Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Corporate Identity Makeover

New Avtar of HLL - Hindustan Unilever Limited

Hindustan Lever Ltd has formally introduced a new corporate logo and changed its name to Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Whats the purpose?

  • leverage the global scale of the company and at the same time keep its Indian identity intact with its new name
  • Maintaining a fine balance between its Indian identity and global heritage
India is an exception to have its name as a suffix unlike the rest of its subsidiaries where it prefixes its name with the name of the country. According to HLL, retaining the name "Hindustan" as the first word in its name reflects the company's continued commitment to local economy, consumers, partners and employees.

What does the symbol signify?

  • company's mission of `adding vitality to life'
  • comprises 25 different icons representing the organisation, its brands and the idea of vitality
  • Each of the icons, which make up the U, represent broadly product categories the group is in - for example, a tiny spoon in the logo is a symbol of nutrition, taste and cooking, while a chilli indicates spice and flavours and lips represent beauty, looking good and great taste
  • Mr Doug Baillie, CEO, Hindustan Lever Ltd, said: "The identity symbolises the benefits we bring to our consumers and the communities we work in. Our mission is full of promise for the future, opening up exciting opportunities where we have competitive advantage for developing our business and our new identity will help us confidently position ourselves in every aspect of our business."
Bajaj Auto

Auto unveiled the new corporate identity on the 15th of January at the Auto Expo 2004, New Delhi. The white and blue reverse hexagonal symbol with Bajaj Auto in small lettering, which stood in good stead for Bajaj Auto for many decades, finally paved way for a refreshing new look symbol with the Bajaj logotype in capital letters. The new identity arrives at a time when Bajaj Auto has successfully metamorphosed into a major motorcycle manufacturer with proven credentials in award winning Pulsar twins and also proved its technological capability with the introduction the revolutionary Digital Twin Spark Ignition (DTSi) technology.
The new visual identity of Bajaj Auto emanates from the confirmation of core values, which Bajaj has identified as its brand values. The Brand essence for the new Bajaj has been defined as "Excitement". Excitement engineering will deliver and inspire confidence in to various stakeholders like Bajaj has traditionally done. Bajaj promises to live its essence thru a set of five Brand Values of Learning, Innovation, Perfection, Speed and Transparency.

The change in Identity is a part of the ongoing changes happening at Bajaj. At a time when Bajaj has state of the art manufacturing infrastructure, has an enviable distribution and service network, has created a benchmark R&D facility and at a time when the customer has changed in terms of its exposure to quality and style, the change in Identity will help invite a paradigm shift in consumer perception of the company.

The traditional hexagonal symbol has been replaced by an open abstract form of stylized B, the "flying B" as it has been named represents style and technology. Italso has a strong association with the heritage of Bajaj since the external form has a hint of hexagon. "Flying B" form denotes speed and open form denotes the transparency.

The new Logotype is all capital BAJAJ, representing precision engineering and perfection. The logo is all confident bold stylistic lettering, which is very global in its outlook.

Bajaj has adopted a new brandline of "Inspiring Confidence". In whatever the company does it seeks to inspire confidence in its audience. Bajaj has traditionally enjoyed tremendous consumer support and plans to consolidate and move ahead on this. The Brandline appears below the Logotype in a script font.This font is to represent learning values at Bajaj and that Bajaj as a brand moves closer to customer.

The Identity has a fresh new Blue colour. This Blue represents stability and strength of Bajaj. Blue also represents high technology and precision engineering.The new Identity presents a futuristic face of the new global Bajaj. Elephant Design has been working with Bajaj on creating and implementing the new Bajajidentity. The new brand will manifest in all consumer and employee interfaces.Says Rajiv Bajaj, Joint Managing Director, BAL, "Bajaj is on the cusp of a revolution brewing on various fronts, be it, exports, design, R&D, new models and marketing. The company thus needed a new identity that would present the new philosophy. The sweeping changes happening at Bajaj Auto required a more dynamic, vibrant and exciting identity, which would also showcase inspiration and confidence through excitement engineering. The change in identity is expected to present an easier interface for the world to understand the new Bajaj with the same trustworthy values."

Hutch - Orange to Pink

Dabur - Towards Tree

Keep watching this article.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Acquisitions of companies and brands – FMCG Sector

Published on India Infoline on 5th May, 2006.

“Growth is Life” is not just a punch line of Reliance, but it’s what every business/ sector/ company strives for. And FMCG sector/ companies are no exception to this.

The sector saw a slump between ’02 and ’04 but has made a quick recovery. We have seen a transformation in the percentage growth of FMCG sector from single to double digit growth. This definitely shows us signs of good times. Let me give you some statistics.

According to latest HSBC Report (ET – March 10, 2006), FMCG is projected to grow by over 60 per cent till 2010
Total size of the FMCG sector will rise from around Rs 56,500 crore in ’05 to Rs 92,100 crore in ’10.

What is running this sector in the past few years? There exist only two growth paths– Organic (Innovation) or Inorganic.

We have seen FMCG behemoths like Proctor & Gamble to be proponent of organic growth. Recently (April 27, 2006), global CEO of Proctor & Gamble AG Lafley said “Organic growth is more valuable because it comes from your core competencies. Organic growth exercises your innovation muscle. It is a muscle. If you use it, it gets stronger.”

On the other hand, in 2005 Dabur India announced the acquisition of Balsara Hygeine and Home Care businesses. The CEO, Sunil Duggal mentioned that Balsara's acquisition is certainly not the last one and there may be more strategic takeovers in future. And now after one year, I see a new article in economic times on April 26, 2006 – “Dabur India eyes acquisitions”.

So after briefly hearing the different viewpoints from the CEOs of FMCG majors, can there be a unique strategy for FMCG companies to grow. Obviously, the answer is No. But in recent past we have seen a skewed trend towards acquisition of companies and brands by FMCG companies and opting for the inorganic route. In this paper I will give reasons with several case studies to why these companies are following this path.

Download full Research Paper - "Acquisitions of companies and brands – FMCG Sector"

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sachet Revolution is Back

In continuation to - “C K Ranganathan, CEO of CavinKare: Rags-to-riches!!”

Today economic times - “Small is big again: FMCGs bring back sachet culture

Let me first enumerate few latest sachet examples:

1. Amul after becoming 1b$ organization to come up with
1.1. 25 gms “munna” butter packs in retail market
1.2. Small milk packs in select markets including Pune
2. Kellogg’s recently launched small packs of corn flakes to attract non-consumers
3. Piramyd Retail too is promoting small packs in its private labels in select Tru Mart stores
4. Telecom pre paid connections
5. Tata Sky different packages

This is not a new concept in India, as it was started in early eighties by Caninkare in form of their Chic shampoo and after that has shifted its gears to almost all possible categories like detergents, soaps, toothpaste, sauces, maggi chotu packs, Atta, mineral water, toiletries and the list goes on.

Let us know look into the reasons for this revolution:

1. Affordably priced product
2. Less investment
3. Reduced risk of buying
4. Use and throw – single serve packs

FMCG organizations would like 1B population of India to atleast try their products and convert them from non-user of products/ brands to trial consumers and finally the endeavor to make them repeat consumers. How can we miss here Mr. C K Prahalad – who wrote in his book “Bottom of Pyramid” that the volumes lie in rural India and sachetization is one key to it. The other big advantage for them is to address different consumer segments and get feedback from them as well.

Now for a marketer it is very important to understand the target consumer and the geographies where this concept is successful. If you see the buying behavior of a housewife, she would like to buy detergents, food items like – Atta, sauces etc in bulk, mainly because she is responsible for 4 people in the family, she would not like to revisit the shop again and again, and lastly and most important is that she get good schemes which keep running.

Now have a look of a kitchen of a bachelor, who is not in a situation to cook proper food, would like to have small bottle of ketchup, small hair oil bottle, half litre or even a small pack of milk to prepare tea, compact liquid shoe polish, ready to eat packs for a single person for single serving. These bachelors who are working in IT, BPO, Sales etc makes a huge population of consumers who are ready to pay money, but for smaller packs and lie in different pockets of India.

1. Gurgaon – Professional bachelors
2. Pune – students in different colleges
3. Kota – students preparing for IIT
4. Chandigarh - coaching centers

Very interesting example of sachetization is the tiffin system. The local housewife aunty in the vicinity will prepare 2 vegetables and will pack into small foil bowls with rice/ chapattis. It is pure unbranded sachet revolution. I sometime think why the FMCG companies don’t test this in some markets and see a response. When Amul can make Amul Pizza, why don’t they make Amul Lunch Thali/ Amul Dinner Thali. I understand that supply chain will be in issues, but still something can be worked out.

So it’s important for FMCG companies to take a region-centric look and look for segments which are large and profitable enough to serve.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Brand Identity Prism - some examples

Brand Identity Prism

As per Kapferer, Brand identity can be defined by six parameters:
5.Self Image

Out of which, Personality, Culture & Self Image is an internal identity, which an organization looks at. The rest, Physique, Relationship and the Reflection is an external identity, with respect to a consumer. Lets go into each of them one by one:

1. Personality
a. Personification of brand
b. What kind of person it would be, if it were a human being
c. Examples: Confident, Social, Flamboyant, Arrogant, Energetic etc
Kingfisher & Virgin Airlines brand personality may be that of flamboyant or rich

2. Physique
a. Mentions physical facets – tangible things
b. It will include packaging, product look and feel
c. Examples: Packaging color, product features etc
Apple I-pod browsing physique will include its dial capabilities, the screen, and its connectivity with musical devices

3. Culture
a. Set of values feeding the brand’s inspiration
b. Rules governing the brand in its outward signs like product and communication
c. Examples: Indian, Western, Contemporary, Narcissist, Urban
“Kitchens of India” takes its culture from the Indian cuisines made and packed for the consumers

4. Relationship
a. Transactions between people
b. Examples: Trust, Energy, Strong bonding
Jet Airways – Servicing their customers to the best

5. Self-Image
a. Through out attitude towards certain brands, we develop certain type of inner relationship with ourselves and brand image we want to project
b. Which an organization wants its customers to perceive
c. Example: Masculine, Progressive, Self Belief
Paras’s Set Wet Gel – targeted towards males have a self image of masculinity

6. Reflection
a. What target consumer thinks & perceives the product to be
b. Factor for strong and good brand image
c. Companies should control the reflection and should try to make it better
d. Example: Royal, Dynamic, Energetic, Confident
HSBC – consumer clearly sees that every individual has specific need therefore customized service

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