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.