CavinKare Ltd and FMCG major Hindustan Lever (HLL) are once again involved in a skirmish, this time over their shampoo brands.
A model with straggly hair is transformed into one with healthier silky hair. A much used ''before-after'' concept that went awry because this ad for HLL''s Clinic Plus featured the image of a rival brand in the ''before'' section. The image bore a resemblance to CavinKare''s Chik Shampoo Sachet. The same model appeared on the cover, but the name had been disguised with "ordinary shampoo".
Well known for revolutionizing the sachet concept in India, CavinKare has been strengthening its foothold in the Rs.1000 crore-shampoo market, with a share of 27%. The largest selling shampoo in the country after Clinic Plus, Chic found a vast market in the rural segment. And in a market such as this, where visuals speak louder than words, the ad has taken CavinKare by shock.
S. Jagdish, the official spokesperson for CavinKare argues that the ORG figures speak for themselves. From April 2001 to 2002, the market share of Chik has gradually increased from 15.18% to 21.19%. Meanwhile, the market share of Clinic Plus has decreased from 29.19% to 22.95%.
"Chik is a strong contender for the #1 brand of Shampoo in the country, and is set to dethrone HLL''s Clinic plus. Hence the need to topple us over", states Jagdish.
Born out of the efforts of the R & D team that is responsible for formulations, CavinKare is only a marketer that employs third parties to manufacture the final product. Seeing untapped potential in the south for the shikakai segment, CavinKare launched Meera. This was followed by Nyle, that was launched on herbal platform. 1997 saw the entry of Spinz perfumes and fairever in 98. What is interesting however is that 5 months after its launch Fairever, wrested a 6.4% share in the fairness cream market, shaking the virtual monopoly of HLL''s Fair & Lovely. Similarly Clinic Plus also saw competition from Nyle.
Reveals Jagdish, "Fairever costs 6% more than Fair & Lovely, Spinz deodorant costs 11% more than Rexona spray, and Indica hair dye costs 6% more than Godrej dye. And this hasn''t affected our sales. "And thanks to insights that come in from people, we are able to venture into areas that haven''t been discovered", substantiates Jagdish by fishing out the world''s smallest and cheapest perfume bottle priced at Rs 2.
Spending far less for advertising in comparison to bigger brands like HLL, Jagdish says that their differential lies in a vast distribution network and in understanding the power of the regional media. The advertising strategy in the rural markets proved successful because through simple wall paintings, video on wheels and free samples, CavinKare was able to convince a rural consumer to shift to their 50paise sachets from soap.