Vicks

1 January 2017

An exceptionally trusted brand – generations and generations of cold sufferers have used it for almost 100 years. Recognized all around the world – Vicks is available in more than 66 countries. Globally Vicks brand is worth around `3000 crores.

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Vicks commands a market share of over 60% in the cold balm/rub category1. Vicks is the 25th most trusted brand in India2. .Yes, there are some controversies regarding usage of vicks vaporub but there is no doubt that it is the no 1 cough & cold brand in India. The case study basically focuses on market position of Vicksvaporub. It describes the reasons for Vicks Vaporub to be a no 1 brand in cold rub market & the controversies regarding it. Some brands are not easy to forget. They setup in the minds of customers in such a way that as the related problem comes, immediately they strike in mind.

There are number of examples, Like Vicks (for cold & winter), Itch guard (for heel cracking), Johnson & Johnson (Baby products), All-out/Good night (Mosquitoes) etc. As such above problem we face, the related product immediately strike in our mind. It is not that these products do not have competitors, but actually they have a very strong position in the market & it is not easy to wash these products from public mind & one among them is Vicks Vaporub, a very strong brand in cold rub market.

In 1918, the brand become famous as the world was suffering from enfluanja, that prove to be a big dream for the company & its demand increased so much that the company was not able to meet market demand even after the company started to work 24 hours. It was entered in India in 1951. In 1964, a public limited company, Richardson Hindustan Limited (RHL) was formed which obtained an industrial licensed to undertake manufacture of menthol & peppermint oil, the main elements of vicks vaporub.

Vicks vaporub is colourless, but it is blue. The blue container means that the main colour for the vaporub thing is blue, but the rest of the vaporub in it dilutes the blue. Basically the blue colour represents spituality, peace & happiness. Vicks is India’s No. 1 Cough & Cold Brand. In the pain balm segment, the company faces tough competition from Zandu Balm. But now the overall balm market (including cold) is dominated by Vicks. Vicks commands a market share of over 60% in the cold balm/rub category.

Vicks VapoRub has been the market leader in the vaporub industry in India for long. It has ensured that competition does not creep up by considerably reducing its cost of marketing and distribution. However, there is still a considerable share of the market that needs to be tapped by the company. In 2009-10 the company P&G earned revenue of (in healthcare business) at `381 crores (vs. last years `344 crores) posted a growth of 11% this year across Vicks VapoRub, Vicks Cough Drops, Vicks Action 500 and Vicks Inhaler3. Vicks VapoRub had a record year posting the highest ever market share.

The growth in the brand was driven primarily through continued focus and augmented media spends on the successful blanket of warmth advertising and on our ongoing strategy of upsizing consumers to drive consumption – viz. the timely promotions on jars which help in encouraging consumers to purchase larger packs. The total business of Vicks Vaporub depends upon the winter season. If there is no winter, there is no requirement of any product of Vicks. The brand focus on special features, always prove to be a powerful brand.

The value of Vicks brand in world market is `3000 crore & it adds 12% value in health cold business of P&G. In India, every year it earns around `170 crore. In 2005 the company completed its 100 years. Vicks pioneered the farming of Mentha Arvensis in India, and the manufacture of Menthol, which is the key active ingredient in all Vicks products and because of which today, India is the largest exporter of menthol in the world. A good positioning helped the firm, Vicks Vaporub to emerge as the market leader. In early 1950s Richardson Hindustan Ltd. identified the need for a cold remedy in the market.

At that time Amrutanjan was the market leader in the balm market. The company tried to carve out a separate niche and they decided to position it exclusively as a rub for colds. Realizing the fact that children’s were the prime concern of parents. Vicks Vaporub was positioned as a rub for Childs cold. The product was clearly distinguished from balm was much stronger and hence suitable for adults and being a mild formulation Vicks Vaporub is more suitable for children. In few years Vicks Vaporub became the largest selling brand for cold remedies and the success can be attributed to its proper initial positioning.

That Vicks does not count solely upon its share as a market leader. It is aware of the presence of other competitors and thus it has not remained static in terms of its promotional strategy and has also simultaneously been incumbent upon increasing its market share by indulging into intensive promotions strategies such as free Vicks Inhaler along with Vicks Vaporub, discounts, 20% extra on each pack of 50g. Thus it has constantly tried to lure the consumers to stay with it while penetrating the market deeper Vicks vaporub is the market leader with a share of 60%.

Vaporub was initially targeted at children but later the company found out that it is used mostly by adults. Vicks Vaporub is positioned along Mother’s Love platform. Vaporub pioneered the concept of “Touch therapy” linking it to the rubbing of vaporub on the child’s chest. Vaporub advertises itself as having 6 key benefits: Clearing blocked nose, Cough relief, Body ache relief, Head ache relief. Relaxing muscle stiffness, easing breathing difficulty. Recently Consumer Research conducted by P&G and market research firm NFO-MBL (National Family Opinion?

Market Bureau Ltd. ) Consumers rated Vicks VapoRub comparatively higher on parameters such as: Fast and Long-Lasting Relief. In addition, they also rated Vicks VapoRub significantly better on key product attributes stating that it is less greasy and smells better and almost 80% of the respondents rated Vicks VapoRub as Better than any Cold Rub Ever Used. It was rated as ‘India’s Most Trusted Brand’ by the ‘Advertising & Marketing’ Magazine and continues to be on top of the charts of Brand-Equity surveys till date.

According to Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Ltd said, “Consumers have rewarded Vicks with sales of over `170 crores, annually making it the biggest health care brand in India.

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