. 

The fight between HUL and Patanjali in the personal care space would be a good fight to watch for.