afaqs!

Rasna chalks out summer strategy

By Antara Ghosal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Marketing | March 15, 2010
The soft drink concentrate brand plans to appeal to the new age mothers and kids riding on a three point strategy - maintaining value for money, focusing on the health factor and highlighting the ease of using the product

With the summer season setting in, the soft drink segment in India is swinging back into action. Within days of the cola majors coming out with fresh communication ideas, Rasna, too, announced its summer strategies to retain its leadership in the soft drinks concentrate segment. The company is in the process of rolling out a set of five new television commercials to pump up its volumes.

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While talking to afaqs!, P Khambatta, managing director, Rasna admits that the two big challenges before the brand were to stay relevant to today's consumers and to reach out to the maximum number of people.

He adds that in its pursuit to overcome the challenges, Rasna conducted a thorough research in four towns involving 600 families to understand the behaviour and choices of today's mothers and kids. The research concluded that mothers today have become more liberal and are giving more freedom to their kids, while on the other hand, children have done away with their earlier cute images and adopted a 'bratty, naughty, smart and informed' avatar.

Rasna plans to appeal to this new target audience, riding on a three point strategy model - maintaining value for money, focusing on the health factor and highlighting the ease of using the product.

According to Khambatta, Rasna is still aggressive in advertising its products but due to the mushrooming of channels and the monopolisation of TV by telecom brands, Rasna and other FMCG brands have become less visible. "The ad spend for this fiscal will be about Rs 22 crore," confirms Khambatta.

The recently launched commercials feature today's smart kids who believe in competition, strive for victory and continue to love Rasna. Rasna's new line is 'Shararat ek ghoont'.

The brand also has big plans for BTL (below-the-line) activities, mostly in Tier II and Tier III cities, which will be unveiled in due course of time. In June 2009, Rasna showcased the largest glass of the world and organised a four-day carnival in Delhi.

For the record, Rasna claims a market share of 97.2 per cent (in March 2010) as against Coca-Cola's Sunfill (2 per cent); and Sugar Free (0.2 per cent); the other players in the market are C Sip Vitamin C (0.0 per cent); Kissan Mr. Fruit (0.1 per cent) and Tang (0.5 per cent).

"Last two years were good for most FMCG companies, including us. We expect more growth this year, at about 22 per cent," adds Khambatta.

Over the years, Rasna has introduced new concepts such as premium powder Alphonso Mango; Home Made Nimbupani; Ghar ka Range; Aquafun (a soft drink); Bollywood Bite, an Indian snack in a canister; and Rasna Shake Up - a shake mix product. Khambatta adds that 60 per cent of the revenue comes from products such as Rasna Fruitplus and 1 Ka 2. According to him, the small packs of Rs 2 and Rs 5 sell the most.

Keeping in mind the rising health consciousness among Indian consumers, Rasna plans to foray into the health drink segment soon. However, Khambatta confirms that despite the expansion of the product range, the brand's focus will always be on the instant drink maker, which is the sole business of the brand.

"Rasna is a heritage brand. It is registered in the minds of the consumers as the instant drink maker. Our analysts opine and we, too, believe that diversifying will not do us much good," he concludes.