Why do so many markets remain uncharted territory for so many powerful brands? The success of deeply rooted local brands is one reason, as they are growing at twice the pace of global brands, in terms of the number of times consumers buy their products. They use their proximity to the market to engage shoppers and build loyalty by quickly and accurately responding to requirements, and deftly overcoming distribution hurdles.
The “billionaire” home and personal care brands, as well as those that are rapidly growing their reach, are outrunning their competitors, both global and local, through targeted innovation in both products and communications and with outstanding market access strategies.
Break Through Boundaries
These brands are masters at making their brands matter through innovations such as pioneering a new format. For example, at Unilever, Vim’s reinvention of bleach as a more efficient gel helped it attract 13 million additional households during the past year, while liquid soaps and detergents and cleansing wipes for both body and home continue to rise in popularity.
In Portugal, Renova revitalized the tissue market with the introduction of bold colors and patterns, which led to an increase of 41% in the number of times its products were bought.
Hair care brands like TreSemmé have created new purchase occasions by introducing new steps into grooming and styling regimes by extending them beyond shampoo and conditioning to include hair treatments, masks, oils and even fragrances.
Other brands are helping the world’s increasingly busy consumers to multi-task by launching products that meet multiple needs or speed up essential cleaning and grooming processes. Nivea’s timesaving In-Shower Body Moisturizer, for example, had been bought by three million UK shoppers just six months after it was launched in the country.
Brands with strong brand equity can exploit it to enter new categories, such as Fairy, which has expanded outside dishwashing detergent into laundry detergent, and Lifebuoy, which built on its health and hygiene profile to penetrate hair care, hand wash and body wash.
Support Healthy Lifestyles
Increased literacy and connectivity are making shoppers in emerging markets more aware of health matters, and they also have more money to spend on their well-being. Brands are responding with products that deliver hygiene benefits, or contain natural ingredients.
Positioning itself as the world’s leading health soap has helped Lifebuoy become a billionaire brand. Meanwhile, Mexico’s fastest-growing brand Ensueño recently relaunched its Natureza range of fabric softeners with three fragrances, Chamomile and Aloe, Oatmeal and Almond, and Cucumber and Bamboo, all made from natural ingredients that are promoted on the front of the bottle.
They also get actively involved in health issues. Vim, for example, launched its new gel bleach in Vietnam with an educational campaign for germ-free toilets. Colgate, the only fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) brand purchased by more than half of the world’s households (63%), successfully engages consumers of all ages in populous, emerging markets such as India by educating them about the importance of dental care.
Premium and Value Options
As shoppers redefine what “value” means to them, they are moving away from mainstream products toward premium ranges which provide affordable luxury and basic ranges that help them budget. Downy is the fastest-growing FMCG brand in the world, chosen an additional 198 million times by shoppers around the world in the past year. The premium positioning of P&G’s new Downy Infusions range has proved to be a winner. The range, which features unique, luxurious fragrances such as Honey Flower and Sage Jasmine, is targeted at women, and is designed to be worn as a part of their wardrobe.
By offering “salon quality” hair care products to consumers who are ready to upgrade, TreSemmé has gained nine million new shoppers since 2012, and is now bought by more than a quarter of all households in the US and UK.
Oral-B’s premium launches of 3D White Luxe and Pro Expert 3D Gum Protection have helped make it the world’s fastest-growing oral care brand, with a 16% increase in the number of times its products are bought.
Omo is one brand that provides products at both ends of the price scale. While more households are buying premium laundry liquids, sales of cheaper powder formats are also rising as other households enter the market for the very first time. In China, Omo’s liquid format is quickly gaining buyers. A new variant called Omo TT is sold at a lower price point to attract new buyers to the category. Omo has also maintained its lead in powder and bars by offering new and relevant mixes.
Bold and Targeted Marketing
Brands stand out with campaigns that connect with consumers in a meaningful way and get people talking. They seamlessly blend digital and offline activity and invite consumers to get involved. For example, Downy encouraged shoppers to mix their own scent by combining two different products, supported by a website featuring a “Fortune Smeller. ” Its exceptional performance in Indonesia was helped by the launch of its own online interactive drama series called “The Scent of Passion.”
To encourage more people to use its electric toothbrushes, Oral-B crowd-sourced ideas on how to “ignite an oral care revolution.”
Videos of the winning ideas were uploaded to YouTube. Oral-B also excels at events-based marketing. On Halloween, its Facebook video that reminded kids eating sweets is fine as long as you brush and floss afterwards, was viewed 7.3 million times.
Reaching the most consumers possible means giving them access to products through effective distribution and making them affordable. The most-chosen brands use every channel—door-to-door, traditional stores, local retailers and e-commerce—and put products within the reach of all consumers by developing smaller formats. In South Korea, Amore Pacific has made luxury accessible with single-use face treatments in premium packaging.
Home and personal care brands that are expanding their footprint do so by winning at the moment of truth: that pivotal point at which the shopper decides to buy one brand instead of another. They make people’s lives happier, healthier or easier, with innovations and communications that are tailored to what’s important to consumers in different markets.
Doing this in a relevant and authentic way means developing a knowledge of local preferences, trends and expectations. Health, for instance, has different meanings around the world. In Latin America it refers to staying slim, but in India, it is synonymous with hygiene, which is why Lifebuoy printed messages on chapatis (flat bread) at the 2013 Kumbh Mela asking “Have you washed your hands with Lifebuoy?”
Brands that get it right will forge powerful and long-lasting connections with people—making themselves matter and becoming an integral part of the daily lives of consumers in their target markets.
Virginia Garavaglia is global brand footprint director at Kantar Worldpanel. She is based in Barcelona, Spain and can be reached at Tel: 34 93 581 96 00; Email: Virginia.Garavaglia@kantarworldpanel.com; Website: www.brandfootprint-ranking.com