Innovations drive Nihar's growth

By , agencyfaqs! | In | February 17, 2001
In an attempt to drive Nihar's growth in the coconut oil market, HLL has changed the packaging and the logo of the coconut oil brand it acquired from Tomco


In an attempt to drive Nihar's growth in the coconut oil market, FMCG major HLL has changed the packaging and the logo of the coconut oil brand it acquired from Tomco in the early nineties.

Explaining the company's objective in doing so, D Shivakumar, general marketing manager, personal products, HLL, told agencyfaqs! "The essence of the new packaging is to bring about practicality in daily usage of Nihar coconut oil. The tamper proof jar has been introduced with grooves on the side for a firmer grip giving the jar a more feminine look. The flip-top tin has been designed to make the task of pouring out the oil more convenient. Since the mouth of the jar is wide, it is easier to take the oil out even during winters."

Besides, the pack design, the company has also modified the logo to make it look more vibrant. The logo lettering has been given a fresh green colour, and the label now sports a leaf over the brand name, to drive home the HLL assurance. However, the changes have been restricted to a cosmetic level. "Nihar was the first double filtered oil in the market. We are not tinkering with the product formulation as consumers have really liked the product, which is reflected in the growing franchise it enjoys," said Shivakumar.

Indeed, Nihar has made big strides in the market since it was acquired and then relaunched by HLL in 1995. In the Rs 500-crore coconut hair oil market where Marico leads with 53 per cent share, Nihar has appreciated its market share to 17.2 per cent in May 2000, from 12 per cent in end 1999.

According to data supplied by HLL, a more recent survey done by ORG-Marg puts Nihar as the biggest selling brand (in volumes) in the rural market with a 25.4 per cent share (ORG-Marg retail audit for October 2000). The overall market in rural India stands at 54,000 tonne currently.

HLL executives ascribe the growth of Nihar to its positioning. Nihar has made a deliberate effort to align itself with the purity of nature. "The focus on 'Kudrat Ki Shakti', which gives consumers 'Bharpur Poshan' has struck the right chord with the rural masses," said a communication specialist based in Delhi. "The people in rural India are usually wary of artificially manufactured products. Therefore, the key word 'Kudrat' establishes a relationship of trust between the brand and the consumer," he said

Another important factor that has catapulted Nihar to the number one slot in rural India has been the company's relentless effort at upgrading loose oil users to a branded coconut oil. "Nihar was the first brand to exploit the loose oil opportunity in a really big way. It did so by providing the loose oil consumers a double filtered oil at an extremely attractive price point," added Shivakumar. Extending the same logic, the brand has now been made available in small pouches.

"The LUP (low unit pack) strategy has been used very successfully by HLL across categories. It has given the company an edge in shampoos and in sundry food products. Making Nihar available in pouches will obviously make it affordable and generate trials among non-users," said the communication specialist.

To bring the Nihar brand closer to the rural masses, HLL is using television, point of sale materials, wall paintings, dealer boards and sponsorships in a big way.

© 2001 agencyfaqs!