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HINDUSTAN UNILEVER LTD: THE WHEEL SAGA

MM I INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT

Name: Course: Section:

Ushasi Kundu PGDM (2011-13) B

Roll No.: 11DM-192

Q1. Based on the case study above, critically examine HULs Marketing strategy (STP) for Wheel since its inception and the reasons for the success of the brand. Answer: In 1987, HUL launched its very famous product Wheel detergent. The Strategies followed by HUL to reach a point of success with the brand were: A. Innovative Segmenting Strategies : Rural markets present a great opportunity to a company as well as impose major challenges, yet i) HUL experimented with innovative methods to reach the rural market. ii) Utilized a single distribution channel to penetrate the remote and rural areas. iii) Utilized their already built brand identity to influence the market. B. Dynamic Positioning Strategies : i) Depending on the local tax rates, HUL fixed different values of price in different states of India. This was a major step towards the success story of Wheel, since dynamic pricing exhibited HULs understanding of the consumers mind and comfort zone. ii) Took a clever step by directly pointing out in its advertisement the fact that Nirma detergent was not good for the hands of the customer, it caused burning.(Product level comparison) iii) HUL analyzed the consumers behavior and interests, thus confidently added a classic Bollywood jingle to its product advertisement - Dekho Dekho Dekho, which was a colorful and wild attempt. It easily proved to be a great hit since the Indian consumer section loves to relate to Bollywood. C. New Targeting Strategies: i) HUL discovered they require producing a low-price product, without compromising the quality that would act as an identity of its king-size brand name. ii) The demand of the moment was a low-price detergent, thus HUL quickly formulated strategies to follow the Bottom of the Pyramid Approach. iii) HULs most important strategy was to start the operation S.T.I.N.G. (Strategy To Inhibit Nirmas Growth), as they believed need of the hour was business survival, not business growth.

Q2. Assume you are the new Marketing head of HUL. Will the present value proposition, positioning and marketing strategy for Wheel hold good for the next 5 years? If not, suggest changes you would initiate. In either case give reasons for your answer. Answer: The present value proposition, positioning and marketing strategy for Wheel may not hold good for the next 5 years. A few changes in strategies are suggested below: 1) HUL identifies opportunities and target groups which will yield benefits and map the existing brands to those possibilities, this intensifies its focus naturally on the power brands. HUL thus needs to concentrate on strategic brand building to cover all of its 112 brands. 2) HUL needs to find and add new consumers, thus contributing to market expansion. 3) It should persuade the customer to switch brands through effective advertisement and promotion, as well as ensure that the customer shows brand loyalty. 4) It should try and capture the huge, untapped growth possibilities in the rural market. 5) Since HUL is facing threats from potential competitors like Proctor & Gamble, ITC, Dabur India Ltd., etc., it needs to come up with new innovations assuring quality products; i) Introduce fragrances like jasmine, etc. and flavors like orange, sandalwood, etc. ii) Epitomize stain-removal as a major element iii) Introduce attractive packaging iv) Provide promotional gifts and discounts v) Branding - associate with celebrities, specially sportspersons, actors (who easily affect the Indian Consumers mind) 6) Follow the 4Ps of marketing: Product: Manufacture products specifically to wash woolen clothes, silk clothes, to combat heavy stains, to protect from the harmful effects of the Sun, to provide extrawhitening effects. Pricing: Survey the consumers both in urban and rural areas; fix the price of the product with proper understanding of the consumer demands. Promotion: Create brand awareness and formulate strategies to ensure consumers show brand loyalty. Place: Penetrate the consumer market living in high-class as well as low-class society, reaching out to customers in both urban and rural markets.
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