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Super Shampoo: Capturing the Indian

Mass Market

I/C: Prof. Jayanta Chatterjee

Submitted By: Parth Vaswani 11491
Course: MBA639A- Strategic Marketing

Mr. Venkataraman, after enjoying a successful period of marketing of industrial

goods in Coimbatore, turns his attention towards consumer goods; the
shampoo industry particularly. Fascinated with the usage of single packaging,
he wondered how the invention of sachets repositioned the shampoo brands
from being unaffordable to highly convenient. Venkataraman was a firm
believer in the presence of a market for personal care products, shampoos in
particular in a rural Indian setting.
Super Shampoo:
Venkataraman used the brand name Super as it was simple to comprehend,
was synonymous to the core benefits it offered and had an English overtone.
Super automatically triggered a superior image against whatever brands it
was competing against.

Market Analysis:
FMCG Market in India:
FMCGs(Fast moving Consumer Goods), popularly known as consumer packaged
goods include consumables that people buy at regular intervals. Popular
consumer packaged goods include shampoos, toothpaste, detergents, shaving
products and packaged food stuff. They are meant for a frequent daily
consumption and have a high return. The FMCG market in India is estimated at
$15 billion to $18 billion and is set to reach $33 billion by 2015. It is the 4th largest
FMCG market in the world. Having a strong MNC presence, it is characterized by
low operational costs, well developed distribution system and heated
competition between the unorganized and organized sector. India has a
competitive advantage in this segment due to availability of cheap labour and
raw materials and presence across the entire value chain. The growing Indian
population, especially in the rural and middle class segment presents an
unrestrained opportunity to MNCs to convert consumers to branded products.
FMCG growth across the nation has been spearheaded with the increase in
disposal income and improvement in the standards of living among the Tier II
and Tier III cities.

Indian Shampoo Market:

The Indian hair care market has been valued at INR 70 billion, out of which INR
30 billion accounted for the shampoo industry. The market was growing at 14%
per year with penetration being more than 90% in urban and 80% in the rural
segments. Consumption was still pretty low as compared to the other parts of
the world at 13 ml per capita, while 160 and 330 ml per capita in Indonesia and
Thailand respectively.
The key national players are HUL at 46%(Clinic Plus, Clear, Dove, Sunsilk), P&G
at 24% (Head & Shoulders, Pantene), CavinKare at 18%(Chik) and Dabur at
The primary stock keeping units (SKUs) are bottles and sachets. Bottle capacities
vary from 25 ml to 200 ml while sachets contain 5 to 8 ml and cost about 50p to
The Indian shampoo market is characterised by a twin-benefit platform:
cosmetic and anti-dandruff. It can be considered an upper middle class product,
since more than 50% of the consumers use ordinary toilet soap for washing hair.

Classification of Shampoo:
The shampoo products available in the Indian market can be broken down into
the following categories:

Anti Dandruff
Bath Gel
Hair Wash Cream

Hair fall is the biggest consumer problem related to this market. However, with
a 12-15% yoy growth, the anti dandruff segment is the fastest growing segment
at 15-20%.

Shampoo Market in South India:

The top three shampoo brands in South India are Clinic Plus, Head & Shoulders
and Chik.
Clinic Plus: It is a popular cosmetic shampoo brand of Unilever. Targeted at the
low income consumer(semi urban/rural), it was priced in terms of the economy
tier. It is sold in bottles with capacities varying from 25 ml to 300 ml and sachets
of 7.5 m, in addition to value saver packs and multi sachet bundles. It has
positioned itself as a Family Value and Health Foundation brand.
Head & Shoulders: The anti dandruff shampoo brand of P&G is in the premium
tier in terms of pricing with a target consumer base of consumers who sought a
chemically mild, yet effective anti dandruff solution. It is sold in bottles ranging
from 100 to 400 ml and sachets of 7.5 ml and value packs. The lead anti dandruff
shampoo in P&Gs portfolio, is often shown being endorsed by experts in
Chik: The cosmetic shampoo brand of CavinKare, it is targeted at the low income
consumers in terms of pricing and sold in bottles and sachets that cost as low as
50p. The brand has been placed by the company as one that offers soft,
nourished and beautiful hair for the confident Indian woman.

Buying Behaviour in Rural India:

The retailer is the main influencer in the rural market. The retailer has the power
of pushing a particular brand towards a consumer. Since the consumer has no
preference and is mostly unaware of the existing brands, he has no choice but
to act on the suggestions of the retailer.
The consumer generally enquires about generic products and the retailer sells
the products based on availability and the returns he would get on selling the

SWOT Analysis of Super Shampoo:

Venkataramans expertise in Marketing
Good understanding of rural cultural and market
Low operational costs

Lack of established distribution channels
Low export levels
Unestablished brand name- scope for counterfeit products


Untapped rural market

Rise in income levels and improvement in standard of living
Large domestic market
High expenditure on personal care products
75% of BoP consumers in rural market


Advertising and Promotional budget of established brands

Home made ayurvedic substitutes
Tax and regulatory structure
Less affordability of low income consumers

Strategies Adopted by Venkataraman:

Venkataraman commissioned a survey to obtain insights about attitudinal
aspects about consumers in relation to the shampoo industry as well as the
established brands. He carefully selected the target unit for sampling,
segmenting it in terms of elements, sampling units, extent and time:
Females aged 18 to 50, belonging to rural or semi-urban household basis
income classification (annual household income of less than Rs 75,000 or
between Rs 75,000 and Rs 150,000).
Category (shampoo) non-users or low frequency users, yet aware of the
top three shampoo brands in the market.
Significant TV media consumption and enjoys watching advertisements.
The market research was done in Bidadi and Hoskote(Karnataka) which are a
part of the Bangalore district, along with a cluster of adjoining villages. The
selection of the towns was performed based on the judgement of rural
household penetration and category awareness. Within these geographies,
probability sampling was the chosen technique, in which simple random
sampling was performed to select the elements. The individuals were tested
through the filter questionnaire to ensure that they met the demographic and
category criteria that was required for the study. 75 respondents were chosen
based on the above criteria.

Findings and Recommendations:

The consumers in the rural market are most influenced by Television, friends
and shopkeepers. However, the promotional campaign should not be solely
relying on Television. Word of the mouth, spot trials, free promotions help gain
higher visibility and higher incentives to retailers help in pushing the product
aggressively. With respect to the personal care industry in particular, a number
of people believe that looking good and personal grooming are important.
Shampoo Usage: Preferred used as a cosmetic, with a fresh flowery fragrance.
Anti dandruff/hairfall properties are an added bonus and presence of excess
amount of chemicals draws negative attention.

Product Strategy:
Core Benefit: Hair cleansing and nourishment
Basic Product: Shampoo in sachets/bottles; convenient and inexpensive
Expected Product: Beautiful, long, shiny and strong hair; Shampoo should work
as a substitute to hair oil, providing nourishment at the same time while washing
Enhanced Product: Chemical Free, Herbal
Features: Herbal, but high on cosmetic value
Customization: Quantity (One sachet for a small family), Fragrance

Pricing Strategy:
Pricing must be done carefully, since the target market is extremely price
sensitive. Refill packs should be introduced in order to provide cheaper options.
Quantity should be 8 ml for 50p, and highlighted as 50% extra, thereby adopting
a competitive strategy. The 40 ml Rs.2 mini family packs should be available and
be highlighted as 50% extra. The availability of such family packs can be decisive
in the early stage growth of the brand, as influencing the decisions of the
purchase maker in the family can potentially convert the entire family into
adopting the brand.

Promotion Strategy:
Shampoo must be positioned itself as a brand with local appeal, providing an
image to its users of stardom, satisfying their emotional and aspirational needs.
The promotion should be done on local TV network where cost of promotion is
not much and on radio channels, at times when maximum
viewership/listenership is available.
In order to really capture the attention of the market, an aggressive promotional
strategy at the rural front can be done by marketing the product at haats, melas
and mandis. Pamphlets of the product should be printed in local languages and
distributed along with sample sachets for test use.

Distribution Strategy:
It is essential to form specific strategies for distribution in rural areas, keeping in
mind the product characteristics and shelf life. The distribution strategy should
involve co-operatives, public societies, multipurpose distribution canters, and
distribution up to feeder markets, mandis, haats etc.

The package design should highlight the core benefits of the product such as hair
strength and nourishment, adding additional benefits such as family values and
traditions. The package should be Green to signify its herbal characteristics.
The S in Super should have curves like that of the hair of a girl as depicted.