Health and hygiene company Zodhita Health Solutions Pvt Ltd is ready for its India foray with its range of antiperspirant deodorants, scheduled to launch in December 2009 under the brand name of ‘Zuska’. The company has earmarked a marketing budget of Rs 10 crore for its four-city launch in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The company has not appointed any communication partner as of now.
Speaking on the company’s marketing strategy for India, Shankar Shinde, Country Head, Zodhita Inc, told exchange4media, “We believe in researching customer acceptance rather than spend monies on determining the cost to produce an item. Lack of consumer focus is one reason why many new products fail to achieve commercial success. Rapid change, increasing competition, complexity, organisational stress and high customer expectations have combined to make successful new products a key to profitability for inventors and manufacturer alike. The pace of the market provides less time to overcome new product failures and re-establish credibility. Speed to market is important, but our promotional strategy and our advertising campaign is what we think is critical to financial and market success of Zodhita.”
Shinde further said that the company would concentrate more on the radio and outdoor media vehicles, besides other BTL initiatives. Magazines, weekend newspaper supplements and television would play a very small part in their game plan. However, since the brand is targeted at the 22-35 age group, Internet advertising would play a vital role in brand communication.
“For us, Internet goes beyond banners and windows. All the modes of communication are extremely well thought and we have ensured the theory of ‘message is the medium’ is followed to the core,” he added.
Speaking on the Indian market and the challenges here, Shinde said that the Indian deodorant market stood at Rs 400 crore. However, most of the products were sneaked in through the grey market channel and there was no product or brand awareness. This had resulted in non-uniform pricing and distribution.
He observed, “In Asian markets, penetration of deodorant products is less than 7 per cent, however, in India it is around just 1 per cent, but it is growing at 20 per cent for the body odour segment, which does not include perfumes. Due to our food and climatic conditions, we tend to sweat a lot which leads to body odour, however, awareness about body odour in the Indian market is extremely low. All these factors have aided our thought to first launch in the Indian market. We will be launching the brand in the US market, too, around the same time, but will foray into the European and South-East Asian markets only in the next 18 months after the India launch.”
The company is also focussing on the rural markets, with two products being developed especially for the rural market. This apart, the company will tap the top 30 cities across India for all its products.
Based in Mumbai, Zodhita Health Solutions aims at becoming a premium brand by providing consumers with quality products. The company works in collaboration with a US-based pharmaceutical company that provides state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing services. The company currently has four products that include variants like antiperspirant deodorants for men and women in the spray and stick format as well as antiperspirant deodorant foot spray and deodorant soaps.