Seasonal ‘brands’ need to play smart tactics and innovate fast

The monsoon season is upon us. Whether you are one who romanticizes the pitter-patter of rains or the kind that looks rather warily at muddled puddles, the fact is the seasonal changes can be joy to many; if challenging to a few, beneficial to so many others.

In the category of purified drinking water, the season does provide a good value-proposition for many brands, with worries about water safety coming to the fore. It’s a major concern for many families. Almost all brands in the space promise to provide the safest and the purest water possible.

The ET writer, Gautam Talwar, checked the top brands in this category within the Commitment quadrant in the Brand Asset Valuator,  Rediffusion-Y&R’s proprietary brand diagnostic tool. The idea was to gauge the overall consumer perception in terms of brand recognition. What was the outcome?

  • The BAV reveals that brand preference in this category is driven not only by reliability, performance, and trust, but also by innovative and energetic cues. This indicates that innovation is perceived as being as important for the category as the guarantee of ‘the purest’ water.
  • As an example, HUL’s Pureit entered the water purifier segment doing away with the need for electricity or installation. It helped to create a subcategory of non-electrical water purifiers. Perhaps this innovation may have been responsible for its quick and large equity in the market.
  • Aquaguard has successfully established itself as the leader brand with best performance on the brand valuator pillars of ‘differentiation, relevance, esteem and knowledge’. Among the challengers like Kent and Pureit, the battle is being fought closely.
  • The brand that seems to be losing out, however, is Kent. It has been matched by Pureit on ‘knowledge’ and ‘preference’ scores, thus eroding its early-entry advantage. Perhaps it is time for Kent to look at innovation before it becomes too late.
  • Over the last few years, the water purifier market has seen increased competition with the entries of Tata Swach, LG water purifiers, Philips, Whirlpool, and Livpure. It remains to be seen what will be their game plan to catch up with the leaders.

In conclusion, this market segment is heating up in spite rather because of the showers. Brands need to decide fast whether and how to make the most of the opportunity that the season offers.

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