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Neeraj Chandra: Tap changes through innovation to strengthen brand

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Neeraj Chandra: Tap changes through innovation to strengthen brand

Britannia Industries has launched a new biscuit under its health brand NutriChoice called NutriChoice Thins. Itscampaign for the recently launched Rusks too will go on-air soon. The announcement was made by Neeraj Chandra, COO of Britannia Industries, while delivering his keynote address at the Bangalore edition of the Pitch CMO Summit 2011 on Wednesday.

Chandra mainly spoke about being innovative and bringing in small changes to build brands and businesses. He said, “When we look at some of the categories consumed over a period of years, change is almost imperceptible. We all have been consuming biscuits and usingsoap and laundry powder for many years. Change is more imperceptible in these areas and yet there is something very basic about harnessing change here. Big brands tap change in the environment through innovation, use them to grow powerfully thereby strengthening the brand, and delivering results.”

He gave an example of how small changes in Britannia products have been able to strengthen the brand.

He pointed out that an innovation need not necessarily be at the product level. It can be a simple renovationof packaging or even repositioning, to keep pace with the evolving consumers. Chandra pointed out two such instances – Marie that went through a renovation process to see a growth of one and a half times the rest the market; and Bourbon which has been repositioned as a brand for young adults. The repositioning – pulling it out from the Treat category that mainly caters to kids –has helped the Bourbon category grow by 50 per cent.

Talking about some of the growth areas, he said that aspiration lines between rural and urban areasare blurring. The success of the Rs 5 pack in the rural areas is one such example of growing consumerism in the hinterland. “Other areas that offer scope for change and innovation arise from new consumption moments such as out-of-home consumption due to increase in travel time, new channels such as consumption at the workplace due to rise in formats such as BPOs (institutional sales),” he added. Britannia has tried to draw upon the appeal of onecategory such as chocolate and using it to leverage another category such as biscuits in terms of flavour, product form and shape. New categories are being created, like rusks and cakes, which till lately appeared only in the unbranded space. Even bread too has been launched in four to five categories.

Meanwhile, Britannia has also set up the Brittania Nutrition Foundation with a focus on building child nutrition in India. “We have a huge malnutrition problem in India with around 60-70 per cent of the Indian population suffering from micronutrient deficiency. While Thailand and China have moved ahead over the years in this respect, India has not been able to do so. In our own small way, we are trying, but all the stakeholders need to work on this,” Chandra added.

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