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.