Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Brand Repositioning Strategy

Monday morning I received a mail from a friend asking if “I really believe that a successful niche market product should retain that position. Would it be risky to reposition or update the current brand?” 

In my opinion, it is time to clear one more doubt regarding some common marketing myths. I quote the marketing guru Philip Kotler, who has rightly defined marketing as “Meeting needs profitably”. It is the most important requirement of any business. But to do it consistently, it is most important to reposition the brand after a certain period of time.
There are several ways to do this. It may be with a good celebrity endorsement, a product line extension or with the help of other marketing tools. But again, there are so many brands which have failed in the process of repositioning itself. So it’s not a fool proof method.
However, if you succeed, it’s a win- win situation. “Take the example of an FMCG brand which has reestablished itself very unique in the market which no one else has so successfully done. I am talking about brand ‘Cinthol’.

Cinthol, the flagship brand of Godrej Consumer Products Ltd, has been positioned as the only masculine soap brand available in the Indian Market. It is all set for a makeover with Hrithik Roshan as the brand ambassador who performs out of the world stunts in their new campaign.

Cinthol has its own niche market in which it is well placed. Ever after Lifebuoy repositioned itself targeting the family; there has been no soap except Cinthol targeting male consumers. Let’s analyze this thought process further. A major shift in the consumer demands is brought about by the surfacing of the “Metro sexual Man”.  Many marketers believe or rather assumed that soaps are usually bought from the lady in the house and no matter the brand, it appeals and is accepted by everyone in the family. Moreover, soaps were never considered to be a part of the male grooming product category.

But things are different now. There is a marked shift in the consumer interest towards male grooming products. The category has expanded from shaving products, deodorants, etc. to face wash, hair care, face creams etc. Today’s Metro sexual man has his own needs and typically a modern household may see both the husband and wife using two different brands of cosmetics and health and body care products including soaps.

In this context, the relevance of Cinthol as a masculine brand achieves vital significance for Godrej. Even without much promotion, Cinthol has a share of over 2 % with the brand’s size estimated to be around Rs 200 crores. 
It has had a very strong base of loyal customers. And the prime challenge that Cinthol has so effectively taken up is to be relevant to the new edge Male. The new campaign features a new look for Cinthol and a new slogan. The last ad of Cinthol featured the slogan “Get Ready Get Close”. The new slogan for Cinthol is “Don’t Stop”. The brand promises “24 hour confidence and long lasting freshness.” It has been a fantastic repositioning of the brand keeping in sync with the ever changing market needs and trends. The new slogan tells the male consumer to have confidence and do whatever he likes. The execution of the concept is larger than life, but it is interesting to watch and one which a person can relate to. 

Regarding the choice of the celebrity, Cinthol has pulled off a coup by roping in Hrithik. The first impression about the ad is very positive, confident and at the same time the complete promotion has been successful enough to raise the brand to an iconic level. Having said that, the slogan “Don’t Stop ” with core brand values of Freshness and Confidence give the brand lot of power to move ahead. 
In conclusion the changing needs of consumer should be taken into consideration by all products irrespective of their target market. 

Brand Health Tip:  “It’s not the strongest of the brand that survives, nor the most innovative but rather the one most responsive to change.”
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