A Case Study - Patanjali - Baba Ramdev a Multi Billion Dollar Brand
All the success, the popularity, and the goodwill can be credited to something we refer to as the “Incidental Branding”.
The branding wasn’t accidental. It was well planned. But there were a lot of incidents that shaped the brand personality and that too happened before its formation. The brand ambassador (who surprisingly has no equity in the business) is the reason the ‘brand’ happened. Mind it that I’m referring to the brand and not the business. Hence Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali.
It all started in 2002 when Baba Ramdev’s mass yoga camps telecasted through the leading spiritual channels (which were the new trend then) across the country. These camps, besides being a free yoga classes for the television viewers, built a big brand for Baba Ramdev and placed him in a positive light as a person you can trust on. These yoga camps also somehow kindled a new interest in healthy exercises and Ayur Veda.
What next? Baba was in the limelight as he became a part of many political as well as non-political (and rather silly) controversies like cure of Cancer, AIDS, and homosexuality by yoga. His argument for the replacement of sex education in schools with yoga education and his speeches that stated western medicine companies as con were a part of hundreds of controversies he was a part of.
Between all this, patanjali was born in 2006. Or rather, as researchers say, was being planned from 2003 itself. Patanjali is actually managed by Acharya Balkrishna (Ramdev’s partner since 1995). The products were initially marketed and promoted during the yoga camps (which has been attended by around 20 crore, or almost a sixth of the Indian population till now). Since the yoga classes were conducted for free, people were convinced that the Baba was not in it for the money (this trick always work)
Patanjali Yogpeeth was a set up in Haridwar; a hindu pilgrimage site, Baba wore saffron, propagated swadeshi psyche, and the main focus was on Yoga and Ayurvedic medicines. The Patanjali brand was set, years prior to the foundation of the actual FMCG Company. The key player here was a simple business whose brand identity and brand image were in line. Unlike other herbal brands, it had its brand ambassador as a real life yoga guru who preached yoga and Ayurveda all his life and hence their brand identity and brand image was in the same line. Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan did promote herbal brands like Dabur, but it was hard for people to associate a film star with a herbal brand.
Baba Ramdev also had a good support from the BJP government as they always had his back during the time of controversies. He was also called to lead the world yoga day celebration on 21st june, 2015 by the prime minister himself.
Luck can do wonders sometime, but when used with brains. Baba Ramdev was successful in making a ₹3000 crore company just by his own name. But this could backfire on him as well. His every action, every social media post, every word he speak has been associated with the brand and hence Baba Brand has to be a bit more cautious in everything he do, speak, eat, type, or wear.
Business Principle/USP Analysis of Patanjali Ayurved
Patanjali though incorporated under the Companies Act, does not follow regular corporate ideologies. Rather than the top-line, the company focuses on revenues and customer base. The products of Patanjali have found widespread acceptance among consumers for three broad reasons :
(1) Belief of the consumers on the products‟ high quality in terms of ingredients as well as health benefits.
(2) Products from Patanjali are available at around 15-30% cheaper costs than similar products from peer companies.
(3) Marketing the products on the lines of Made in India. Consumer Belief: The Indian FMCG market especially the food and beverages segment has recently been flooded by adulterated goods which have severe detrimental effects on health of the consumers. Patanjali Ayurved, led by Baba Ramdev has since its inception stressed upon the pure and adulteration free nature of their products.
This has bought them consumers looking for quality products with no detrimental effects on health. Further, the company‟s insistence on using good quality fresh ingredients is also getting them new buyers. Cheaper Costs: Patanjali‟s relatively newer production line has state of the art manufacturing and packaging facilities which allow it to be highly competitive in terms of production costs. Further, it works on low margin, high volume model and keeps advertisement costs to bare minimum. The products are thus available at a much cheaper costs as compared to its peers. A comparison of prices of similar goods is given below.
Marketing Analysis of Patanjali Ayurved
Marketing is used as a tool to generate traction for any given product, commodity or service. Though Patanjali has traditionally shied away from mainstream advertisements, it has utilized alternative forms of marketing quiet effectively to bolster its presence in the market.
Word of mouth publicity: According to a study by Forbes, when a company makes a claim, its believability is merely between 20 – 49%. But when real people speak fovorably about a brand – the believability jumps to 70%; when friends speak about a brand‟s goodness the believability jumps to 90%. Patanjali‟s products have been marketed by its customers for their benefits and advantages over other competition.
Publicity in Yoga Camps: Baba Ramdev consistently organizes yoga camps across the country. These have been estimated to attract around 70 million people till date. Further many times this number also witness these shows on television. Many Patanjali products are marketed by Baba Ramdev in these yoga camps along with details of their benefits and usage. This has proved to be an excellent marketing tool.
Mainstream Advertisement: The Company has lately shifted to conventional advertisements on national broadcasting networks. This further pushes the company‟s products in the market.
Distributor Analysis A good and wide distribution network plays a vital role in the sale of any company‟s products, especiaaly in a country as large as India. Patanjali is relatively new in the Indian FMCG space and thus has a comparatively smaller distributor and retailer base as compared to its peers. Currently Patanjali‟s products are available through several channels:
1. Exclusive Retail stores: Around 15000 across the country.
2. Patanjali Chikitsalaya and Arogya Kendra : 3000 across the country.
3. Retail Chains: Patanjali products are available at Big Bazar, reliance Fresh, Big Basket etc.