Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Malkist : Can't Resist

Brand: Malkist
Company: Inbisco
Brand Analysis Count: #614

The Indian biscuit market is estimated to be around Rs 37000 crore and is characterized by high penetration and intense competition. The market has all the major brands vying for a share but is dominated by Brittania and Parle. This is also one market that stood its ground even in the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In 2021, a new brand entered the market by the name Malkist which is from Inbisco which is a subsidiary of Indonesia based Mayora group. Inbisco is well known for its confectionery brand Kopiko which has carved a niche for itself in the confectionery market. Malkist is a brand from Indonesia from  Mayora's portfolio.

Malkist is not an ordinary biscuit. It is in the sub-category of crackers which is a biscuit usually preferred by adults who are diabetic or health conscious. Usually, crackers are taken with added toppings to make them consumable. This is where the brand has identified an opportunity. Malkist wants to redefine the cracker category in favour of the larger set of young consumers by making it different and palette friendly. 

Malkist has done this by adding flavours to it. It is a 7 layered crackers that come in flavours such as cheese and chocolate. The brand which was soft-launched a year back is now launched nationally. The brand has also given a big boost to the launch campaign by getting none other than Amitabh Bachchan. Bachchan has brand pull across demographics and getting him to promote the brand was a big plus for Malkist.

The launch campaign featuring Big B is also a delight to watch and the ad makes use of Big B to the fullest. The theme is " can't resist" is one of the most used themes in the food-related ads, but the ad is never boring thanks to the presence of Big B. What is good about the ad is that it persuades the customer for product-trial which is the primary and paramount objective for any new brand in the market. The rest of the success depends on how the product performs. 

Malkist is positioned as a premium cracker and is now pushing the brand solely on the taste factor which cannot be termed as a clear differentiator. However crackers with irresistible taste is a nice value proposition to have at least at the launch phase. The brand will be looking at bringing more flavours to the portfolio in the coming months thus catering to the variety-seeking needs of the target market. The brand is also an example of a competitive strategy of niche marketing where the company aims at carving a niche in a highly crowded market away from the competitors.

Friday, November 05, 2021

Aquaguard: Paani Ka Doctor

 Brand: Aquaguard
Company: Eureka Forbes
Brand Analysis Count: 613

Launched in 1984, Aquaguard was one of the pioneers in the water purifier market in India. The brand from Eureka Forbes created and led the water purifier market for more than three decades now. Aquaguard was launched after the success of the vacuum cleaner products from Eureka Forbes. The company used the direct selling model to sell the water purifier also. Like any pioneer, Eureka Forbes had to do the hard work in convincing the market, the need for a water purifier at home. 

Slowly the market warmed up to the category and the growing awareness of water pollution and the need for better drinking water accelerated the adoption of this product especially in the middle class. When the market grows so does the competition. Aquaguard got a worthy competition in Kent. Kent approached the market in a different way by launching a premium water purifier with an advanced technology called Reverse Osmosis (RO). 
Through heavy advertisement campaigns featuring Hema Malini, the brand quickly gained traction and virtually owned the RO water purifier product line. Kent successfully communicated its claim that RO purifiers are better than the ones marketed by Aquaguard. Despite being the market leader, Aquaguard struggled to counter Kent's RO based marketing push.
Over a period of time, Aquaguard launched its own range of RO purifiers. One of the chunks in the brand's armour was the advertisement support for Aquaguard. Kent was heavily promoted and the communication was consistent and targeted. While Eureka Forbes was not that aggressive on the promotional front. 
Later the brand wake up from lethargy and followed the celebrity endorsement strategy of Kent by roping in Madhuri Dixit. Aquaguard is positioned as an expert in the water purifier domain communicated through the tagline " Paani ka Doctor" meaning - Doctor for Water. The water purifier portfolio has three extensions - Aquasure which is aimed at the lower-priced segment, Aquaguard which caters to the bulk of the market and Dr Aquaguard aimed at the premium consumers. 
While Aquaguard initially was following a catchup strategy with Kent in terms of technology perception, the brand took an aggressive stand in recent years. The brand launched variants with advanced technology and features such as Aquaguard Ayurfresh that gives taste and aroma to the water through a herb diffuser. Another launch was the copper and stainless steel variants taking the features ( augmentations) to the next level.
Recently the brand launched a veiled attack on Kent RO purifiers in the campaign for the Aquaguard active copper variant. The market leader claims that RO has become an outdated technology and the new technology is the active copper feature. The move is a smart one but a tough call. Kent has spent a huge amount of resources to convince the customer that RO technology is a superior version. Aquaguard may have to match that share of voice to claim technology superiority over the rival. It needs to be seen how Kent will react to this move by Aquaguard. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Brand Update : Prestige takes Svachh idea to gas stoves

 It is always good to see how brands leverage good ideas and use them as a platform for product innovation. Prestige had struck a smart idea of Svachh ( clean) products probably inspired from the highly lauded Svachh Bharat Abhiyan. The first product was the Svachh pressure cooker which had a deep lid with spillage control that prevents froth from flowing down the cooker. Although I was sceptical, I found the cooker very useful at home. Spillage is a common problem is a pain point in the kitchen. 

The brand has not extended the idea to gas stoves with the invention of Svachh gas stoves where the burners can be lifted so that the entire stove platform can be cleaned. It is a simple idea but very useful especially since homemakers are often troubled by unclean gas stoves. I guess that Prestige will be looking to expand the ideas to multiple products under its umbrella. 

These small ideas are incremental, simple but make sense for the consumer. Although these ideas can be replicated by the competitors, Prestige now has the image of being a very innovative and thoughtful marketer. Vidya Balan as the brand ambassador brings more authenticity to the brand campaigns. The brand is well poised to harness the power of little ideas. 

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Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Brand Update : Cadbury Dairy Milk and Nostalgia Advertising

 Recently Cadbury Dairy Milk did the unthinkable; it recreated the iconic advertisement of the girl dancing during a cricket match with a twist. The marketing and advertising community was thrilled to see the recreated ad and the creative prowess of the agency O&M.

The ad evoked a lot of nostalgia among the consumers who not only liked the chocolate but also enjoyed the brand's advertisements. Nostalgia is defined by marketing academicians as a preference for objects that were common when one was younger. Marketers use nostalgia both in products as well as communications. Recently Mahindra brought back the Jawa brand as an example of nostalgia-based product development and launch. Nostalgia is also used in brand communication in different forms. It can be in the form of themes, music, imagery etc. Parachute Advanced used an old Hindi song in their campaign evoking old memories, some brands bring back the old jingles, taglines evoking nostalgia among the consumers. Research has indicated that consumers have a preference over products that are more aesthetic in nature which has strong associations with their youthful days. Another set of researchers have found that there is an increased tendency of spreading the brand through word of mouth. 
The recreated Dairy Milk ad is a brilliant move by the brand rekindling the interest and love for the brand. The ad also strikes a chord with the new generation because it ticks all the right boxes in terms of gender equality and empowerment. More than that this is yet another brilliant example of brand storytelling. 

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Brand Update: Cadbury 5Star takes forward the Do Nothing Theme with new Ad

 Cadbury 5Star seems to have hit a jackpot theme - Eat 5 Star, Do Nothing. The brand has launched a new campaign extending the theme in a new situation. And just like the last one, the ad is funny and not boring. To find a campaign theme that can be used as a platform for multiple ad campaigns is a priceless moment for marketers. It gives the much-needed juice for consistent marketing campaigns without boring the viewers. I think that 5Star got such a platform. Kudos to the campaign team.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Brand Update: Milkybar Attempts Gamification

 Over the last few years, there has been a serious attempt by the milk chocolate brand - Milkybar to chart a new path through activity-based brand engagement. It can be broadly classified as gamification where the game elements are incorporated into the brand and consumption. 

In the earlier campaigns, Milkybar has been focusing on the benefits from its milk ingredient and highlighting the calcium content and the health benefits associated with it. Later there has been a strong focus on bringing in activities through games/puzzles bundled along with the chocolate. This along with celebrity endorsers like Shilpa Shetty is expected to boost the brand's preference. Interestingly, the brand's communication is primarily targeted at the mother rather than the child. The brand has the tagline - Play Eat & Learn.

The brand hopes that the activity bundling will encourage mothers to choose Milkybar over others because of the added benefit ( like children getting smarter !). Milk chocolates are a small segment of the market and it is purely an individualistic choice whether people like this category or not, so marketing makes it much harder since it lacks the universal likeness of ordinary chocolates. The concept of such gamification is good since it engages the consumer ( kids) with the brand beyond just consumption and makes the kid play with the brand longer than usual. It has the potential to create more brand-related outcomes. 

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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Good Day Toothpaste: Start Your Day with a Good Day!

 Brand: Good Day Toothpaste
Company: Good Day Oral Care

Brand Analysis Count: #612

It takes a lot of guts to launch an FMCG brand in the time of a pandemic like this. In that sense, what a group of entrepreneurs has done in this pandemic by launching a toothpaste brand is indeed very courageous.
Little is known about the brand Good Day Toothpaste. In fact, a google search has not yielded many results. I came to know about the brand from a television advertisement and thought that Brittannia got crazy and launched a brand extension of Good Day biscuits. 
A search indicated that it is not the case and the brand is from Kerala. 
As a marketer, the first question that comes to mind is the brand name. While Good Day is obviously a nice brand name for toothpaste, why should a firm take a famous biscuit brand name from a big business house?
Technically it is possible that the Good Day brand name is available for the toothpaste category but there may be litigation on the use of such a brand name.  Brands like Amul and Lux are indeed used by hosiery marketers overcoming the legal challenges over trademarks.
Having such a brand name is very helpful because of instant recognition and recall and may prompt some initial adoption because it carries a reputed brand name. But those are very short-term advantages.
The brand doesn't talk much about the key differentiators against its competitors like Colgate or Closeup. The ads just talk about the tagline - Start your day with Good Day. 
Good Day toothpaste comes with three variants - Milky White, Herbal and Meswak. 
The brand also is having Xylitol and hence the brand does not contain sugar. That brings a question as to whether other toothpaste brands have sugar? ( Need to check on that). 
The brand may be testing the waters in some test markets, which may be why information is not there on the internet.
However, the toothpaste market is a highly cluttered and competitive market and an ordinary product will not do any good in this market. To launch a brand in such a market needs a lot of guts and let us see how the brand pans out in the future. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Brand Update: Domex launches a direct frontal attack against Harpic

 In a very interesting move, HUL's toilet and surface cleaner brand Domex has launched a direct attack on the market leader Reckitt & Benckiser's Harpic brand this season. According to LiveMint, the Indian hygiene market is worth around Rs 38000 crore and the toilet-cleaning market is alone worth Rs 1600 crore. Harpic is the market leader in this segment. 

Domex has been trying to counter the market leader by positioning itself as a germ-killer. With the pandemic scare in place, the hygiene market is expected to grow because of increased customer perception of cleanliness and hygiene. 

This year, Domex has launched a direct frontal attack on Harpic that too with a direct comparative advertisement. The campaign had both print and television commercials. In the campaign, the brand takes the route of additional benefit of the Domex in terms of removing the bad odour caused by germs. This campaign helps the brand to create a powerful point of difference. The current campaign is made for the Domex Freshguard variant. 

The ad will likely be challenged by Harpic but Domex will be riding on the benefit of the punch delivered by this comparative advertisement until that time.

Research on comparative advertisement effectiveness has suggested that such advertising is effective in generating favourable responses in terms of attitude and brand consideration for the sponsoring brand. Comparative ads can be positive and negative. Positive comparative ads try to convince the customers about the superiority of the sponsor brands while negative comparative ads try to tell the consumers what they lose by using the competing brand. Research suggests that in the case of direct comparative ads, the negative comparison works better. 

For Harpic, the logical next move would be to neutralize the Domex claims quickly rather than wait for the ads to be taken down. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

How to make consumers trust your online business?

Building Trust online is not easy because the platform is not tangible. The session explains the lessons learned from reputed researches as to what are the factors that determine Online Trust and how to build.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Brand Update: Crispello New Ad Shows a Subtle Shift in Positioning

 Cadbury's new brand of chocolate-covered wafer finger product- Crispello has launched a new campaign. What is interesting about the campaign is that there is a subtle shift in the positioning of the brand. If you remember the launch ad for the brand, the theme was that five young persons were driving the car and they hatch a plan not to share the chocolate with the fifth person since there are only four Crispello fingers. 

The new ad takes the theme forward with a twist where the three robbers wake up the dude so that Crispello can be shared since the brand says that equal sharing is a must. Not sure whether this positive twist is intended, however positively always helps in branding. However, the creative quality (IMHO) is below par when compared with the usual Cadbury ads. With the market leader KitKat running high decibel campaigns with celebrities, Crispello has to up the game to a different level. 

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Agile Marketing/Marketing Agility

Marketing Agility or Agile Marketing is a concept from Project Management adapted to the marketing domain. The concept talks about the ability of the firm to make sense of the environment and rapidly iterate the plans from the feedback after execution.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Brand Update : Cadbury Gems refreshes itself with more chocolate and a worst Ad

 Cadbury's Gems has always been a timeless brand with lovers across all age groups. The brand which is almost 53 years old in India has created a unique place for itself. So it makes sense when the brand thought of a theme of being ageless. But alas, the campaigns that the brand had created will destroy the brand's image and likeability. The campaigns with the tagline" Raho Umarless" which mean stay ageless was promoted on the premise of adults displaying their love for the brand in a bizarre manner.

In my opinion, these campaigns are nothing but disgusting. Firstly the brand is a bit confused about the target. Is it adults or kids or all? and what the ad does is that it repels everyone. Especially the way these adults in the ads eat Gems is repulsing. Then comes the worst of the lot- the 2021 ad. The new campaign marks the refreshing of the product with more chocolate. But the same outrageous campaign theme execution continues. I and my mother was watching the ad and at the end of it, both of us were saying - Yuck!

Monday, June 07, 2021

Campaign Trail : Play New by Nike / Brilliant Story Telling

 Nike is an iconic brand because of the power of advertising. The brand over its existence since 1971 has created some iconic advertisement epitomizing its brand mantra of " Celebrating Atheletisim". While spending big on getting the iconic athletes and sportspersons to endorse the brand, Nike was always careful to be grounded by communicating to ordinary people. So their brand campaigns always had advertisements that tend to motivate the ordinary you and me to try out something. 2021 saw a similar approach from Nike in their new campaign " Play New" which celebrates trying and failing. 

Celebrating failures is nothing new in the motivational world but the way the agency Wieden & Kennedy executed the theme is nothing but brilliant. These ads testify to the power of storytelling and the power of advertising. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

WhiteTone: Everyday Glow

Brand: WhiteTone
Company: Vini Cosmetics
Brand Analysis Count: #611

WhiteTone is a brand of face powder and cream which competes in the fairness segment of the Indian market. The brand is from Vini Cosmetics which is famous for the Fogg brand of deodorant. WhiteTone was launched in 2010 initially as a face powder and later extended into a face cream.

Indian talcum powder market is estimated to be around INR 1300 crore and is shrinking owing to the shift in consumer behaviour towards creams and other cosmetics. WhiteTone tried to differentiate itself in the talcum powder market by positioning itself as a face powder that enhances skin tone. 
Despite the slowing popularity of powders, WhiteTone is banking on three benefits to lure the customers to the brand; oil-free look, even skin tone and fairness. The brand extension cream also follows the same promises.
What makes the brand interesting is the recent rebranding of the market leader in the fairness category- Fair & Lovely to Glow&Lovely. The rebranding was very well received by the media and consumer activists as a gesture endorsing skin colour neutrality. However, I feel that WhiteTone gains from such a move from the market leader. The fairness market is worth around INR 5000 crore and Fair&Lovely owns more than 42% share. While the basic positioning of the rebranded Glow&Lovely remains the same, WhiteTone may gain from the sheer brand name which talks about the brand's promise in a way Glow & Lovely may not be able to communicate. It is true that Glow &Lovely caters to a different segment than WhiteTone. 
WhiteTone has increased its media presence and in my State- Kerala, the brand is spending heavily on the face powder promotion. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Nu-Shakti: Nutrition for All

Brand: Nu-Shakti
Company: Royal DSM

Brand Analysis Count: 610

Nu-Shakti is an interesting brand trying to create a category in India. The brand is from the house of Royal DSM which is a Dutch-based company dealing with nutritional products. The company was not in the consumer space and Nu-Shakti is the first brand in this space.
Nu-Shakti comes under the category of nutraceuticals which broadly constitute all products that offer additional nutrition to the consumers. Nutraceuticals are further classified into functional foods and functional beverages. The global market for nutraceuticals is estimated at $250 billion and the Indian market constitutes around 2% which itself is a huge market at $5 billion. The market itself is poised for huge growth because of the lifestyle diseases and convenience factor.

Indian nutraceuticals market is primarily focused on nutritional supplements and drinks. It is where Nu-Shakti becomes interesting. The brand has a range of products that comes under the category of food-fortifying products. Nu-Shakti has two such products - Nu-Shakti Powermix for rice and wheat. The idea is that by adding a prescribed quantity of the product, the rice or wheat becomes rich in nutrients that are otherwise not present or lost in cooking. Along with these two products, the company has also launched a powdered beverage under the sub-brand Mixme. 

The idea of fortified products is very relevant because consumers are now more sensitive to the nutritional value of the food and would be willing to invest in a solution that takes care of the nutritional needs which are non-chemical. The advantage of Nu-Shakti Promix is the convenience of the product in that one need to add a prescribed amount to get the desired nutrition ( as promised by the brand). 
The brand was test-launched in Tamilnadu with the actress Remyakrishnan as the celebrity endorser and now has launched across the Indian market. In my state Kerala, the brand is promoting its Mixme powdered beverage on television channels. 

The brand is priced at Rs 250 for 250 gram which is adequate for 25Kg of rice. 
For a consumer, the promise of the brand seems to be interesting. The challenge for the brand is to create the believability of the promise of nutritional fortification and to encourage trial. In the launch phase, the brand tried to do that through celebrity and also through social media influencers. At Rs 250, the consumers need to be thoroughly convinced to create a sustainable sales pipeline. According to reports, the brand has identified the right promotional mix strategy in Tamilnadu and would be trying to replicate the same in the entire market. The launch time is also ripe since consumers are looking for multiple solutions to stay healthy. 

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Brand Update: Dettol Extends To Laundry Sanitizers

 Inspired by pandemic, Dettol, the market leader in the antiseptic category launched a liquid laundry sanitiser. The launch is the brand's sort of entry into the laundry care segment. Indian laundry care market is huge with the size of  INR 29000 crore and because of the low entry barriers is a tough market with both big brands and unorganized segment vying for a piece of the market. The market is dominated by detergents and slowly other segments are opening up. According to a report, the category of fabric-softeners is worth only INR 115 crore while stain removers are pegged at INR 400 crore. 

The Covid pandemic has literally scared the hell out of the customers and marketers were quick to offer solutions that provide relief. Sanitisers were the category that benefited the most. However, after the first wave subsided, the market for sanitisers show a sharp dip but thanks to the second wave, the sanitiser makers can breathe easy. 

Dettol has entered into a very nascent category of laundry sanitisers. The brand argues that there is a possibility of virus in the clothes ( very likely) and it's better to kill it while washing using laundry sanitisers. Most of the brands like Lifebuoy, Dabur, Lysol all have their own products in the category. 

The issue is that whether the product category is sustainable or not. The case of sanitiser is in front of us. The market went down once the scare is over. Further, this product adds one more step into the laundry process which itself is cumbersome. This one of the reasons why fabric conditioners have a very slow adoption. I have only started using fabric softeners only recently. The problem is with regard to the evidence of performance. While the brand promise that there is virus-killing, what is the evidence, the only evidence is the belief that it may have worked. The same is the case with fabric conditioners/softeners, as a consumer, the only evidence is the fragrance. Also for Covid, it is already known that soaps kill the virus, so naturally, detergents also work against the virus ( I don't know, my assumption). So why bother to buy another product? 

To add to this, brands like Comfort has already added the property to its product. It will not be long before the detergents adding this virus/germ killing property in them thus eliminating the need for another product. 

Although odds are against this, brands are not leaving anything to chance. Who may have forecasted that there will be a situation when everyone will be using sanitisers and wear masks. So it is a part of marketing agility to experiment with new products/categories and learning from failures. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

JSW Paints : Har Rang, Har Kisi Ka

 Brand: JSW Paints
Company: JSW Group

Brand Analysis Count: # 609

JSW group belonging to the Sajjan Jindal family which is known for JSW Steel and JSW Cements has forayed into the highly competitive but lucrative Rs 50,000 Crore paint industry. In 2019, the company soft-launched its paints branded as JSW paints in the South and later expanded to a larger national footprint. 
Indian paint industry dominated by Asian Paints is lucrative with its sheer size at the same time is extremely competitive and a difficult market to crack. While the organized market is dominated by Asian Paints, Berger, Nerolac, there is a large unorganized market too dominated by the price competition and middlemen ( influencers/decision-makers) like painters and contractors. 
Asian Paints is credited with building a brand in this category and breaking the stronghold of painters and contractors in the consumer decision-making process and making the brand choice a consumer prerogative. 

When a conglomerate like the JSW group enters the market, everyone will look up to the launch and a possible threat to the long-standing market-leader Asian Paints. The market is large enough to accommodate such a large player at the same time, the existing players are known for defending their market shares.
JSW Paints was launched into the market with a positioning based on colour and price. The key differentiator for JSW paints is the 1808 colour options it provides to the consumer. The choice of the differentiator based on the colours is intriguing since that positioning platform is already owned by Asian Paints. When a challenger brand takes the same positioning as the market leader, there is a risk of consumers failing to associate the colour based positioning with the new entrant. There is a classic example of Nerolac ad featuring Amitabh Bachchan which was focused on colour and later when consumers were asked to recall the brand which Bachchan endorsed, they recalled Asian Paints. 
JSW Paints has roped in two celebrities to endorse the brand - Alia Bhatt and Ayushmann Khuranna. The launch ad is well made but the issue of a very close similarity with Asian Paint's positioning lingers. 
The brand has also put a number 1808 colour options to give credibility to the range of colours value propositions and this can easily be countered by its competitor and technically it is not a sustainable differentiation.  JSW Paints has four brands under its paint portfolio Halo, Aurus, Pixa and Halo Aquaglo. Each brand offers different attributes like Halo is focused on its anti-bacterial property. 
Another differentiator for the brand is the One Colour, One Price guarantee by the brand. Usually, brands charge differential pricing for the various colours and in my opinion, JSW paints have identified a good value proposition in this. In a sense, the large number of colour options together with the one price for all colours make a sensible value proposition for this new brand. If promoted this combined value proposition, JSW paints will force the other players to offer one price for all colours in future. 
The tagline for the brand is Har Rang, Har Kisi ka which translates to Colours for All. The brand is targeting the young couple ( 25-50 years) and the choice of the brand ambassadors reflects the intent. 

 I am not sure whether the launch campaign was able to give a proper push to the combined value proposition. Subsequently, more rational campaigns highlighting the combined value propositions will cement a significant position for this brand in the market. If the market accepts this one price formula, it will not be difficult for the competitors to catch up and for JSW Paints, a new hunt for new differentiator will begin. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Brand Update : Oreo does it again with 5Star

In my earlier posts on the brand, I had talked about how the Oreo brand is being used as a platform to launch variants by collaborating with other brands in Modolez's portfolio like Dairy Milk. Oreo is now experimenting with yet another launch this time with the 5Star brand. Recently the company launched a new product Cadbury 5 Star Oreo which combines the caramel of 5 Star with Oreo. Mondolez has rightly realized that their products both in the chocolate and biscuit categories are no longer water-tight compartments but the consumers perceive these as a part of the snacking category which is much broader than chocolates and biscuits. 
This realization has given rise to the new strategy of cross-pollination ( as mentioned in some business news reports) of brands giving rise to new variants. The advantage of such collaboration is that there are instant awareness and motivation for trial. For snacking category success, a trial is a pre-requisite to success. When two familiar brands come together for a new variant, consumers don't have a reason not to try the variant and the product efficacy then will decide the fate of the new variant. For snacking category, consumers look for variety and novelty. So these experiments are a necessity if one wants to succeed. 
Mondolez should be credited for thinking beyond their products. How many brand managers would agree to their iconic brands to be cross-pollinated with other brands within the brand line for creating new variants? 
These experiments will encourage marketers to think beyond the products thus eliminating the occurrence of marketing myopia. It is not about whether the new variants succeed or not. This example also resonates with the advice given by Roberto Goizueta to the Coke executives who were rattled by Pepsi Challenge. Goizueta told the executives to focus on what percentage of fluid intake of an individual can Coke capture rather than be worried about the growing share of Pepsi. This changed the mindset of Coke executives encouraging them to rise up to the Pepsi Challenge. In the same manner, Mondolez is trying to gain a larger share of the whole snacking market rather than being narrowly focused on individual brand share. This probably is encouraging the company to launch this type of products.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Astral Pipes : Who thinks about a Pipe?

 Brand: Astral Pipes
Company: Astral Pipes Ltd

Brand Analysis Count: #608

Astral Pipes one of the leading player in the CPVC pipes category. The company has around 25% market share in this category. The plastic pipe market in India is estimated to be around Rs 21500 Crore. Astral pipes came into existence in 1998. At that time, the market was dominated by GI pipes. After many attempts, Astral pipes were able to pivot the market towards CVPC pipes which now has become a mainstream choice.

It was not an easy task for the company to change the market's preference. It found that although the engineers and supervisors were convinced about the superiority of CVPC pipes, plumbers who were the major influencers were not taken aboard. Since the CVPC pipes were expensive, the company approached this issue on two fronts. At the influencer level, it pursued an outreach program for the plumbers convincing them about the product superiority and at the product level, the company made efforts to reduce the price differential betting on the volume play. 

Then the company did the impossible, it ran a very striking branding program. Just like what Asian Paints did to the paint market by branding, Astral tried the same in the pipe category. For that, it chose two platforms- Bollywood and Cricket. Astral in a way behaved like an FMCG company trying to associate with movie stars. And success came with the product placement in the hit Salman Khan movie- Dabangg. The product placement in the movie earned the brand a nickname- Dabangg pipe. Buoyed by the success, the brand went on to associate with many Bollywood blockbusters thus increasing the awareness of the brand. Along with this, Astral pipes roped in Salman Khan to endorse the brand and there was no looking back. 

On the cricket front, Astral Pipes associated with IPL by sponsoring teams like Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad which further helped the brand in building awareness. As we all know, one of the fundamental building blocks of brand equity is brand awareness and Astral Pipes were able to create a strong foundation. 

In 2020-21, the brand has roped in Ranveer Singh as the brand ambassador. The brand is currently running a very interesting campaign themed " Who thinks about Pipes? "

What is interesting about this campaign is the thought process and the issue that the brand is trying to address. The theme " Who thinks about pipe" rightly captures the issue that Astral pipes try to address. Actually who think about pipes anyway?
For a brand, this question is a make or break for brand. If the consumer doesn't think about pipes, then the purchase will be a commodity purchase with price as the deciding factor. So the current campaign in a way urges the consumer to think about this product category. Further, the brand assures the consumer that as a company, they are constantly thinking about building excellent pipes hence the consumer can trust the brand. With a touch of humour, the ads deliver the message very effectively. 

Astral has also explored various promotional options other than ads. In 2017, it launched a much-acclaimed video #Everywomensright promoting the concept of toilets in every house.

The types of above-the-line marketing efforts are rare in a product category like pipes where the energy and investment are more on dealer relationships and margin management. Astral has paved a new path of marketing in this otherwise dull category. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Brand Update : Amul puts the butter narrative into its biscuit entry

 Launched in 2019, Amul's foray into the highly competitive and fragmented Rs 37000 biscuit market has become national. The ads for Amul Butter cookies are now streaming across various markets. Although the brand is not yet in stores in Kerala, I guess it is a matter of time that the brand will be in the stores. Amul has been on a roll in the last couple of years with a slew of launches in various categories. The brand has decided to leverage the full potential of the equity and is experimenting with various products and categories. 

Biscuits is a tough market to crack owing to the low entry barrier and fragmentation. The consumers in the category have fleeting brand loyalty and are swayed by new variants and innovative flavours. So it will not be an easy walk even for Amul. Just like what it did with the ice cream market with its " made with cow's milk" proposition, in the biscuit category, the brand is pivoting the market with the proposition of " 25% Amul Butter" ingredient. In a subtle way, the brand is referring to the presence of vegetable oil in the competitor's products creating jitter among the competing brands. The powerful narrative it created in the ice cream market with the education of consumers about ice-cream and frozen dessert made Amul a strong contender in the category. The same narrative is applied in the biscuit category also. For a consumer, the very Amul brand name is enough to enthuse trial and rest will depend on the product efficacy. 

The challenge for Amul will be to create the variants and innovate in the product category. Sunfeast, Parle and the likes are bringing in new flavours, variants and new products and getting into the market quite fast. Amul is known for its distribution prowess and marketing muscle, it will be tested to the fullest in this category. 

Monday, February 08, 2021

Nimwash : The First Step in a Recipe

 Brand: Nimwash
Company: ITC

Brand Analysis Count: # 607

Covid-19 has made some category like sanitisers, handwash etc penetrate the market very fast and became a part of the consumer basket within a short span of time. In a way, consumers were forced to adopt those products. Along with these essentials, marketers are trying to push their luck in some other categories taking advantage of the new normal of fear and personal hygiene. One such category that is witnessing a lot of product launches is the vegetable and fruit wash category
The category of fruit and vegetable wash is not a new one, in fact in 2008, I had written a post about a brand Bio-Fresh which is in the same category. The difference in 2021 is that many brands from famous companies are in the fray. One such big launch is Nimwash from ITC. 
The interest behind such new launch in this category is to take advantage of the general sentiment of the consumers towards personal hygiene and fear of getting sick. While sanitsers have reaped the benefit of direct connection with the pandemic, the fruit and vegetable wash category is trying to go with the flow.  
Having said that, there is a very real benefit that these products are offering. It is real that the fruits and vegetables that we consume are laden with pesticides and chemicals and these are potential threats to our health. So just like the santisers, it makes immense sense to clean the vegetables from the chemicals and pesticides.
Nimwash is pitched as a healthy vegetable wash with natural contents like Neem. The proposition seems to be very logical and attractive. The brand has chosen a celebrity endorsement route with the celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor as the endorser. The brand has smartly put the tagline as " The First Step in  Recipe" highlighting the importance of cleaning the vegetables and fruits before confusing. 

Nimwash along with the competitors like Marico's Veggie Clean, Raho Safe are already available across various supermarkets and consumer offers like 1+1 free also have started coming highlighting a sense of panic selling by the marketers. 
As a consumer, I was also tempted to purchase such a product because I am aware of the core issue that this product is solving. So the issue is not the need-identification or problem recognition, the challenge is the repeat purchase and continuous adoption of this category. That continuous adoption requires a change in consumer behaviour in terms of cooking and eating fruits. These marketers need to teach consumers to use this product to wash the fruits and vegetables before cooking/ eating. That is not a small task. The same issue was faced by sanitisers before and Covid was a good teacher in that aspect. For a brand like Nimwash, despite the product being beneficial, it is a challenge to shore up the volume by making these products a part of the daily life. The benefit of washing the fruits and vegetables daily with such products does not offer any visible pieces of evidence other than a mental satisfaction. Products like floor cleaners, sanitisers have already created that mental feeling of germ-free/ cleaning picture in the mind of the consumer, it is now the task of Nimwash and others to replicate the same. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Brand Update : Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk Mousse puts you in chocolate heaven

Under Mondolez, Cadbury as a brand is on a roll. The fans of the brand are seeing a host of thoughtful product launches which are thoughtful and unique. What is so good about Mondolez's approach towards its product is to look at each brand as a platform through which new products( variants) can be launched. The company is not afraid to launch variants which are unique and often risky. These launches make the brand look sophisticated and interesting. 

This season, Cadbury under the popular brand Silk has launched a new variant- Mousse. Mousse is a french food which is in a soft and aerated form. Cadbury has successfully incorporated this popular dissert inside the Dairy Milk Silk. The mousse seamlessly integrates with the soft nature of Silk chocolates. 

Consumers are looking for indulgence and unique experiences everywhere. A brand succeeds when it gives a unique experience with product consumption. It is vital in the snacking category that is growing leaps and bounds among young consumers. Mondelez game plan is to capture the snacking market with unique variants launched under its power brands like Cadbury and Oreo. 

Silk Mousse is promoted across the various platforms with the proposition of " heavenly indulgence". The variant has the tagline - Scoop into Chocolate Heave" which reflects both the product form and the nature of the variant. 

Silk has always being promoted in the platform of romance. For this variant too, the brand is banking on the romance and a very young couple. As usual, the advertisement ticks all the right boxes.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Bumberry : Conscious Diapering

Brand: Bumberry
Company: Bumberry Baby Products Pvt Ltd

Brand Analysis Count: #606

Bumberry is a brand of cloth diapers for infants and kids which wanted to give an environmentally friendly alternative to the usual disposable diapers that are popular in urban India. Started in 2013, the brand is currently selling through online e-commerce platforms. 

The diaper market in India is worth around $800 million and is characterised by high growth and low penetration. The market is dominated by P&G and concentrated on the urban market. The earlier players like Huggies, Snuggy, Pampers created the market by educating the consumers about the benefit of diapers in terms of convenience and health. The market is growing owing to the demographic nature of India and the fact that the entry barrier in this category is only the brand power has encouraged many players who import these products from manufacturing hubs like China and brands it and sell in India. 

While disposable diapers are cheap and convenient, it is not without problems. Although the unit price is affordable to the middle-class, there is a cost in the long run because of the disposable nature of the product. Another big issue is the environmental cost of these disposable diapers. Further, these diapers can create skin-related allergy if used for a prolonged period of time. 
It is these problems that encouraged the founders of Bumberry to find an alternative. A chance encounter with cloth diaper imported from the ave the idea of a home-grown brand which is less expensive than the imported ones. 

Thus brand Bumberry was created. The brand is now an online-only brand and is marketed through influencers and other digital promotions. The product is basically a durable diaper with removable inserts. The cover diaper is cloth-based and hence environment friendly and re-usable. The USP of the brand is re-usability and comfort and design. Priced at around Rs 740, the brand is trying to offer value compared to expensive imported products. 
The brand with its value proposition will appeal to a section of consumers who are looking for a healthy organic alternative to the synthetic diapers. 
So the initial market will be niche and with the diaper market growing, the potential for such diapers will naturally grow. 
The challenge for a brand like Bumberry is similar to that of the brands which created the diaper market in India -educating consumers to change. While the pioneers wanted the consumers to change from using cloths to diapers, Bumberry wants the ordinary diaper buyers to change to cloth diapers. That requires an investment on a large scale in terms of promotion. To make these products mainstream will be a mammoth investment in terms of promotions. A startup brand like this can at this point can only rely on digital tools and influencer marketing. While the brand's main talking point is its environment friendliness, I think that attributes like fashion, comfort, image are more attractive at a consumer point of view. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Brand Update : Coca Cola to Turn Up Your Day

 This season was a washout season from most product categories. The pandemic forced many firms into crisis mode with no money or energy left for brand promotions. After the massive lockdown has been lifted, things are limping back to normal so is brand promotions. 

Coca-Cola during these periods was steady in its brand promotions. During Diwali 2020, the brand was running a popular campaign featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Paresh Rawal and the theme was focused on relationships.

The best thing about the ads was that the focus was on the brand rather than the celebrities despite the presence of two powerful celebrity brands. Then came the new campaign featuring Ranbir. 

The problem with celebrity endorsement is that there is always a chance that the celebrity will eclipse the brand in terms of screen presence. You have to be very bold and creative to make the brand stand out in the presence of a celebrity. In the current campaign themed Turn Up Your Day, the focus is on the charm of Ranbir rather than the brand even if it is the brand that makes him dance. It is all celebrity when you show the girls head over heels over Ranbir and the poor Coke brand is just rattling in the fridge. 
The new brand tagline is Turn Up Your Day which is a sort of confusing! Internationally the brand is running a campaign Turn Up Your Rythm which links the brand to music. However, we get a dancing Ranbir here in India. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Brand Update : Tata Safari is back to Reclaim Your Life

 It's happy news for Tata Safari fans. Tata Motors has decided to relaunch the iconic Tata Safari in a new platform. The brand which created the premium SUV market in India was languishing in the sidelines when the Indian market was gravitating towards SUVs. After 2016, there was no product improvements nor any campaigns. The only saving grace for the brand was that it was chosen by Indian armed forces to replace Maruti Gypsy.

Then Tata Motors did a coup. It began to launch a range of products under a more refined platform. Harrier was launched in the Land Rover platform quickly began to impress the customer with its road presence and refinement. I almost believed that Safari will be silently killed and the new era belonged to new brands. Tata Motors then began its work on a 7 seater SUV which was showcased as a new brand Gravitas. 

But then the twist happened. The 7 seater Harrier was decided to bear the name of Safari. The teaser ad is now on air and what is interesting is that the brand is retaining the tagline Reclaim Your Life. 

The advantage of launching Safari is the immediate adoption by Safari fans. Although many have migrated to other SUVs, still Safari brand commands a lot of traction among the auto-enthusiasts. Since Harrier has already established itself as a reliable machine, Safari will not have to worry about the mechanical issues which were the Achilles heel of the brand in its earlier avatar. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Evion 400 : Nourish Your Cells

 Brand: Evion 400
Company: P&G Health Ltd

Brand Analysis Count: #605

Evion 400 is a vitamin tablet which is a market leader in its category. It is one of the most popular vitamin E tablets around. The products like vitamin and mineral tablets used to be marketed as drugs and in medical marketing terms- through ethical route. Around 2000, there were moves from the government and regulators to regulate the pricing of these drugs. To circumvent the price capping, many medical marketers began to sell products through OTC ( Over The Counter) route which means that these products can be bought without a doctor prescription. 
The challenge in such a move is that these brands will lose doctor's patronage in many cases. Doctor's tend to prescribe products which are classified as a drug rather than an OTC product. 
So brands in the OTC route needs to build all brand-related assets because, in OTC, it is the consumers that take the purchase decision. The strategy adopted by Evion is interesting in this regard. Rather than promoting the brand as a vitamin E supplement, Evion has positioned itself based on the benefits platform. One of the key benefits of vitamin E is the effect on the skin. Evion has smartly positioned itself as a provider of glowing skin rather than a vitamin supplement thus broadening the scope of the promotion. The advertisement of Evion looks like that of a skincare soap or a cream. In that way, the brand aims to increase the usage among the target consumers. 
The problem or challenge with most of the vitamin or health supplement is to ensure continued usage of the product. While consumers will start consuming such products because of some trigger or advice, often this enthusiasm wears down over a period of time. Evion believes that skincare proposition is something that may prompt consumers to use this product on a regular basis. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Dabur Sanitize : Complete Family Protection

 Brand: Dabur Sanitize
Company: Dabur
Brand Analysis Count: 604

It was a launch that had to happen one day. The Covid pandemic accelerated the product entry into the new hot category- sanitizer. Dabur which is one the respected FMCG and health major in the country did not let the opportunity wasted. In March 2020, the company accelerated the product launch of its range of sanitizers and antiseptic liquid product range into the Indian market.

The corporate brand Dabur is associated with herbal/ayurvedic products and true to its heritage, the new product launch also has herbal ingredients like Turmeric and Aloe vera inside. What is interesting about the new product launch is the brand name. Dabur has decided to use the generic name Sanitize for the product range endorsed by Dabur brand. Under the brand name Dabur Sanitize, the company has launched a range of products like hand sanitizers, antiseptic liquid and soap. Another interesting thing is that it has another variant Dabur Sanitizer Plus which is an antiseptic liquid promoted in South India using the actress Simran. 

Dabur Santize antiseptic liquid is challenging the market leader Dettol. The USP of Dabur Santize is the properties such as antibacterial, antiseptic and no-burning (which takes on the Dettol ) along with natural ingredients like turmeric and Aloe vera. 

The market is currently flooded with products such as santizers, antiseptic liquids, creams, sprays and what not. The market now has the demand owing to the relentless spread of pandemic and fear. So the market is able to contain the supply of these products to a large extent. In that way, Dabur also will ride the wave of this category growth. The buzzword at this point in time is the ability of these products to reach the point of purchase. According to the news reports, Dabur Santize is available initially in online platforms. The brand will benefit from trend once it is available offline at a large scale. 

In a branding perspective, Dabur had chosen not to launch these products under a new brand or even a sub-brand. Rather it has used the generic product descriptor route for the new products. In one way the company has missed the opportunity for a new brand which could've offered more individuality and flexibility in terms of positioning and promotion.