HUL has come up with another extension of its umbrella coffee brand, Bru. After the Cappucinos and the Iced Coffees, it is Bru Lite which makes an appearance, launched amid fanfare with Bru taking on major celebrity brand endorsers in Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor. Given that Nescafe recently roped in Deepika Padukone, Karan Johar and Purab Kohli, is this the setup for full-blown coffee wars between HUL and Nestle?
Nescafe in India has acquired a position close to being a generic brand, but it does not enjoy the market shares that a generic brand is supposed to command (for instance, CDM commands 70% market). Bru, with its pricing strategies, product innovation as well as packaging innovations, has captured a strong share of the market. Going by various reports, the market is evenly split between the two (across reports, the split shows that these two players both command more than 40% of the market, varying depending on the way data is classified)
So, with the following campaign, Bru launches Bru Lite:
What I ended up being instinctively confused about was – what does Lite mean for a coffee? In general we see many products similarly named, but they are named so because of the calorie count, such as KitKat Lite. So, initially I did not understand how a health-conscious coffee is being developed.
It was after a minute of pondering that I realized that the ‘Lite’ referred to the strength of the coffee, a variant which is high on fragrance and less on the intensity of taste.
Somehow, ‘mild’ was the first word that came into mind when describing this – the name probably would have been better as ‘Bru Mild’. It is easier to understand, and eliminates the misinterpretations (even though everyone knows what is light coffee, we don’t relate it with a brand name)
Confusions about the name apart, I like the ad in general. Nothing spectacular about it, but it does put across the point of connecting a good cup of coffee with simply joys of life. You can’t really connect many other qualities with coffee, so both Bru and Nescafe persist with happiness.
It would be interesting to see whether HUL converts this into a chain of related commercials, and also whether they would extend the same endorsers to other product extensions. The coffee wars are heating up, keep watching !!
Ref: An old post at MarketingPractice, talks about how Bru has competed with Nescafe and gained advantage.