labels: marketing - general
Marketing review news
03 February 2005

Toyota withdraws Qualis: to launch Innova
Toyota Kirloskar Motor is withdrawing its highest selling model, the Qualis, from the Indian market.

According to a company statement, "The Indian automobile market has been growing rapidly and our market research indicates the changing needs of the customer." The statement added that, "the removal of the Qualis will give way for a more modern and customer-value driven vehicle. The new vehicle will enable TKM to achieve volume and market share objectives in India in future."

Qualis was introduced in 2000, and was one of the first of its kind in the country, the only other serious competitor at that time being the Tata Sumo.

The Qualis managed to reach a 35-per cent market share, selling over 21,000 units in the first year alone. In 2001, its market share grew to an impressive 40 per cent.

Alembic launches 'Zero' calorie sugar substitute
Gujarat-based pharma company Alembic has come up with `Zero,' a product that will delight weight watchers and the fitness conscious.

Zero, a no-calorie sugar substitute is different from other sugar-substitutes in that it does not contain aspartame but is made on the molecule sucralose.

Zero is priced at Rs60 for a pack of 90 tablets, and is on par with other products in the Rs60-crore market.

Other products in the segment include Sugar Free from Zydus Cadila and Equal from Merisant. Sweetex from Boots is also a sugar substitute but is based on saccharine.

Birla VXL for garments foray through Digjam
Birla VXL, a part of the Rs600 crore S K Birla group, plans to launch garments under the Digjam suitings brand and is eyeing over a 20 per cent hike in its turnover with this. The company is at present consolidating its marketshare in the premium worsted suiting segment.

The company also launched recently four fabrics in the premium suiting range.

Birla VXL is the second largest player in the premium wrosted fabrics segment with over a 25 per cent market share. The company supplies suiting fabric to some of the world best suit makers in Italy, France, US and Japan.

The company has over 40 exclusive retail outlets of its own concentrating mainly on the western and southern part of the country.

HLL launches 'Pureit'
Hindustan Lever (HLL) has launched Pureit, which it claims, is the world's most advanced water purifier.

According to HLL it is the only purifier that gives water as safe as boiled water without boiling, and without needing electricity or continuous tap water supply. Pureit gives water that is free from viruses, bacteria and parasites because it has a Pureit Germkill BatteryTM that is a combination of unique technological breakthroughs. Therefore, it provides 100 per cent protection from all diseases like jaundice, diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera that come from drinking water.

Pureit also removes pesticides that may be present in drinking water and meets the germkill standards of the toughest regulatory agency in the USA, the EPA, for protection against viruses, bacteria and parasites, and getting microbiologically safe drinking water.

A team of over 100 Indian and international experts from HLL and Unilever Research Centres developed the product after five years of research. Leading scientific and medical institutions in India and abroad have tested Pureit.

Pureit is available at a one-time cost of Rs1,500 with the replacement of the Germkill Battery KitTM priced at Rs.250. Each Germkill battery can purify 1500 litres of water.

According to the company that with Pureit consumers get six litres of drinking water, as safe as boiled water for just one rupee (just 17 paise per litre).

HLL, P&G to raise prices
In a move smacking of oligopolistic understanding, FMCG rivals Hindustan Lever and Procter &Gamble, are planning to raise the prices of key detergent brands from March this year. Analysts say the price rise could be around 5 per cent.

Hindustan Lever will raise the prices of Surf Excel and Rin, while Procter & Gamble would raise the prices of Ariel and Tide.

Both the companies have cited rising raw material prices and transportation costs as the reason behind the decision to raise prices.

P&G however said that it would not change prices of its 1kg of Ariel, 200gm pack of Tide and sachets of both brands.

Surf Excel is currently priced at Rs99 per kg, while Rin costs Rs42 per kg.

Analysts expect other companies like Henkel Spic and Jyothi Laboratories to also follow suit.

Standard Chartered introduces Marathon Credit Card
Standard Chartered Bank, in association with Visa International, has launched the Marathon credit card to celebrate the spirit of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon and compliment the spirit of fitness.

Standard Chartered Bank is the market leader in sports-based affinity card programmes. Its earlier success includes that of the Cricket Card, the Soccer Card and Olympic Games Card. The Marathon Card is a logical extension of the Standard Chartered Bank product suite. It has partnered with Reebok in its endeavour to promote fitness among the customers. The exclusive offers for the customer include:

  • Free Reebok Running Shoes: A pair of Reebok 3D Runner Shoes worth Rs. 2,290- are offered free with every card
  • Balance Transfer at 0.99 percent An attractive balance transfer at a very low interest rate of 0.99 percent per month, for the first 6 months.
  • Supplementary card free for life: All Marathon card members could gift their near and dear ones supplementary Marathon Credit Cards. These cards are offered free for life.
  • Win Reebok treadmills: On spending just Rs 900- on the Marathon Credit Card every month, customers get a chance to win Reebok treadmills worth Rs.2, 45,000- each, for a period of 8 months.

Standard Chartered-VISA Marathon Credit Cards are available at a one-time enrollment fee of Rs1599. The cards will be issued in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Cuttack, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Mysore, New Delhi, Pune, Trivandrum, Vadodara and Vizag.

Mudra Communications acquires Kidstuff Promos & Events
Mudra Communications, among India's largest advertising agencies, has acquired Kidstuff Promos and Events Company (KPE), the leading promotional agency in the country.

Kidstuff Promos & Events is a Promotional Marketing Services Company that is involved in all aspects of below-the-line activities. Mudra will now hold majority stake in this company.

Mudra is the third-largest agency in the country with more than 125 clients nationwide with 2 creative agencies, 8 full service offices and 7 specialised business units has a portfolio of some of
India's biggest brands. Mudra has bagged the Agency of the Year awards six times.

Sania Mirza flooded with endorsements
Advertisers are queuing up before tennis player Sania Mirza even before she embarked on her historic third round clash against Serena Williams in the Australian Open.

Close to 15 different brands have approached Globo Media Solutions, which manages her media account. These include a cellular service provider, cellphone handset maker, cola companies, women's wear brands and some personal care product companies.

Currently, Sania Mirza has signed up with the Hyderabad-based GVK Industries, Sahara India and Tata Tea.

Tommy Hilfiger has major retail expansion plans
Tommy Hilfiger is planning a record spread in India and occupy over 40,000 sq ft of exclusive retail space as it completes one year in India.

Tommy Hilfiger opened its first outlet in India on April 20 last year through Arvind Murjani Brands, an equal joint venture between Arvind Brands and the Murjani family managed GVM International, the licensee for Tommy Hilfiger. At present the brand has nine stores across six cities (with Gurgaon being counted as part of Delhi market).

Tommy Hilfiger followed up its launch in Delhi, which coincided with the designer's whirlwind tour of the country, with cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Hyderabad. The brand will add Kolkata to its retail ma in February and add two more stores in Mumbai - at Grand Hyatt and on Linking Road. Into the next financial year, the brand is scheduled to enter two more markets, Pune and Chennai.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar
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