Patanjali : The vicious circle of modern branding

P..P..Patanjaliiiii….Naam toh suna hee hoga!!

It was just another day getting dressed for work when I came across this weird tasting toothbrush – “Patanjali Dant Manjan” or so it said….Assuming it to be one of the freebies , I “Brushed away” the thought and continued with my morning drill. At the breakfast table, my mother, who is usually the “Anti-Junk Food” protagonist comes up with a bowl of steaming hot noodles. “It’s the new MSG-Free, wholewheat Patanjali noodles” she said, taking a sense of pride in successfully finding the latest catch in the market. If that was not enough, I found my daily sunscreen “magically” swapped with a bottle of  “herbal, chemical-free” Patanjali (ofcourse) Aloevera Sunblock.

In just a couple of days, my house was flooded with products from the said brand. It was then I realized ,that it had created  a furore in the entire consumer market and was clearly becoming the most sought-after brand.

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In just a matter of months, the revenues jumped to approximately 200 crores. Taking the revenue of the last financial year, Patanjali has reported Indian revenues of Rs.5,000 crores (roughly about USD 750 millions), leaving well-rooted brands such as Colgate  (which is almost 8 decades old in India) in shreds!

With the Indian FMCG scene ripe for disruption, and if the “saffron-clad baba’s” foresight is anything to go by, he thinks the brand will double its revenues in India by next year – another big threat consumer giants like P&G and Nestle.

What helped them grow so fast?? Quality assurance? Subsidized pricing? Aggressive marketing? Well it’s a little of everything. The best instance would be the perfect time to launch the “MSG-free” noodles RIGHT  AFTER Maggi was banned.Well played Mr. Yogi!

Another distinction would be its well-structured marketing strategy. Brands like P&G and Colgate sells various brands under its name : Ajax, Palmolive, Axion, etc. Moreover, Unilever is a classic example of multi-branding : Lipton, Pampers, Tide, Duracell, Gillette, etc

However, if you take one look at any of the Patanjali products, and you will notice that the single branding strategy is doing wonders! Cutting it down to one brand makes life so much easier. For instance, you were ready to try google maps –  because you already know about Google; you eagerly await the Apple iPhone 7- because you already love your iPhone 6. Same is the case with Patanjali – whether it is noodles, rice, or chyawanprash – It’s all under ONE brand, Patanjali. (It’s not far away when I see a baby wearing Patanjali’s “Yogi Poko Pants”)

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The thinking is quite straight-forward – If you have heard of my brand and like the personality, then you might be comfortable buying something else that I offer too. No matter how different the product category. Thus, marketing gets reduced by 50% (Even 80% or more) in some cases.

So how will you strategize your brand ?

Doing one brand well in this over-communicated world is hard enough. Let alone you thinking you have the means and time to establish a 2nd or a 22nd brand.

Don’t stress about the traditional means of marketing. If Google can do maps and going to the space under the same name, I’m sure the consumers will not frown much having you sell rice and oil under the same name.

I mean we’ve clearly allowed a non-MBA saffron-clad baba do the honours. So there’s enough room for the rest to follow the footsteps!!!!

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