Marketing review news
19 July 2004

Marico's Mediker in 'natural avatar'
The Mumbai-based Rs885 crore hair and edible oils major Marico Industries has launched its Mediker anti-lice treatment shampoo and oil in a natural variant.

The new Mediker would be powered with the additional goodness of natural ingredients such as neem, camphor and coconut oil to effectively fight the problem of lice. The addition of natural ingredients to the original formulation of Mediker will help overcome the problem of lice and also leave the user's hair soft and shiny.

Traditionally, neem is known as a gold standard for lice removal; the beneficial effects of coconut oil on hair are well known and camphor is known for its cooling properties.

Marico acquired Mediker from P&G in July 1999.

Ford launches customer loyalty scheme
Ford India has launched a customer loyalty programme across the country accompanied with a high decibel promotional campaign.

According to the program, Car Gainz, Ford owners will earn points every time they visit an authorised dealer for following the service schedule given by the company, buying spares and Ford gear from dealers and for continued ownership of a Ford vehicle.

Service points will be awarded in proportion to the amount spent when a vehicle is sent to a dealer for service; bonus points will be given when a vehicle owner follows the prescribed periodic maintenance service and loyalty points for continued ownership and availing of the prescribed periodic maintenance service. The points scheme is valid for five years.

Ford India also launched a 24-hour roadside assistance programme and a `Ford emergency help line'. The roadside assistance programme will cater to customers' emergency requirements through the dealership network.

Kellogg capitalises on 'Spider mania' with web-shaped cereals
Kellogg's has launched a limited edition pack of web shaped cereals to coincide with the release of Spider-Man 2, which is sponsored by the company. This is the first time that the company has come with a special edition pack built around the promotion of a movie.

The Kellogg's Chocos-Spider-Man 2 promotion is being carried across more than 180 countries through local promotions and products.

Kellogg's is bringing out a theme-based food for the first time with Kellogg's Chocos Spider-Man 2 cereal, which will be enriched with calcium. The packs will be available in the market for only a few weeks.

LG Care thinks small could be more beautiful
LG Care having launched its range of FMCG products in the market is now considering taking the small packs route to stay head of competitors. It is another matter that all its rivals have introduced small packs to increase sales.

For the first time in its operations anywhere in the world, the company has begun work on designing packaging in the Rs3 - 5 range specifically for the Indian market. The company operates in India through its sole licensee India Household and Healthcare (India HHL).

The company is said to be considering a pack size of up to Rs3 for shampoos and Rs5 for detergents. LG Care's Double Rich shampoo brand is present in four pack sizes of 40 ml, 100 ml, 200 ml and 400 ml. LG Care's Enzo detergent brand is sold in half-kg and 1-kg packs at Rs99 and Rs159, respectively.

LG Care may enter the sachet market within the next six months but is expected to confine this to shampoos and detergents for the moment.

LG Care has recently launched a range of seven premium products in the north. These include toothpaste, shampoos, detergents, cleaners, soaps and diapers. This range will soon be expanded to cosmetics and hairstyling products.

The company does not expect to make any profit in the first three years of operations.

Ranbaxy tops in image recall: study
Pharma companies enjoy good recall in the minds of doctors and simple lay persons according to the ACNielsen ORG-Marg Pharma Corporate Image Monitor.

Among the pharma companies that have the highest recall are Ranbaxy, which is at the top of the list, followed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (DRL) and Cipla.

The study found that Indian pharma companies form a majority within the list of leading companies in India, in terms of corporate image and reputation. Rated against factors such as quality, efficiency and affordability of products, besides the overall image of the company, Indian pharma companies did well for themselves.

Other Indian pharma companies that feature in the top 10 on the image front include Sun Pharma, Zydus Cadial and Nicholas Piramal. Besides GSK, the multinationals that feature on this image-rating scale include Pfizer, Aventis Pharma and Novartis.

Another yardstick used to gauge a company's acceptability and the affinity to its products is its medical representatives according to the study. Ranbaxy tops in this aspect also, followed by GSK, Cipla, DRL, Pfizer, Sun Pharma, Zydus Cadila, Nicholas Piramal, Glenmark and Torrent according to the study.

Idea Cellular launches Magic Messaging
Idea Cellular has launched Magic Messaging that allows a user to type the mobile number of any individual and the emotion, feeling or occasion that is to be addressed and send a creative picture message. The users will be charged Rs5 per outgoing message and all incoming messages will be free.

Tanishq unveils exchange offer
Tanishq has launched a new offer `19k = 22k' to commemorate the Tata Group's 'Century of Trust' celebrations. As per the offer, customers can bring their jewellery and exchange it for 22k jewellery even if it is of a lower karatage.

Tanishq will value the jewellery as 22k pure jewellery as long as it is 19 karats or more.

The offer is valid at all 67 Tanishq boutiques across India. The 19k=22k offer will be available on all jewellery exchanged between July 17 and August 8 this year.

Tata Tele closing gap with Reliance Info
Tata Teleservices is closing the gap with Reliance Infocom in telephony services according to the June 2004 figures presented by the Association of Unified Telecom Providers of India.

Tata Teleservices (TTSL) registered a growth of 10.57 per cent in it's Tata Indicom subscriber base, which spans eight telecom circles, whereas Reliance has registered a growth of only 3.93 per cent in the same eight circles.

However since Tata Indicom's growth was on a smaller subscriber base the percentage figures may not show the true picture. The surprising thing however is that Tata Indicom has topped in net subscriber additions in its circles of operation (combined). It added 1,94,001 subscribers in June in all in its eight circles, whereas Reliance Infocomm added 1,93,739 customers in those same circles.

Not only has TTSL crossed the 2 million mark in June but its incremental market share for the month stood at 22 per cent. Company officials attribute the growth to its FWP (fixed wireless phone) and mobile business.

They say Tata Tele's growth is even more remarkable in view of the fact that TTSL does not have pre-paid services yet.

Dell cuts PC, notebook prices
Dell India has slashed the prices of its PCs and notebooks in the Indian market by six per cent following the recent exemption of excise duties on PCs.

According to a release from the company the initiative of the government to completely exempt PCs from excise duties will allow the company to pass on the significant savings to customers in the subcontinent.

These savings are available to Dell's Indian customers because of Dell's build-to-order, direct model.

The company says it builds a system only after it receives an order and sells directly to customers with no middleman. Hence there is no inventory or backlog hence providing savings by the new tax codes. Dell imports all its products from Penang, Malaysia.

According to the company, "the Dell direct model is about efficiencies that allow us to react to market situations fast and bring added value to our customers."

Now a Dell OptiPlex 170L with a 2.80-GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, 128MB of memory and a 40-GB hard drive that had a list price of Rs45,820 before the duties changed can now be purchased directly from Dell for Rs43,071. Similarly, the Dell Latitude D505, a thin and light notebook, will now be available at Rs71,182 onwards as against the earlier starting price of Rs75,725, the release said.

These reductions are available only to customers who are billed in Indian rupees.

Kurlon to enter retail; to open Kurlon Nests
Kurlon, pioneers of branded mattress in India, is making a foray into retailing and plans to launch almost 50 stores under the name of 'Kurlon Nests' in major cities by the end of 2005.

The company is also expanding its range and venturing into soft furnishings and launching bed and bath linen, curtains and towels as part of its portfolio.

There are also plans to make a foray into the global markets beginning with Sri Lanka, Dubai and East Africa.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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