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Horlicks - Turning into a megabrand

By Anushree Bhattacharyya, Devina Joshi and Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, New Delhi and Mumbai | In Advertising | February 07, 2011
GlaxoSmithKline's Horlicks been a popular health-drink brand since the 1930s. It stuck to that one product for nearly 60 years till, in 1992, it ventured into a second one with the launch of biscuits in two flavours - Standard and Elaichi.

GlaxoSmithKline's Horlicks been a popular health-drink brand since the 1930s. It stuck to that one product for nearly 60 years till, in 1992, it ventured into a second one with the launch of biscuits in two flavours - Standard and Elaichi. Much later, GSK launched Junior Horlicks biscuits for toddlers. The brand underwent a revamp for the first time in 2003 to increase its relevance. At the time of the relaunch, GSK communicated to its consumer that the modern and contemporary Horlicks offers 'pleasurable nourishment' with a range of flavours including Vanilla, Toffee, Elaichi and Chocolate.

Seven years after that, Horlicks changed again. It is no longer just a health-drink brand, preferring to call itself a megabrand that has interest in foods, beverages, snack-bars and all the future opportunities that arise in the market. To prove how serious it was, GSK entered the instant noodles category with the launch of Horlicks Foodles.

Puneet Das, general manager, marketing, GSKCH, says, "With the revamp we have turned Horlicks from a health drink to brand which has focus on health and wellness category. The idea behind the exercise was to create uniformity amongst all brands available under Horlicks and secondly, to borrow the Horlicks equity to launch any brand or venture into any new category."

As part of the revamp process, GSK has replaced Horlicks' old look with new packaging and a new logo. With this, all products across the Horlicks portfolio have a unified look. Designed by Bengaluru-based Ray and Keshavan, the 'Wave' on the packaging symbolises activity and 'Sfoorti' and the milk and wheat visual establishes Horlicks as the 'Great Family Nourisher'. The blue and orange colours have been a part of the Horlicks brand over many years and are a dominant part of the base Horlicks packaging. The logo of the Horlicks Nutrition Academy reinforces the brand's trust and equity in the consumers' minds and also reaffirms the scientific or expert credibility of the brand.

The packaging has been designed keeping in mind the changing needs of the modern day consumers. The glass containers were replaced with plastic jars. The malted drink is now available in five different ranges - Junior to Mother's. While earlier, each range had different shapes of bottles, the agency created one uniform shape, which turned to be very cost-effective.

A media observer is of the opinion that Horlicks is a heritage brand that has been used by three generations of consumers. While the first and the second know what it is, it is the third that is the future. He has this observation to make: "The time for the relaunch is absolutely correct, as it shows that the company has taken a step keeping the future in mind. The future will be about mutli-brands and consumer will only connect with those brands, which already have a high equity in the market for decades."

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