Marketing review news
06 July 2006

Allen Solly associates with Corporate
Upmarket garments brand Allen Solly has associated itself with the Bipasha Basu starrer Corporate. Viewers of the films were treated to Allen Solly's range of "corporate" and "lifestyle" outfits in the movie. Allen Solly has styled nearly all the formal and non-formal outfits for most of the movie's star cast and has also provided accessories such as handbags, sunglasses, belts and ties.

According to Vishal Mirchandani, business head, Allen Solly, "We have given her sharp business suits as part of her formal attire, apart from stylised flowing evening and casual wear, such as chiffon tops, skirts and tunics. We have followed a similar same approach for the men's outfits too."

The brand will also benefit from in-film positioning as Allen Solly hoardings and stores would be shown in the movie. Mirchandani says that women today are "conscious about having different clothes for different occasions - formal wear for business meetings, outfits for normal working days, clothes for dinners and shopping", a trend that Allen Solly would like to cash in on. Women's wear accounts for about 20 per cent of Allen Solly's sales and is growing at a rate of 50 per cent annually.

Parragon Publishing to enter co-branding initiative with retailers
Parragon Publishing (a 50:50 joint venture company between the UK-based Parragon Publishing and Indian entrepreneur Vineet Sharma), is planning to introduce a new concept in publishing. It plans to tie up with modern trade retailers whereby it would publish books to suit their customer profiles.

The co-branded initiative would have the retailer's name on the books and would be published on their behalf. Apart from getting the books distributed through regular channels, the publishing company is planning to set up dedicated counters within the mass-market retail chains. It is also looking at an alternative retail model to vend its books in branded spaces within retail stores.
Parragon Publishing has set up a new sales force with an FMCG background to deal with the mass-market retailers.

Apart from setting up stand-alone counters the company is considering various formats depending on the structure of the retail chains. Apart from books, there company also plans to introduce booksplus' categories like face painting kits and craft packs. Parragon is considering striking deals with retailers to try out its new business model.

Extending its channels to include non-conventional modern-trade retailers, the publishing house wants to graduate from being a `commodity' seller of books.

Besides this, the company is planning to create content to suit Indian tastes. This includes subjects based on Indian culture, cookery, arts and architecture. Even Indian editors will get roped in to add to the publishing list of the company. With plans of releasing 250 titles for the Indian market, the company expects to emerge as a publishing hub for the region in the future.

Dabur introduces new flavours under Real juice range
Dabur Foods has launched new variants under its Real juices. These include Real Mausambi, available in a 200 ml and 1 litre pack, is priced at Rs15 and Rs68 respectively. Flavours on offer under the Real brand include nine variants, including orange, mango, pineapple and litchi. The company is lining up a number of new flavours scheduled to hit the markets soon.

Nirula's plans to build pan-India brand
North Indian fast food outlet Nirula's is planning aggressive growth and expand on an all-India basis. For starters, the company is eyeing the southern and northern markets to spread its presence. The fast food vendor has planned investment of about Rs100 crore over the next few years and is looking to add 100-150 outlets to build a pan-India brand.

The company plans to focus on three prime areas and would be investing on capital renovation, systems and advertisement and promotional activities. The company would outsource its food products to Sky Gourmet, an airline catering company, in which the Malaysian firm Navis Capital Partners holds a majority stake.

Other plans include spicing up Nirula's pizza and burger menu. Also as part of its expansion plan, the company is testing other formats for its restaurants. It has tied up with Indian Oil Corporation to open its outlets in IOC's petrol pumps. It is also planning to extensively roll out its ice-cream kiosks around the country alongside expanding its dine-in format.

HAL launches campaign based on football
Hindustan Aeronautics has launched five promotional campaigns one of which catches the football frenzy and sports its star product, the Dhruv advanced light helicopter.

On June 7, two days before the Berlin final, HAL has planned its own showdown for the city's 6-10-year-olds; teams called Tejas, Cheetah and Dhruv will fight it out for the booty, called `Goal o' goal'.

The campaign is aimed at promoting football among youngsters and also in support of its football team, ranked third in the national league, HAL said. A specially decorated caravan carrying its players will go round select spots in the city.

According to HAL officials, "Our flying machines symbolise the might and capabilities of the nation, while our football team stands out for their commitment and passion towards the game."
V Xavier, the current Karnataka champion who was part of the Asian Football Championships matches in Japan and Bangladesh, leads the HAL football team.

WorldSpace launches new signature tune
Satellite-based digital radio services company WorldSpace has launched a new signature tune developed by musician A R Rahman who is WorldSpace's brand ambassador in India.

According to the company, "It is our vision to offer Indians a truly global radio experience - giving them the variety, quality and the ability to choose what they want to listen to. A R Rahman has come to personify quality music and we are partnering with him to promote an aggressive communication campaign to build our brand in India."

Rahman said, "When creating the tune I wanted to bring alive the true sounds of India as a showcase of the depth of musical traditions available in the country."

WorldSpace has grown by 500 per cent during the last year in the country and has increased its customer base from around 21,000 subscribers in March 2005 to more than 110,000 subscribers in 2006.

WorldSpace plans to leverage the relationship with Rahman to strengthen its connection with customers and to raise awareness about the features of satellite radio.

Madura Garments to overhaul its brand portfolio
Madura Garments is overhauling its brand portfolio to increase its share in the market. The revamp includes repositioning one of its brands, setting up more retail outlets and launching a new women's range as part of its brand extension strategy.

Madura Garments, retailers of the Peter England, Allen Solly, Van Heusen and Louis Phillippe brands, is looking to increase its retail presence from around 300 stores to 450 in three years.

The company also hopes to launch its women's corporate wear collection under the Van Heusen brand soon. Also on the cards is a revamp of its Trouser Town stores beginning with Chennai.

According to company officials, over the years the company has consciously shifted its brand imagery by strengthening and its product line and making it contemporary, yet retaining core values. It has also worked on delivering a brand promise and identity that is unique to each of its four core brands.

The recent campaigns of Peter England, positioned as an affordable, value-for-money brand, reflect a shift from being sober conservative to being a more contemporary and a with-it brand, without changing its core image as an honest shirt.

GM launches the Chevrolet Tavera Neo
General Motors India has launched a face lifted version of the Chevrolet Tavera to provide a fillip to its sales. The Tavera Neo has got an interior facelift with a number of value additions. The most striking new feature is the look and feel of its interiors. Its dashboard has been given a two-tone, coffee-and-beige-colour theme, enhancing the luxury feel of the interior. A premium range of new seat fabric that also go into the door trim inserts complements this new colour theme. GM says that these shades have been carefully selected to avoid dangerous reflection.

Customers also have the option of seven-seater Captain seats format with leather upholstery in the top-end variant, which is fully loaded. The Captain seat layout has arm rests and adjustable lumbar support for the first as well as the second row occupants along with sliding and reclining feature for the second row of seats.

With usage mostly restricted to the first two rows (or four occupants), comfort levels will now get a boost. This Neo variant is also available in an exclusive new `Champagne Metallic' colour. The Neo range has a new variant (LT) with three-row air-conditioning, on which, too, the option of seven-seater Captain seats will be available.

This variant has been created based on market feedback that premium personal segment users prefer a dual air-conditioner for greater comfort on long drives. The changes, in terms of additional features and product attributes, have been based on consumer feedback from dealer bodies and `customer meets' all over the country, said the company.

Ford freshens up the Endeavour
Ford India has launched a new refreshed version of the Endeavour, its premium sports utility vehicle. The new Ford Endeavour variant has plush leather seats and door trim inserts that enhance the plush-ness of the interiors. Other additions to the interiors include a new in-vehicle entertainment system - a high-end, Kenwood-brand, iPod-compatible MP3 player that has been introduced as a standard package. Endeavour is currently the market leader in its segment, and with the new luxury additions can become a serious contender to other high-end models.

The Endeavour continues to be priced at Rs.13.9 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the 4X2 variant and Rs.14.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the 4X4 (four-wheel drive) variant. Special features in the Kenwood system which offers MP3/ WMA/ AAC playback formats, include a 64-colour LCD with blackout function, rotary encoder and jog control knob for easy operation, and a handheld remote-control. The Endeavour is based on the Ford Ranger pick-up platform and is also sold in the Thai market as the Ford Everest.

Shriram Transport ropes in Dharmendra as brand ambassador
Shriram Transport Finance Company has signed up Hindi film star of yesteryears Dharmendra as its brand ambassador. It has launched a media campaign in which it would proposes to hold events in Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad this year.

To each event, Shriram Transport will invite about a hundred of its customers (typically, small truck fleet operators) and their families who will in posh city hotels as the company's guests and will have the option of participating in a range of fun activities.

There will be, for instance, a variety of competitions for children. There will also be welfare activities such as free medical checks. Each event will end in a dinner with Dharmendra.

Shriram Transport has pioneered and led the market for financing used truck purchases.

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