Reckitt Benckiser to expand Dettol range

Reckitt Benckiser to expand Dettol range

Author | Source: The Economic Times | Monday, May 15,2006 7:48 AM

Reckitt Benckiser to expand Dettol range

Reckitt Benckiser is taking a relook at its Dettol portfolio in a bid to get a larger play in the consumers' everyday life.

The FMCG major is planning the brand's extension into new product categories in the beauty and health space. Simultaneously, the company is set to relaunch many of its low-key products within the Dettol umbrella. Little surprise then, that Reckitt has set aside an ad budget of Rs 50-60 crore for Dettol this year.

The company plans to storm the market with a new campaign in the next few days, along with on-ground promotion in schools and hospitals. When contacted, Reckitt Benckiser India, CMD, CM Sethi confirmed hectic activity around Dettol. “We want the brand to remain relevant, while continuing to address emerging consumer needs,” he told ET. “We are looking at all the categories that lend themselves to the brand's core proposition.”

So, on the cards are Dettol deodorant, creams and talc. Analysts, however, say that Dettol will have to be careful in its entry into the personal care space. “Dettol will first have to move away from its specialist (germ protection only) personality before it can make a successful splash into newer personal care products,” says Rima Gupta, country head, Henley Center, a WPP Group marketing consultancy.

Dettol has tried to straddle distinct consumer segments with specific products and variants. It includes Dettol beauty soap, skin care liquid for women, Dettol Cool, targeting youngsters a few months back and Dettol Sensitive Handwash, a non-soap variant for a gentle wash.

The brand, says the company, is much more ready with the product line, with a contemporary look and feel to make the brand much more approachable than in the past.

Mumbai-based marketing consultant, Sukanya Kripalu says Reckitt will have to be careful in extending Dettol personal care products which fall into the domain of grooming. “Home care products would make better sense, considering Dettol's core proposition, than personal care,” she says. Yet, she says things can work if handled well. “When Dettol was extended to soaps, nobody gave them a chance, but it worked well.”

Meanwhile, there are plans to relaunch the original Dettol, shaving cream, talc and even medicated plaster. Internally, the company still sees a lot of potential in the Rs 250-crore brand and sources say there's pressure from the UK-based parent to leverage that for a faster growth.

At present, high on the agenda for the company is to guard its turf from arch-rival, Lifebuoy which has been nudging Dettol on the 'germ protection' platform and has been aggressive with its recent mega, 'Naha Ke Jao' campaign.

In fact, sources say Lifebuoy's campaign had pre-empted Dettol's bid to gain a high ground. While Mr Sethi laughed it away, sources say that much of the new media initiatives would address that aspect within the new tag line, “Raho Healthy and Jiyo Strong”.

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