Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Brand Update : Quaker Oats wants to make breakfast unskippable

 In a very thoughtful move, Quaker oats have launched a series of advertisements advising customers not to skip their breakfast. Drawing from consumer insights that in this era of busy life, consumers, especially young consumers, often skip their breakfasts which can, in the long run, become problematic for their health and energy. 

Brands like Kellogg's and Quaker have long been trying to get consumer preference towards their products, replacing traditional breakfasts. The success has been limited. In the new campaign, the brand is again appealing to the convenience factor of its product. 

The product in question is the Quaker Oats Muesli which is a ready-to-eat cereal. The product boasts five grains and comes in two flavors - fruit and nut and berries and seeds. However, the major selling point is the convenience of quick preparation and balanced meal. 

One should appreciate the brands like Quaker and Kelloggs for being tenacious and open to experimenting with product variants. The new campaign will help the brand gain more traction in the breakfast space, which is witnessing a change of sorts. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Brand Update : Snuggy invents SuSu Meter

 In an interesting move, baby diaper brand Snuggy introduced a feature called Susu meter which is a blue strip that tells mothers that it is time to change their baby's diapers. The feature comes as a result of the customer insight that it is worrisome for mothers to check frequently whether the diaper is wet and needs change. The brand is solving the problem through a yellow strip on the diaper which turns blue indicating the diaper needs change.

Snuggy was the pioneer in the baby diaper market in India. The brand changed hands from the founder R Mohan to Godrej consumer products to Noble Hygiene. The change of brand owners resulted in the brand losing its share in the market from a market pioneer to a laggard. The new brand owner is trying to revive the once-market leader. 

Many brands have used this technique to tell the customer to replace the product. Oral B had used a color fading strip in the toothbrush and Gillette had it in their shaving blades. The concept comes under the broader strategy called  Planned Obsolescence. Planned obsolescence is the strategy where the brand is designed in such a way that it becomes obsolete after a limited time. Many brands like Apple and Intel make their products obsolete by launching new versions even when the older versions are selling well. 

However, the Susu meter is a toned-down version of planned obsolescence and is helpful for mothers. The brand is running a campaign highlighting the feature in the Southern part of India. From being a laggard, Snuggy needs a clutter-breaking feature like this to regain the lost mindshare as well as the market share. The brand has succeeded in breaking the clutter for sure. 

Friday, September 30, 2022

Love Depot : The Pleasure is all yours!

 Brand: Love Depot
Company: TTK Healthcare

Brand Analysis Count: #618

This has to happen one day in India! India now has a homegrown pleasure product store in the form of an online store. TTK Healthcare has launched Love Depot which is an online store selling pleasure products  ( Sex toys to be precise). The changing consumer landscape, preferences, and cultural changes have brought about new opportunities for marketers. 

The Indian sexual wellness market is estimated to be around $1153 million growing at a CAGR of around 6%. Currently, there is no organized player in this market. The pleasure product market will be an interesting case study for marketing enthusiasts because of the nature of the market and the taboo attached to the products, especially sex toys. For TTK Healthcare, it would be a repeat of the efforts they had to make for making the condoms category popular among Indian consumers. 
There is no doubt that there is a huge market for such products in such a populous country. But the way of the Indian culture is that we are not very open to such products on the outside. Sex is seldom discussed in the open but all of us know the reality. 
Love Depot is trying to fill in a gap that I think can result in a gold mine of opportunities for the company to make money. It all depends on how well the company is able to break through the taboo.
TTK is marketing the new D2C initiative through digital platforms. The launch of Love Depot was through a digital-only campaign in line with the brand's promise of private pleasure. 
One of the major factors that will inhibit a consumer from trying out such products is privacy or in plain language - fear of getting caught while receiving the product. TTK is handling that issue by promising discreet packaging and even the option of self-pickup. However, it will take some time before the consumers trust the promise of discreet delivery. With the society getting more open to these categories, Love Depot will have the first mover advantage. 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Does brand's gender matter/ Brand Name Linguistics

Research says that how your brand's name is perceived as female/male will have an influence on brand attitude and performance.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Little Trees : Differentiation by Trade Dress

 Brand: Little Trees
Company: Car Freshner Corporation
Brand Analysis Count: #617

Little Trees was a brand I happened to purchase quite accidentally. I happened to browse through my usual online grocery app and saw this brand of car fresheners. I have seen this car freshener earlier and thought of checking it out. Then I found that it is " Made in USA". That hooked me and I bought the product. Again one more anecdotal example to prove the existing research findings that country of origin has a significant influence on brand preference and purchase intention. 

Research on this brand threw a lot of interesting stories about the brand. The brand is from New York USA and was created by Julius Samann. Samman was a chemist and he created this product in 1952 to solve a problem faced by his friend who is a milkman. His friend was bothered by the smell of spilt milk on his truck. Samman took on solving this problem and he extracted aroma from pine trees and designed a freshener in the shape of a pine tree with a string attached to it which can be used to dangle the freshener onto the car's rear-view windscreen mirror. He applied for a patent for this unique product. 
The product was a success in the market and later the company followed it up with a lot of related product extensions. 
There are a lot of lessons that can be learned from this brand. The most interesting lesson is with regard to product design which is the most powerful brand element of Little Trees. The product is designed in the abstract form of a pine tree which differentiates itself from the rest of the car freshener brands. The strategy of using the visual appearance of the product or packaging to signify the source of the product is known as Trade Dress. Another example is the coca-cola bottle. Trade Dress comes under the protection of intellectual property rights which makes this a powerful differentiator. 
Another lesson is that the very nature of the product design where the car freshener visibly dangles in front of the car gives this brand immediate promotion. Another factor is that this product is priced very reasonably given its rich branding history. 

Indian car freshener market is worth around Rs 250 crores and looking at the growth of the automobile market, the potential is there for many such brands. Recently the government has allowed the import of non-burning fresheners in India which may have opened the doors for these brands into the Indian market.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Brand Update : Jaquar self trolls for its brand extension

 Jaquar which is one of the premium bath fittings brands has extended itself to lighting products and in an interesting move, the brand self-trolls for this move. The brand had ventured into light fittings as early as 2018  and is now very vocal during the latest IPL season with some clutter-breaking ads.

The latest ad is interesting because the brand very much highlights the consumer dilemma when they encounter brand extensions. When consumers hear about Jaquar, the products that come to their mind are bath fittings and then the brand extension of lightings. Having said that marketing academicians are in two groups as far as brand extensions are concerned. There are contradicting research and real market evidence of brand extensions' success and failures. The driving force behind the decision is the savings on the cost of building a new brand. 

Jaquar needs to be appreciated for making fun of itself and through this campaign, the brand has made its communication clear and sticky.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Brand Update : Colgate targets diabetics with an ayurvedic variant

 In a smart and interesting move, Colgate has launched a variant for diabetic patients - Colgate Diabetics. Actually, the brand name runs long like - Colgate Toothpaste for the oral health of Diabetics. The somewhat interesting name is to prevent any legal issues arising out of the product. The launch is a natural extension of the brand to capture a largely untapped market in the oral health space- diabetic patients. India is considered a diabetic capital of the world with a large incidence of this lifestyle condition.

According to the brand's press release, oral issues such as gum decay, and tooth decay are prevalent in diabetic patients and as the leader in the oral care market, Colgate aims to cater to the needs of this large segment with a variant. Another reason is the possibility of entrants into this segment and Colgate doesn't want to concede a market as it once faced such an issue with GSK's Sensodyne. Another interesting fact is that Colgate chose to go the ayurvedic route as a solution to this issue. It seems that the brand is predicting a shift from the consumers toward natural products. For promotion, the brand chose the celebrity route through the famous Indian cricketer R. Ashwin. In fact, the brand has hit a bullseye with a testimonial theme from Ashwin and his father. It is very difficult to get such a combination. 

Colgate has been very proactive in launching new products and also promoting the brand to ward off the threat from the competition. The current launch is such an example of
the market leader.

Friday, April 08, 2022

Atomberg : Why Not?

 Corporate Brand: Atomberg

Brand Analysis Count: # 616

Atomberg is a relatively new brand in the highly competitive consumer durable market in India. The company was started by two IIT Bombay Alumnus who had a passion  to creative high quality innovative products for India. The first product was in the fan category launched in 2015. The brand has come a long way since then creating a space for itself in the fan category.

Atomberg is competing for share in the Rs 10,000 crore fan market in India. The brand is pitching for the premium fan segment accounting for about 15% of the total market but the silver lining is that this segment is growing very fast.Atomberg has also recently diversified into other small appliances category like mixer grinders. 

The marketing of a consumer durable brand is a tough task because the nature of the product demand developing a USP and sense of trust among the consumers. The consumer durable market is crowded with large powerful national and international brands at the top and numerous small regional brands at the bottom. Further, these product require service support across the market which is not an easy task to achieve.

Atomberg has decided to play it in the premium segment because the best way to build a brand which will endorse a range of products is to create an aspirational flavor although there are lot of risks in that strategy. The rist is to justify the premium that these products command. Atomberg has chosen the platform of innovativeness as the USP for the brand. In the fan segment, the brand has positioned on the "power-saving" benefit for the consumer through the BLDC (Brushless DC Motor) technology.

The brand is currently running a major campaign for the fans featuring two kids Atom & Berg. The premise for the ads is the corporate brand's tagline  - Why Not ? which is a good representation of the brand's focus on innovativeness. 

There is  not a large number of advertisements that feature kids as the protagonists for brands which are not essentially kid's products. Kids are now seen recommending products like toothpastes to even life insurance. I am not sure what is prompting ad makers to believe that kids are the best people to recommend the products. Same is followed for Atomberg campaign. They have used kids are the representative of the brands. I personally feel that kids reduce the seriousness of what the brands has to say except for the brands that has kids as consumers. 

Here also the brand may have to continue these characters across various new product launches if they are to maintain continuity of the message since this is an umbrella brand for multiple product launches. The only advantage of using kids in ads is that some may view the ads as cute. 

Atomberg has chosen to  build itself around the idea of innovativenes. The challenge is to demonstrate that innovativeness in the products.The brand has been aggressively promoting across various media and this has definitely an impact on brand awareness and likely brand trials. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Brand Update : Domex changes positioning focus to fragrance

In their new campaign, HUL owned Domex has changed the brand's long-standing focus from germ-killing to fragrance. Prompted by competitor's pitch on foul-smelling bathrooms as a customer's problem area, Domex has decided to add fragrance to its benefits which in a way is moving away from the earlier positioning of germ-killing toilet cleaner. It is not a big deal since brands try to offer a bundle of benefits to the consumer. But what I have found interesting is Domex's way of communicating the new benefit to the consumer.

In the new campaign, the brand features the famous actress Revathy as the protagonist. The brand has a new tagline - Don't Argue, Just Domex. 

 The brand has done well in reacting fast to the competitor's pitch on good-smelling bathrooms and has quickly achieved points of parity with the competing brands. However, I feel that Domex is a bit overbearing on the consumer in the latest ad. If you look at the brand's advertisement, the brand represented by Revathy is just bulldozing the consumer by saying Don't Argue, Just Domex which has left me in a bad taste. The way the celebrity is cutting off the consumer and forcefully enforcing the brand is also a reflection of the brand's personality whether intended or not. I know I am reading too much into the ad but it is my perception of the brand's arrogance. 

Domex has been very aggressive in recent times. The last campaign was a direct attack on Harpic which was later challenged by Harpic and the ads were taken down. My opinion is that a brand's arrogance should be directed towards the competitors and not at consumers. Consumers have the right to argue and not just Domex !!!

Monday, February 14, 2022

Lessons from Kashmir Day Twitter Controversy for Marketers

On February 2022, brands like Hyundai, Kia, Dominos landed up in trouble over some tweets from Pakistan over Kashmir. There are lessons to be learned from this controversy.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Refresh Tears : Golden Years Ahead

 Brand: Refresh Tears
Company: Allergan India ( ABBVie )
Brand Analysis Count: #615

Indian Pharmaceutical industry is huge in size estimated to be around $42 Billion. One of the major growth areas in this industry is the OTC ( over the counter) products which can be bought without a prescription. This OTC rush has even created a new category called FMHG - Fast Moving Health Goods.

OTC ophthalmic products is another emerging area in this industry and one of the major brands in the market is Refresh Tears. Those who are using computers for a long time may have never missed this brand which is used as a relief to mild dryness in the eyes. The dry eye strain market is estimated to be around Rs 400 crore and Refresh Tears is a prominent player in the market. Although an OTC product, this product is rarely advertised and often the first purchase is through a doctor prescription. 

With the incident of eye-strain is rampant with the heavy use of mobile and laptops, a whole lot of eye care products have entered the market and most of them are natural/ayurvedic in nature. The market is expected to grow manyfold because digital device usage is only going to grow. So then why is the brand owner is restraining from heavy advertising? One reason I can think of is the role that influencer play in this market. Allergan is a company that plays an important role in the ophthalmology space and usually, a consumer will have the first encounter with the brand through the doctor. 

In my observation, usually, doctors tend to avoid prescribing OTC brands once they are heavily advertised. I have seen this in the case of cough syrups. Now Refresh Tears is sold at a premium of rs 150 and when the doctor prescribes it, the patient will have to buy irrespective of the MRP. In the OTC that is not the case. Once the consumer starts using these brands, then the continuous purchase is done without prescription. So this is a dilemma that many pharma companies face when they put a product under the OTC category. For now, I think the brand owners are happy with the way Refresh Tears are fairing and probably comfortable with the margin too. Another reason is the nature of the product. Eyes are so precious that consumers may ask the opinion of the doctor before going for self-medication.

This brand is in a category that will see huge growth because of the evolving consumer behaviour and digitization and Refresh Tears is all poised to reap the benefit of this natural growth.