Jay Bhargav Patanjali Sets Remarkable Benchmark for Branding and Marketing Theories April 24, 2017

Customer acquisition, the way this task is being carried out by Patanjali, has stunned domestic as well as international competitors. Patanjali Ayurved has clearly understood that an Indian customer wants more at a lesser price, and that the brands alone do not simply sell the products by themselves. One has to create the right brand image and more than that, the reputation in the market.

Last year, in an article written by Mahesh Murthy published on Medium, he pointed out some significant strategies of Patanjali that led the brand gaining its own space in the market and fighting the who’s who, that have been established brands in the market rather call them ‘giants’.

So much so that Baba Ramdev thinks that the brand will double its revenues to Rs 10,000 crores by the end of this year after sales grew 150 percent in the previous financial year to Rs 5,000 crore, and is now valued at around INR 30 billion.

Mahesh Murthy made an interesting analogy in the article that worked for Patanjali and disrupted the FMCG market. As he mentioned there, a single brand strategy worked for Patanjali, be it a juice or a soap sidelining the traditional brand theory of building a portfolio of brands for every single product.

No doubt, the company is extremely young but is now matured at a god-speed when until a few years ago, it was considered a newbie that will eventually fade. Patanjali went on to create a hype for itself by giving its products the Indian feel through the use of herbal ingredients from the Himalayas, putting up the face of Baba Ramdev on every package and making sure that it beats every other product in the market when it comes to pricing while delivering the message of quality product.

Slowly and steadily Patanjali has managed to lure customers away from mega brands by directly locking horns and comparing prices. For instance, in a recent Ad war, Patanjali compared its juices with Dabur’s Real juices and asked the customer if they preferred high cost and less pulp (Real Juices) or low cost and more pulp (Patanjali), for good health and more savings? Although the company had later asked the advertiser to withdraw or modify the Ad after the complaints have been raised by Dabur but the damage had been done to Real Juice’s brand image.

There are no major creatives involved when it comes to Patanjali but the strategies reading the minds of consumers. It is a straight business that gets the ‘People Oriented’ notion rolling. Patanjali yearns to prove that it is here to sell cheap and good quality products and not to fool its customers in any way. They have proved the certainty of not relying only on the Ad campaigns but the proposition of branding.

Patanjali presses heavily on the price point, what helps it keep the prices low are the simple and direct Ad campaigns. While Hindustan Unilever, Dabur, ITC are all busy hiring high-cost advertising agencies, Patanjali is busy targeting these FMCG pros and consumer pain points. It appears that Patanjali has also realised its rivals’ high investments in promotions and advertisements which in a way increase the cost for the customer.

Adding to it, Patanjali has become one brand name for each and every product while other companies have a portfolio of brands which leads them to manage multi-brand strategy and so the much higher investments. Patanjali cuts it short ‘to maintain the one brand name in every home’.

Here is a real lesson for all those marketing geeks out there, the only knowledge necessary for you to sell your products is knowing the pain points of your customers and knowing what they long waited for and last for. India makes up a huge market with its population but the very same thing limits the spending power of each individual. Hence, offering goods at lower prices as compared to your competitors is not only the best strategy for any upcoming company but with it, putting the right set of marketing strategies and realising the potential of branding proposition.

On its way forward, Patanjali’s top priority would be to keep prices lower and maintain an image that it is only here to serve the people. Patanjali has penetrated many markets in the last couple of years, recently it announced its venture into textile manufacturing where it plans to produce traditional Kurta-Pyjamas and Patanjali Jeans.

The planned and steady infiltration has worked in Patanjali’s favour so far but as the company grows it only has more work to handle and more competition to deal with. Today it employs more than 3 Lakh individuals and as its product profile spreads so will its cost to manufacture them.

There are more thrills to expect what comes next in this Indian FMCG war now that the mega brands are out of their thrones and on the battlefield as well.

(With inputs from Ayush Garg).

I believe Technology will be the bellwether for mankind and I enjoy a good talk on Global Affairs. Some of my other indulgences - Motorcycles, New Words for my Vocabulary and Delicious Food Everyday.

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