labels: sara lee ttk, advertising/branding
Adams corner news
Venkatachari Jagannathan
25 June 2002
Chennai: It's Adam in and Ev(e)a out at Sara Lee TTK, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the $18-billion Sara Lee Corporation.

The US-based multinational may be busy finalising the sale of its Eva brand female toiletries to the TTK group, but Sara Lee TTK has, meanwhile, launched a range of men's toiletries like deo spray, aftershave lotion, shaving gel and talc under its Brylcream brand.

About the outgoing Eva brand, launched a couple of years back, Sara Lee TTK managing director V S Pradeep Kumar says: "Unlike Brylcream, Eva is not actually a global brand. In other Southeast Asian markets female toiletries are sold under the She and Miss banner." Sara Lee's global brand for female toiletries is Sanex.

The Eva range contributes around Rs 6 crore to the company's Rs 65-crore turnover. "We are yet to finalise the sale price," says Kumar. Started as a joint venture between Sara Lee and the TTK group in the early nineties, the foreign partner bought out the Indian group's stake in January 2002. The company operates in the space of personal-care, shoe-care and household products.

"We, however, continue our distribution agreement with TTK Healthcare for its Kiwi brand shoe-care products and Brylcream personal-care products. Our cleansers - Dranex and Kleen Flush - are distributed by Godrej Sara Lee," says Kumar.

The current focus is on consolidating the gains under the Brylcream brand. The 60-plus-year-old hair-cream brand Brylcream lost one generation of users as it lost the promotional support from Smithkline Beecham, the previous owner, in the nineties.

Brylcream regained some market presence after it came to the Sara Lee TTK fold in 1993. But the real growth happened three years later when the brand was repositioned and a hair gel was launched.

"The brand has been transformed and modernised. Today the Brylcream brand signifies a smart, cool and confident guy who has control over himself," says Sara Lee TTK vice-president (marketing) K Kadhiravan.

At present Brylcream commands more than 70-per cent market share in the hair-cream and gel market and contributes nearly half of the company's turnover. The company also exports the hair-cream to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, North and South Koreas.

Fresh thinking
Finding the profile of Brylcream users similar to the consumers of other men's toiletries, Sara Lee TTK decided to leverage its existing brand by launching new products under the Brylcream banner. Moreover, the changing lifestyle among Indians has resulted in the growth of the men's toiletries segment. Today one can find two soap brands in several middleclass households.

"Within the Rs 250-crore men's toiletries market, which is growing at a rate of 12 per cent, the deo spray segment is logging a faster growth. But the growth of the men's talc segment is quite slow," says Kumar.

This is despite the fact that men liberally spray talcum powder on their upper part of the body while it is not so in the case of women who normally come out of the bathroom clothed. Talcum tins are yet to invade Indian middleclass bathrooms for the women to use the same liberally.

Kumar and Kadhiravan hope to garner 15 per cent of the shaving cream market and 10 per cent of the deo spray market in two years' time. Priced at par or slightly lower than the leading brands, the new range is unique in its composition compared to competition. "The shaving gel and aftershave contain aloe vera, a moisturising agent. The talc has silica as flow modifier and triclosan an anti-microbial agent," says Kadhiravan.

The packaging, too, is trendy and innovative, he adds. For the first time in the Indian market, the deo spray comes with 'spray-through' cap. The new products, initially marketed in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, will soon go national. The company has earmarked Rs 5 crore for advertising the brand.

"In August this year, we will launch Brylcream herbal hair-cream. We are also exploring the possibilities of a hair-darkening product," says Kumar. The company today offers men's products that could be used from head (hair-cream, shaving gel, aftershave and talc) to toe (the Kiwi range of shoe-care products).

Kiwi marches ahead
With an exclusive presence inside the Bata chain and speciality shoe outlets the Kiwi shoe polish range (wax/liquid polish) is gaining a superior market share against Reckitt Benckiser India's Cherry Blossom in the Rs 60-crore organised market. Kumar says Kiwi enjoys a share of 40 per cent while Cherry Blossom commands 55 per cent. Smaller players like Penguin Chemicals (India) with Shoe Smile share the balance pies.

But the gain is slow as shoe polish falls under one of those infrequently purchased items. Curiously, Sara Lee owns the Cherry Blossom brand worldwide, save India. And there are others like Penguin Chemicals (India) playing in the fringes.

Kumar says Sara Lee TTK will soon come out with a new liquid shoe polish. The company also exports fully packed wax/liquid polish to some of Sara Lee's global market. But in the cleansers market, Sara Lee TTK has a lot of catching up to do with Reckitt Benckiser. The latter's Harpic brand toilet cleanser and floor cleanser Lizol is a market leader.

Kumar is aware of it. So he is planning to re-launch Kleen Flush which enjoys a 14-per cent share in the toilet cleanser market. New products on the anvil are kitchen and floor cleansers. "The new products will be fragrance-driven and we are considering a couple of other options, too."

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