With every player in the Indian FMCG arena battling to stay a step ahead of others, one can see a lot of new (and not so new) weapons in their marketing strategies. 4Ps B&M sums up four such strategies, which have now emerged as top competitive tools

It has been there for quite some time, but only recently has it emerged as a new trend in India with many FMCG players resorting to the allure of using ‘Packaging’ as a competence and market building tactic

Considering that packaging was more or less the fifth P since long, it’s quite surprising that it took this much time for Indian companies to realise that this factor could also be tactically utilised to gain sustainable competitive advantage. While MNCs like Nestle (Re.1 Nescafe sachets) and HLL (Sunsilk shampoo throw-and-use satchets) have used this P to cut across to the lower levels of the pyramid, upstart Indian quick service retailers (like Haldiram, Bikanerwala) have used packaging to the hilt in the festival season by introducing the Indian variant of the bundling strategy – selling many different varieties of sweets and salted items together in one gift wrapped package. Packaging has also ensured usage increasing because of a huge perception change. While Dettol – through its push dispenser hand wash package – entered the psyche of middle income households in a big way, Dabur Honey expanded its market simply by printing multiple uses for honey on the packaging. Amit Burman, Vice Chairman, Dabur, tells us, “Our research showed that honey in India is perceived as a medicine. To break this myth, we suggested alternative usage of honey in our packets and it helped us to become the market leader.” Clearly, the wine is immaterial, as long as the bottle is new.

It’s all about black, white and various shades of gray of the male species – ads, products promoting fairness to men are back!

Remember how some years back the government had moved against ads and products promoting fairness to women? That was the Paleolithic age for you, which gave that critical push where companies started marketing these products to men. The male fairness war is the biggest war in consumer beauty products currently in India. If Emami’s Fair & Handsome and Nivea’s men’s line were the leaders for male products in the fairness creams market, two new brands have the ante by joining the fray – HUL’s Vaseline and L’Oréal’s Garnier. Emami too would soon be rolling out more products under the brand Fair & Handsome. And why is all this becoming so important? Well, the fairness creams market is estimated to be a mind numbing Rs.800 crores this year!

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