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SUNSILK – INNOVATIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES

1. INDUSTRY PROFILE

Shampoo in India was derived from the Hindi word ‘Champi’ meaning hair massage. The
introduction of shampoo in India dates back to the British reign in the country. Being a
recent development the growth of shampoo or rather the penetration levels of shampoo in
the India has been commendable.

The shampoo market in India is estimated to be Rs 2,500-3,000 crore. The shampoo


market is India is categorized according to the benefits they provide. Mostly consisting of
three kinds of shampoos cosmetic, herbal and anti dandruff, the shampoo market in India
has managed to tap users of the various segments according to their requirements and
preferences.

Due to the continuous efforts of the top shampoo brands in India penetration of shampoos
in urban areas is almost 100%. As far as penetration of shampoo in the rural areas is
concerned it has risen by almost 18% in the current scenario.

The top shampoo brands in India include Sunsilk, Clinic Plus, Dove and Pantene. The
company that leads the shampoo market in India is Hindustan Unilever Limited. The top
three most sought after brands Sunsilk, Dove and Clinic are produced by HUL. The
company holds a 44% market share in the Indian shampoo industry. It is said that HUL
earns almost 8% of its revenue from the sale of these products The other recent brand that
has taken the Indian personal care industry by storm is Pantene. Since its very inception
the brand was a best seller. A product of FMCG giants Proctor and Gamble Pantene has
slowly and steadily managed to capture quite a large amount of the Indian market.
Proctor and Gamble the second top shampoo brand in India holds a market share of
around 25% in the Indian shampoo industry. The revenue earned from the ale of
shampoos from Proctor and gamble is almost 17%.

Together these two major players constitute a major part of the Indian shampoo industry.
Both these players with their numerous brands dominating the Indian shampoo market
are continuously trying to outdo one another by introducing different marketing schemes.
Be it in the form of price cuts, discounts or increasing the size of the shampoo sachets
without any extra costs these two to shampoo producing companies are at a continuous
price war.

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2. COMPANY PROFILE

Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch company, was formed in 1930 as a result of a merger between


British soap maker Lever Brothers and Dutch margarine producer Margarine Union.
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is a subsidiary of Unilever; one of the world’s
leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong local roots in more than 100
countries across the globe with annual sales of about €40 billion. HUL is the first foreign
subsidiary to offer 10% of its equity to Indian public.

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) was formed in 1933 as Lever Brothers India Limited
and came into being in 1956 as Hindustan Lever Limited through a merger of Lever
Brothers, Hindustan Vanaspati Mfg. Co. Ltd. and United Traders Ltd. It is headquartered
in Mumbai, India and has an employee strength of over 15,000 employees and
contributes to indirect employment of over 52,000 people. The company was renamed in
June 2007 as “Hindustan Unilever Limited”.

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is India's largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Company, touching the lives of two out of three Indians with over 20 distinct categories
in Home & Personal Care Products and Foods & Beverages. The company’s Turnover is
Rs. 17,523 crores (for the financial year 2009 - 2010). In 2009 Unilever has about 52%
shareholding in HUL.

Hindustan Unilever was recently rated among the top four companies globally in the list
of “Global Top Companies for Leaders” by a study sponsored by Hewitt Associates, in
partnership with Fortune magazine and the RBL Group. The company was ranked
number one in the Asia-Pacific region and in India.

HUL VISION

The four pillars of HUL vision set out the long term direction for the company – where
we want to go and how we are going to get there:

• work to create a better future every day


• help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services
that are good for them and good for others.
• will inspire people to take small everyday actions that can add up to a big
difference for the world.
• will develop new ways of doing business with the aim of doubling the size of our
company while reducing our environmental impact.

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HUL MISSION

To help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services
that are good for them and good for others. It is a mission HUL shares with its parent
company, Unilever.

HUL’S Purpose & Principles

Our corporate purpose states that to succeed requires "the highest standards of corporate
behaviour towards everyone we work with, the communities we touch, and the
environment on which we have an impact."

Always working with integrity

Conducting our operations with integrity and with respect for the many people,
organisations and environments our business touches has always been at the heart of our
corporate responsibility.

Positive impact

We aim to make a positive impact in many ways: through our brands, our commercial
operations and relationships, through voluntary contributions, and through the various
other ways in which we engage with society.

Continuous commitment

We're also committed to continuously improving the way we manage our environmental
impacts and are working towards our longer-term goal of developing a sustainable
business.

Setting out our aspirations

Our corporate purpose sets out our aspirations in running our business. It's underpinned
by our code of business Principles which describes the operational standards that
everyone at Unilever follows, wherever they are in the world. The code also supports our
approach to governance and corporate responsibility.

Working with others

We want to work with suppliers who have values similar to our own and work to the
same standards we do. Our Business partner code, aligned to our own Code of business
principles, comprises ten principles covering business integrity and responsibilities
relating to employees, consumers and the environment.
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RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

- DEFINATION OF RESEARCH

Research can be defined as the search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation,
with an open mind, to establish novel facts, usually using a scientific method.
In the broadest sense of the word, the definition of research includes any gathering of
data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge.
Reading a factual book of any sort is a kind of research. Surfing the internet or watching
the news is also a type of research.

- OBJECTIVES OF RESEARCH

1. To know about the Sunsilk.


2. To know about the competitive positing of the Sunsilk.
3. To know about the branding strategies used by Sunsilk.
4. To know about the various promotional strategies of Sunsilk

- TYPE OF DATA COLLECTION

Second Hand Data collected from the internet.

- TYPES OF RESEARCH

Type of research conducted is a descriptive research in which major objective is to study


the latest marketing strategies by HUL for the branding, targeting and positioning one of
their major product Sunsilk.

- SCOPE OF STUDY

Study to which extent theory of marketing is applied to the real market.


Study the Marketing strategies used by HUL.
Study the S-T-P techniques used in marketing Sunsilk.
Know about the 4P’s.
Study the SWOT analysis of Sunsilk
Study the various Advertising techniques done for the brand

- LIMITATIONS OF STUDY

Provides less information on the basis of holistic marketing.


Provides less information about the social responsibility fulfilled by the company.

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- FINDING OF STUDY

INTRODUCTION

Sunsilk is a hair care brand, primarily aimed at women, produced by the Unilever group.
Sunsilk is Unilever’s leading hair care brand, and ranks as one of the Anglo- Dutch
conglomerate's billion dollar Brands".

Sunsilk shampoos, conditioners and other hair care products are sold in 69 countries
worldwide.

Sunsilk is Number 1 in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East having sales of more
than ¼1 billion a year. It is marketed in other brand names as Elidor, Hazeline, Seda and
Sedal.

The Brand Sunsilk was launched in 1954 in the UK. The brand included a range of
shampoos, conditioners, and other styling products. By 1959, it had become a well
known hair care brand and was available in 18 countries worldwide...

It was launched in India in 1964. It is the HUL shampoo brand for the ‘Aspiring’ or mid-
segment specially women. The intended positioning of the brand over the years has
changed from ‘Shampoo plus cosmetic’ to ‘Beauty Shampoo’ to ‘Hair Expert’. Recently
Sunsilk and HUL won the highly acclaimed Guinness World Record for the most heads
of hair washed and styled in one day.

But over the years there has been constant effort to add emotional appeal to the brand.
Currently following is what the HUL site says about the brand: ‘It knows you, and hence
knows exactly what your hair needs’. Based on different customer needs Sunsilk offers
different variants. Target segment for Sunsilk being aspiring young women – most
Sunsilk ads show young women getting their hair problems solved by using Sunsilk
shampoo. The tagline of most Sunsilk ads: ‘Baloon Mein Dhadkan Dil Mein Shararat’. A
brand extension of Sunsilk was the launch of Hair Oil.

In the India, Unilever’s goal was to position Sunsilk as a brand that understood the
problems faced by women and their needs and preferences.
Sunsilk had a range re-launch in 2006 followed by launch of new variants in 2007 when
conditioners, Livon and hair masks were introduced — transforming Sunsilk into a
complete hair care brand

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4P’S OF SUNSILK

- PRODUCT

Point Of Parity

For an offering to achieve a point of parity on a particular attribute or benefit, a sufficient


number of
customers must believe the brand is good enough on that dimension
Like others SUNSILK consists of such POPs are:
1. Dream soft & smooth
2. Stunning Black Shine
3. Lusciously Thick & Long
4. Anti-Dandruff Solution
5. Hair Fall Solution

Point of Difference (POD)

With point of difference, the brand must demonstrate clear superiority. Sunsilk’s PODs is
Co-creation. They came with this idea to grab the market and to be superior in the
market. From 2009 Sunsilk started working with a number of professional hair "experts"
to develop new and improved products. Each hair issue variant links to an expert with the
relevant specialist hair knowledge.
CO-CREATED BY 7 OF THE BEST HAIR EXPERTS IN THE WORLD

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Branding Decisions:
Branding strategy is one of the most vital decisions taking by marketers. It is a strategy,
which brings lots of positive feedback for a firm.

Individual name:
Unilever follow individual name for setting brand name for their different products, such
as Sunsilk, Dove (Shampoo), Ponds, Fair & lovely, Dove for skin care.

Brand Elements:
Brand elements can play a number of brand building roles. Brand elements are those
trademark able devices that identify and differentiate the brand.

Branding strategy

1. Memorable: every consumers mind catches the brand name.


Their marketing programs set the brand name in consumers mind. Their short brand name
such as: Dove, ponds, Sunsilk etc are easily memorable.

2. Meaningful: Every consumer has a clear meaning about Sunsilk. Consumer thinks
about sunsilk as a product which solve their problem relating with hair.

3. Likable: From our research we found that most of the people like the brand verbally
and visually.

4. Protectable: The brand name is legally and competitively protectable. The brand retain
their trade mark rights and not generic.

PRODUCT RANGE

Currently, the range consists of:

♦ Yellow Sunsilk with Bio Proteins from Vegetable Extracts:


Normal hair needs wholesome nourishment. New Sunsilk with Bio Protein extracted
from Vegetable milk has nutrients that deeply penetrate each hair strand, to nourish it
leaving hair strong and beautiful.

♦ Black Sunsilk with Melanin from Plant Extracts:


Dull hair needs a rich black shine. New Sunsilk with Melanin extracted from plants
serves this purpose very effectively. It helps in the growth and retention of the black color
of hair, giving it a rich black shine.

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♦ Green Sunsilk with Fruitamins Vitamins from fruit Extracts:
Thin and limp hair needs extra body and volume. New sunsilk with Fruitamins has
natural extracts from fruit that contains Vitamins. These vitamins help in giving extra
body, shine and amazing manageability to the thinning and lifeless hair.

♦ Pink Sunsilk with yoghurt proteins :


Dry hair needs wholesome conditioning, extra shine and style. New Sunsilk with yoghurt
proteins makes the dry hair full of life. Its especial ingredients moisturize each hair right
to its tips leaving it shiny and beautiful.

♦ Orange Sunsilk with active nutrients from Citrus Extracts:


The advanced formula of orange Sunsilk is the result of the latest research. This shampoo
is especially designed for oily hair type that looks flat and greasy due to the excess of
moisture. New sunsilk with active ingredients from citrus extracts cleans the excess oil
off hair while its nutrients deeply penetrate each hair strand to nourish it.

Sunsilk has teamed up with seven pioneering global hair experts to bring to Australia the
world’s first co-created product range for all specific hair types

Hailing from fashion hubs of the world – New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Los
Angeles – the seven hand-picked hair experts have a combined 50 years experience
working in the hair industry and were selected for their specialties after an extensive
search that lasted almost a year:

• Tom Taw (London) – Dry & damaged hair

• Teddy Charles (Paris) – Volume

• Rita Hazan (New York) – Colour protection

• Yuko Yamashita (Japan) – Straight

• Ouidad (New York) – Curls

• Dr Francesca Fusco (NY) – Dandruff and Scalp issues

• Jamal Hammadi (LA) – Shine

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- PRICING

HUL claims to practice value-based pricing in which the customers’ perception of the
product’s price provides a starting point for developing the marketing mix of the product.
The research department determines this price usually by using focus groups. The price
of Re 1 and 2 for Sunsilk shampoo sachets shows how the price also reflects a concern to
make the purchase more convenient, since the rupee is denoted in this value.

Sunsilk is also available in Rs 45 and Rs 169 price bottles to cater to the demands
keeping in mind the wants of this particular customer segment.

The primary importance of this value-based pricing is that the product demand will be
much higher if its price is in line with the customer’s perception of its value. One crucial
concern for value-based pricing is strict management of cost in order to be able to make a
profit at the value-based price. After the initial price is determined, HUL then uses target
costing in order to achieve the required profits.

- PROMOTION

• Build top of the line consumers’ awareness.


• Creating a personality of the brand.

Besides having these general objectives, the advertising objectives are set avoiding to the
advertising strategy for each product, e.g. Sunsilk advertising objectives since it was
being re-launched were:
• To increase the usage.
• Conditioning benefits.
• Makes the hair appear clean and shiny.
• Imparts a feeling of freshness-due to fragrance.
• Easy to manage, silky, soft hair.
• Unique shampoo for every hair type.
• Effectively communicate brand promise.

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Promotional strategy

 Innovative campaigns such as ‘Hairapy’ and ‘Life Can’t Wait’ were launched to
attract women to the brand
 Sponsored short films that were broadcast during popular television shows.
 Media platforms used
 Print media
 internet rural campaign environment concern ads
 Music videos
 Free sample distribution

 Demo campaigning

 Promotion of the products in the sunsilk range through movies such as


“Fashion”

Sunsilk has come up with a new promotional campaign GOOD HAIR DAYS in six major
cities in collaboration with famous hair stylists of the country along with
 Hoardings
 Sponsorships
 Enhancement of product mix
 New product formulations according to changing consumer preferences
 Advertising

HUL believes that messages about product delivered by credible sources can be
very persuasive. Hence Jawed Habib who is a hair care expert endorses Sunsilk and more
value is added to the brand. Consumers relate to products itself, they can relate to a
human being who consumers believe is an expert so Jawed Habib is an expert so is
Sunsilk. Jawed Habib, a recognized and highly qualified hair stylist is used by Sunsilk in
its ads because they want to bring out an expert’s image.

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METHODS ADOPTED TO PROMOTE THE BRAND NAME OF
SUNSILK

 Actresses as spokespersons
 Co-marketing
 Some of these films were made exclusively for retailers like Wal-Mart and were
telecast in-store
 Sponsor for fashion shows

INNOVATIVE AND UNIQUE STRATEGIES IMPLEMENTED BY


SUNSILK IN INDIA

Hindustan Unilever launched the ‘Gang of Girls’ website in June ’06.


“India’s first online girl community concept.”
Gang of Girls site was pushed online and via TV and print. Lots of media mentions as it
as a “successful branded space.” It brought the product in Direct contact with target
audience

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Sunsilk's website Gang of Girls has been relaunched in keeping with the new campaign
of the brand for "Sunsilk Co-Creations". With the intent of popularising the four stylists
shown in the advertising - Teddy Charles, Jamal Hammadi, Francesca Fusco and Thomas
Taw - the new website offers an "expert studio" online where users can get information
about each of them, watch their videos and read their blogs.

Gang of Girls events at 60 college festivals, malls and multiplexes across India.
Sunsilkgangofgirls.com benefited from redirect from Sunsilknaturals.com.

This site has 100,000 registered users and very similar features.

Hindustan Lever claims 2,500,000 registrations to Gang of Girls site --

• 25,000 girl gangs• 200 million hits

• 12-13 million page views every month

Company taking benefits of new web 2.0 technologies ranging from blogs to
power of social networking.

“As far as brand is concerned plus side forsunsilk here is ability to usepower of
technology to position brand successful and create followingamong niche users whom
must have generated enough feedback for thebrand to understand demographic served.
Other brands need to take a cue from here and understand how web can be used as an
effective brand delivery/promotion tool.”
-HUL EXECUTIVE

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- PLACE

Distribution Objective:
“To reach as many towns and villages as we can”
HINDUSTAN UNILEVER has 150 distributors whose function is to sell to
wholesaler s directly. There are different distributors for different areas. They are
carefully selected and their performance is constantly evaluated.

DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL

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COMPETITION AND MARKET SHARE

CLASSES OF COMPETITORS: In urban areas, Sunsilk is acting as a


market challenger against
Head & Shoulder. The major competitor of Sunsilk in rural areas is BIO
AMLA

IDENTIFYING COMPETITORS

MARKET SHARE : Sunsilk as a market challenger, they are steadily


gaining market share. At present market situation, they capture 34%
of total market share.

MIND SHARE: To buy a shampoo rational consumers firstly think


about Sunsilk due to the promotional strategies of Sunsilk. So that
Sunsilk rapidly increase their mind share.

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HEART SHARE: Due to reach product and marketing attributes &
features Sunsilk’s mind share in total competitive market is higher
than any other brand. Consumer choosing sunsilk as their first choice.

AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT:
1. Expanding the total market: Sunsilk is very sensitive to increase its
market.

2. New customers: Sunsilk trying to attract buyers who are unaware of


the product or who are resisting it because lack of such features.

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Sunsilk using market penetration strategy, new market segment
strategy and geographical expansion strategy for searching new
consumers.

3. More usage: Sunsilk recently increase the amount, level and


frequency of consumption. It also improves packaging and redesigns
the product.

- SWOT ANALYSIS

STRENGTHES
• HUL is one of the largest organizations in India.

• Company has advanced technology and well skilled professionals.

• The New Sunsilk Shampoo is a high quality product in terms of hair protection.

• The target market is educated, professionals and belongs to premium and


middle class.

• Company totally owned, systematic distribution network, transparent


communication system.

• Participative management style

• Very good distribution network all over India, in all major and small cities.

WEAKNESSES

• Competitor has strong promotional activities.

• Customers are offered better alternatives by the competition.

• Advertisement flaws-

○ Devaluation of product

○ Product’s quality looses its values

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○ Poor promotion of free samples

○ No unique identification of product

OPPORTUNITIES
• Population expanding at a rapid rate.
• Consumers are becoming more quality conscious
• Current capacity utilization is 80%, which can be further broadened with the
increase in demand.

• Customer base is increasing with effective marketing.

• Baby shampoo is another area where HINDUSTAN UNILEVERs can make


huge gains.

• Shampoo plus conditioner and anti-dandruff shampoos are another area


where HINDUSTAN UNILEVER can earn huge profits.

• Rural areas are a large prospective market where they can introduce Sunsilk.

THREATS
• Political and Economic factors.
• Partial Government policies.
• High rate of competition.
• Local and Foreign competition.

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- CONCLUSION OF STUDY

HUL has concentrated on the marketing plan and strategies on a very high note. Sunsilk
has been targeted among the teenagers and young women in the urban areas more in
depth rather than the rural.

People are familiar with Sunsilk, however they are not interested in whether it is a
Unilever product or not. Through extensive marketing methods Unilever should make
people aware of the fact that it is a Unilever Product and not just any product so that the
brand loyalty increases and people purchase its product due to its brand name and not just
the product name.

For the target market, HUL should reduce their Co- creation ranges bottle prices
compared to Head & Shoulders so as to make the consumers feel the difference in what
options are placed before them and opt for the former.

Sunsilk has huge potential of rural market 72% of total population but not yet develop a
successful strategy to penetrate this market. The success of sunsilk emulated which
captured the rural market by two strategies-

1. Develop strong distribution structure

2. Adopting packaging and pricing.

As shown in the pie chart of market, mind and heart, we observe the noticeable difference
in them. Being the rulers of the mind and heart shares, they lack in the market share
which is not understandable.

HUL has improved its packaging style of Sunsilk in lepas and bounds. With every
launching of new ranges. It has not only improved its features but also kept changing tag
lines to attract the consumers in just a glance.

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HUL also lacks in the social responsibility clause whereas it pays maximum of its
attention to the promotional activities and sales figures.

Launching a website to attract young girls and giving them a catchy name ‘GANG OF
GIRLS’ was a very innovative and tremendously effective strategy to capture the minds
and the approval of the target market. The number of members in the website speaks
itself for the success of the launch.

The latest sunsilk range ‘ sunsilk co-creation’ gives the consumers a wide range of option
to choose according to their hair texture which shows that HUL is also working to the
core to improve the product quality.

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- SUGGESTIONS OF STUDY

HUL can modify their marketing strategies using the following few suggestions.

Flank Attack:
Sunsilk can follow segmental strategy. In market Head & shoulders targeting mainly high
and middle class people but big portion in lower class consumer could not adopt their
product. So, Sunsilk can targeting the lower class, who have lower income and launch new
product at a lower price.

Frontal attack –
Sunsilk can launch shampoo combining conditioner, anti- dandruff, and shinning in a one
product as follow as Head & Shoulders.

Bypass attack –
Sunsilk can introduce anti dandruff shampoo n add a conditioner in its package.

HUL should convert their opportunities to effective and noticeable results. Being leaders
in the urban market, now major focus should be given to the rural market targeting and
development.

HUL should choose such a person as a Brand Ambassador with whom the young
generation can connect with in a short span.

Sunsilk will attract more once free sachets are being offered with HUL’s other brands.
Along with the bottle wise sales, sachet sales should also be monitored as middle class
and lower middle class consumers opt for sachets.

Now as sunsilk has become the No 1 in the ladies segment, it should now concentrate and
bring out new ranges of products for the male segment and the elder generation.

If taken into consideration all the above studies, conclusions and the suggestions and
implemented to its best , Sunsilk range of products will once again rule the market share
as it did when it was established.

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