"Experiential amounts to 6% of our marketing spends"- Subash Balar, Vivel
With over 2153 soap brands in the country today and a more 365 entering in the market every year, the soap industry of the India is one of the biggest in the world. Estimated to be of a whooping 14,100 crore in size, soap is the biggest segment under the personal wash category and is known to have made its presence felt in the market over a 110 years ago.
Vivel, the soap brand of ITC is undoubtedly one of the most crucial players of this industry as it currently holds about 7% of the total industry market. The soap brand recently organized a bloggers meet with its brand ambassador Kareena Kapoor Khan to discuss and deliberate upon the USP of the product, its advantages and the trends triggering the growth in the soap industry.
The meet which was executed by Millionscreens also saw Kareena Kapoor sharing her personal beauty secrets with the journalists in attendance. A demonstration test of how Vivel soap nourishes the skin from within was also set-up to give journalists and bloggers hands on experience with the product. We at EE, caught up with Subash Balar, Category Head, Personal Wash, ITC to know more about Vivel and its experiential initiatives.
Q- Kareena has been your brand ambassador since Vivel entered the market. Any particular reasons for having the same advocate for your brand all these years?
A-When we started we were on the lookout for the most beautiful face around and Kareena has been that face through all these years. Her association with Vivel adds tremendous value to us and consumers feel if Kareena uses this product then we should too. From the last 5-6 our collaboration has been very fruitful.
Q- What is the current market share for Vivel and what are your biggest competitors?
A-It is between 6.5% to 7% right now. When you talk about our biggest competitors in the space it is very difficult to say because ours is a category where consumers migrate very easily. A research states that households easily change 4-5 soap brands within a span of 6 months but yes Lux is still one of the biggest players in the market.
Q- In terms of marketing, the promises made by all soap brands are the same. What is the USP of Vivel when it comes to their market strategy?
A-Our USP is the fact that we focus on nourishment of the skin which is something all other brands have not emphasized on. A couple of years back we didn’t have this strategy but then we realized that talking too much about a lot of things will not work with consumers and hence we did a lot of scan and research and came to the conclusion that nourishment of the skin is one factor that consumers needed and hence we made it the nucleus of our product.
Q-You said your TG is urban female 21-35 years of age. Why are you not targeting the rural female?
A-Urban fame between the age of 21-35 is my communication TG where as the because of the strong distribution chain of ITC our products are widely available everywhere. In rural markets what we do is manufacture smaller cakes of the product so they fit in perfectly for the audience who wants to try something easy on the pockets as well.
Q-Are you making any special marketing efforts for these rural audiences as ATL is not the best medium to reach there?
A-Apart from the price point we do a lot of activations in rural. We do van programs where we go and advocate about the features of the products. ATL does has a significant presence in rural today too but there are certain media dark geographies where one on one is the way to go. So we participate in Melas and Haatts through games and engagements to communicate our brands message with our prospective consumers.
Q-Other soap brands are associating with a lot of beauty pageants in terms of experiential initiatives. Is something like this on the cards for Vivel?
A- We were picking up on things like “Skin Love” and in the east we have created a property called ‘Pujo Love’. What we have done with Pujo Love in the last 2 years is that give old people a chance to enjoy the festivities of the Puja, last year we did the same with orphans as the basic ethos of our product is Love and it extends beyond to just love with your skin.
Q-How much of your total marketing budget is devoted to experiential?
A-We have just started with experiential initiatives and it is in the future when we are going to really come up with more of such campaigns. For now experiential amounts to about 6% of our marketing budget.
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