Monday, January 16, 2017

Brand Update : Thums Up says Main Hoon Toofani

In the latest commercial featuring the new brand ambassador Ranveer Singh, Thums Up has started its slide down in terms of creativity. Usually, Thums Up ads are nicely made and usually succeeded in creating that adrenaline pumping machismo effect.

The recent commercial featuring Ranveer Singh is a big let down ( IMHO) both in terms of idea and execution. 

We have seen this plot of the school bus, hero saving etc in many films and ads, It is nothing but plain boring. 

Secondly, there is also a change in the narrative of the brand. In the earlier ad, the hero used to do big stunts for Thums Up. The brand was projected as something which even a big hero would do anything to get it. 

Here in the new narrative, the hero and the brand is totally disconnected. Probably the argument is that the brand and the hero is one which is reflected in the new tagline " Main Hoon Toofani ".However, the execution fails to project the narrative properly.  Even the presence of the brand in the frames is limited to the first two and last frames. If you notice hard, you can see the logo on the bike, jacket etc.  It's a classic case where the celebrity outshines the brand. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Brookside : Dark Outside, Exotic Inside

Brand: Brookside
Company: Hershey

Brand Analysis Count: # 573

The 7500 crore Indian chocolate market is hotting up with global giants stepping up the fight. The latest to enter the market is the brand Brookside. Brookside is a brand of the chocolate giant Hershey.
Hershey has launched Brookside as a premium chocolate brand with the USP of the fruity core.

Brookside is a unique combination of dark chocolate and fruit flavor. Brookside is launched in 3 flavors - Blueberry & Acai, Raspberry & Goji, and Pomegranate.
The combination of fruity flavor and dark chocolate may not appeal to the larger set of consumers hence taste-wise, this brand would appeal to a limited set of consumers. However, there is something very different about the combination which will prompt many trial purchases.

The brand is positioned on the basis of this unique combination of fruit and dark chocolate and is reflected in the tagline " Dark Outside, Exotic Inside".

The brand is priced at Rs 50 for 33-gram pouch and Rs 140 for 100-gram pouch, Brookside is already running its launch campaign in television channels. 
Watch the TVC here: Brookside
After seeing the ad, my wife's remark was " I don't like fruit flavored chocolates " while my daughter's reaction was "wow ". So this brand will appeal customers who like something different and exotic to indulge. 

The entry of Hershey into the chocolate segment is a good news for the chocolate lovers. The iconic Hershey's Kisses and chocolate bars are expected to hit the Indian market in the near future. Mondolez is already gearing up for the fight. In the recent past, the company has been trying to strengthen the Cadbury Dairy Milk range with a lot of variants at the premium end in preparation for the new competition. 

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Tata Hexa : Whatever it Takes

Brand: Hexa
Company: Tata Motors

Brand Analysis: # 572

Tata Aria is dead, Long live Tata Hexa.

The new year will see the resurgent Tata Motors launching the new premium crossover Hexa, replacing Tata Aria. Tata Aria, launched in 2010 failed in the market owing to the steep pricing and positioning problem. Tata Hexa is another attempt by Tata Motors to break into the premium segment with the Tata branding. 

Tata Hexa is also a premium crossover - a category which was created by Aria. However, many customers equate this category to the premium MUV segment and its leader Innova. That was where Aria lost its game. Rather than considering Aria as a mix of car + SUV, consumers compared Aria with Innova, and the equation did not fit. Aria was considered big and difficult to maneuver which often is taken for granted for an SUV and not for an MUV. 

In the new avatar, Hexa looks strikingly similar to Aria which can create perception issue for the brand. Tata Motos has priced Hexa between 12 to 17 Lakhs. The pricing is less than the Innova Crysta. 
In the typical Tata style, the brand is loaded with features and goodies. Hexa also comes in the automatic variant along with other models. 
The brand has started the bookings and launch ad is already in air. Watch the ad here: Hexa Ad
Hexa has the tagline " Whatever it takes ". The tagline has two interpretation by the brand. The first is that the brand has done whatever it takes to bring the best product to the customer. Second is that whatever it takes, the brand performs in various terrains. 
The brand microsite also has the racer Narain Karthikeyan endorsing the brand and taking the visitor through a 360-degree experience of the product.
It will be interesting to see how Hexa will fare in the market. In my view, a lot will depend on the pricing. Tata is yet to be perceived as a premium brand. Also, it cannot match the quality perception of Innova. So if Hexa wants to carve a position in the market, it has to make an offer that a customer cannot refuse. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Kosh : Keep Your Tummy Happy and Healthy

Brand: Kosh
Company: Future Consumer

Brand Analysis Count: # 571

Kosh is the new brand launch from Future Consumer Ltd. Kosh is oats brand from the company intending to ride the " healthy food" wave. Kosh is trying plug a gap in the Indian market which is in look out for healthy food alternatives. 
Kosh comes in four variants - Instant Oats, Broken Oats, Oats Atta, Wheat+Atta. 
Indian oats market is worth around Rs 350-400 crore. The oats market is expected to grow further owing to the consumer trend towards healthy food. For anyone who is into health, oats have now become a " go to" food. 

The current oats brands come only in one form which different flavors. Kosh has brought in different forms of the grain that will increase the usage situations. According to reports, currently, oats is used primarily as a breakfast product. With multiple product forms like atta, broken oats etc, there is more scope for usage of this grain. Kishore Biyani wants to make oats the third preferred grain in India. 
If you have observed, the atta ( wheat flour) market in India is witnessing a shift towards healthy food trend. Aashirvaad, the market leader in the organized atta market had launched healthy atta variants under it. The organized atta market in India is worth Rs 3500 crore while the unorganized market is worth a whopping Rs 30,000 crore. 
Kosh expects to carve a slice of these market with its healthy positioning. There is a very strong perception among Indian consumers that oats are healthy. With a wide range of product forms, Kosh is expecting a faster adoption and more usage from the consumers. 
As per the reports, Kosh will be a private label sold through the extensive Future Group retail chain. The brand is already making a lot of noise in the media. The campaigns are highlighting three aspects of the products
a) the versatility of product with reference to the form
b) the health factor
c) the taste. 
Watch the campaign - Kosh Home, Kosh Office 

In the pricing front, Kosh Oats is priced at par with the competing brands. The Oats Atta is priced at Rs 170/kg which is much higher than the ordinary atta ( Aashirvaad costs around  Rs 50). However, for the health conscious (not price conscious), the pricing may not be a deciding factor. 

It's obvious that the product is going to get competition soon. This is a product that can easily be copied and if the product adoption is healthy, then competitors would jump in pretty fast. Till that time, Kosh can reap the first-mover advantage. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Marketing Fundamentals : Branded Content

Concept: Branded Content is a form of advertising where the content is generated by the brand to promote itself. While it is a form of content marketing, the major difference is that the brand takes the center-stage in the content generated. It is a form of storytelling that revolves around the brand. Unlike the advertisements, branded content are more elaborate in terms of content and format. The examples of branded content are the Redbull's events of extreme stunts/sports, Amul's topicals, Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. 
The popularity of social media has created a huge demand for content that has the power to grab the attention of the audience. While traditional content revolved around the brand, in branded content, the story is on the brand or the values that brand project. The engagement is more direct in the case of branded content. 
Application: While Harvard Business Review calls Branded Content as a digital version of content marketing, the application of branded content strategy involves more investment and involvement than the traditional content marketing. Forbes Magazine in an article suggests that the consumer engagement in branded content is much more than traditional promotional tools like ads. There is a sticky factor attached to a well designed branded content. Also, it helps the brands to move up the value that brand projects ( brand laddering). The task will be to identify meaningful stories that the brand can adopt and deliver. 

Marketing Funda Series # 1

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Cadbury Fuse : Chocolatey Feast

Brand :Cadbury Fuse
Company : Mondolez International
Brand Analysis Count : # 570

Mars and Snickers now have competition. Mondolez International, the brand owners of the iconic Cadbury brand has launched a new brand named Fuse in the Indian market. The new brand will be competing in the coated peanut confectionery segment in the Rs 7500 crore Indian confectionery space. 
Fuse was debuted in the UK in 1996. The brand was well received  but was later discontinued in the UK. 

Fuse is now making its second avatar in the highly competitive Indian market. The brand is currently running the launch campaign. 

Watch the TVC here : Cadbury Fuse 

The brand is priced at par with Mars and Snickers. I find the packaging very attractive and instantly conveys the fun attribute to the brand. The endorsement from Cadbury is sufficient to initiate the trial purchase. 

With regard to the promotional strategy, the brand is positioned in the same line as the competing brands. The brand is positioned as a relief to the hunger pangs plus some fun thrown around. So in this front, Cadbury has not really put much thought on differentiating rather it chose to play the " me too " strategy. 
I also felt that the launch TVC is also not something that is unique. After seeing the ad, I had  the feeling of " Saw this theme before also " . 
With the launch of Fuse, Mondolez is trying to plug the gap in the product portfolio. The company may be forecasting a consumer interest towards the product like Snickers which is a convenient way to satisfy the hunger pangs. With the launch of Fuse, Mondolez is in a better position to ride  the consumer interest in this category.