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BRAND PROFILE

Tiger Balm:

Earns its stripes in China

BRAND PROFILE Tiger Balm: Earns its stripes in China Tiger Balm is one of the world’s

Tiger Balm is one of the world’s most significant topical analgesics. The brand remains a consumer favourite in Asia thanks to its connection with traditional Chinese medicine and it performs well alongside more modern presentations. Tiger Balm has had mixed fortunes in Asia but has retained its status as a higher-tier brand and in 2007 posted growth in many of its markets. It continues to show promise for the near future despite high-level competition from domestic and international players trying to recreate the successful Tiger Balm branding formula.

Tiger Balm: Key facts

Owner: Haw Par Healthcare (Singapore)

Global OTC sales 2007: US$36.3mn, +5%

Asia OTC sales 2007: US$23.5mn, +4.5%

Presentations: Tiger Balm Red, Tiger Balm White, Tiger Balm Ointment, Tiger Balm Muscle Rub, Tiger Balm Medicated Plaster, Tiger Balm Arthritis Rub

Tiger Balm has shown continuous growth in Asia for a number of years. Buoyant sales in China helped the brand post overall growth despite declining sales in a few of its smaller Asian markets.

CHINA

Over the past few years Haw Par’s focus has been directed towards driving sales in two of Tiger’s key markets, China and India. Despite being a foreign brand, Tiger Balm fits in with Chinese consumer preference for TCMs and stands out with its highly-recognisable branding. Recently in China there has been heavy investment in mass media A+P for the full Tiger range including Tiger Balm, Tiger Balm Muscle Rub and Tiger Balm Medicated Plasters. The effect of this has been evident, as the brand continued to grow above the rate of its competitors in 2007. Even so, Tiger Balm still lies just outside the top-five ranking topical analgesics. Since the implementation of Order 24 in 2007, systemic formats have been more heavily regulated than

DATA SOURCE: Nicholas Hall’s Insight based on industry estimates (MSP), 12 months to December 2007 unless otherwise stated

topical analgesics. Haw Par’s efforts are expected to escalate in the near future to make the most of this beneficial environment and gain a larger foothold in the market.

INDIA

Tiger Balm is marketed in India through a j-v with Elder Pharmaceuticals, and is the sixth-largest topical analgesic in India, posting low-level growth over the past few years. Tiger Balm has had limited local promotion over recent years. Historically there have been high volumes of copycat presentations and Elder Pharmaceuticals has previously been reluctant to increase A+P investment for Tiger Balm when a number of presentations with similar sounding names threatened to capitalise on its established branding and adspend. It is estimated that these me-too presentations have eroded 30% of Tiger Balm sales over the past five years. However, since successfully blocking production of the majority of the

FIG 1 TIGER BALM: Asian OTC sales by country 2007 China 34% • India 20%
FIG 1 TIGER BALM:
Asian OTC sales by country 2007
China 34%
India 20%
Malaysia 9%
Singapore 9%
Hong Kong 8%
Japan 8%
Others 12%
• Malaysia 9% • Singapore 9% • Hong Kong 8% • Japan 8% • • Others
• Malaysia 9% • Singapore 9% • Hong Kong 8% • Japan 8% • • Others

Simpliƒyle 8

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TIGER BALM

copycats Elder drastically increased A+P for Tiger Balm in 2007. Elder put its marketing skills behind the brand by promoting the whole range via mass media. To attract new consumers, a 3g tinlet was launched to encourage trial purchases. Elder is predicting the activity will drive growth by over 30%.

In recent years Elder Pharmaceuticals has stepped up its OTC operations to concentrate on “fast moving health goods” including pain management, hair, skin and oral care presentations. As part of this strategy, Elder introduced several initiatives to boost the fortunes of Tiger Balm following the brand’s previous low-key status. Tiger Balm White was introduced into the country in 2005, followed by a back rub, joint rub and medicated plasters over 2006 / 2007. Tiger Balm Red and Tiger Balm White both see sales peaks in the monsoon period (June – July) and winter (December – February) with line extensions driving sales in the rest of the year.

Tiger Balm’s geographical roll out will see it introduced in India’s neighbour, Pakistan, in the near future – where Elder will license out distribution to an overseas partner.

SINGAPORE

Singapore is Tiger Balms home market and remains important to Haw Paw despite the fact other markets have overtaken it in terms of value. Tiger Balm’s domestic fame has not diminished and it has won numerous accolades over the past few years including Singapore’s Most Valuable Brand Award for 2005, Heritage Brand Award 2005 as well as high ranking in Singapore Brand Awards 2006.

Line extension Tiger Balm Neck & Shoulder Rub was launched in Singapore in 2005 as part of Haw Par’s efforts

launched in Singapore in 2005 as part of Haw Par’s efforts Simpliƒyle 8 FIG 2 Tiger

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FIG 2 Tiger Balm White

FIG 3 Line extension Tiger Medicated Plaster takes a small share of Tiger brand sales

Medicated Plaster takes a small share of Tiger brand sales to reach a more youthful consumer

to reach a more youthful consumer base than the

traditional balm formula attracts. The launch coincided with TV ads featuring a young, hard-working office worker and the tagline, “A massage on the go”.

JAPAN

Tiger Balm is present in the lower-tier of the topical

analgesics category in Japan but has seen declining sales for a number of years. Haw Par Healthcare has a joint venture with Ryukakusan, a domestic pharmaceutical company responsible for the development and marketing

of Tiger Balm in Japan. The j-v was initiated to enhance

distribution channels for Tiger and boost sales in the country. Topical analgesic remedies have achieved a high level of consumer trust in Japan, which is now Asia’s

biggest market for topicals. However, the category is close

to saturation and sales have been flat in recent years.

A large category share has remained elusive for Tiger Balm

and in light of this Ryukakusan has been reluctant to roll out line extensions.

FUTURE

Tiger Balm is renowned for its quality, effectiveness and clear branding and has historically been heavily reliant on its heritage and existing consumer base. Line extensions have proved a hit with consumers and have provided Tiger Balm with much needed growth potential from both existing and new consumers. As well as organic growth in line with the Asian market the brand is likely to be boosted by additional A+P in individual countries and the geographical roll out of line extensions into countries

where original Tiger Balm is already established.

geographical roll out of line extensions into countries where original Tiger Balm is already established. 4
geographical roll out of line extensions into countries where original Tiger Balm is already established. 4

4 JANUARY 2008