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HLL hopes to grow its deo portfolio at 30%

HLL hopes to grow its deo portfolio at 30%

Author | Source: Business Line | Tuesday, Feb 27,2007 8:25 AM

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HLL hopes to grow its deo portfolio at 30%

Plans new look for Rexona thru new formats & communication

Focussing on the direct applicator formats, HLL expects to grow its roll-on offerings with new innovations.

This summer, HLL expects its deo portfolio to register a growth rate of 30 per cent on the back of its category-building brand - Rexona. The market leader in deos has seen the present shares of Rexona languish at 9 per cent value share, while Axe, its male grooming brand, has been reigning at healthy shares of 33 per cent, according to AC Nielsen figures.

Considering Axe came into the Indian market much later than Rexona, the former has had an `edge' in the market through its communication based on the `Axe Effect'. HLL has now decided to give a leg up to Rexona through new formats and communication.

While Rexona is expected to clock a growth rate of 70 per cent, Axe would register slower growth rates at 30 per cent this year. "There were supply-related issues which had led to some amount of share erosion with the Rexona brand in the past," states Mr Shubhranshu Singh, Marketing Manager, HLL, deos & male grooming.

Focus on roll-ons

Focussing on the direct applicator formats, HLL expects to grow its roll-on offerings with new innovations. "World over the market comprises both roll-ons and aerosols but in India, it continues to be an aerosol dominated category," observes Mr Singh. The Rexona brand too will be stretching the roll-on range. At present, Rexona sports two variants under Free Spirit for women and Ice Cool for men in its unisex range while aerosols comprise four variants under the franchise.

"As you go down the population strata, it is contact applicators which are likely to work and we would be bringing out the efficacy of Rexona as a category builder," states Mr Singh. Considering roll-ons are comparatively lower priced than the aerosols, HLL expects to take its category-building brand more extensively into this format.

Pricing strategy

At the same time, too low a pricing strategy can hamper the acceptance of the products. Withdrawing its Rs 5 deo stick from the bottom of the market, HLL has realised that deos is a category where pricing is not a sensitive issue. As Mr Singh explains, "We did expect the Rexona deo sticks to lead to rapid category conversion, but people who use deos can afford them and a lower pricing alienates them from using the product at such a low price point."

Meanwhile, the Rs 178-crore market for deos and anti-perspirants, which grew at 28 per cent last year as per AC Nielsen, is expected to clock slower growth rates at 20 per cent this year.

To give a boost to the category, HLL has recently roped in Bollywood actor Preity Zinta as the Rexona brand ambassador for a year.

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