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Brand fatigue

The Tea market in Pakistan is showing a consistent decline for last several years. The trend seems universal as the sub-continent is facing a similar situation. Consequently the tea cartel in India has been visible on mass media through a category campaign in an effort to stymie the persistent fall. With a national market of 200,000 plus tons in 2012, the following broad break- up unveils the market dynamics.

Branded Tea Un- branded Tea Total

115,000 90,000 205,000 tons

Unilever and Tapal are the leading companies in this market with major shares of 37 & 39% respectively. Key brands dominate the market as follows: Tapal -premium Lipton Supreme Vital 27 % 18 % 17 % 9%

Unilever markets A-1 Karak- another brand in its tea portfolio- to attract the lower tier of the market. It makes the company the second largest in the tea category. However, increasing growth of Tapal and incessant fall of Lipton is being a matter of grave concern for the congomolarate. Despite repositioning several times from Chai cha hi yai kaun see janaab to Clear the mind and Regular Medium and strong, they have yet to hit the right strings so far. The brand has the highest TOM and recall. Yet its no.2 in the list. Lipton is a premium priced brand with over 20 % high retail price than Tapal and 8 % more than Supreme. It is the best quality tea in the market. In 2007, Lipton experienced the first growth in 14 years after running a CP for full year offering a pack of sugar, Everyday tea whitener sachet, mug and Gerrys 10 free hours of internet on a quarterly basis. The same however couldnt invoke a similar response next year. Globally its positioned as a light, sophisticated tea for the young and upper segment of SEC A and B+ (LSM 7+). Unilever Intl insists on marketing it as a light tea while strong tea liking is dominant in this part of the world. They argue that Supreme and A-1 karak

are already catering to this segment and does not make any sense in following the same positioning for Lipton. While it has an edge in the tea bag market, mainly in the corporate segment, real problem comes from the normal tea sector (400-500gm SKU) where Tapal has made deep inroads. The brand seems to be a victim of brand fatigue as known in the branding jargons. Its now focusing on tea-bags. To create a strong tea impact, showed several dips of the tea bag with a red jab. These associations seemingly did not resonate with a premium tea brand with highest prices. It reminded of Lyari where boxing is a popular game. The current target market-teenagers with a hip hop lifestyle-also seemingly requires a relook. While Unilever, P&G and Reckitt Benckiser have all been heavily using strong testimonials for Lux, Pantene and Veet respectively, Lipton so far has distanced itself from any mega-celebrity appeal for a long time.

With inspirations from the success in the Tea bag market, brand managers also thought off focusing tea bags toward the normal Housewife segment. As it requires a massive effort to change attitudes, company has launched the Dip & Win Sweepstake campaign to make a push in this market. Not long ago, just before this Consumer Promotion scheme, BMs tried to follow the Danedar approach taken by Tapal right from the onset, launching the Mega Danedar Lipton. Branding experts believe a stimulating positioning can do the trick and brand can make a comeback. It should take inspirations from Tetley and Taj Mahal from India to get repositioned as both adhere to emotional branding rather than focusing on the product per se. Its interesting to see the portfolio of Tapal with Danedar, Family Mixture, Mezban & Tezdum making a combined share of 37%. Tapal is way behind Lipton in the Tea bag market.However, Lipton being the most expensive brand in the segment, is predominantly a corporate brand. People prefer it because its not their pocket that is affected. The only change Tapal did was to re-shape its bags -round. This hardly made any difference.

BMs at Tapal kept the prices nearly 20-25% lower and touched the emotional chord of the target market with exceptional effective Slice of the Life campaigns. Packagings of both the brands are gorgeous with Tapal captivating with a bright red while Lipton resonating with Yellow & Red. None of the brand lacks any designing weakness. Supreme-the one time market leader with Rs.10 b sales-is currently being in a state of confused positiong.From Yeh hi to hai appna pun, the brand today is focusing on the healthy part of tea drinking. The strong transformation of the brand at the highest level in the Brand Value Pyramid (BVP) zoomed it to Supreme Ishq.Shoaib Mansoor executed the TVCs with his creativity helping the brand touched its zenith. Today with the Akshey Kumar ad, the brand is trying to get a revival-health & taste together.

The new variant in the market was Vital launched 3 years back. With a consistent approach but low marketing budget, Vital has made its room with a 9% share. Packaging is not that strong and copies Lipton yellow green combination.

Based on the Brand key module, suggest a new Positioning for Lipton keeping its target market, USP, Price, Logo and Packaging into perspective.

For TVCs and print ads, go to Google search. YouTube may be accessed through Ultra Surf or Dailymotion.Com. For SKUs and current prices, go to any retail outlet.

Case compiled at Brand Image by Akhtar Mahmud

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