Marketing review news
28 September 2006

Toyota Kirloskar launches one-hour maintenance servicing for Toyota vehicles
Toyota Kirloskar has launched its global service initiative in India, which enables servicing of its vehicles within 60 minutes. The `express maintenance service' (EMS) promises one-hour periodic maintenance servicing for all Toyota vehicles.

While it usually takes about 14 hours to service the vehicles, the new initiative reduces the time to one hour. Toyota initiated a pilot project for nearly a year before launching the service formally at its dealership in Bangalore.

The EMS service eliminates the stagnation time of in-between processes and reduces process time. The entire initiative utilises the Toyota production system and Kaizen methodologies. The new system has been set up by redesigning the layout of the maintenance bays along specifically designed tool kits that helps in faster completion of the job resulting in significant time savings.

FCB-Ulka Healthcare introduces new service
FCB-Ulka Healthcare has launched a new service called Brand RX and is available for any brand that needs to communicate with doctors for validation.

The service can be used by any brand — not just pharmaceutical — from the fast-moving consumer goods sector, which needs positive endorsement from doctors and typically, the categories would be foods, cosmetics, oral hygiene products.

Brand RX uses a five-stage model to approach doctors. This includes understanding the brand's mass-market position and communication, figuring out its medical relevance, preparing the communication, campaign planning and monitoring.

According to the agency, a major global brand recently used Brand RX to speak to over 9,000 dentists in 12 cities. Drug audits, done for companies to gauge if their communication is reaching the right doctors, are also a part of the service. FCB-Ulka Healthcare's campaigns include those for the painkiller Brufen and antacid Digene, made by Abbott Laboratories.

Price war expected in packaged tea segment
With Tata Tea reducing the price of its Agni tea brand, a price is expected to break out in the packaged tea market. Tata Tea has reduced the price of its Agni brand despite the fact that the average auction prices of tea are rising. It has registered an increase of around 10 per cent on a year-to-year basis compared to 2005.

Tata Tea has slashed the prices of its 250gm packet by Rs5 and by Rs3 for a 500gm packet. This brand is placed in the economy sector of the market. With this move, Tata Tea will try to dominate this sector.

At the national level, Tata Tea brands competes with that of multinationals such as Hindustan Lever and Goodricke and also with local brands such as Wagh Bakri, Good Morning, Society, Girnar, Jivraj and others.

In the last few years, though auction prices had dropped, the packet tea players did not respond with price reductions but instead offered several freebies to the consumers.

This year with the increase in the auction prices, profit margins of packet tea companies have started to shrink.

Mobile players plan ID awareness ad drive
The cellular industry has submitted a proposal to the Government to undertake a nationwide public awareness advertising campaign on the subscriber identification initiative under the aegis and support of the Department of Telecommunications.

The various operators have said that they will invest Rs20 crore initially for the campaign. The industry has also sought the support of the Government to put in place suitable legislation to prevent submission of false or incorrect information by subscribers and also take action against errant retailers who do not comply with the process requirements.

The campaign that would be funded by the industry aims to convey the message that submission of full documentation details was a statutory requirement and a national priority and subscribers who did not comply with the requirements were liable to be disconnected without any notice.

ICI Paints unveils Inspira
Global paints major ICI Paints has launched Inspira, 4-wall finish super premium paint. The product is available in 20 exclusive shades. Each shade is created by interplay of two shades (basecoat shade and topcoat shade). Both the shades are available in one litre and 4-litre cans.

The application cost of Inspira varies from Rs35 to Rs40 per sq ft.

Adlabs Films offers BIG 92.7 FM
BIG 92.7 FM, the FM radio venture of Adlabs Films Ltd, that is backed by an investment of Rs 400 crore, will start broadcasting from 45 radio stations by March 2007.

Tarun Katial, the chief operating officer of BIG said 92.7 FM said the investment would go into transmission equipment, infrastructure and licensing. The company has launched the FM stations in Delhi and Hyderabad.

Next month, BIG 92.7 FM will be launched in Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata and in new markets like Jammu, Srinagar and Aligarh. He said that 1,000 towns and 50,000 villages would be covered by the end of the financial year.

Bajaj Auto to launch more Probiking outlets
Two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto plans to roll out more Probiking outlets across major metros over the next year.

The company plans to make a festive season debut in Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Kolkata, where it will launch Probiking outlets next month and has soft-launched the first Probiking outlet in New Mumbai at Vashi. New Delhi and Bangalore cities will see Probiking outlets launch by the end of the current fiscal.

By the end of Calender 2007, the company plans to have a total of 17 company-owned Probiking showrooms and a further 30 franchisee-owned outlets. The company will invest approximately Rs25 crore in addition to the cost of property, to roll out the showrooms by end 2007.

With Bajaj Auto's long term strategy being to foray into bigger, more powerful bikes at the rate of one every year, the company will keep the key Probiking outlets in metros as company-owned showrooms, while those in second rung centres, with a latent demand for premium products, will be operated by franchisees.

While the showrooms currently showcase and sell only the Avenger and the Pulsar models, the company has plans to launch at least two more premium bikes in near term.

Elle 18 to be revived
Lakme Lever is planning to revive its Elle 18 brand which is targeted at teenagers and young people. Launched in 1998, Elle 18 targeted at the first-time cosmetic user and currently sports two product lines comprising lipsticks and nail enamel.

At that time, Elle 18's main competitor in the youth-based cosmetics market was the Tips & Toes brand, which has now almost vanished from the market.

Recently Lakme, Elle 18 unleashed a campaign based on its products.

According to the company, Lakme has been high on innovation while Elle 18 has been on maintenance mode.
The brand has been growing at a lower rate than Lakme. Now the company has decided to take another look at Elle 18 and says that there is still no brand that is so sharply positioned on the youth platform.

In colour cosmetics Lakme has has roped in designer Sabyasachi Mukerjee to unleash the `Free Spirit' range as part of its winter collection.

Yahoo! offers search marketing solutions
Yahoo! India has launched search-marketing solutions for Indian users. According to the company this format of Yahoo will help businesses connect with consumers through a successful and proven advertising model called sponsored search.

Advertisers will have to pay Yahoo on a per-click basis. They will bid for appropriate keywords with prices ranging from 0.50 paise to Rs 4 per word (prices go up if there are competitive bids for the same keyword).

The company said search marketing has become an efficient mode of online advertising, being cost-effective in comparison to other marketing media and India, being one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in Asia, will prove to be very good for business.

FitnessOne launches weight loss programme
FitnessOne, the Chennai-based chain of gyms and fitness clinics, has launched a weight loss programme, Trim which integrates the services of dieticians and physicians to offer the customer health consultancy and exercise facilities.

According to company officials the Trim package would include a basic fitness test, bio-chemical tests, clinical examination, and dietary and nutrition analysis. In case of a person having normal health, the gym would help the customer lose 3 to 5 kg in the Trim Basic package — a one-month course — and 10 to 12 kg in the Trim 90 package — a three-month course.

Apart from weight loss, the programme would look to improve the overall health as well as give the customer nutrition consultancy applicable for the rest of his or her life. The Trim Basic package costs Rs4,999 and the Trim 90 package costs Rs9,999.

Fitness One would add 30 to 40 gyms every year.

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