Research backed right decision at the right time has helped vitamin supplement brand revital to control 90% market share in the particular category

At the night of April 2, 2011, when the whole country was out on streets celebrating the Cricket World Cup victory, there were a few men at Ranbaxy Global Consumer Healthcare, working relentlessly to enact a hastily yet carefully crafted plan. Taking advantage of the affinity of Ranbaxy’s flagship product Revital with the Man of the World Cup Series Yuvraj Singh, an elaborate plan to have full page advertisements in next day’s leading dailies was keeping the people at RGCH away from the celebrations. Having made the decision late in the evening to release such advertisements, there was a mad rush to make it to the morning newspaper’s midnight deadline in time. But it was all worth it when the advertisement came out the following day congratulating the Indian team and Yuvraj. Revital even went on to double it’s ad spend to capitalise on the development. In effect, Yuvraj revitalised the 20-year old Revital brand that had seen enough ups and downs.

Starting out in 1980s as a vitamin supplement, it took the drug ten years to become an OTC (over-the-counter) brand when it was shifted from the pharmaceutical division to the current Consumer Healthcare arm. Since then Revital’s brand consciousness and awareness has seen a hyperbolic rise – from 22% in the 90s to 98% as per the latest dipstick checks. “The reason for success is varied. Health parameters of the brand continue to be on the rise and how you progressively move the health parameters to where it is today are all based on research and database diagnostics. We have various ideation sessions after which we come out with some hypothesis which we then test in the market. If the hypothesis is successful then we move forward with it,” said a satisfied Brijesh Kapil, VP, RGCH.

The brand today stands among the fastest growing brands in the Indian pharma market having touched the third position among all Indian pharma products. Moreover, its revenue has more than tripled from Rs.58 crore in 2005 to Rs.190 crore this year. But the rapid growth wasn’t fraught without it’s challenges. Owing to the nature of the product, and particularly the need that it caters to, maintaining sales and retaining customers wasn’t an easy task. Since Vitamin mineral supplement is one such OTC category where the consumer does not realise the need for the product nor can he visually see the effect of the same, the stimulus required to get consumer to use the product and then to reduce the post purchase diffidence levels is what hampers the category’s growth. Despite this, the brand grew backing on the innovative, out of the box techniques and marketing tactics adopted by the group. The unique money-back challenge offered on the product – wherein the consumer was given the flexibility of returning the product in case it did not completely satisfy him – was one such campaign that did wonders for the product. Above this, a sampling campaign in which a total of 20 million samples were distributed in six months time further strengthened the brand’s position considerably increasing its customer base.
So why then was there a need to rope in a celebrity cricketer, Yuvraj Singh, as their brand ambassador? The explanation was quick to follow. “If you already have 90% of the market share, then what do you do to grow the category? It’s a desperate situation requiring desperate measures. We had to do something which was non product related whereon we need to use some external aura other than the usual. And knowing the impact cricket has on the male genre in India, roping in a cricketer as the brand ambassador seemed like a good decision”, said Kapil.

Backed by such decisions the brand continues to grow in leaps and bounds and to be more specific by 20% per year. Basing the growth on the unofficial but strongly adhered to marketing motto – research, ideate, hypothesize, check the hypothesis and execute the successful hypothesis that continues to work strongly in favor of the brand. The journey that counts 21 years stands out among most of it’s peers and can safely be called one of the most successful stories in the pharmaceutical industries.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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