The Lifebuoy story dates back to 1895 when it first entered the Indian market. “Life buoy’ literally meaner the life-saving buoy thrown out to people at sea to prevent them from drowning. This is where the brand got its name from. Lifebuoy is a product of Hindustan Milliner Limited (HULL), India. It was initially launched with the sole intention of targeting men and everything sporty. “Attendants ski rakish kart ha Lifebuoy’ captured the essence of their campaign brilliantly.
The premise was made clear. Use lifebuoy and stay strong. The quintessential red chunky bar of soap became synonymous with masculine health and good value for money. The same brand positioning was maintained for more than 100 years. However, sales started dipping in the sass’s with the coming of other beauty soaps like Lax, Senator etc. The consumers suddenly had more options and Lifebuoys existing market strategy had nothing new to make the consumers stay loyal to the brand.
Also, times had changed and now women were the decision makers in the family as far as shopping for commensurable household products were concerned. The need of the hour for Lifebuoy as a brand was to become more family oriented in its approach mostly focusing on the health aspect. A brand image built over 100 years had to be changed. The task at hand was challenging but the plunge was taken and the brand was repositioned in 2002. The product was transformed from the traditional masculine bar and given a more curvy look.
The carbonic smell was substituted by perfume fragrance. The focus now was on a complete bathing experience for the family and the new tagging “Kay pap lifebuoy SE Mahayana Kay” did complete Justice to the cause. After this re-launch, Lifebuoys market share in the bath soap sector rose from to 18%. 2002 also saw the launch of aerogram aimed to educate people in rural India about the good health practices and basic hygiene habit of washing hands. The initiative wanted to challenge the age old notion of Missile clean is safe clean”.
The brand USPS of providing better protection from germs compared to other soaps along with a strong social message came across as an impressive marketing strategy. The focus has gradually and decisively shifted to healthy hand wash habits as being the main focus of the Lifebuoy brand. Clinical tests were conducted in 2007-2008 that proved how by following the Lifebuoy way washing hands at five key occasions during the day), diarrhea in target children were reduced by 25% and they had 40% less days off school due to illness as was the case earlier.
The result of all this has been a complete makeover of the brand from a masculine brand to a family soap which promises mothers a germ free environment for their children. Lifebuoy has time and again came across as one of the more innovative brands across sectors. In the tsunami of branding unleashed at the Mama Gumbo in Allahabad, Lifebuoy came up with the memorable ploy of embossing assuages about the benefits of washing hands on rot’s, after tying up with some popular local Dhabi.
Taking this forward, it now aims to change the hand washing behavior of 1 Billion people by 201 5. The ideology remains the same. It wants to promote hand washing with soap at key occasions in the day to reduce infections and and adopted Together village in Madhya Pradesh to help every child living there reach their fifth birthday. This initiative has been widely publicized on the social media to create awareness and to strengthen the support for the cause.
All this has n turn lead to further establishment of Lifebuoy as a brand that aims to make a difference to the society and bring about a change in the hygiene habits. In terms of market share, Lifebuoy is today pegged at 12. 1%, a close second to Lax at 12. 8%. (Ironmonger). The future seems bright and promising.
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