Sunday, August 20, 2023

Epson India : Can Rashmika boost Epson's Brand Image

 Brand : Epson

Company : Epson India

Brand Analysis Count : #620 

In June 2023, Epson, which is world's leading computer peripherals and electronics company, roped in the popular actress Rashmika Mandana as its brand ambassador. Rashmika who is very popular among the young generation will be endorsing Epson's Eco Tank range of printers. 

Epson came to India in 1990 with its dot-matrix range of printers which became very successful.Later the company brought its inkject printers, projectors, bill printers into the Indian market with much success. As per news reports, the company is now doing business worth 2200 crores in India. 

Epson is a Japanese brand which is owned by the famous Sieko Corporation which is known for watches. Infact the name Epson came from the terms " Son of Electronic Printers". Epson's core competency is its innovation and has many firsts in bringing breakthrough products in the printing domain. 

One such recent innovation is the Eco Tank inject printers which uses ink tanks rather than cartridges. Having used inkject before, I found it to be less efficient and cartridges often cannot be refilled. Ink tanks are convenient and has more capacity than the cartridges. The product is also a result of the brand's focus on sustainability. 

To promote this breakthrough innovation, the company chose Rashmika Mandana as the endorser, the current campaign is on air. 

The brand calls this a revolution in technology which it is. The interesting marketing angle is the use  of a celebrity in promoting a printer which is more of a rational product which has no glamor attached to it. However, the presence of the celebrity brings stickiness to the advertisement and also helps authenticate the claims. Here Rashmi Mandana takes the role of a sustainability advocate rather than a technology expert. 
Epson's focus on technology innovation and its focus on sustainable solutions is going to have an impact on the brand image among the customers. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Brand Update : SS Music transformation into digital

 I wrote about SS music in 2006 when the viral music channel lost its sheen. Last day, a comment prompted me to look into this brand. This channel may have been dead for long. But surprise, the brand is not dead but has evolved into a digital medium.

It is nice to know that the brand has created a new life in the digital space. It has a vibrant youtube channel. As written in my post on SS Music, the channel had accidental success as a music channel. The channel's aim was to start to broadcast lottery results, and between the results, they played music. However, because of the VJs, the channel became a music channel and even was considered South India's MTV.

The new avatar is not a music channel but rather an entertainment channel with interviews, reviews and snippets. It is good to see such an adaptation to new technologies and the transformation of a channel to cater to the new generation. 

Read my 2006 post on SS Music here

Friday, March 24, 2023

Pentonic Pens : Write the Future

Brand : Pentonic Pens
Company: Linc Pens
Brand Analysis Count: #619

Indian writing instrument industry is worth Rs 4000 crores and is characterized by competition from organized and unorganized players. Since there are no entry barriers, many brands are vying for market share. The market is price sensitive at the bottom, while premium pens are often considered accessories and dominated by global brands. 
Linc Pens is a strong player in this market. During 2020-21, the company felt that the growth was stagnating and required a boost in terms of a new product. The management wanted a product perceived as different from the rest, and Pentonic brand was born. The company designed the brand to be different through the form factor. The colour was black, and the pen was long and stylish. 
The major segments that use pens are the college and school-going students characterised by price sensitivity and weak brand consciousness. However, an interesting consumer behaviour element was that these consumers were careful while selecting pens for exams. There they could prefer a trusted brand. It was this segment that was attracted to the Pentonic brand. Since Linc was already established, stores' distribution and product placement was not an issue. The brand immediately took off and is now a bestselling brand in the Linc product portfolio. 

Although the brand's differentiation was black colour, the company expanded the portfolio by launching a sub-brand, Pentonic Frost. The brand's visibility at the retail store was also enhanced by the rotating dispenser, which was very visible and quickly caught the consumer's attention.
To further reinforce the brand's attractiveness towards the exam goers, the brand also ran a campaign called the exam goers exam warriors, again well received by the market.  

The writing instrument market is such that every design will be matched by the competitors unless protected; in no time, these pen designs are copied by the competitors, and the same happens with Pentonic. However, the brand made strong brand awareness in the Indian market, and ultimately brand strength matters most in this market. 
Pentonic story gives us the brand lesson on the importance of design as a key differentiator in a cluttered market. The design focus is slowly catching up in the Indian marketing scene, and consumers are to benefit the future through these well-designed products.