Marketing review

03 May 2007


Future Group, IOC sign cooperation agreement
IndianOil and Kishore Biyani''s Future Group have entered into a Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) according to which IOC will set up petrol stations at Future Group malls and the latter can establish Food Bazaars at IOC petrol stations.

The MoC envisages the setting up IOC petrol stations at select malls, hypermarkets and supermarkets of the Future Group(comprising of retail formats Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, Fashion Station, Pantaloons, Central).

Also Food Bazaar stores will now come up at select IndianOil retail outlets. While Future Group will operate the large format stores, the smaller stores will be operated by IOC dealers who will source merchandise from Food Bazaar. Both IOC and Future Group will launch loyalty programmes and undertake joint marketing efforts to promote their business models including sharing of customer data base/ research & analysis.

Provogue on expansion spree
Provogue (India) will launch at least 20 more Promart stores in the next three years. Promart, a division of Provogue, is a chain of off-price department stores that offers around 30-35 per cent discount on the last season''s merchandise of big brands.

The company will offer around 85 per cent apparel and 15 per cent non-apparel merchandise at Promart stores. The size of the first promart store is around 50,000 sq ft which will stock around 100-odd brands. The size of the stores is expected to grow in time to come depending on the number of brands in the market. Company officials said the share of such off-price department stores is just 20 per cent of the total retail market.

Nivea banks on boom in male grooming segment
Beiersdorf AG, which manufactures Nivea branded products, has come out with Nivea for Men''s whitening range positioned in the same segment as Emami''s Fair & Handsome and Hindustan Lever''s Fair & Lovely Active.

The company says entry of competing products in the nascent yet growing men''s grooming products segment will grow the market. The company says it would ramp up its presence in the Indian toiletries market and introduce 33 new products in relevant areas to bring choice to consumers.

The company aims to achieve a 5 per cent share in the cosmetics and toiletries category in the next five years. At present it manufactures 60 per cent of it personal products portfolio and intends to increase that that number.

For the Nivea brand, however, growth rates have been hovering at 2 per cent in the Asia-Pacific region while countries such as Thailand (145 per cent) and China (77 per cent) have been registering galloping rates. Nivea''s share in the Indian cosmetics and toiletries segment stands at 0.2 per cent at present.

Modi Revlon launches Colour N Care
Modi-Revlon has entered the mass hair colour segment with its India-specific brand `Color N Care''. The USP of the brand is that it contains coconut oil that provides nourishment to hair. Modi Revlon does not have a presence in the mass market hair colour segment at present. However, rising demand for hair colour products in the country has led it to launch a brand that is specific to the wants of Indian women.

Color N Care is priced at Rs 120 per packet and will be available in six shades - natural black, brown black, medium brown, darkest brown, burgundy and light brown.

The total organised hair colour market in India is about Rs 200 crore, 60 per cent (Rs 120 crore) of which is the mass-market colour segment.

While the total hair colour market is growing at around 35 per cent, the mass market is growing at 40 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

Color N Care, will fight for market share in a market dominated by Garnier, Wella and Schwarzkopf Palette in the Indian market. The company plans to roll out its products in two phases. In the first phase it will educate consumers about the benefits of the product, and in the second year on it will break onto the marketing scene with a 360-degree approach.

The company plans various below-the-line activities and use the print medium to promote the product, while in the second year, the campaigns will be expanded to television campaigns.

The company plans to open an additional 25,000 outlets to its existing 25,000 distribution outlets and build upon its mass products portfolio that would also include its fragrances brand Charlie and the fairness lotion brand Touch and Glow.

Philips India to launch water purifiers
Philips Electronics India has forayed into the Rs450-crore domestic water purifier appliances market, with the launch of its `Intelligent Water Purifier''. The company is aiming to be among the top players in this segment in India by 2010. It is also looking at developing similar low-cost purifiers for rural households in the country. Philips water purifiers will be priced in the Rs8,500 to Rs12,500 range.

While Philips water purifying systems will be available through various retail outlets, it is also in discussions with real-estate developers to install the product in apartments that are coming up. The product will be made available across 90 cities in the country by the end of September.

Philips water purifying systems will have features like battery back-up for 20 litres in case of power failures will also be supported by after sales services.

The product has a life span of around seven to 10 years, the filter will have a life of around 3,000 litres. The company will retail new filters that are self-changeable at Rs450.

Nissan; building a brand in India
Nissan Motor India is on a major brand-building exercise in India. The Nissan brand, which does not have the kind of equity that a Toyota, Honda or Suzuki does in India is creating a brand image by introducing high-end luxury vehicles like Teana which will help it to gauge the response to its vehicles and also identify the vehicles from the Nissan stable for further launches.

Recently the company launched Teana, a luxury sedan priced at around Rs 20.47 lakh and is the launch from Nissan after X-Trial launched three years ago. After setting a sales target of 350 units for Teana for 2007-08 the company has already sold 50 units since launch.

The company hopes to build a big brand in India by the time its 1,000-acre Chennai plant goes onstream in the next two years. The Rs 4,000-crore plant would be set up through a joint venture company to be formed by Nissan with Mahindra & Mahindra and Renault.

Image makeover for Cambridge
Popular mid segment menswear brand Cambridge is having rethink its positioning strategy in the competitive branded menswear segment with changing consumer preferences on the back of increased organised retailing.

Cambridge now plans to enter new markets and diversify into womenswear to widen its consumer base.

The company is also the youth, aged 28 years to 35 years, which is shying away from the brand. To cater to the young audience the company will offer contemporary merchandise and tweak the shopping experience to draw new clientele.

The brand will also be repositioned as a mid-segment formal brand for young executives and to consolidate its position in the volume-driven mid-segment it will offer new merchandise.
Cambridge thus has introduced formal wear shirts with complimentary matching cufflinks at Rs 395 onwards.

For its retail expansion, Cambridge is depending on standalone stores in the metros while opting for a franchisee route to penetrate in tier I and tier II cities.

The brand has also chalked out a retail model of about 50 shop-in-shop outlets which are seen a viable expansion option to achieve brand visibility and fetch volumes in new markets.

Cambridge has a strong presence in the western region and would now foray into new markets such as Delhi and the NCR region, Andhra Pradesh and increase presence in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It would open 10 outlets in Mumbai to up the retail network to 45.

Reliance launches mobile phones for Rs 777
Reliance Communications has launched one of the cheapest mobile phones--Classic 202--in the world priced at Rs777 ($19). The company''s SIM-based Classic 202 has features like FM radio, polyphonic ringtones, address book, amongst other is priced significantly lower than existing entry-level black and white handsets which are priced at around Rs1,000 and colour handsets at Rs1,400-Rs1,800 offered by the Tatas.

R-Comm''s handset range which is manufactured in China includes two other low-end models such as Classic 204 and Classic 203 which are priced at Rs844 and Rs888, respectively.

The phones are SIM-enabled, allowing consumers to move from one CDMA service to another, a facility till now available only in GSM handsets.

The company said the offer would last as long as there were enough phones. Executives said the Classic 202 is a black and white phone that shows a colour screen when it is switched on.

Air Deccan offers 1 lakh free tickets
Air Deccan the largest low cost airline in India has announced a mega offer of 1,00,000 tickets, free excluding taxes and surcharge. The tickets will be available for sale across all sectors and all its 350 flights for travel between July 1, 2007 and August 31, 2007.

Bookings will open in the midnight of May 5, 2007, and close at May 6 midnight, 2007.

July and August are considered to be lean season due to the monsoons.

Company executives said the airline is offering this mega offer of one lakh free tickets to stimulate the market and encourage people fly even in rainy season.

Air Deccan is primarily selling tickets through the Air Deccan website. Apart from website, the free tickets will be available with Air Deccan airport counters, travel agents and call centres.

Cottons by Century eyes formals sales
Cottons by Century, the apparel brand from BK Birla-owned Century Textile, is banking on the men''s formal wear segment to drive its sale in the current fiscal.

Accordingly, the company has chalked out a plan to open franchisee stores in 100 more locations and intends to take the brand to the targeted 40 to 50 towns across India.

While metro and tier-II cities are targeted for opening exclusive stores, tier-III cities are targeted for opening franchisee stores.

The company, which is positioned as a mid to premium apparel brand, achieved a turnover of Rs48 crore during last fiscal and is targeting a national sales turnover of Rs110 crore in 2007-08 with Orissa sales expected to contribute Rs7 crore.

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