It's now the turn of paints to be positioned as a lifestyle product. Lewis Berger, the new corporate avatar of Berger Paints, has decided to use films as a vehicle for establishing Lewis Berger as the 'mother' brand.
In what marks a first for a paints major, Lewis Berger, now on an aggressive brand development initiative, has also decided to co-sponsor the new Aamir Khan-starrer, Rang De Basanti.
Paint companies such as Goodlass Nerolac have earlier done in-film placement in movies such as Viruddh. Mega movie stars like Big B have also been used for brand promotion. Till now, though, none of them targeted films for brand association.
With industry leader Asian Paints perceived as a solid achiever and a pro-establishment company, Lewis Berger decided instead to cultivate a 'radical' image. And, the accent was on establishing Lewis Berger as a lifestyle brand.
“It was the only way we could differentiate ourselves in the market,” Abhijit Roy, senior general manager (marketing), Lewis Berger, told ET. This explains an ad like painting the Taj Mahal to announce the launch of the Lewis Berger brand.
The move is aimed at targeting potential customers and channel partners. However, in step with the paint industry lingo, these initiatives make up only the 'exterior'. A more serious exercise is already under way at the 'interior' level in revamping products and processes of the company.
“We lack a distinctive presence in fast-growing markets like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The usual product branding strategies did not seem to work in these markets. The company thus felt the need to increase its visibility and perception as a reliablebrand. Some 1,000 retail outlets are being redesigned to position Lewis Berger as a lifestyle brand.
“More significantly, the mother brand needed to be perceived as a reliable one,” Mr Roy said. A non-conventional media like a film offers an opportunity to relate to number of consumers across the country,” he added.
Apart from a through repackaging, the entire brand portfolio has been rejigged into three main categories - Precious, Exclusive and Select.
Topline products - Silk emulsion, an interior emulsion, Weathercoat Longlife, an exterior paint, and Illusions, which offers a highly customised textured finish - have been brought under Precious, the company's 'Exclusive'. Price-sensitive, mass-market products like Bison and Butterfly are grouped under the 'Select' category.