The Name Mat­ters

For years Bisleri has been syn­ony­mous with its seg­ment. How­ever, ‘Bisleri means Bisleri’ not any pack­aged wa­ter, is the mes­sage in the brand’s new spot.

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL - By Abid Hus­sain Bar­laskar­[email protected]

Bisleri does not mean any pack­aged wa­ter, says this ad.

What hap­pens when a brand be­comes so well known that an en­tire cat­e­gory is iden­ti­fied by its name? The com­mon per­cep­tion - the brand ben­e­fits - but that’s not al­ways ac­cu­rate. Not in the case of Bisleri, a bot­tled drink­ing wa­ter brand which lent an epony­mous iden­tity to the en­tire bot­tled drink­ing wa­ter space. Such eq­uity brought about neg­a­tive progress when the brand’s ri­vals started rid­ing on the ‘Bisleri’ iden­tity.

For ex­am­ple, a thirsty cus­tomer seeks a bot­tle of ‘Bisleri’ and the shop­keeper hands out a bot­tle of ‘XYZ’ pack­aged drink­ing wa­ter. The cus­tomer ac­cepts it as is and quenches his thirst. Thus Bisleri, de­spite hav­ing top-of-the-mind re­call, loses out when it comes to the brand’s mo­ment of truth. It’s the same for com­pa­nies such as - Xerox, Surf, Sin­tex, Mo­bil Oil and many more.

Bisleri’s lat­est cam­paign Sa­ma­jh­daar Jaante Hain Har Paani Ki Bot­tle Bisleri Nahin - fea­tur­ing a cou­ple of camels, asks con­sumers to in­sist on a bot­tle of Bisleri, even if the shop­keeper of­fers an­other brand. Of course, this way it’s the shop­keeper who would need to be cor­rected.

Also, this prob­lem, for Bisleri, has per­sisted for quite some time; so why did the brand take so long to ad­dress it?

Anjana Ghosh, di­rec­tor - Mar­ket­ing and Busi­ness Devel­op­ment, Bisleri In­ter­na­tional, says that the brand has been ‘dab­bling’ with the prob­lem for a while, try­ing to solve it at the seller/shop­keeper’s end. “It is a prob­lem of re­tail­ers de­priv­ing con­sumers of their brand of choice be­cause they want a higher profit mar­gin. Ear­lier, we thought that we’d be able to solve it via aware­ness and loy­alty pro­grammes, but we soon re­alised that it’s the profit mar­gins that in­flu­ence re­tailer be­hav­iour,” Ghosh shares.

“While some con­sumers specif­i­cally want Bisleri, most just want a bot­tle of wa­ter when ask­ing for Bisleri. With this cam­paign, we are closer to the lat­ter and are ask­ing them to get a Bisleri bot­tle when they ask for it. That way, the re­tailer will also have to sell Bisleri in­stead of push­ing an­other brand. More­over, the con­sumer is pay­ing equally for all brands in the cat­e­gory,” she adds.

Ghosh main­tains that in the ad film, the setup of a small shop/out­let in the mid­dle of a desert stands for an ex­treme sit­u­a­tion, “It is set to de­note a dire sit­u­a­tion with lim­ited op­tions. Even a con­sumer, like the thirsty camel in a desert, walks up to the out­let and does not com­pro­mise on its choice. And de­spite be­ing tired and thirsty, the con­sumer still in­sists on Bisleri and takes it.

“Wa­ter is an im­pulse pur­chase; when you want it... you want it,” says Ghosh.

She ad­mits that the prob­lem ex­ists

Bisleri has planned to in­vest ap­prox­i­mately `7-8 crore for the en­tire setup.

ev­ery­where - cities, towns and ru­ral ar­eas. “The cam­paign is based on many ob­ser­va­tions. I faced the prob­lem too, while in Delhi. Shop­keep­ers would lure con­sumers with Bisleri but of­fer some other brand in­stead. And if cus­tomers in­sisted, they would come up with an ex­cuse that the Bisleri bot­tles were not cold,” Ghosh elab­o­rates.

“We are the only brand in the cat­e­gory that ad­ver­tises. And since it’s a low in­volve­ment cat­e­gory and con­sumers have the brand name on their minds, do­ing just an­other ad would af­fect all brands. Our study sug­gested that de­spite the top-of-the­mind op­tion be­ing Bisleri, con­sumers would set­tle for an­other brand. Thus, we de­cided that it’s high time we ad­dress the con­sumer and say ‘Hey! You are the one who has to make a choice’,” ex­plains Ghosh adding that the brand wants to run the cam­paign for about 6-8 months. “This is the ini­tial burst and there are two other films in the pipe­line fea­tur­ing the camels. One of the up­com­ing ads also ad­dresses the sim­i­lar prob­lem with Bisleri’s 20-litre of­fer­ing,” she says.

Fur­ther down our con­ver­sa­tion, Ghosh re­veals that Bisleri is al­ready on an in­no­va­tion spree, mostly aimed at in­volv­ing the con­sumer more. “We have seen cases where re­tail­ers tell con­sumers that there is no de­liv­ery or sup­ply for Bisleri. For that, we are set­ting up a toll-free num­ber for con­sumers to con­tact the brand di­rectly along with a ded­i­cated web­site and mo­bile app where con­sumers can or­der on­line. Con­sumers will no longer need to de­pend on re­tail­ers for their brand of wa­ter,” she adds.

Bisleri has planned to in­vest ap­prox­i­mately `7-8 crore for the en­tire setup. The cam­paign is crafted by Soho Square and is slated to be of the 360-de­gree in­te­grated va­ri­ety.

Su­manto Chat­topad­hyay, chair­man and chief cre­ative of­fi­cer, Soho Square, says, “We took a cre­ative ap­proach that is re­ally fresh, with the idea of us­ing camels, our very own wa­ter ex­perts. The chal­lenge was the idea of chang­ing the age-old way peo­ple have been us­ing the brand name; it was both a chal­lenge and a cre­ative op­por­tu­nity.”


Jagdeep Kapoor, CMD, Sam­sika Mar­ket­ing Con­sul­tants says, “The idea that ‘ev­ery bot­tled wa­ter is not Bisleri’ adds au­then­tic­ity while the camels bring mem­o­ra­bil­ity and the thirst back­ground with the ship of the desert brings rel­e­vance. The brand will ben­e­fit by repo­si­tion­ing other brands and po­si­tion­ing it­self in a pure branded man­ner rather than the on-go­ing generic image which al­lows oth­ers to pass Bisleri’s good­will.”

About the tim­ing, Kapoor says that although it’s late, it’s bet­ter than never.

“By per­sist­ing with the cam­paign with var­i­ous ex­e­cu­tions and not chang­ing the theme or plat­form, it is dif­fer­ent, but the strat­egy meets the ob­jec­tive of be­ing a brand rather than be­ing seen as a com­mod­ity. It has to be a brand and not the cat­e­gory. Some­times be­ing the first mover may not be an ad­van­tage. It has strate­gi­cally moved to­wards the right path of be­ing a pure brand rather than a cat­e­gory plus brand,” Kapoor adds.

MG Parameswaran, founder, Brand-Build­ing, finds it to be a dis­rup­tive piece of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. He says, “Since you are deal­ing with a low in­volve­ment cat­e­gory like bot­tled wa­ter, the brand has taken the hu­mor­ous route. In one sense it drives home the point that all bot­tled wa­ter is not Bisleri. Who bet­ter to en­dorse the brand than an an­i­mal who lives in the desert. They had at­tempted a Loch Ness mon­ster-based film a few years ago; this one seems bet­ter ex­e­cuted.” ■

“This is the ini­tial burst and there are two other films in the pipe­line fea­tur­ing the camels.” ANJANA GHOSH

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