I remember reading the book by Philip Kotler while pursuing my management degree which explained marketing strategies for market leaders, challengers, followers & niches. The strategies mentioned for market leaders included expanding market share (but this may lead to unnecessary price wars), defending market share and expanding the total market (this is most preferred as it has been observed that when the total market expands the market leader benefits the most). Here in this article, I wish to concentrate on this third strategy.Total market can be expanded in mainly two ways i.e. by getting more customers to buy your product or by increasing the usage of your product.
One of the companies that has used this strategy to its advantage over the years is Colgate which currently enjoys the market share of 51.2 % in toothpaste market in India (Source: Colgate analyst meet in May, 2010). It has been the leader in this particular market since a long time but an interesting thing to note here is the fact that Colgate did the market a huge favor by increasing the usage of toothpaste by coming out with ads showing the importance of brushing one’s teeth before going to sleep and it connected with people so well that the number of people brushing their teeth twice a day is moving up with every passing day.
Another company which has consistently increased its scope of business over the years using the same strategy and in turn has also benefitted the industry is Cadbury. They are a master at this. Let us see what it has done with Cadbury Dairy Milk. We all still remember the classic ad (my all-time favorite) featuring one beautiful girl running on the ground and doing a free style dance with the background song “asli swaad zindagi ka”. Even at that time the ad promoted Cadbury as something that makes you express yourself and something representing the taste of life. There was never any effort to position it as purely ‘chocolate’ which it actually it is. Then there is another brilliant ad of Cadbury celebrations shown during Raksha bandhan. I have personally seen my sister switch to Cadbury from sweets. The product is the same that is available throughout the year but what is different is presentation and suddenly it has replaced sweets and made people buy more of it compared to normal! There was one ad i.e. “pappu pass ho gaya” which I did not like as much as the other ads, though it served the business interests there as well by promoting Cadbury once again as something that can be had when one is celebrating. Otherwise Cadbury has been superb with its ads. Recent ads have also been quite brilliant. One ad features a girl waiting at a bus stop having a Cadbury when one guy approaches her asking for it saying “acha kaam karne se phele kuch meetha khana chahiye” And on being asked about that “acha kaam” he shows his willingness to drop her home. It was so brilliantly executed and conveyed the message so well that Cadbury is something that you can have or rather should have when you are planning to start something new. The ad ends with the words “shubh aarambh”. The latest one features a cute girl refusing to part with her Dairy milk with the family members when they are discussing as to what they should have in dessert. Again the ad ends with words “Khane ke baad meethe mein kuch meetha ho jaaye”! And I am sure there many other ads by Cadbury doing the same thing.
So it can be observed that it has always made efforts to increase the usage of Dairy milk with every new ad and it has done it successfully. This strategy of expanding the market by increasing the usage, if executed well, benefits the market leader the most i.e. Colgate as well as Cadbury in this case.
[The article has been contributed by Ronak Raval.He is a commerce student from R.A.Podar College,Mumbai and has done his MBA from SIMSR( Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research). ]