|University||Trinity College Dublin (TCD)|
MIMLO 4.1 Articulate a clear understanding of key marketing concepts, theories, and applications.
MIMLO 4.2 Enumerate the basic elements of the marketing mix and critically
evaluate specific marketing case studies.
MIMLO 4.3 Differentiate between the marketing needs of different types of firms and identify how the ongoing shift to digital has impacted marketing practices.
MIMLO 4.4. Create a basic marketing plan with a clear targeting strategy, specific marketing objectives, positioning strategy, and distribution plan.
Safford Wash Limited, a leading global manufacturer of laundry detergents is considering diversification by introducing a new product in India. For a very long time, it has been selling traditional compositions of detergent such as powder and liquids in this market. However, motivated by the success of its capsule (pod) product in the European markets, Safford now wants to introduce detergent capsules or pods in the Asian markets, and to begin with, they would launch it in the Indian subcontinent. The usage of washing machines in India is continuously increasing due to increasing household income in the country and pods are a convenient format for use with machines.
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In order to gain entry into the Indian households, the marketing decisions surrounding the launch of the product must be contextual to the market needs and consumer requirements.
The majority of the consumers in the said market are acquainted largely with traditional detergent formats such as powders and liquids. Their expectations from a detergent product are outlined as follows and these must be matched in order to ensure successful product adoption. Firstly, consumers associate the effectiveness of the product with the high visibility of foam, as they believe that greater volumes of foam also mean effective cleaning.
The powder detergent format achieves this to the highest extent; however, consumers have a perception that pods do not have the ability to do so. Long-lasting fragrances and protection of the cloth and not causing roughness to it are some of the other benefits that consumers expect detergents to provide. The success of pods will depend on how well does Safford manages to create as well as communicate these benefits, along with the convenience and unique value proposition of the pod format.
Initial market research about consumer perceptions about pods and other detergents revealed various findings, that would be of use for promotional communication. In 2017, powder detergent type dominated the fabric detergent market in India. The demand for fabric liquid detergent is also growing, primarily driven by the ease in application and less wastage in comparison to detergent powders. A perception study was conducted to analyze whether consumers among the target audience would consider pods and it seems that significant consumer education is required. This is owing to the fact that 78% of the consumers were not familiar with the usage of pods. For instance, consumers know how much detergent powder or liquid they must use for each wash, however, they do not know how many pods would do the same job. 67% of consumers also felt that pods may lack the ability to create foam and fragrance.
A limitation associated with detergent pods is that they cannot be used for handwashing of clothes and they can be used only with washing machines. Unlike the European and American markets, the concept of a laundrette is not very popular in India and these seldom exist in any neighborhood. Therefore, the target audience for pods would be consumers that can afford washing machines in their homes, and therefore they can use pods. Accordingly, pods must be distributed at relevant places and through relevant channels of distribution.
While deciding the price for the product, Safford must bear in mind that pods are a relatively new detergent product in the Indian market and people must have an opportunity to try the product without very significant price barriers. However, that does not entirely stop Safford from charging higher prices for pods, considering the purchasing power of the target audience. The pricing strategy (may also include different product quantity ranges) must be designed accordingly. Further, it must be noted Safford is not the first brand introducing pods in this market, and brands such as Ariel (by Proctor and Gamble), Tide, and Surf Excel (by Unilever) have already launched pods successfully in India.
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