The Himalaya Drug Company was founded in 1930 by Mr. M. Manal with a clear vision to bring Ayurveda to society in a contemporary form and to unravel the mystery behind the 5,000 year old system of medicine. The brand, the company analysed, is targeted at the modern Indian consumer who is willing to pay a premium for good medicine, and for those who believe in ayurveda . This is a good example of effective concept development. The current Himalaya logo is a visual definition of the brand. The leaf that forms the crossbar of the letter H evokes the company’s focus on herbal healthcare.
The teal green represents proximity to nature, while the orange is evocative of warmth, vibrancy and commitment to caring, associating the Himalaya brand with the promise of good health and well-being. The company entered 3 broad segments i. e. 1)Pharmaceutical – health maintenance, eye, cardiac and skin care, immune booster and cough control 2)Personal Care – Health Care, Oral Care, Hair Care, Skin Care and Baby Care. 3)Naturals – Pure Herbs, Chavanprash, and Honey. 4)Animal Health – Livestock, Poultry, Aqua and companion.
Now it is clear that the company thought it to be fit to extend the brand in all areas where the construct “ayurveda”, “Natural” etc. are relevant. Moreover the brand has a non-contemporary appeal which can come in handy in the extensions. However, while it is very good that the brand has extended itself into areas where the brand extensions lends credibility to both the brand and the category, it is also important to analyse how much of the constructs can be infused into individual categories. While it may be perfectly alright to heavily emphasize the concept in a category like pure herbs.
It may not be too appropriate to do the same in a category like Chavanprash and skincare. What I am trying to say is that though the brand has extended itself in the right categories it has not extended in the right manner. More appropriate would have been something on the lines of a Sub Brand Strategy. The benefit of such an approach would be that instead of the concept being applied uniformly to all product categories, the concept can be applied to the extent it is relevant for the category, The remaining space in communication and positioning thus could be used for adding category specific new concepts .
This will provide the brand strategists the flexibility to maneuver their strategies effectively. This will also make the brand appeal more attractive to the category user. For example : The skin care category is sold under the corporate brand Himalaya just like all other categories. Now skin care is a category where “ayurved” and “natural” may be less important than, lets say “beautiful” “White” “Soft” etc . So when the brand enters the cognitive faculties of the consumer through senses along with “ayurved” centric stimuli, chances are the user doesn’t find acceptance with the product.
Now if the category had been branded in a way that some elements of “beautiful” “soft”etc are added along with the primary element “Ayurved” chances are that our customer who seeks to become/remain “beautiful” is attracted towards the new stimuli. Moreover category/segment specific sub-branding would result in strong categorizations in the customers cognition, this will eliminate brand specific confusions. Mr. Ravi Prasad are you listening….?? Himalaya introduces new baby care products Our Bureau From right) Mr Ravi Prasad, President ; CEO, Himalaya Drug Company; Dr S. K. Mitra, Executive Director Research and Technical Services; and Mr Soumitro Banerji, Business Head, Personal Care Division, at the launch of new products in Bangalore HIMALAYA Drug Company has launched a range of baby care products. Himalaya’s Personal Care Division unveiled seven new products to match the market leader Johnson & Johnson product to product, from soap, powder and lotion to shampoo and massage oil. Himalaya has added baby diaper rash cream as a first of its category.
It has chosen to play the new products up on an OTC-cum-prescriptive plank, more for their therapeutic benefits than for the cosmetic value alone, by keeping doctors and paediatricians as an integral part of market influence. Mr Ravi Prasad, President & CEO, told a news conference that a two-phased promotional, low-key campaign would be unveiled starting with an experiential push for new parents from November 14 up to March next year. A multi-media campaign would follow in April. The plan was to immediately catch a targeted 10,000 parents through paediatric clinics, maternity homes and posters, and also he company’s 70-odd exclusive and 500 shop-in-shop outlets across the country. The baby range would be launched soon in Europe and West Asia where the brand has a good presence, and its newer markets in South East Asia. The Himalaya stable already has two baby brands — Bonisan and Gripe Water. Mr Soumitro Banerjee, Business Head, Personal Care Division, said Himalaya expected to win 5 per cent or a Rs 7. 5-crore worth of market share in the baby segment during the first year of launch.
Himalaya, he said, was entering a market tough in terms of a dominant player with 70 per cent share and also in terms of demanding and proactive parents. This was why it was positioning the baby range at educated, informed, small families with `new-age parents’ from A-class and big cities. The new baby range, according to Mr Banerjee, would contribute 10 per cent of the turnover of the Personal Care, which expected to touch sales of Rs 70 crore during the current fiscal. The division has been doing well since the makeover of its products in skin, hair and oral care yielding 25, 15 and 20 per cent respectively of the division’s turnover.
The baby range was also a seven-year effort and an unusual challenge in terms of R;D as it meant extra safety on young skin, according to Dr S. K. Mitra, Executive Director, Research ; Technical Services. For the first time, cell line tissues were developed and simulated for baby skin to test for toxicity that could not be done on animals. In the first phase of clinical trials supervised by mothers and paediatricians, the products were tested on 500 children at Calcutta Medical College; Post Graduate Institute, Chandigarh, and Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.
The second phase for 500 more children was on at CMC Vellore, Banaras Hindu University and Mahatma Gandhi Medical College Hospital, Ahmedabad, and would be completed by January 2005. Mr Ravi Prasad said Himalaya was looking set to reach 2004-05 sales turnover of Rs 400 crore. Exports, a rapidly growing segment, would form 15 per cent of the revenue. Himalaya will enter the Singapore market, marked as its East Asian hub, later this month.