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HILAL TAKES A BOLD STEP

The Hilal Group recently launched Bold as a premium deodorant brand to tap into the growing
market potential.
The deodorant category in Pakistan registered a 17% retail value growth in 2015
(Source: Deodorants in Pakistan, Euromonitor International Country Report, 2016), mainly
attributed to increased per capita spending by men on personal grooming products. With these
statistics in view, the Hilal Group of Companies recently launched Bold as a premium deodorant
brand to tap into this growing market potential.
The Pakistan Economic Survey 2014-15 estimates the cumulative value of the formal, domestic
market for cosmetics and personal care products to be in excess of Rs 150 billion. Within this
category, deodorants have registered the maximum year-on-year growth and Unilever Pakistan is
the category leader with an approximate 40% share (Axe and Rexona) and a handful of smaller
brands account for the remaining 60% of the market.
Several market studies conducted by Hilal in collaboration with Nielsen Pakistan (2013-15)
revealed that the deodorant category is projected to grow annually by seven percent over the next
four years, due to increasing hygiene awareness. This prompted Hilals decision to take
advantage of its operational knowhow, distributor and supplier relationships, and market
credibility to diversify from food, beverages and confectionaries to the personal and homecare
market. Consequently, a separate business unit, Hilal Care, was established in 2015 to capitalise
on this growth opportunity.
The customer surveys and focus groups that were conducted to determine the product portfolio
for Hilal Care highlighted an interesting market dynamic. Exposure to international media
channels has increased personal hygiene awareness among men aged between 20 and 25, who
are now willing to spend a sizeable amount of their income on quality personal care products.
According to Shayan Rizwan, Associate Brand Manager, Hilal Care, there was no local brand
catering to this growing demand and this is the target market we were aiming to capture.
The deodorant category comprises sprays (the most commonly used form), followed by stick and
solid deodorants and roll-ons (other formats include creams, pumps and wipes). Bold was
launched in a lesser known sub-category that Rizwan describes as gas-free body sprays. What
differentiates it from conventional aerosol deodorant sprays is its substantially higher liquid to
air content ratio, thanks to its gas-free formulation, compared to regular aerosol deodorant
sprays. Rizwan adds that this is Bolds USP; we are the only local player offering a gas-free
version.
Ovais Khawaja, Senior Account Manager, Adcom Leo Burnett, points out that Bold is not the
first gas-free body spray to be launched in South Asia. Fogg (launched by Vini Cosmetics in
India in 2012) offered a similar value proposition and attracted customers with the tagline of No
Gas, Only Deo. In fact, both Rizwan and Khawaja consider Fogg to be Bolds direct competitor.

While Fogg guarantees at least 800 sprays per can, Bolds claim (printed prominently across the
packaging) is a minimum of 1,000 sprays per can.
Hilal Cares decision to go down the unconventional route of developing a gas-free deodorant
was based on two primary considerations. Firstly, given that the target audience are young men,
the aspect of affordability was a major consideration for the brand team.
According to Rizwan, Bold was developed on a value for money model. While the current price
of Rs 300 (Axe carries a tag of about Rs 350 and Fogg approximately Rs 500) may come across
as higher than the market average, the volume of air in the can is negligible, which means it will
last almost twice as long as a regular aerosol body spray. Secondly, by virtue of being gas-free,
the liquid droplets do not evaporate as quickly as gas vapours, and hence the fragrance stays for a
longer duration. Khawaja adds that the target audience had rated a long-lasting fragrance as one
of the most crucial deciding factors in their purchase decision, and we wanted to ensure that the
final product factored in this customer preference.
In addition to incorporating the target audience feedback into the product, there were several
challenges that Hilal Care had to navigate during the product development phase. To start off,
short listing fragrances from thousands of options which would appeal to young Pakistani men
while being different from those available in the market was a daunting task. Rizwan recalls that
there were extensive scent selection tests conducted over the course of a year before the six
variants (active, classic, energy, fresh, noir and spice) were finalised.
Next, to ensure a product of the highest quality, top-tier scent formulation experts from the UK
were brought on-board to develop a fragrance range that would be one-of-its-kind, and appeal to
the maximum number of people. As product safety was a paramount consideration sub-par
manufacturing poses serious health risks for consumers Hilal Care decided to set up its
manufacturing facility in the strictly regulated industrial zones in the UAE. Only after the final
product is packed is it shipped to Pakistan for sale. Rizwan says the logistics of coordinating a
supply chain between three countries was a huge challenge, particularly in terms of preventing
product damage during the shipment, and managing distribution schedules which their sales
teams had already committed to with local retailers.
Although Bold has been launched in Karachi initially to gauge market response, Rizwan says
that in the coming humid, summer months, when the need for deodorants is at its maximum,
Bold will be available in Faisalabad, Islamabad, Lahore, Multan and almost 60 adjoining towns.
Given that Bold is a personal hygiene product, the brand team, as well as Adcom Leo Burnett
(the creative agency), were unanimous that positive word-of-mouth should drive sales, instead of
capital-intensive ATL tools. As a result, most of the marketing budget was allocated to set up
almost 60 brand activation stalls in retail outlets in SEC A and B areas across Karachi. Brand
representatives approached potential customers and encouraged them to try the different variants,
while free samples were also handed out.
The objective, Rizwan points out, was to induce product trial; if customers are happy with the
product, they are more likely to purchase it.

Khawaja explains that the idea was to create an aspirational brand and this is why Fawad Khan
was chosen as the face of Bold. He is currently the most trending celebrity and represents the
self-confidence, panache and style that we want Bold to be synonymous with.
While the initial sales targets have been surpassed, Rizwan is aware of the challenges that Hilal
Care will need to tackle to sustain Bolds success. He says that the company is keeping a close
eye on fluctuations in the foreign currency exchange rate and the changing international
regulatory environment for personal care products. The core ingredient is imported and the
manufacturing setup is located offshore; if input costs rise, they will have to be offset by a price
increase and this may not be acceptable to the target audience. To mitigate this business risk,
shifting the manufacturing to Pakistan is under consideration, although in Rizwans opinion, at
present, Pakistan lacks the infrastructure and raw material suppliers that are integral to Bold.

Questions:
1. Out of three Porters Generic Strategies (Cost Leadership, Differentiation, and Focus), which
strategy has been adopted by Hilal Bold?
2. Keeping the Holistic Marketing concept in view, how Hilal Bold has explored value, created
value, and delivered value for their target market?
3. Considering Hilals existing business, which diversification strategy (concentric, horizontal or
conglomerate) has been adopted by launching Hilal Bold? What do you think is the core
competency or competitive advantage of Hilal Bold? Support your answer by giving references
from the case.
4. Identify the forces in Broad and Task environment influencing Hilal Group (Hilal Bold) that
are highlighted in this case. Justify your answer with reference to the case.
5. After reading the case, you are required to elaborate as how Hial Bold has catered to
Demographic and Socio-Cultural Environment of Pakistan?