Sunday, April 18, 2010

Parle Vs Britannia : Parle takes a dig at Britannia

Not long after HUL and P&G were engaged in a court battle over comparative advertising, another category seems to travel in the same direction - Biscuits. Both the categories and campaigns have similarity with major players taking a dig at each other for market share in the respective category.

In a product category, that customers are unable to identify a major difference in features, it doesn't affect the brand (using comparative advertising) to a large extent though the product isn't up to the mark. i.e., the detergent category.. A category hard enough for the customer to identify which gives better whiteness, better smoothness to hands, etc. But, if the same kind of comparative advertising is used in a category well enough for the customer to understand the difference in features, it might kill the brand altogether as the customer may not try the brand again in the future. i.e., the biscuits category.. A Category good enough for even a kid to understand the taste as well as the taste compared to another brand(which you can call as perceived difference in value).

So, when you go for comparative advertising, you need to make sure that your product is the best in terms of perceived value.. And not to forget, perceived value in terms of the customer and not the manufacturer/company.

Parle's 20-20 Cookies competes with Britannia Goodday in both butter and Cashew categories. This category is perceived to be not the lower range like glucose/salty but, is a premium category. In this category, the customer's perceived value depends more on taste, quality rather than the cost unless until, there is a huge difference in the cost.

That's exactly where Parle has been on the wrong side of perceived value, when it came out with a comparative print ad campaign against Britannia Goodday in telugu dailies in the Andhra Pradesh market.(Couldn't verify if it has done the same in other markets too and couldn't find such ads in many verified markets..)

Headline of the Ad says, "Parle 20-20 Cookies only give proper value for your money. All other remaining will insert a flower in your ear(Insert a flower in the ear : A phrase in telugu meaning, "making you a fool") followed by a table comparing Britannia Goodday with Parle 20-20 Cookies in both butter and Cashew categories w.r.t the MRP, weight of the pack, number of cookies in the pack.

And this ad focuses on saying that Parle 20-20 pack comes with more weight(27 grams, etc.) and more cookies(8cookies).

This sort of comparision can hardly make any difference to the customers in this category from buying Goodday which has been there since long time with a very good perception in the category. The major reasons for the same being, the customer in this category hardly gives a preference to the small price difference advertised, as well as the number of cookies. Because, the price, number of cookies, weight are not that significantly different in this case. At the maximum, it can make a customer try out Parle 20-20 Cookies instead of Goodday when he/she is buying it next time. But, will this process of trying out a new brand make the customer choose his preferences from Goodday to 20-20. Maybe Yes, if it seems to be far better in taste, value perception as said in the ad.

I buy 4-6 packs of Goodday every month. But, this time I took a couple of 20-20 packs just to try it. My comparision of 20-20 and Goodday with a couple of friends says, "Parle is far behind in the Butter category and it is slightly below in the Cashew category." At the end, I feel like, I should have brought Goodday only.. and there ends my preference for 20-20. And obviously once tried out, it will take huge efforts from Parle if it needs to convince a customer who has a disliking already. And hence, hardly does it make any difference to a customer buying Goodday and the brand Goodday but, it ends up making a good negative impact on 20-20 for sure.

Hence, comparative advertising can turn into a huge negative for the brand, if the customer can perceive the differences that are being advertised... Whiteness in detergents, smoothness with Lubricant Oils, effects due to branded petrol etc are some categories that may not suffer if compared too.. But, something like 20-20 can turn dangerous for the brand.


Open for Comments



dhuwad said...

I agree..

This has also come in 'Gujrati' paper even in Mumbai.. i have seen it myself..

and i was discussing with my dad.. that whatever Parle claim.. it will remain inferior to Britania.. and its my experience..

my dad gave me a different perspective.. he said.. they are ppl who think Britania goodday is costly and hence never purchased.. but settled for Parle-G.. whereas they were capable of paying a bit more for better..

Parle is targeting such ppl with 20-20.. who aspire to eat goodday.. and hence says.. you get 'more for less'..

lets see.. only future would tell the real story!!!


sajjapraveenchowdary said...

@ Dhuwad : Thanks for the information about the ad in Gujarathi newspaper...

Yes, your dad has a point that the customer who might have thought that the existing product is costlier, would go for a product at lower cost if it is lauched by someone else or the same company in the future. That's what all this normally boils down to..

But, still the basic ideology behind the point is the movement is always based on the perceived value w.r.t the cost.

This iseology works better in the categories where the cost brings a huge difference to the perceived value.. A shirt at Rs.1000(Louis Phillippe) Vs a shirt at Rs.500(Peter England).. Or BlackBerry Curve 8520 Vs Nokia E63 Vs INQ Chat 3G..

But, in the category of biscuits, a person who can spare 4 rupees will still go for a Tiger or ParleG.. And a person who can spare 7 rupees will go for a 50-50 or a KrackJack.. And someone who has 10 will go for a Goodday or 20-20.. Hence, 20-20 can try attracting the people around the 7-10 rupees category but, a person of 4 rupees cannot come up to 20-20... And out of the 7-10 category comes the perceived value of taste Vs cost etc... Finally, how many customers will you be able to target out of this.. Some will definitely tryout.. And it boils down to the same point.. I too would have brought 20-20 only if I might have felt the same value as Goodday.. But, when you don't have a higher perceived value compared to Goodday.. the journey towards 20-20 ends there... And on such a trial basis, can Parle sell the required numbers..

Management Institute said...

Thanks really...Its such a valued information