Marketing review news
19 October 2006

LG unveils new refrigerator models
New Delhi:
LG Electronics India is offering more variants in the refrigerator segment and is looking at a turnover of Rs1,400 crore in the current fiscal and a 35 per cent share in the domestic refrigerators segment by the end of this calendar year.

The company said, "With these launches, LG has strengthened its premium product portfolio, and we are confident that customers will appreciate this range and help us capture a 35-per cent share in the domestic market.

Tata Indicom launches Motorola handset
Tata Indicom has launched the Motorola W150i mobile handset for Rs1,099 under the Go Active plan. Under this plan, customers will enjoy the benefit of 2,000 minutes of free local outgoing calls from Tata to Tata phones and two years of free incoming calls.

The new offer on Go Active plan is also extended to other affordably priced handsets such as Motorola 200i, Samsung Hero, Haier C1000, Kyocera Topaz, Indicom Star, Haier D 1200 and Haier T 1100. Tata Indicom has also introduced Go Life 79 voucher, which is available for just Rs 79 with one month's validity.

VF Arvind targets the mass market in jeans with Rider, Hero
VF Arvind Brands plans to launch denimwear brands Riders and Hero early next quarter of 2007 to take advantage of the growing pace of modern retail. According to the company, these are mass market brands sold in stores like Wal-Marts and Targets in Western countries and when mass modern retail takes off in India on the scale it promises to, these brands would find a market in the country too.

Bangalore-based VF Arvind Brands is a joint venture between VF and Arvind Brands, which designs, markets and distributes Lee, Wrangler, Nautica, Kipling and Jansport brands in India and its neighbouring countries.

The company said that a total of 100 million jeans are sold in India and majority of them in the unorganised sector. Hence there is ample room for more branded offerings. The company has launched an exclusive Lee store in the city.

Santoor Soap to be relaunched
Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCL), the FMCG arm of Wipro, is re-launching its flagship brand Santoor and has signed up celebrities Saif Ali Khan and Madhavan as brand ambassadors to promote the brand in the North and Southern regions respectively.

The relaunch will be accompanied by a new campaign, which will take the brand to the "next level."

According to the company the new Santoor contains changed perfume ingredients and oil mix for better lather. Wipro had recently extended the Santoor brand to talcum powder, face wash and hand wash.

The company claims Santoor to be an almost a Rs500-crore brand commanding fourth place in the Rs5,000-crore market.
According to company officials Santoor has grown by more than 20 per cent in the last three years as against a category growth rate of two-three per cent and dominates the toilet soap category in Andhra Pradesh with a market share of 29 per cent and has substantial share of market in other states like Maharashtra (15 per cent) and Karnataka (10 per cent).

VLCC in expansion mode
Vandana Luthra Curls and Curves (VLCC) Group plans to expand its healthcare chain through the franchisee route and is focusing on smaller towns with a population of between 100 million and 500 million. Company officials said the franchisee model outlets are likely to come up in towns like Rohtak, Karnal, Phagwara, Moga, Udaipur, Meerut.

The company plans to have 55 outlets in the first phase and another 145 by the end of 2009. It currently has 100 company-owned centres across the country.

The proposed franchisee model will involve an investment of between Rs30 and Rs40 lakh depending upon the city and the size of the outlet. The company will invest in training the staff, technology and R&D support.

The awareness among people to be fit and look good is more in tier II and tier III cities in comparison with what it was a few years ago. Even the personal care spend in those areas is going up. People are willing to spend more on healthcare services company officials said.

This is the first time that VLCC has chosen the franchisee route for expansion. It said it has created all necessary backbone infrastructure such as strong R&D, training facilities, so that we can support our franchisee outlets well and ensure their scalability.

Discovery Channel tops amongst international channels
Discovery Channel has topped amongst the list of international channels broadcast in India as per TAM viewership data for the last 13 weeks.

According to a company release, the channel has earned itself 1.5 times higher channel share than HBO and almost twice that of NDTV 24x7.

According to TAM figures (CS15+ AB, All India, Week 27-39, 0700-2359 hours), Discovery channel claimed a viewership share of 12 per cent, putting it ahead of Star Movies, HBO, MTV, National Geographic, CNBC TV18 and NDTV 24x7.

Bisleri forays into spring water
Bisleri International is foraying into packaged natural water branded Natural Mountain Water. The new launch would be accompanied with a change in the colour of the packaging from Blue to aqua green.

According to the company the packaging has been changed in order to stand out from the crowd. The company plans to invest Rs100 crore for its foray into the natural water category.

The investment will include Rs30 crore in two new natural water plants in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal and Rs60 crore for advertising the new identity and product.

The natural water segment accounts for about 5 per cent of the total bottled water segment, is expected to grow by leaps and bounds and the in the next two years the company has set a target of selling 10 million cases of mountain water, translating to roughly Rs 200 crore.

The product is being made available in six sizes and a litre would cost around Rs20, as it is specifically marked as a premium product.

Yahoo! offers 'Indichat
Internet-driven companies like Yahoo! in India are exploring ways to reach out to the country's non-English speaking population. It has launched an initiative targeted at the quasi-English speaking population, and has launched `Indichat plug-in' that would allow users to chat in regional languages using the English language keyboard.

All one needs to do is download the facility and use an onscreen regional languages facilitated keyboard that would guide users while typing on the English keyboard. Initially available in Hindi and Tamil, the facility will later be extended to other languages such as Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati and Malayalam. Yahoo would like to extend this to 14-16 Indian languages over the next few quarters.

To add a more realistic regional flavour to this chat facility, `Indichat plug-in' will have audible animated graphics in various Indian languages. Hence, instead of exchanging greeting in the conventional manner by typing it out, these audibles in Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi and other languages can make the chatting experience hilarious and livelier.

Yahoo! India also plans to introduce Yahoo! mail and search in different languages shortly. Currently, India has 37-million internet users, of which 25 million are estimated to be Yahoo! users as on September 2006.

Britannia NZ to market all dairy products under `Milkman'
Britannia New Zealand Foods (BNZF) plans to market all its dairy products in India under the brand identity of "Britannia Milkman."

BNZF, amongst the largest dairy marketers in the country with cheese as its flagship product, markets ghee, butter and dairy whitener along with Anlene, a hi-calcium drink for adults launched in September last year in Chennai and Kolkata.

Later Anlene was offered in other parts of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Anlene is a $100-million international brand that has significant presence across 12 countries.

Its hi-calcium malt-based food drink helps to prevent bone decay and is targeted mainly at adult women, for whom calcium intake is important due to increased incidence of osteoporosis.

Mother Dairy plans expansion
Mother Dairy India (MDIL), a subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), has begun an aggressive brand expansion and strengthening plan over the next two years. The company plans to expand and strengthen existing brands not only through addition of new products but also through innovative marketing strategies. The key focus area for the company remains the northern, some parts of the west and east of the country.

The company is looking at strengthening the brand presence of the Rs300 crore edible oil brand Dhara which is available in six variants like refined vegetable, sunflower and soya bean oil, filtered groundnut and mustard oil and the recently introduced blended category.

The company plans to add another variation to this category soon and market it specifically to Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. Dhara has 10 per cent of the edible oil market and is sold in 1,200 towns. Apart from Mother Dairy's Rs30-crore processed fruits and vegetable brand, Safal, will also be expanded.

MDIL is soon expected to begin exporting its mixed vegetables and corn variants under the frozen category to the West Asian market, where its frozen peas has a big presence.

Philips announces special offers for Diwali
Philips Electronics, Indian subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics, has announced special offers to its customers for Diwali.

For starters the company is offering to sell the 5.1 channel DVD player at an exchange price of Rs2,990. Besides this customers would also get a lens cleaner. The gifts would be offered on purchases of DVD hi-fi systems and television sets.

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