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Fiercely competitive but deeply penetrated, toilet soaps are part of the growing
tribe of cleansing and beautifying products available across the country. There
are scores of brands and an even greater number of variants making for a
bewildering range. But that is just as well. For the Indian market spanning 1100
million people, more than 4500 towns and cities and in excess of 580,000
villages must cut through several price points and fragrances to satisfy
everyone. Despite a penetration of 88.60% (Source: soap industry of India) the
per capita consumption is poor. At 460 grams per annum it compares
unfavourably with analogous economies such as Brazil, which notches up 1100
grams. Toilet soaps are marketed through 5 million retail stores of which 3.75
million are in rural areas, reaching 70% of Indias population but selling only 50%
of its volume (Source: soap industry of India). Obviously, the market is vast and
offers exciting possibilities. Over the years, the transformation in the soap
market has been immense. When first introduced in India at the end of the 19th
century, all soaps were positioned as cleansers and dirt removers. However, as
the markets developed, the reasons for buying soap also evolved. Several brands
appeared with the promise of more than just cleansing. Skin care became an
important raison dtre. Today, of course, the markets display a unique elasticity
with a very large part of the top end of the population happy to experiment with
new variants. The majority of the market, however, is deeply rooted in tradition.
Consumers in the North generally prefer floral fragrances with pink as the colour
of choice. Lime and citrus soaps, too, have a marked preference here. The
underlying premise is that lime is refreshing and helps balance the heat and
humidity prevalent in this part of the country. The West exhibits preferences for
strong fragrances with harsher profiles compared to the North. Floral fragrances,
particularly rose, which are positioned on the beauty platform are favoured here.
The South shows a marked skew towards herbal profiles with sandal as the
fragrance of choice. Despite being the most traditional of all Indian zones, the
South shows a promiscuous inclination when experimenting with new brands.
Perhaps, this explains why most fast moving consumer goods are first test
launched here. The East is the smallest soap market and no preferential biases
are measured here (Source: consumer preferences international flavours and
fragrances, 2009). In this exceedingly complex, severe and aggressive market,
Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) occupies a place of enormous
fulfilment. The company directs the fortunes of its flagship brand, Cinthol. So
successful has this effort been that Cinthol continues to consolidate its market
position and control a consumer base of more than 8 million users (Source: IRS
2009). Today, nearly 60 years after launch, Cinthol is a Rs. 200 crore (US$ 41.70
million) brand (Source: ACNielsen, RSA 2008).
In a market where choices abound and experimenting with new brands and
variants is an accepted norm, to find a multi-million strong group of loyalists is
very satisfying. Cinthol, paradoxically, has the unique distinction of being at once
one of the oldest soap brands in India as well as one of its most youthful. The
brand has been able to inject this magic into marketing by not being afraid to try
new things. In its earliest years when the entire world was using soaps made
from animal fats, Godrej discarded that formula and launched a soap using
vegetable oils. The audacity of this act gave successive generations of Cinthol

marketers the courage to back their convictions. This finds illustration in the
daring Cinthol showed when it chose to combine two product benefits in a single
soap. Thus, when convention dictated that soap should either offer deodorancy
or skin care as a benefit, it chose to go against the rule by launching a variant
that offered both. Today, Cinthol Deodorant & Complexion Soap has not just been
accepted by consumers but is also recommended by doctors.

In the early 1900s, Ardeshir Godrej, a lawyer steeped in principles and ideology
a man passionately committed to delivering India from colonial rule made a
decisive contribution. He created India's first toilet soap from indigenously
available vegetable oils instead of imported animal fats. The mantle passed on to
his nephew, Dr. Burjor Godrej, a mechanical engineer, with a prestigious
doctorate in technical chemistry. He pioneered manufacturing soap with germkilling ingredients. Cinthol Deodorant & Complexion soap was born on
Independence Day in 1952. Enriched with a unique Fougere perfume the soap
received an extraordinary welcome. Over the first three decades, the brand
monopolised the platform of freedom from body odour. In 1986, in an attempt to
modernise the image, New Cinthol was launched with fresh packaging, a new
shape and novel advertising, using celebrities like Vinod Khanna and Imran Khan.
But times were slowly changing and consumers were beginning to seek other
benefits. The first major attempt by Cinthol to recast itself came in 1989 when in
a bid to strengthen its freshness image the company introduced Cinthol Lime.
The brand grabbed 8% market share in six months. Three years later a new
modern, fragrance was launched in the form of Cinthol Cologne.
Cinthol has three distinct variants. Cinthol Deodorant & Complexion soap
continues to operate in the healthy skin category. The soap offers numerous dogood benefits like total and complete skin protection. Cinthol Fresh is a muscular
player in the freshness grouping. The lime variant has an active lime formula
that provides long-lasting fragrance. A recently launched variant in this range is
Cinthol Fresh Aqua, a two-in-one freshness and hydration soap. The period
between 1993 and 1995 was one of great activity. Cinthol accomplished a
branding overhaul by bringing three variants under its international umbrella
Cinthol International Spice, Cinthol International Lime and Cinthol International
Cologne. Shah Rukh Khan became the brand's new icon. His personality was
flawlessly integral to the brand's new platform: revitalising and reenergising.
Cinthol Fresh was the first popular segment lime soap. It was a runaway success
and was re-defined as a family soap with the famous Tan Taaza, Man Taaza (fresh
body, fresh mind) campaign in 2000. Cinthol Deo Soap, with the tagline Get
Ready Get Close, hit the market in 2004. It addressed the need for effective body
odour removal through the unique propositioning of a deodorant in soap. Cinthol
extended this footprint into a deodorant talc and spray. The following year, with
the addition of Cinthol Sport, the brand had reinforced its offering, strengthening
it later with Cinthol Deo Musk in an exotic woody, musky fragrance.
Recent Developments

Cinthol unleashed a new property: 24-hour Confidence. This found expression in

a new, improved and extended range of soaps, talcs and deodorants. The
deodorant range is available in formats such as Classic, Cologne, Sport, Musk,
Unleash and Rainstorm. Each of these sub-brands has helped extend the appeal
of the mother brand and has offered consumers the freedom of choice. The new
Cinthol products are the result of penetrating insights into consumer behaviour
and preferences. They also represent the aspirational ethos of Indias upwardly
mobile buyers who, increasingly, want to lead a life that has non-stop action
written all over it. Promotion Bollywood hunk, Hrithik Roshan with his boundless
energy and passion to excel is Cinthols new brand ambassador. He symbolises
the spirit of adventure, zest and action that the new India stands for. Cinthols
latest campaign featuring him captures the attitude of the sporty, anxious Indian
who enjoys an active lifestyle. The communication features a series of highenergy sport like kayaking, free-running, bungee jumping, mountain climbing,
mountain biking, even diving into the depths of the ocean from the side of a
steep cliff. Each is in perfect sync with the image Hrithik has developed over the
years. Each also illustrates the brand communication of an adventurous dont
stop attitude.
Brand Values
Ever since its introduction in 1952, Cinthol has been the ideal embodiment of the
expression confidence personified. Over these near-six decades, all the
campaigns it has launched for different variants have captured the subtle shifts
that the market has registered. But not once has the brand strayed away from its
quintessence of poise and self-belief traits that cut across the aspirations of
both sexes. To keep its hand on the pulse of the market, the companys
specialised research team closely monitors consumer behaviour, changing
attitudes and tweaks marketing and product strategy to suit up-and-coming
needs. It cannot, then, surprise anyone that the brand resonates with an active,
effervescent and bouncy personality. This has been its calling card for all its 57
Cinthol to position itself as a premium youth brand
Godrej Consumer Products
has revamped its flagship personal care brand
Cinthol. The 60-year old mass-market soap will now be positioned as a premium,
youth brand without its traditional masculine image, reports Animesh Das of
CNBC-TV18. From Vinod Khanna to Imran Khan to Shah Rukh Khan to Hrithik
Roshan, the Cinthol brand has, over its 60-year existence, been the brand for the
alpha-male. Not any more. Godrej Consumer Products has spent upwards of Rs
60 crore to reposition Cinthol as a unisex youth-centric, premium brand that will
appeal to well-heeled young men and women. All this to attract, forgive the pun,
fresh consumers. Nisaba Godrej, President, Human Capital & Innovation, Godrej
Industries, says that it's a brand that connects with young India, sort of modern
India. But we felt that in say a category like deodorants, we weren't pushing the
boundaries enough. We felt that even within soaps, we had a lot more to offer
and we want to go in to new categories like shower gels. Godrej is banking on a
Rs 50 crore marketing campaign by Creativeland Asia to rekindle Cinthol's brand
popularity and increase its share in the Rs 6,000 crore soap market from the
current 2.5 percent. By doing away with the iconic celebrity endorser, and new
ad campaign conveys a new promise but marketing consultants caution that a

cosmetic makeover may not make up for the 20 percent hike in pricing.