Clothes have been washed for eons – battered by washer men on stones, beaten with wooden paddles and washed with bare hands by devoted housewives. Irrespective of the method, a factor common to all has been the use of a detergent. In the early days, the most commonly used was the bar. Not only was it the cheapest option it was also ideally suited to the type of washing that clothes were subjected to. As the markets changed the concept of powders caught on. Limited initially to urban centres, powders, today, have overtaken the bar in terms of both volume as well as value. Most of the detergents are focused on daily wear and stain removal – the typical problem-solution strategy that drives most detergent communication. However, increasing fabric sophistication and greater awareness amongst consuming publics is making the fabric care market a more complex one. In this market, consumers see powders and bars as being harsh on new blends of textiles and natural wool and silk fabric. A photo sort of common problems shows up as shrinkage, loss of shape, bobbling and colour fading. In this market liquid detergents are seen as superb alternatives offering a viable solution. At the moment, however, they comprise the smallest segment in cost-conscious India. The Indian liquid detergent market is currently valued at Rs. 64 crore (US$ 13.30 million) with Ezee the market leader with an overwhelming 78% market share by value (Source: ACNielsen).

Ezee has had a somewhat chequered history. Launched in 1983 into a market almost waiting for a product that would deliver it from the grasp of harsh detergents, Ezee was transferred to a joint venture between Godrej and Procter & Gamble in 1993. Five years later, it was acquired by Cussons India and brought back into the Godrej fold in 1999. During these six years of its migration new market forces had emerged in the form of competition from several brands, offering compact detergents which were more affordable to consumers. With Godrej now fully in charge, it reviewed the changed circumstances. Several things were shaping the market – and along with it, Ezee’s destiny. One of the problems faced by Ezee was its exclusive use in woollen garments – to the complete exclusion of cottons and limited use in silks. This belief confined its usage, in the main, to winter months and restricted its sales to the colder environs of the North Zone with marginal use in other parts of India. The other was the fact that consumers were moving from pure wool to woollen blends and the clothing from sweaters, pullovers and cardigans

to thermals and jackets. Ezee addressed these problems in two ways. It repositioned Ezee from being effective on woollens to being ideal for winter wear. Its payoff line, Garam Kapde Rakhe Naye Ke Naye (Keeps winter wear looking new) quickly caught on. At the same time, it developed a new formulation that added to Ezee the values of a fabric conditioner. The enhanced quality and repositioning enabled Ezee to claim the ‘soft and fluffy’ benefit, strengthen its market leadership and increase its share from 75.90% to 81.90%. (Source: company data). In 2002, Ezee became one of the first brands to have a website of its own. created a web-based community of Ezee users dedicated to the brand.

Before the introduction of Ezee, expensive and delicate clothes were washed with either powders and rinsed with several buckets of water to remove all residual soap or, amongst the less affluent families, with reetha boiled and soaked overnight. Ezee eliminated the need for both. Ezee came with a very special pH (potential hydrogen) balanced formula. This simply meant that Ezee had neither dangerous acids nor a skewed proportion of unsafe alkaline but a

When it was launched Ezee was designed to fill a need-gap to wash at home, special clothes and delicate garments such as woollens, silks and baby clothes. However, the need for a special detergent was seen to be more relevant for woollens and thus the entire tone and tenor of the communication was directed towards it. Ezee quickly occupied the slot of a detergent which prevented shrinkage and loss of shape. Today, despite the fact that it was the second entrant in the market, the brand is a category leader and has become generic to the segment. Two other achievements distinguish Ezee. It is the only detergent – in any form of delivery – in India with a Woolmark certification which reiterates the fact that Ezee is the only guaranteed solution available for expert winter wear care. The other fact is even more stunning: Ezee is stocked and sold through 1.2 million retailers versus just 90,000 for its nearest competitor.


The brand has trodden this fine line by a series of communication activities which have attempted to make light of the issue. Ezee is able to get a bird’s eye view of the entire market. Godrej extended the usage of Ezee to include silks by introducing a formula developed especially for this expensive. With the launch of Ezee Silk Liquid the brand has consolidated its primary position in the detergents market and addressed the longfelt need of the huge market in South India. The association strengthens its brand equity of being modern and progressive and at the same time connecting with consumers. shrank nor lost shape. several thousand entries are received. The fun element of this commercial was extended www. The other was a cosmetic change borne out of the knowledge that packaging played an important part in modern sales and marketing. become a star) campaign launched in 2000. single-use sachets at affordable price points of Rs. As a consumer-driven product. In 2003.development of a wider consumer base. Ezee has been organising the Ezee Raahat Abhiyaan (relief movement) in Delhi since 2006. baby clothes and lingerie.ezeefabcare. Ezee was launched in convenient. This was actually impeding growth and restricting the was redeveloped with an anti-freeze formulation that prevented the liquid from freezing at temperatures up to -5ºC. in turn. Each year. Since much of Ezee’s usage happened in the winter months. Ezee liquid detergent was still being viewed as expensive. With the latest up gradation in its formulation. By providing a solution that helps them enhance the life of expensive clothes they earn the respect and appreciation of the family – the one compliment which every Indian housewife craves. At this event the Banao Sweater Bano Star contest comes full circle. pricesensitive market caught between financial expediency and the proper maintenance of expensive clothes. Godrej Ezee Grihini has now been launched in Punjab as well. Winners receive exciting prizes and gain recognition. The winners get to showcase their designs and receive appreciation in a larger forum. This endeavour encourages people to donate their woollens which are. it invites women to enter a sweater designing contest. But Ezee’s great achievement has been to take brand communication beyond mass-media advertising by involving real-world consumers through ground-level events. Initially confined to Rajasthan.friendly and is ideally suitable for washing expensive woollens. This new dailywash liquid detergent has entered the highpotential premium segment. As part of its corporate social responsibility. In its most recent attempt to expand usage the Ezee franchise has been extended with the launch of Ezee Bright & Soft. natural fibre. 10. the product tended to freeze in severe cold. Its Chaali Di Chaati (Chest size 40) communication for the largely Punjabi-speaking North is still fondly recalled by many. These are the two values housewives most want to be associated with. an easy-pour snout and contemporary new looks. it requires contestants to design a sweater and answer some simple questions. This property ensured that garments retained their original feel and neither faded.and clothes. The brand website www. 2. Popular to this day. in the Jija-Saali (brother-in-law – sister-in-law) campaign and the underlying message disseminated through a compelling invitation to Garam Kapde Rakhe Naye Ke Naye. Godrej Ezee Grihini (housewife) is another initiative undertaken by Ezee which focuses on housewives. Brand Values Ezee stands for care and concern.ezeefabcare. 4 and has an interactive character with a message board that has linked women from across the country. It discovered that despite its effectiveness and inherent Things you didn’t know about Ezee Ezee has been found to be used – with excellent results – by diverse industries like bicycle and silver where gentle cleansing is a critical need Nine out of every ten units of liquid detergent sold in India are Ezee Ezee was the first liquid detergent brand to be advertised on TV Ezee is the only detergent in India that incorporates a fabric conditioner SUPERBRANDS 71 . Ezee took the initiative to heighten consumer engagement with the category by appreciating their skills through its Ezee Banao Sweater Bano Star (knit a sweater. All entries are judged by an independent panel of experts. The brand composition that was harmless and gentle on both clothes and skin. It also offers fabric care tips as well as games and wall papers. Launched in 2004. In the process their bonds with Ezee are renewed each year. Ezee was also subjected to two other improvements. Launched in select markets it is intended to give consumers the distinct Ezee advantage. Recent Developments From its position of leadership. fashion shows and contests. Promotion Godrej Ezee operates in a competitive. Rs. Ezee is also associated with the Woolmark Fashion Show. The Ezee bottle was redesigned with an ergonomic shape. distributed amongst the needy. To obviate this negative. Ezee has become even more user.

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