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Brand Speak
In today's complex scenario of 360 degree communications , Brands and Brand Building is taking on a new meaning. To be able to get insights into Brands and their Brand building strategies, exchange4media brings the freshest and in depth perspectives from marketing and brand honchos of leading brands in this new section BRANDSPEAK.


"The basic philosophy of 'Vardaan' is that it can deliver the same level of satisfaction and pleasure that a person gets from a normal bidi but without the ill effects of tobacco."

Kartik Raina, Chief Operating Officer, Dalmia Consumer Care.

In Brand Speak, this time Kartik Raina, Chief Operating Officer, Dalmia Consumer Care speaks to exchange4media's Nikhil Gupta about company's new product 'Vardaan', its positioning, market insights and how he plans to use the media to reach the target audience.
Dalmia Consumer Care recently launched a tobacco-less bidi 'Vardaan.' How big do you think is the market in India?

If you look the tobacco smoking market, the total market is divided among two products, there are cigarettes and there are bidi's. In volume terms, about 108 billion bidi's are sold in India every year. Looking at the size of the population, much larger proportion of the people consume bidi's. Figures suggest that roughly, 1 5 Crore bidis are smoked every hour, in this country. So, it is a huge market, and our product 'Vardaan' the tobacco less bidi is clearly aimed at the current smoker of bidi, we are not looking at non-smokers.


Tobacco-less bidi is a new concept altogether. What is the positioning of the 'Vardaan' in the Indian markets?

Vardaan's basic positioning is that it is meant to deliver safer alternative to the current bidi smoker. If we try and look into the reasons that today why people smoke a bidi, they smoke because they get some level of satisfaction and pleasure out of smoking. This satisfaction and pleasure can be broken into three elements. First is the physical experience, which is the shape of the bidi, its mouthfeel, how long does it takes to finish, what is the feeling of the smoke once it enters the system, how harsh is it on the throat, and so on.
Second, is the psychological part of it, if you ask somebody to smoke a cigarette in a dark room, he wont enjoy it because they like to see the smoke. So, there are some psychological elements connected to this. A lot of these psychological benefits are exploited when you get into the business of brand building.
The third is the element is the Physiological element, which is what it does when it enters the body. Smoking of tobacco causes cancer, and there is a whole list of harmful substances, which cause about 25% of the diseases indirectly linked with tobacco.

The basic philosophy of Vardaan, is that it can deliver the same level of satisfaction and pleasure that a person gets from a normal bidi but without the ill effects of tobacco. That is why the tagline of Vardaan reads, "Dam wahi par dosh nahi."


Since, the existing tobacco bidi's in the market have like 501 Pataka and 502. What was the reason behind choosing the name 'Vardaan'?


The idea was that the brand name should carry the personality, the character of the brand, and that's why the name Vardaan was chosen. Also, what we wanted was a name that meant the same in all the 9 languages of the regional markets, we are going to enter into. And, we wanted to get away from this number game( ie. 501, 502 bidi's).


What are the components of the marketing and advertising activities that is going on for the product Vardaan?


Whatever promotional activity we are and we will be doing, it will be broken into two parts. Firstly, there will be an element of brand building, here we will be using the traditional media. Luckily, there is no tobacco in Vardaan, so we can use regular media.
There will be very very strong focus on localization of the brand and apart from local marketing activities we will be doing advertising in local languages. But the entire emotional surround will be that of a bidi. Thus, the kind of models who will be used in the advertising campaigns, would not necessarily be a bidi user, but rugged and down to earth character, a kind of person a bidi user aspires to be.

Secondly, we will always talk about the core character of the brand -it does not contains tobacco and it's a safer alternative to bidi smoking. To that extent, some of the communication will also be informative in nature. It will inform the person firstly, about the ills of tobacco smoking and secondly that there is an alternative available, which is 'Vardaan.'


You did a lot of research before launching this new tobacco-less product in the Indian market. Where did the people put 'Health' in the order of concern?


Prior to the launch, market research showed that people accepted 'Health' as a differentiator, but 'Health' as a sole objective to buy a product 'No'. Qualitative analysis revealed the way a typical tobacco smoker thinks-- he thinks that the diseases are for other smokers and not for him. But on doing some probing, we found that at the back of their minds they are always aware that it is not good for them. So, if not by first communication, if not by second communication, if not by third, then somewhere down the line they will realize that 'yes' tobacco smoking is harmful for them. Issue is not whether the product concept will be accepted or not, the issue is when it will be accepted.


Vardaan will be pitted against the competition, the tobacco based bidi's, which are advertised heavily in the print media. What will be your strategy of using the media vehicles?


I think print will be the most important medium for us, there is no doubt about it. But when we talk about print we should be aware that this particular audience is primarily belongs to daily newspaper readers category. And most of them tend to read the vernacular press rather than the mainstream English language newspapers.


For local level marketing are you working along with Non Governmental Organization's as well?


We are working not only with NGOs but with a lot of doctors and we are participating in Cancer camps. When we launched in Durgapur in West Bengal, we were involved with Cancer camps in the entire district. Thereby conveying to our audience, "Tobacco kills but Vardaan saves."


"The Barista store is our brand. Our brand is also the customer sitting in Barista. And there is a very close correlation and fit between the two"
Basav Mukherjee, Head Marketing, Barista.

"If we look at the market then female segment is very important to us. An Indian woman will always prefer modern scooters and scooterettes for their use. Motorcycles, because of their shape, are a problem for them and they also do not like geared, old-fashioned scooters. I think we would have a 40% share of these buyer."-Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Jt Managing Director, Kinetic Engineering.

"It is the technology advantage and not the lower rates that is attracting more and more customers to Reliance India Mobile"
-Kaushik Roy- Head of Marketing,Reliance India Mobile.

"By continually introducing new products, expanding our target base and with Amitabh Bachchan endorsing our product, we are confident that Parker will be a Rs 100 crore brand by next year."
-D.K. Jain - Chairman and President, Luxor Writing Instruments Pvt. Ltd.

"Jewellery is one of the last great commodity frontiers in India; it has remained so because this market is very fragmented, very unorganized. Tanishq has successfully taken on the challenge of transforming this frontier into a reliable consumer space by bringing to it all the virtues and benefits that branding offers."-Harish Bhatt, VP - Retailing, Tanishq

"The people who have already experienced the lifelike sound of Bose are the biggest advertisers for us through the ‘word of mouth’. Besides some routine advertising we believe in letting people experience the products."
- Ratish Pandey, General Manager,Bose Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. - July 10,03

"I have been in this job for 30 years and I can confidently say that the kind of challenges that Eveready has faced, its difficult to find a company that has gone through so much and yet managed to remain on top."
- Roshan L.Joseph, Director Eveready Industries India Ltd. - June 27, 03

"About 50 per cent of the better-known liquor brands in India belong to Shaw Wallace. In that respect, there is no change in the positioning of the company; we are consistently focused on offering powerful brands that set new yardsticks for the industry to match." - A K M A Shamsuddin - President Shaw Wallace - May 17, 03

Our branding techniques have ensured that Zip is not seen as an ordinary phone instrument, we have been able to allot it certain personality traits. Consumers perceive the Zip Fone to be friendly, trustworthy, smart and young"- Shishir Lall, President, Zip Telecom - May 08, 03

"Saffola provides us with an ideal platform to capitalize on the trend of increasing health consciousness by offering a number of new food products that are able to cater to needs in this area"
- Arvind Mediratta, Head-Marketing, Marico Industries Ltd. - April 17, 03

There are a lot of juicewalaas in city markets, so juice is not something Indian consumers had not seen before. And, we felt if we give them juices in a packaged form, which is more hygienic, it should do well"
- Amit Burman, Chief Executive Officer, Dabur Foods Ltd.,- April 08, 03

"In service industry demystifying each product to the customer and demonstrating real benefits meaningful to him, therefore, assumes greater importance"
- Tulsi Mirchandaney, Sr. VP-Mkt & Projects,Blue Dart - April 01, 03
"Timex has captured market share amongst the young and young-at-heart, upwardly mobile, sporty, fashion conscious and those who follow the latest trends in technology"
- Kapil Kapoor, MD, Timex Wathes Ltd - March 22, 03
"In this segment there is a skew in the Indian market. Here investment is done predominantly by males. Also, a person seriously starts looking into investment at an approximate age of thirty, when he has investable surplus"
- Ambareesh Murty, VP - Marketing, Prudential ICICI - March 07, 03
"The demand of tyres in a particular market is determined by the vehicular population in that market. However, the ownership patterns are now slowly changing, specially in the metros, affecting the marketing strategies of tyre majors"
- Neeraj Bhatia, GM (Marketing), J K Tyre - Feb 21, 02

"Loyalty clubs and home to home promotions are more interactive and give greater time to talk to the consumer. I believe it will build brand shares faster than usage of other media vehicles"

- Kartik Raina, MD, Dr.Morepen - Nov 28, 02

"We are trying to position Liberty as a more vibrant and contemporary brand without leaving the current comfort, durability and value planks."

- Adarsh Gupta, Executive Director, Liberty - Nov 08, 02

"Advertising does help in building brand recall, but advertising alone does not sustain a brand"

- Vikram Bakshi, MD, McDonald's - Sep 02, 02
"We are both clear and consistent in our positioning. The tagline is "Hungry Kya" and the business model is delivering hot n fresh pizza in 30 minutes, guaranteed. We have no plans to change this successful positioning in the Indian market."
- Arvind Nair, CEO, Domino's Pizza - August 19, 02
"Below-the-line activity like product demonstrations and cooking classes etc are certainly important for product categories like microwave ovens where there is still a fair degree of concept selling happening"
- M B Lee, VP-Marketing, Samsung India - August 07, 02
"Surrogate advertising ban would not hamper our plans to a large extent because there are a number of alternative media through which you can always address your consumer."
- Abhishek Khaitan,Executive Director, Radico Khaitan - July 08, 02
"We expect our agency to give us best value for money"
- Anand Bharadwaj, EVP (Marketing and Marketing Services), Electrolux Kelvinator - June 24, 02
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