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CANVAS 2014

And thereby hangs a tale


Jaideep was relaxing at home on a Sunday afternoon in September when his phone rang suddenly. He recognized the
number as his college friends residence who lived in the same building, albeit 4 floors away. Perhaps he was calling
to make plans for dinner, and picked up the phone.
Can you please come home if you are around? We need your help! shrieked Abhijeet over the phone. Jaideep could
sense the angst in his voice as he asked him what happened. We are planning to paint our house in time for Diwali
and we cant seem to agree on what to do for the main feature wall! We need an experts suggestion here.
Jaideep kept the phone down understanding the exact issue that his friend was facing. As the General Manager,
Marketing at Asian Paints, he knew the things that would run through a consumers mind who was in the painting
process. Nevertheless, he made his way down 4 flights of stairs to his friends house. On the way he reminisced about
the journey of the feature wall.

A Quiver Full of Arrows


The concept of a feature wall has gained in prominence as an integral part of home dcor since the last 15 odd years.
Initially, just a different colour was enough but today the space has become very vibrant with multiple offerings
competing for creating a unique feature wall in the home.
About 10 years ago, the use of dark, bright, vibrant colours had all started proliferating across movies, TV serials, coffee
shops like Barista, etc. and was finding its way into homes. Textures as it then stood, was a natural extension of this
trend. Asian Paints introduced the Royale Play brand in 2004 with a textured special effects product as a unique offering
as a feature wall.
The Play part was intended to have a strong rub-off on the Royale brand and add dimensions of being younger,
fashionable, fun & trendy. The product itself is the most consumer friendly offering in the Asian Paints stable and allows
for literally any design to be created using it. This is applied on one wall in a room (called the feature wall) and this usually
transforms the look of the home completely. Even the initial communication for Royale Play used to talk about
transformation of the home using Royale Play.
A crucial element to the proliferation of the category has been the training of painters to make the desired finish on the
wall. Over a period of time, the average painter has developed a comfort level with a few finishes and has only those in
his repertoire. In some cases he is afraid of trying a new finish as it might not come out nicely and then he will be in a fix.
In many cases the training could have been received a few months ago and some part of it has been forgotten leading
to lower confidence. All this leads to a natural selection of a very minimal range of the effects that the painter puts forth
as options for most consumers. Some of the more popular effects here are Spatula, Ragging, Dapple and Crinkle that end
up being popularly sold.
Another offering in the Royale Play range was the range of wall stencils named Royale Play Wallfashion that was
introduced in early 2000s. These included a range of motifs and designs that could be replicated on the walls. The key
advantage of this range of stencils was the fact that these could be used even in smaller areas like corners and small
walls and is relatively simple to apply.
Juxtaposed to the launch of these product, the retail environment for paint has been slowly evolving in the last decade.
Store layouts and formats of paint, hardware and electrical stores have traditionally been intimidating and in many cases
stepping into them was also not an option (from a shop layout perspective). Majority of the dealers have had a trader
mentality and would rather not spend too much time with customers and instead just provide what the customer has
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CANVAS 2014

asked for. Asian Paints has been steadily trying to change the dealer mindset as well as the store ambience in order to
introduce a service orientation to the shops.
Given a combination of these, difficulty in getting the right kind of applicators trained and bringing it to the right kind of
customer (either through the applicator or retail environment), it has been a challenge to keep introducing new effects
and patterns that can take off effectively.
Thus, the entire range was getting skewed with some of the effects & colour combinations being seen all over the place
but seldom would a customer see the entire range / offering. Thus, addition of new finishes to the range was always an
issue as customers would typically not be aware of the latest introductions in the range, even though thats what she
would be looking for.
Consumers exposed to Royale Play & other textures tended to find wall papers more upmarket as well as a different
option to what the current normal is. While wall papers are a lot more hassle free in terms of application, the main driver
for its adoption is the variety of designs (similar to upholstery) and therefore the exclusiveness or uniqueness that a
customer can choose from. The trade ends up making very high margins on wall paper without holding any stock hence
there is a push that comes from there as well. A decade ago, the wall paper category was seen to be very fragile and
incapable of handling issues of water seepage, physical damage etc. Today, with a lot of innovation in this domain, the
opinion is quite the opposite.
Asian Paints has also jumped onto the wallpaper bandwagon & has associated with some of the leading wall paper
manufacturers to offer a range under the Royale Play umbrella. The top end of the offering includes some creations from
renowned international designers as well.

A matter of honour
Jaideep rang the bell of Abhijeets house and entered the home to find the entire family sitting in the hall with many
brochures from Royale Play lying on the table.
Thank God you are here! You need to help us on this decision. We are completely confused! said Shruti, Abhijeets
wife as he entered the house.
We saw the Royale Play advertisement with Deepika Padukone on television and made up our mind that we want
the blue Denim pattern that was shown in the commercial. However the painter just told us that the Fizz design is one
of the latest finishes launched by Royale Play., said Abhijeet.
Well, while the Blue Denim is relatively new, the Fizz is definitely newer and was launched this year. However, which
one do you like more? asked Jaideep.
Shruti exclaimed, We like both of them. But we definitely need to have the latest finish. We cant afford to stay behind
others. It needs to be something that no one else has got in our friends circle.

First Among equals


Jaideep smiled silently to himself. The feature wall was often used to garner social recognition by consumers. For the
more fashion conscious consumer, it was always important that they had to be the first to adopt the latest offering in
order to show off their trendiness quotient. Such consumers didnt want the designs or patterns that were very popular
and thus ubiquitous. However, as a marketing professional, he knew that the product was well accepted only once you
started seeing the effect in public places like restaurants, cafs and hotels. However, that was usually the time by which
the more discerning consumers starting looking at other options or demanding newer textures & patterns. He thought
of the question that he had asked his teams very often: How do we maintain the balance with the trendy upmarket
consumer and the massification of textures to all segments of customers across the country?
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A twist in the tale


Shruti continued, Abhijeet has not been involved in this process at all. It is only me who has been taking up all the
pain to go through the brochures and coming up with options, interacting with painters etc.
I have been spending hours and hours on the internet going through various home dcor websites and how-to videos
to understand the best possible ways to do up the house. And now I am even more confused than what I was earlier.
And Abhijeet, he has left everything to me!
Hey, I did call Jaideep, didnt I? Abhijeet said sheepishly.

This was the other trend evident across consumer segments, thought Jaideep. It was the women of the house who were
taking all the decisions with respect to home dcor.
If he were to describe the Royale Play woman, she would be a woman with taste and class someone who tastefully
decorates her home, her world. This woman is modern, trendy and home-proud.
Always with the trend, she wears multiple identities. She has designs for life, for every moment. Always ready for the
show she loves to reflect her richer self. Constantly curating her taste & aesthetics from the latest book, movie music and
TV series from the world over. Her life is pulsating with possibilities for tomorrow. She is constantly reimagining her life
and her idea of a beautiful world. She has designs on her mind. She has plans. She has desires and dreams. And those
beautiful thoughts reflect in the way she decorates her home and dreams her wall. Her home is a constant work in
progress, evolving everyday as she does.
It was with this target consumer in mind that the latest TVC was made. Earlier Saif Ali Khan used to endorse the Royale
Play brand and it was felt that a woman celebrity would be better to drive the intended personality of the brand. Thus
Deepika Padukone was taken as the new brand ambassador for Royale Play. Even the proposition of the brand was now
changed to Born to Decorate signifying that there is a tasteful curator within each of us who likes to decorate their
home with their own unique style.
Also, the digital space was shaping up very interestingly. Research showed that more and more women were going to
the web to get ideas on dcor. In fact, more than half the women were influenced by digital sources while purchasing
anything. However, the top 5 searches on the web related to dcor did not feature Asian Paints or Royale Play. Given
that there were more than 100 million women on the net and the number expected to grow exponentially, capturing
mind share on the digital space and ensuring that Royale Play figures as part of the dcor conversations was going to be
a key challenge.

To cut a long story short


Then it is settled, we will go for the fizz effect on the main feature wall. What product do we use on the remaining
walls? We want a product that will work for at least 5 years so that we are not involved in the hassle of painting again
for some time, said Abhijeet. Jaideep suggested the best products to them (which surprisingly didnt take any time)
for the remaining walls and came back home.

This is the essential dilemma for the brand, thought Jaideep.


Fashion your walls with Royale Play Fashionable and trendy are the key words for selling Royale Play range comprising
of Nilaya Wall Papers, Interior textures and stencils. However, it is easier said than done. Fashion is about what is trending
and also about a personal statement. There is a fine balance between what popular choices and mass. Also, fashion has
a shelf life of 1-2 seasons versus paint, which is a durable category that can stay for a very long period, Asian Paints even
offers 5-7 years of performance warranty in some of its luxury range of products.
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CANVAS 2014

Also, the reference points for the category are rather dynamic. Consumers tend to compare the category with fashion,
with wallpapers or even with other home dcor products like furnishings. The consumer thus has multiple reference
points for other categories that seem to have a very similar proposition. Hence, a play in the dcor space from a paint
v/s non-paint perspective has very different takes. Can Royale Play make a break away from the paint space? How can
we ensure that Royale Play is part of all dcor conversations that happen?

Only time will tell


Each team needs to answer these key questions:
1) Democratization vs Exclusivity
a) For a company whose core strength has been 'mass' marketing products through its immense network and
distribution strength, how does it manage 'niche' marketing associated with 'exclusivity' of the offering? How do we
align our channel partners, applicators and even our sales teams to drive such niche products?
b) Democratization would best be achieved by driving the concept of 'one wall feature' concept across homes through
ATL communication. The tone and manner of such communication will need to appeal to masses who need to be urged
to 'upgrade' to more 'fashionable' look. Whereas, such a communication will not cut ice with 'exclusivity' seeking elite
customers. It will also not suit the high-end brand imagery that we are trying to create. Are we alienating one set of
consumers once we target the other set? How do we resolve this 'brand communication dichotomy'?

2) 'Fashion' in painting - The evidence so far indicates that feature wall painting is usually along with entire home
painting. The earlier initiatives taken to promote 'one wall make over in one day' met with limited response because,
inherently, consumer is not used to imagine painting as 'fashion' category. How do we change it? How do we get her
to perceive the one-wall makeover as a quick solution in terms of home dcor that can be done far more frequently?

3) Brand Imagery - Brand 'Royale' needs to be pitched at some level of premium imagery in terms of dcor
sophistication. Royale Play needs to add 'dcor / style quotient' to this imagery. As a result, the choice of celebrity and
the tone of ATL communication is definitely 'luxury life'. Is this going to work against the potential increased adaption
of 'feature wall' concept by masses?

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CANVAS 2014

Annexure 1
Timeline for launch of products in the Royale Play Category
2005: Royale Play launched with 6 different effects: Spatula, Combing, Ragging, Colourwash, Sponging & Brushing.
2006: 14 motif based stencils launched as Royale Play Wallfashion
2007: Royale Play Stucco launched with 5 effects. This offering is pegged at a premium over the normal finishes and is
part of the very top-end offering from Royale Play.
2008: 4 additional effects are launched in Royale Play to infuse some newness quotient in the category. Thus Crinkle,
Dapple, Weaving and Canvas were introduced in the market.
2009: Asian Paints ties with Italian special effects paint manufacturer Novacolor to launch two international bestseller
products in India. Thus Royale Play Dune & Royale Play Safari are launched in the market. These products are also part
of the high end offering by Royale Play.
2012: Taking inspiration from the fashion and clothing industry, a range of finishes similar to various fabrics was
launched as Royale Play Textile. 6 different effects were introduced in this named Crushed Silk, Leather, Jute, Yarn,
Denim & Kora Grass with each effect inspired from that particular fabric.
2013: 12 new stencils launched as part of the Royale Play Wallfashion range. 8 of these stencils were inspired from
Colournext 2014, the annual trend forecasting exercise by Asian Paints.
2014: 4 new effects were launched as Royale Play Neu, namely Torrent, Fizz, Delta and Seashell. These were amongst
the easiest to apply and thus applicators were quick to pick up.
2014: 10 additional stencils were launched in Royale Play Wallfashion.
2014: Another product from Novacolor, Italy Royale Play Antico launched at part of the top end products that
provides an antique finish to walls.

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CANVAS 2014

Annexure 2
Wallpaper category
About Nilaya
Asian Paints introduced Nilaya- Exquisite Surfaces by Royale Play in February 2014 in the India Design Show in Delhi.
The range is currently available only at select Asian Paints Colour Ideas stores in markets of North, West and East. With
launches planned in November and December, 2014, Nilaya shall be available across all Colour Ideas in the country by
the end of December.

The offering includes a range of signature surfaces - wallpapers, wall coverings, decals, borders and paintable
wallpapers - curated from the finest manufacturers around the world.

The Range:
Wall Coverings: This includes an entire range of patterns, textures, finishes and acrylic print effects and are available
in various kinds- Non woven , Paper , Vinyl , Fabric , Organic materials etc.
Kids: One of the fastest growing segments worldwide but under-leveraged in India. AP has a range of patterns covering
designs for childrens spaces across various age groups starting from baby rooms to teenage hang outs including the
range of official licensed products from Disney & Marvel
Paintables: A range of white patterns, borders and textures that after installation on the wall can be painted over
with any colour. And the best part is that these wall coverings are repaintable which means that to get a new look,
all one needs to do is to just change the colour. The possibilities of customizing these wall coverings with metallic
paints, special rollers & brushes, textures etc are almost infinite.
Decals: Reusable stickers available in countless designs, sizes & shapes. They can be pasted on any kind of surface and
can be removed and repasted easily- an engaging Do-It-Yourself product. Whether it is a quick makeover for a party
or a complete theme for a room, decals used stand alone or paired with other wall coverings are the solution.
Designer Series: These are exquisite surfaces elevating the wall to almost a piece of art, chosen from a wide range
of natural materials jute / fabric / grasscloth / glass beads / metallic tiles / mother of pearl etc.
Where are they from?
Nilaya Wall Coverings are sourced from manufacturers with over a hundred years of experience in manufacturing wall
coverings located in the United States, England, and Germany. The manufacturers include:

Rasch/Rasch Textil, Germany


York Wall Coverings, USA
Maya Romanoff, USA
Marburg, Germany
Graham and Brown, UK

Not just wall coverings:


Royale Play has made thousands of Indian homes unique through its wide range of offerings in faux finishes, colours,
textures and stencils, allowing Asian Paints an in-depth insight about an Indian consumer home.
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CANVAS 2014

And it is these insights that have led Asian Paints to design the first range of indigenously developed water based wall
covering adhesives. Ready to use with anti-microbial properties, the range of Nilaya wall covering adhesives are the
perfect partners to the patterns that a customer chooses. A complete set of wall covering installation tools from the
Leica laser distance measurement tool to a range of rollers & cutters completes the Nilaya basket of offerings.
A well trained installer can sometimes make or break the finish of a surface. Asian Paints is investing heavily in training
of installers across all major cities.

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CANVAS 2014

Annexure 3
Pricing and availability

Availability across stores


7000
6000
5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
0
Royale Play
Wallfashion

Royale Play, Textile,


Neu

Royale Play Dune, Nilaya by Royale Play


Safari & Stucco

Starting Price point


300
250
200
150
100
50
0
Royale Play
Wallfashion

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Royale Play, Textile,


Neu

Royale Play Dune, Nilaya by Royale Play


Safari & Stucco

CANVAS 2014

Evaluation Parameters

Understanding /Analysis of Problem

Depth of research, data collection & analysis

Creativity and uniqueness of the solution

Presentation (clarity, Preciseness etc.)

Extent of fulfillment on deliverables or objectives

The extent to which the solutions can be implemented

Negative Points for:

Not giving due credits for any references or information sources

Unnecessary global gyaan!

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CANVAS 2014