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How HLL gave Lux a makeover

30-April-2005
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How HLL gave Lux a makeover

FMCG major Hindustan Lever is in the midst of effecting a major change in the way one of its oldest soap brands, Lux, will communicate with consumers.

HLL, which recently made significant changes in the manner its brands are handled by key management, has roped in the Pune-based design consultancy, Elephant Design, for revamping the visual vocabulary of the personal-care brand, which is one of the oldest in the market. Over the next few months, the company will implement a strategy to convert Lux from being one among the many in a highly crowded market to a product that is picked up by consumers by the sheer power of the brand name.

"HLL's brief was very challenging for us since revamping a brand is traditionally done through re-packaging but they wanted much more than that," Ms Ashwini Deshpande, Director, Elephant Design, told Business Line. The company pitched for the contract against three agencies and commenced work on the visual vocabulary (which means developing the static media for the brand at points of sale, including banners, hoardings, danglers and brochures) in September.

The design company has wrapped up work on the Indian leg of `project Madonna' and is expected to roll out the new-look communication of Lux in the Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and South-East Asian markets over the next few months, Ms Deshpande said.

Customers walking into stores will notice a distinct change in the way the brand now looks on retail shelves.

The product packaged in pastel colours with a soft focus visual of a film star has been replaced with stronger visuals, bolder and brighter colours with the model making an emotive appeal directly to the consumer. Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai, who is the brand ambassador for Lux now, appears in the new variants of the soap in striking reds, purples, greens and magentas. "We actually went into the homes of Indian women and talked to them about their concept of beauty and discovered that beauty for most women now translates into confidence and a host of other qualities, all of which a film star does not necessarily personify," Ms Deshpande said, pointing out that this automatically meant that appealing to the consumer to buy the soap because a film star uses it, no longer made sense.

Elephant Design also discovered during the market survey that the brand, which has over 30 per cent share across all the Asian markets, has lost its `brand confidence' over the years and become a product that people bought because of the exotic ingredients that it contained which promised better skin and other benefits. "There are any number of soaps in the market positioned with the same pitch and so the brand value was lost in the crowd."

"Over the next few months the consumer will get to know an all-new Lux and the idea behind the entire exercise is to make it a iconic beauty brand across the Asian markets," Ms Deshpande said.

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