Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Pediasure: Making mothers a face of the brand

Reference: 
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-07-09/news/51248201_1_abbott-india-pediasure-brand-equity

Mothers play different roles in the lives of the brand. Junior Horlicks, Bournvita LiL Champs..and all other brands are cosely associated with mothers to connect with customers. But for pediasure, what matters more is not the brand but a mother herself. "Winning the hearts and minds of moms is what we do," says the India head of the US pharma major Abbott, which makes PediaSure.
Backed by Abbott, Pediasure has overtaken GSK's Junior Horlicks to become the largest brand in urban India in the Rs 600 crore toddler health food drink segment. It's a lead that's been maintained since August 2013. Its strategy was simple: directing its communication at young mothers and have a sharp focus on the fussy eating habits of children.
"Great product, relevant positioning and a marketing strategy that engages young mothers  are the reasons why PediaSure is consistently leading the category," says Kelshika, general manager of Abbott Nutrition International. The Nielsen figures obtained by Brand Equity from market sources showed that while PediaSure had been increasing its share in urban India, Junior Horlicks held its numero uno position pan India primarily due to its presence in the rural market. However, it's slipping in urban India, which still made up over 2/3rd of its sales. While Junior Horlicks' value share in urban India was Rs 16.34 crore in May 2014, PediaSure stood at Rs 18.59 crore.The brand's almost negligible presence in rural India gives GSK an edge.
However there's plenty of elbow room considering there was an estimated 17.3 million urban toddler households. Penetration at present was just over 10%. The toddler segment had been growing at approximately twice the size of the Rs 5,000 crore health food drink category, registering an expansion rate of over 8% to 9%.
Brand focus is a relatively recent development starting around 2006-2007 when Abbott Nutrition was hived off as a separate business. While a dedicated sales force promoted the brand and consolidated the initial base, prescriptions from doctors helped it get a firm foothold in the urban markets.
What makes PediaSure remark-able is its youth as a brand, relatively modest marketing spend on TV and the fact that it is pricier than Junior Horlicks and Bournvita Li'l Champs combined. The trick has been sharp positioning and a strong on-ground connect with mothers. SureMoms was the property created by the brand to educate and counsel parents and identify signs of fussy eating to guide parents on how to make mealtimes more interesting through a 6-step process. In 2013, it reached over 2 lakh mothers across the country. No place was left unexplored — schools, malls, residential societies, army and navy canteens, offices and nutrition camps set up at clinics. A toll-free helpline continues to offer free nutritional counselling, apart from engaging moms on social media and via the SureMoms website. 
Through 'SureMoms', the brand spoke the language a mother does. The brand understood mothers as the decision maker for toddlers need to be convinced first. Two things have worked for PediaSure. 80% of Indian mothers worry about their child's eating habits and want something to shore up the nutritional requirement. The brand has gone after smart mothers who invest in their kids and view pediatricians as parenting partners. Hence, the brand thought "I am not just a pediatrician, but a mother too" was born. This gave it high credibility and also insulated mothers against price premium. 
Besides positioning and communication, the brand also invested in boosting its distribution network by adding modern trade, department stores, online channels besides chemists to its portfolio. The packaging was made more premium and convenient and smaller SKUs were introduced to generate trials. 
However the brand still operates in a niche. The market is small and with 'one' child norm becoming popular in urban India, it may get smaller. Besides, the brand needs to enhance point-of-sale visibility and interest as it is transitioning to an over the counter space.

2 comments:

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