Parle, the corporate brand, seems to have mastered the art of creating multiple sub-brands that have become iconic in their own product categories over the years; outgrowing its mother brand. Parle G is the only product that consumers immediately connect with the corporate brand Parle and that is going to change soon. Parle Products has launched a campaign to strengthen the brand connect with its sub-brands. The company is spending around Rs.50 crore on the ‘Naam Toh Suna Hi Hoga’ campaign.
“Multiple studies reflected that while people recognized the iconic brands from the house of Parle like Monaco, Krackjack, or Cheeselings; they could not relate it back to the corporate brand of Parle Products,” says Mayank Shah, Category Head, Parle Products. It is with that insight that Parle Products launched a new campaign during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 season 10.
Shah felt that while corporate brands like Procter and Gamble promoted sub-brands without specifying the mother brand, Parle Products was not getting its due. “When we conceptualized the ads for the different products, we never thought that we will relate them all to Parle one day,” said Shah while speaking about the previous campaigns that have not spoken about the corporate brand Parle in specific terms.
Parle Products has also launched a new division called Parle Platina to consolidate its premium brands under one division and “highlight the premium brands that come from the house of Parle and link them back to the iconic mother brand.” Answering the question about the need for a premium division, Shah said that clubbing the premium products under the Parle ambit would be an injustice to brand Parle and the premium products themselves, both of which have different brand values.
“Parle is different from brands like Unilever or P&G as Parle’s equity was created by the product brands first. Parle G had a strong endorsement from the parent brand which made it massive. This, as a result, created a high equity for the parent brand,” explained Saurabh Uboweja, Brand Guru and CEO, Brands of Desire. He said that while this strategy worked well in the past, once the parent brand began creating more sub-brands, the brand equity of the sub-brands did not contribute to the equity of Parle as a whole. “Therefore, the recent ‘Naam Toh Suna Hi Hoga’ campaign has been executed well and delivers the necessary impact,” he said.
Comparing this exercise of Parle products to Tata’s consolidation strategy in the early 90s, Jagdip Kapoor, branding consultant and MD, Samsika Marketing Consultants, said, “When Ratan Tata took over as the Chairman of Tata Sons, there was a movement to bring the corporate brand name into every service and company be it the use of a Tata Product, a Tata Enterprise, etc.” Such an exercise makes the corporate brand a powerful instrument to bind everything together, he said.
Kapoor added that while Parle has many good brands, it is sometimes necessary to bind everything together so that it denotes the strength of the sub-brands’ pedigree. Calling the campaign a good initiative, Kapoor said that the corporate brand will bring out the strength of Parle, which is being a trusted, loved, and aspirational brand.
Uboweja suspected that the launch of the new division and the ‘Naam Toh Suna Hi Hoga’ campaign could be driven by a management-level decision to create strong equity for the brand that can be leveraged with investors and from a hiring point of view. He said that corporate brands that have very good equity attract premium talent. According to Kapoor, reinforcing and reassuring consumers of the brand’s core values will also reflect in an increase in the brand’s overall valuation.
Parle is famously associated with the mass consumption product, Parle G, while its sub-brands Hide and Seek and Milano are a different category. “Parle G is a mass-tige (mass+prestige) brand and Hide and Seek is a purely prestige brand. The creation of the Parle Platina division was a logical move because it shows the brand family in the right light,” said Kapoor.
Disagreeing with Kapoor, Uboweja felt that creating a new premium division defeats the purpose of improving brand connect with the parent brand. “The company already had the corporate brand, a product brand, and now to introduce a new category brand Parle Platina makes it more confusing. This might actually lead to equity erosion,” he said.
He added that now people don’t know what to associate Parle with. “Parle stands for a mass brandand Platina stands for premium. Parle Platina together seem like a contradiction. They could have gone ahead with their existing strategy of creating successful product brands which is their real strength,” Uboweja said.