Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 5973
, Published on 24 February 2013
Amul, derived from the word ‘Amulya’ meaning priceless, started off in 1946 as a dairy co operative jointly owned by 2.8 million milk producers in Gujarat. By 1956 Amul realized that they need to have a proper positioning statement in order to establish them as a brand in the Indian market. Amul went ahead with the positioning statement ‘processed from the purest milk under the most hygienic condition by a dairy co operative in Gujarat’. Although the statement threw light on what Amul is but it failed to make an impact on the Indian consumers. Amul was already in a risky business in the sense that it was making butter, which is a western concept and was not really that much known to the Indian taste.
India is a country where ghee is used generously in every meal so Amul had its competitor in the form of ghee which was already an unavoidable part of Indian meals. The challenge was to position itself against something that had been in the country for ages. And in a country like India where people are fond of tradition and traditional things Amul had a huge barrier to cross. But Amul didn’t give up. It did what it planned to do i.e it taught the Indian consumers how to include butter in their day to day lives. In 1966 Amul realized that the positioning statement needs to be revised and it needed a brand ambassador. The AS advertising agency was hired to do the needful. Sylvester Dacunha the managing director of the same advertising agency came up with the idea of the Amul girl. Instead of going for the standard celebrity brand ambassador Dacunha thought a chubby little cartoon girl with polka dotted frock is what amul needed as their brand ambassador. The tagline had also to be decided. Dacunha’s wife, Nisha was an English professor suggested ‘utterly Amul’ and to make the impact stronger Sylvester added the word ‘butterly’ to it. Although ‘butterly’ doesn’t feature in the English dictionary but it made enough sense in connecting ‘butter’ with Amul. Since then Amul never had to look back.
Now in a country like India where people are highly opinionated, the Amul girl was a big hit. She flashed in newspapers and billboards with witty and humorous comments on any social, economical or political issue going in the country. But Amul did not stop by only creating her. Even after 45 years since her inception Amul makes full use of her and have never changed their brand ambassador. The brand recall for Amul reached new heights with her. Amul made sure that whatever be the issue on which their brand ambassador is commenting on, the solution should be butter. Be it the failure of the Agni missile in the 1980’s or be it long wait for Sachin’s 100th test century in the recent times, Amul said the solution is provided in Amul butter.
Moreover Amul started the tagline ‘Taste of India’ which reinforced its Indian connect. The tagline was strong enough to convince Indians that butter is also meant for them. The TV advertisements showed use of butter in cooking and paranthas which usually uses ‘ghee’ and Amul was successful once again. Its multi dimensional approach of teaching Indians how to eat butter, telling them that butter suits the Indian taste and connecting butter to all Indian issued worked out well for the company. In the meantime Amul also came up with the famous Amul song ‘sapne ho gaye hai sakar’ where it showed how Amul co operative works and connects all the milk producers in Gujarat. The ad further reinforced what Amul has done for India and became very popular among the Indians.
Amul also boasts one of the biggest and widest distribution networks in the country. With its huge network it made itself available in all parts of the country and even to those places where its competitors couldn’t reach. It was an added advantage for the company. And since most of its advertisements featured in newspapers in the form of print ads it could send its message to all those places of rural India where TV could not reach. So Amul made itself available in ads and in stores in all parts of the country.
Amul has also been swift enough in keeping pace with the current scenario. The company changes its ads every week. The Amul marketing team brainstorms on the advertisement topic from every Monday and by Friday the topic, the picture, the locations where to be put are all decided. During the weekend the hoardings change across the nation and the new ad is put up. Amul has done its branding so efficiently that people now look forward for the new Amul ad every week.
Amul’s marketing strategy has been so unique that no brand till date has adopted it which might be because of the fact that Amul has taken this strategy to such an extent that brands fear that they would fail when compared to the benchmark. Amul has so far monopolized the social commentator brand ambassador policy and has implemented it with great perfection. Apart from being present in newspapers and in the billboards and hoardings Amul is now also present in Twitter and is making the Amul girl available on digital platform. The ambassador has got into the skin of the Indian consumers and has connected to them so well that we can say Amul through its advertisements has always given us ‘the real taste of India’.
This article has been authored by Avirupa Bhattacharya from IMT Ghaziabad.
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