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.