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[MARKET ANALYSIS OF LUX SOAP]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This paper analyses the relevance and application of the four marketing Ps, product, place, promotion and price, on one of Unilevers (Pakistan) personal care brands, Lux soap. The research consists of three parts. The first part includes the information about the product obtained from 10 HFS categories A, B and C retail outlets. Second part comprises of the same information for IMT and LMT, Metro and Naheed Supermarket respectively. Lastly the report examines the differences in the marketing of Lux soap between the two retail arrangements discussed in the former parts.

INTRODUCTION
In 1899 Lever Brothers UK, now known as Unilever, launched Lux as laundry soap (originally named as Sunlight Flakes). In 1990 it was titled as Lux Latin for light also indicative of luxury. In 1924, it turned out to be the first mass marketed toilet soap, which has been promoted by 400 celebrities world over and is sold in more than 100 countries. It has the highest market share in various countries including Saudi Arabia, Brazil and India; a similar trend was observed by visiting retail stores in Karachi, Lux was the most purchased brand in all kind of outlets. Lux was introduced in Pakistan in 1957. Among Unilevers Home and Personal Care, HPC, brands Lux, Surf Excel and Sunsilk are the star performers. According to the companys research Lux is the market leader in the soap industry, its position being 2.5 times of that of the second biggest player. (Khan, Ahmed Raza. 2008) Product Name: Lux Soap Product Type: Personal Care Variants: Aqua Sparkle (blue) Crystal Shine (golden) Peach and Cream (white) Strawberry and Cream (pink)

Direct Competitors: Lux Capri Dove Pears Palmolive Skin White (new entrant) Safeguard Lifebuoy

Indirect Competitors: Lux body wash Lifebuoy hand wash

Target Market: Women of age 15-50

MARKET SURVEY OF HFS CATEGORIES


Store Type: HFS A Shops Names: Al taimuriya mart (Gulshn-e-Iqbal) Home Needz(Gulshn-e-Iqbal) Hussain Mart ( North Karachi) PRODUCT Lux was unanimously the most-running brand among soaps in the category A stores, this is due the constant marketing that the company does with correlating the brand with top local and international star actors. The brand image that Unilever has succeeded in creating not only makes lux desirable but also a product that customers stay loyal to and proudly associate themselves with; it comes at price affordable to many. The SKU most sold is the115g pack in which white variant i.e. peach and cream is sold highly PRICE All three stores have deals of family-packs which offer discounts. Generally following prices were observed in the outlets of Lux and its competitors: BRANDS/ SKUs Lux Palmolive Capri Safeguard Lifebuoy 40g 15 15 75-80g 28 28 28 32 22 115g 40 40 40 42 30 155g 50 48

12

40

PROMOTION In all the three outlets at merchandising PoP there were mostly shelf-talkers of Lux soap in gold and black strips between the section of shelves present and a few of Safeguard. On an average Lux occupied 1/3rd of shelf space. The product is placed at optimum eye-level in abundance, for which the stores receive shelf commissions. There were no promotional activities at merchandising PoS though. However no huge posters can be seen for any soap as for other personal care items. PLACE The outlets surveyed are located in suburban area of the city, frequently visited by upper middle-class and middle class customers, to whom Lux is the well positioned and differentiated brand. The soap is distributed by Unilever vans to the stores.

Store Type: HFS B Store Names: Payjees (F.B Area) Bhai Bhai General Store (Water Pump) Ahmed General and Medical Store (F.B Area) PRODUCT Lux was the top-most selling brand in this category too, followed by Safeguard. Its standard pack of 115g is sold most with white and pink variants highly demanded. The shopkeepers were of opinion that this customer loyalty is creation of many years of extra-ordinary marketing also because of the fact the customers are attracted to its packaging, fragrances and affordability.

PRICE The prices of Lux soap and its competitors in HFS B and HFS C stores are more or less same. BRAND/SKUs Lux Capri Dove Pears Palmolive Skin White Safeguard Lifebuoy Dettol Small 75-80g 28 28 55 80 28 28 22 30 Medium 110- 115g 40 40

40 50 40 30 43

PROMOTION The promotional trend observed in this category is a little less than that in HFS A naturally because of the size of the store. There are no aisles for non-food items in these stores however Lux placement was conveniently visible behind the counters. It can also be identified as the most ample soap brand in quantity. PLACE The three stores are located in markets of F.B area where people from upper-middle class to lower class regularly come. Lux is distributed by Unilever to these retailers, though the companys distributers themselves set the products in the shelves.

Store type: HFS C Store Names: Anwar Store (F.B area) Jamil Store (F.B area) Touseef Superstore (F.B area) Sadaf Mart (F.B area) PRODUCT Lux enjoys the position of the top-running brand however there is substantive demand of Lifebuoy, Safeguard and Palmolive. The standard pack is frequently both along with the small pack of Rs 28. At Touseef Superstore pink pack is found and sold the most. Lux has been the market leader from many years. PRICE Prices and availability of the brands and their SKUs is same as of HFS B. PROMOTION There is low level promotion of soaps altogether in the C category, although recently small placards of Dettol were hanged in Jamil Store. No promotional activity was at merchandising PoP/PoS PLACE The stores are to be found in suburban area of the city where people from lower class to upper middle class shop. The company vans come to distribute their products to the retailers, their distributer setting up the products on the shelves. The shopkeepers receive a commission of Rs 1500-2000 every month as shelf commission.

MARKET SURVEY OF IMT & LMT


Store type: LMT Store Name: Naheed Super Market (Bahadurabad) PRODUCT Nearly all varieties of SKUs are available at Naheed. Even there are imported alternatives of Lux available other than the 4 aforementioned as velvet touch, magic spell, youthful essence and white glamour. There was a large range local and imported soaps but Lux, Lifebuoy and Safeguard were to be seen in the highest quantiy. Lux shelf strips were present in two of the kiosks whereas there was a separate stall for Dettol and Safeguard. Lux SKU in profusion was of 115g. PRICE The prices of soaps at Naheed are as follows: BRAND/SKU Lux Capri Dove Pears Palmolive Skin White Safeguard Lifebuoy Dettol 70-80g 1 pack = 28/= 1 pack = 28/= 1 pack = 55/= 100-115g 120-125g 155-170g 3 packs = 150/= 3 packs = 99/=

1 pack = 85/= 1 pack = 85/= 1 pack = 40/= 1 pack = 50/= 3 packs = 110/= 1 pack = 30/= 1 pack = 43/=

1 pack = 26/=

PROMOTION Any promotion can only be seen at the soap kiosks with small shelf-talkers of Lux. In comparison to that, there were separate themed stalls for Dettol and Safeguard. PLACE Naheed is situated in posh area of the city with a market nearby. It enjoys a customer base of urban rich and upper-middle class. People visit the store to make purchase of their monthly rations. The inventory is distributed by Unilever directly to the store.

Store type: IMT Store Name: Metro PRODUCT Lux is by and large the top-most selling brand in among soaps and a similar trend is observed in Metro. The highest purchased SKU is of that 115g. Safeguard is second to Lux. PRICE Lux is the brand symbolic to luxury but at affordable prices. There were single packs with discounted prices, lower than at what the soaps are sold in HFS outlets and most plentiful were the bundles of 3, 4 packs called as shrink wraps whose prices are as follows: Lux 155g X 2 = 98/= 155g X 3 = 150/= 115g X 4 = 145/= Palmolive 155g X 3 = 118/= 115g X 3 = 114/= 75g X 3 = 67/= 40g X 3 = 43/= Dove 135g X 2 = 160/= 115g X 4 = 145/= 80g X 4 = 92/= 40g X 12 = 167/=

PROMOTION In Metro an adequate level of promotion can be observed with 3 huge kiosks holding Lux soap with advertisement boards on them of its latest ad with actresses Reema Khan, Meera, Mahira Khan and Humaima Malik. There was equal number of boards for Safeguard as well. Also at the entrance of soaps aisle there is a large stall dedicated to Luxs all 4 variants which are offered in shrink wraps i.e. a pack of 4 of 115g for Rs 145. But there was not any other place in the store with advertisement posters of any soap all promotion was concentrated near the soap aisle. PLACE Metro is located in mainstream area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal with roads interconnecting it to many area of the city. Its distribution channels range from DHA to Lyari with grasping a customer base of all the income levels. It distributes from retailer to end-consumers and thus offers the discounts and deals to its customers. It also covers sales territories outside Karachi and even the interior Sindh. It has its own transportation facility for effective dissemination of items ordered. Retailers purchase from a carton or two to items for lakhs of rupees. Whereas end-users take up items for their monthly rations most of the times.

MARKET WRITEUP

In the retail stores the trend of soap purchase is more or less the same, obviously having differences in the amount of sales, volume of inventory, frequency of replenishment, attendance of customers, types of consumers depending on the size of the store. Metro is one of the few IMTs established in Pakistan. It originally focused on providing business solutions to HFS category-stores. Initially it was only open to shop-owners and especial cardholders who came to pick items in bulk; it is just recently that it has decided on to cater to endconsumers as well who can even purchase one item. The ambiance of the store is conducive to complete business solution for the retailers and offers almost non-traditional products for the end-users under one roof. The sales people are present near every shelf to guide and help amiably. The merchandising activities can be observed any point in time of the day; however much of the crowd is seen after 8 pm, which is even heavier during the weekends. The store is mostly visited by other retailers and families who come to buy their monthly or weekly ration. The sales team at Metro replenishes the inventory as and when the need arises, so one can see their people filling (as they say) the shelf simultaneously with the purchases. Lux soap is found in all sizes and 4 alternatives in the store with many of its competitors. The standard SKU of 115g is most sold. There are even shrink wrap (pack of 3, 4) in the store. Metro offers discount on all its items. At Naheed, the volume of the soaps is around 1/3rd of that of Metro. But there were more variants of the soap present, local and imported. This is due to the type of customer that visit the store fall in upper to middle tier of the income segment who could also purchase soaps like Dove and Pears in comparison to Lux, so it has been assured that Lux is profusely present. Naheed is LMT, smaller than the Metros size but large enough to contain nearly all necessary and luxury products in the country. It also has several salespersons to help customers around the aisle. It is often loaded with customers who come with their families to shop. The outlet does not offer same discount rates as metro does given the type of its customers however prices are similar to that of HFS stores.

In contrast to IMTs and LMTs, HFS outlets are much smaller in size. The A category stores surveyed were half the size of Naheed. There are all 4 varieties of Lux present in A and B stores but C lacked blue ones oftentimes. Sale of two SKUs was more prevalent i.e. of standard and small packs in white and pink colors. The new entrant Skin White has much better response in HFS outlets than in Metro or Naheed. However, the shopkeepers do not see it as a threat to Luxs established market as yet. The customers, these stores cater to, range from lower class to upper middle class. According to one C category store daily around 50-100 customers visit the store buying individual items or in bulk. The inventory is replenished on biweekly to monthly basis each time the delivery van bringing around 4-10 cartons of the soap, as per requirement. In HFS A, Unilever has formal contracts with the stores for product placement. Whereas in B and C categories stores the level of formality is low. Monthly allowances of around Rs 15002000 are given to the shops which are even defaulted at times. Over the years Lux has been able to position itself in the minds of its consumers in a way that they subconsciously adhere to it. It has been the market leader in all the levels of retail. Its customers are from all the income classes. People at lower income level purchase its small pack of Rs 28 more often. The brand has a strong position and little threat. Safeguard, however the second most running brand could again be said as a product for fighting germs rather than a beauty soap. Lux has always associated itself with the local and international stars, which increases its desire and credibility in the mindsets of the consumers and they think of it as a product that will help bring out star in them.