Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) has decided to include five new brands in the "power brand" category. These are being considered the company's future growth drivers and, hence, will see added investments.
Last year the company had made it clear that it would invest funds and provide marketing and advertising support to only 30 of its 110 brands, in a bid to streamline operations and focus on core areas. But it seems that several initiatives HLL took last year have thrown up surprises.
Among the new additions to the power brand club are the company's direct selling arm, HLL Network, and herbal initiative Ayush, a company spokesperson told Business Line but refused to name the three other additions.
Market sources said that with the impending foray of HLL into the water purification business, the proposed `Pure It' brand could be the third contender brand in which the company may invest substantially. Confectionary brand Max has already been identified as another focus area for the company and may well be another contender.
Besides recognising that direct selling and herbal brands could be potential growth drivers this year, HLL is also taking several initiatives in new product categories to generate growth.
This includes expansion of the cooking aids business under Knorr Annapurna and Kissan.
Apart from the new additions to the power brand club, six existing power brands are being rechristened `mega brands' since each of these generated annual sales of over $100 million last year.
The mega brands are Wheel, Brooke Bond, Lux, Rin, Lifebuoy and Fair & Lovely.
According to market sources, Wheel was one of the leading brands of HLL with annual revenues of well over Rs 700 crore.