Marketing review news
21 September 2006

Fiat offers enhanced warranty
Fiat India has launched a special offer of an "enhanced warranty" scheme for all Fiat Palio and Adventure vehicles sold through Fiat and Tata-Fiat network.

This offer enables car customers to extend the warranty on Fiat cars (Palio and Adventure) up to a total of three years (one year Fiat Warranty + two years enhanced warranty) or until 100,000 km, whichever is earlier.

The enhanced warranty will cover mechanical as well as electrical breakdowns and has to be availed at the time of sale of the car.

Yahoo! offers local language instant messenger service
Thousands of Indians will soon be able to chat with each other in their own regional languages or mother tongue through the Yahoo! instant messenger (IM) as the latter is ready to offer this unique service.

Google, said to be the fastest search engine offers searches in five Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. However, its chat service is currently only in English.

Initially, the facility will be available in Hindi and two other Indian languages and in the second phase in about six Indian languages.

Kurlon to retail furniture
Kurlon, which manufacturers Kurl-on brand of mattresses, has decided to foray into furniture retailing and has outsourced production to the Chennai-based Sivasakthi Wood Works, which makes the `Nitraa' brand of furniture.

Kurlon would sell bedroom, living room and dining room products. Kurl-on has 5,875 dealers across the country, all of whom would retail the furniture.

Sivasakthi Wood Works, a partnership firm, has been in the furniture business for over two decades and apart from selling its furniture under the `Nitraa' brand, it also undertakes `project work' such as office space for IT companies.

Sivasakthi expects a turnover of around Rs85 crore in the current year.

Procter and Gamble relaunches Pantene shampoo
Procter and Gamble has re-launched its Pantene shampoo and has hiked its price by two to six per cent.

The relaunch comes along with Sushmita Sen as the new brand ambassador and a new logo and new packaging for Pantene shampoo.

Procter &Gamble plans to start a reality television show for women soon.

Parryware Roca to go in for shop-in-shop retail model
Parryware Roca, the 50-50 joint venture between EID Parry and Spanish sanitaryware company Roca, plans to go in for the shops-in-shops retail model to push the premium Spanish brand.

Parryware-Roca would import the products and retail them in 25 of Parry's Gamourooms across India, the first of which is opening in Kolkata next week. This would offer better visual merchandising and with the help software custometrs would be able to visualise their bathroom décor.

Dabur to enhance focus on beverages
Dabur Foods is planning to enhance its performance in its various processed foods categories with special focus on beverages. The company is targeting to turn Real Activ and Coolers brands into Rs100-crore brands each.

The company plans to add three new variants to the Activ range of juices, which has fruit/vegetable juices under the Real brand name and is targeted at the young, fitness-conscious consumer. Coolers, a fruit-based beverage, positioned as a summer drink, will also get two new variants added to the existent portfolio of aam panna, watermelon-mint, lemon-barley and rose-litchi by next summer.

Pomegranate will be added as a variant under the Real Nature Fresh fruit juice and nectar category by December 2006.

The three brands - Nature Fresh, Activ and Coolers - target different consumer categories, which is reflected in their marketing campaigns, in their packaging and size.

Dabur is also looking at reformulating its Mango Twist mango nectar, currently available in mango-papaya and mango-orange variations, and re-introducing it into the market.
Finally Dabur is looking at entering the ready-to-eat segment by mid-2007.

NDDB to make ice cream with natural vanillin
The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) will soon launch an ice cream using natural vanillin as flavouring agent. The Spices Board will supply the natural ingredient to NDDB, which company officials say is better than synthetic vanilla that is widely used at present.

Officials at the Spice Board said NDDB has standardised the honey-blended natural vanillin extract, which matches the flavour profile of synthetic vanillin, for mass usage and matching flavour profile holds the key for wide customer acceptance.

The Spices Board is also evaluating other possibilities of using natural vanilla in medicines among other things. Vanilla cultivation had caught the fancy of country's planters, as the export realisations from the product are high.

In the absence of domestic demand, the entire vanilla production (without much of value-addition), estimated between 150 and 200 tonnes is offloaded in the global market. Lack of large-scale units for extracting vanillin, the main flavouring compound, is said to trigger the export of the cured beans.

Cherry Blossom brand turns 100
Reckitt Benckiser is celebrating the centenary of its flagship shoe polish brand Cherry Blossom. The revenues of the brand for 2006-07 are expected to cross the Rs1,100-crore mark as it anticipates strong demand for its products.

The company is also planning to launch several new shoe care products in the non-formal shoes segment under the Cherry Blossom brand. The company is also looking at strengthening its presence in products such as aerosols and vaporisers.

The company currently has a majority share in the domestic market for insecticides, mosquito coils and rat poison, while its products are among the top three in aerosol and vaporiser market.

Reckitt Benckiser India manufactures and markets products such as Dettol, Mortein, Cherry Blossom, Lizol, Harpic and Vanish among others.

ITC revamps strategy for `Kitchens of India' products
ITC, which entered the branded & packaged foods business a little over five years ago through the `Kitchens of India' brand, is now planning to revamp its strategy to go after mainstream consumers (rather than the Indian diaspora) in overseas markets of the US, the UK and Canada.

The company is now actively engaged in assisting its outsourced manufacturers in implementing world-class hygiene standards through HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) Certification.

The Kitchens of India range now covers as many as 25 products. The company says sales were improving in these markets assisted by innovative promos such as enclosing `free' Indian classical music CDs with the ready-to-eat packets (between March and July this year in the US) have proved highly successful.

ITC aims to be present in every exclusive food store of the US (there are said to be some 6,000 such now) in the next three years.

Launches Toyota gives attractive offers on Innova
As part of the celebrations on the sale of 50,000 Innovas, Toyota has come out with yet another offer on the SUV. The automaker has tied up with ICICI Bank for a finance scheme.

Under the scheme, Toyota is offering three options for loans taken from the bank that have a minimum tenure of 36 months. Customers may either choose the zero down-payment option, the 4 per cent subsidised interest rate scheme, or the lower EMI offer (it is Rs 12,902).

Bajaj launches new scooter
With the scooter market getting increasingly lucrative, Bajaj Auto has turned its focus on this segment. The two-wheeler major plans to introduce its DTSi (Digital Twin spark-ignition) technology in scooters. The company plans to launch `Crystal', a 100-cc scooter with this technology by end-November. The new scooter is likely to sport features such as front fuelling and a glow key ignition switch.

Parle launches sugar-free mint Xhale
Parle Products has entered the sugar-free segment in confectionery with a new brand - Xhale. The company is targeting health-conscious adults with its latest offering.

However, the company feels the sugar-free category is in its initial stages. Currently, the segment is dominated by Perfetti (Happy Dent) and Wrigley (Orbit), but in the chewing gum format. To differentiate itself Parle Products has decided to introduce its brand in pellet form priced at Rs 15 for 50 'strong adult mints.'

The product is being promoted as a sugar-free mint which helps prevent tooth decay. The product contains artificial sweeteners and is positioned as `strong adult mints', not meant for children.

In the campaign which is being planned, Xhale is expected to give consumers a new reason to try the mint segment based on its sugar-free proposition.

Mahindra launches Maxx Maxi truck
Tractors and SUV maker Mahindra & Mahindra has launched the Maxx Maxi truck, that fills the niche between the large three-wheeler and the big pick-up vehicles.

The company has also simultaneously launched the Bolero Pik Up FB, a vehicle targeted at the higher end of the small cargo moving market.

The company already has the Mahindra Champ three-wheeler, the Mahindra pick-ups and the Bolero Camper the small cargo vehicle category and the new launches completes its product portfolio in every segment.

The Maxx Maxi, with a payload of 900 kg can carry load of 1.5 tonnes and has been designed to deliver better speed and fuel efficiency along with manoeuverability on any terrain than any other vehicle in the market in this category.

The vehicle will compete with Tata Motor's Ace model, which has had an unchallenged run in the market for over a year.

Mahindra launches 32-seater Tourister
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has entered the 7.5-tonne commercial vehicle segment with the launch of the Tourister, a 32-seater bus.

The bus is an offering from Mahindra International and the latest variant of Mahindra's popular Tourister range of commercial vehicles.

Lotto launches new Sania Collection
Sportswear major Lotto has launched the Fall Winter '06 Sania Signature Collection, a collection that has tennis sensation Sania Mirza's initials.

Lotto has dedicated the entire women's range to Sania, who launched the range and walked the ramp in her signature wear. The collection has been divided into basic wear and fashion wear with Sania's initials on it.

The range includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, lowers, capris and outerwear. Accessories such as caps and bags have also been introduced for the first time.

The Sania line is available in three colours, black, pink and white. Sania Mirza gave her inputs in terms of colour, style and fit after a visit to Italy coordinated with the designing of the range.
The Sania Collection is priced in the Rs249 and Rs1,699 range.

Lakshmi Mills forays into casual wear
Lakshmi Mills Company, based in Coimbatore has forayed into the garments sector with the nationwide launch of Tyche Life, a casual wear brand.

The company has showcased a range of products made of Lenzing Modal soft fibre sourced from Austria. The company is planning to sell the Tyche brand garments across 700 retail outlets and shopping malls throughout the country.

Over the next three years, the company would also open 100 exclusive outlets through franchise route.

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