Sunday, September 20, 2009

Paint companies- on the prowl:

It would be difficult for you to miss the paint ads on Television. They are all over the place. No genre of channels are left untapped, be it sports, news, GECs, or even Cartoon network or regional channels.

Two Indian paint giants, Asian paints and Kansai Nerolac Paints are looking for one upmanship in this festival sector. No one wants to be left behind in the endeavour to increase the market share and imprint the brand awareness. This is more true than ever for these two companies with the global paint giant, Sherwin-Williams entering India. They have bought Nitco Paints in 2007 and are waiting for the opportune moment to start aggressive marketing campaigns. They have adopted the inorganic growth path to give them a firm footing from which to start attacking the Indian giants.

Asian paints have 3 new ads currently broadcasted. First is the ultra sophisticated and fabulously made Royale Teflon ad with Bollywood superstar Saif Ali Khan. It wouldn’t be an over praise or exaggeration if it is said to be one of the most well executed ads in India. Contract Advertising should be duly credited for this fabulous work. Second is the Apex Ultima ad and third, the Tractor Emulsion ad. The tractor emulsion competes on price. The ad says “sirf dikhne mein mehenga hai” (only expensive in looks). Both the ads have high recall value.

Kansai Nerolac launched its lead free paints ad. It is sure to increase the sales for Kansai since people are very health conscious. Kansai has also bought back its Nerolac jingle with a new creative. The creative isn’t too good but the jingle “jab ghar ki raunak badhani ho, deewaron ko jab sajaana ho, Nerolac Nerolac” has very very high recall value. This is sure to boost Nerolac’s brand equity and awareness in the market to take on Asian Paints.

Both the companies have a clear cut differentiation factor. Asian Paints has the Teflon trademark and Kansai Nerolac has ‘Lead free paints’. Asian Paints too have now started using lead free paints in their ads but in a less visible manner. Sherwin-Williams has to come up with a better differentiator when it decides to go public in terms of brand awareness.

The coming few months until Diwali ends and late November, be prepared for an onslaught of paint ads on the idiot box. Nippon paints though not a big player in India as yet too has started its Television ads which are indeed quite creative.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Innovation for Insurance industry players:

Each of the companies in the industry has their own core competency. Each of them fights on their basis of one of 4Ps of marketing, Product, Price, Promotion or Place. And if it happens to be the service industry, you can add 3 more Ps of People, Process and Physical evidence. The insurance industry is no different. LIC banks on its trust factor, Bajaj Allianz on its product customization, ICICI Prudential on Price, HDFC and SBI on emotional appeal. So what should a company do more to get extra from its products?

A comparative analysis of the 4Ps but taken two at a time can be done. On one graph plot price vs. product and on the other, place vs. promotional spend. The gap in each graph can then be explored to make a niche for you and increase chances of growth.

Following are the factors that can be taken for each P:


1. Riders i.e. how many, less is better for customer understanding, but more riders done simplistically for a better product offering.

2. Liquidity: more the better for the customer but it increases chances for redemption resulting in loss for the company. A trade-off between liquidity and redemption pressures has to be arrived at.

3. Flexibility: switching cost and types


How much is the cost for the product. An oblivious point to mention but listed for a comprehensive structure.

Frequency of premium- people do not like to be reminded of premium payment frequently. So ideally it should be once or twice a year.

Place: i.e. the distribution reach

1. Sales force strength in numbers

2. Indirect channels

3. Direct channels

4. Bancassurance

Promotion: advertisement spend (easiest to compare)

Thus weightage to each factor helps in plotting the graph and arriving at the gap mentioned initially.