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Unconventional positioning; Whirlpool ka magic chal gaya!

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Unconventional positioning; Whirlpool ka magic chal gaya!

Avinash Sahu,

The mainline entry of Whirlpool was in the year 1995 after the merger of Whirlpool India and TVS Whirlpool. In the short span of 6 years, Whirlpool has been successful in carving a position in the market where it enjoys leadership in all its categories, in terms of volume, brand value, and market share. Says Ashok Bhasin, VP Marketing, Whirlpool India, "the short period we have been here, we are clear market leaders in volume, value; are clear market leaders on share holder value creation; we are positive on the operative line, positive on net line; we are clear leaders in the share of consumer mind; are the most preferred and respected brand in the Indian market".

Whirlpool at present has market share of 30%, which is a strong consumer base of around 6 million and expects to increase the share by 5-10% this year. The reason for this success is Whirlpool''''s unconventional positioning. All the product categories of Whirlpool are positioned as a partner to the homemaker and have the same brand personality. Says Bhasin, "Our positioning is ''''partnership in home making'''' and that is central to the brand Whirlpool".

Whirlpool believes, more than product and service, it is the life long relationship with the consumer. To achieve this, Whirlpool has taken number of initiatives like conducting cooking classes, giving washing tips, and many others. "Whirlpool has been constantly trying and making the best possible effort to understand the needs of the consumer and thereby develop solutions of products and services which would meet the needs of the consumer in best possible way. The target audience for Whirlpool products is the Female who does a lot of work at home and manages crisis situations and gets appreciation from the peers and most importantly her husband and child. So, the aim was to approach her in a manner, mindset and style that would be liked and appreciated by her, to which she could relate herself easily. So, the concept of the "Homemaker" took shape. We were bold and we were different and I think it paid out well." Adds Bhasin.

Whirlpool now promises an element of ''''magic'''' with all its product categories like, ''''white magic'''' for washing machine, ''''magic cool'''' for air conditioners, ''''ice magic'''' for refrigerators, and ''''magic cooking'''' for its cooking ranges, which helps the homemaker to perform her role more effectively. To communicate this message to its target consumer, Whirlpool has judiciously used television, press and FM. The most recent innovative initiative carried out by Whirlpool is the jingle for the Whirlpool air conditioners. To honor the homemaker, Whirlpool recently sponsored the Mother''''s Day on Hallmark Channel.

In the face of fierce competition from some of the Korean companies and also other MNCs and regional brands, Whirlpool has been able to carve a leadership market with the help of its unconventional positioning and heavy usage of above the line advertising. The company plans to bring in more product categories in future to make the work of the homemaker much easier.


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