Monday, November 26, 2012

Axe Extends to Soap

HUL, the leading FMCG gaint, extended its Axe brand to soaps. Initially, the home & personal care company launched Axe Deodorants in 1999 in India and the brand has been extended to cologne talc, shaving cream/gel and after-shaves later.
The Indian soap market is estimated at 6500 Crores, witnessing a sharp growth. Well, what could be the big reason behind this extension? If you analyze the market seriously, one will get some evidence. First of all, the deo market is facing stringent competition with more & more new product launches and also through brand extensions. Secondly, there is some vacuum for men’s soap space as far as HUL concerned. Whereas competitor companies like Godrej has Cinthol, ITC’s Fiama De wills (for men), and HUL’s Dove which is meant for women. So, with the current brand extension, HUL wants to fill the gap in the men’s soap segment. Moreover, the men’s grooming space has got lot of potential which might have compelled the FMCG player to go for this brand extension. However, for a company like HUL, brand extension is not a new phenomenon.

Axe soap has got the same positioning as the original Axe brand and its tagline is “Engineered for guys”. Even the ad campaign seems to have the same theme. But some clarity is missing as why consumers to buy the product.

watch the ad here

Axe soap charges Rs.35 for 90 gm, mainly targets affluent young males. What is tingling everyone’s mind is, will this brand extension be successful or not? Well, if one looks at HUL core competencies i.e, huge distribution network, its aggressive marketing strategies, heavy promotional budgets, certainly it can make the brand successful, but it’s a time taking process.

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