Unani healthcare and wellness major Hamdard Laboratories that houses the legendary syrup Rooh Afza (foods division) and blood purifier Safi (medicines division), among others, has plans to extend Safi that promises relief to skin problems like acne to more product lines.
The brand unveiled an advertising campaign a few months ago featuring actor-siblings Kriti and Nupur Sanon.
Safi is an important brand in Hamdard’s portfolio that straddles FMCG and medicines. Even those who don’t know about Hamdard, if they know Safi the connection between the two gets established, said Suman Varma, Chief Marketing Officer, Hamdard Laboratories, in conversation with Medianew4u.com.
This year after the pandemic the company decided to create a stronger brand imagery to connect with the younger audiences and signed on the stars. The most interesting part of the communication, according to Varma, is the positioning of Safi as a skin expert.
“It was also telling the whole truth about what the product is all about. We have bigger plans for this product,” noted Varma, adding that there would be product line extensions in the times to come.
Anyone addressing acne could be competition, but there is no direct competition as Safi is not about topical application but about consumption that cleanses the system from within, the spokesperson underlined.
It’s not just Safi. The company is mulling a relaunch of relevant products in its portfolio.
She explained, “We already have 600 products in our kitty; a lot of them really require to be brought to the limelight, repositioned, relooked at and re-launched again because a lot of them are such fantastic products but how do you advertise such a large number?”
The company, which has in its folio a range straddling honey to oils to spices to medicinal products, launched a new product three months ago in the FMCG space – Hamdard Herbal Toothpaste and an accompanying twin in paan flavour. From Delhi and NCR the product has now been introduced in some UP markets across chemists and Unani outlets, besides on online marketplaces like Amazon.
“We will take another month before we start advertising and making consumers fully aware of this product. From fluoride to natural has been the natural move, even Colgate moved into Ved Shakti, an ayurvedic product. Globally more people are shifting to natural products and for us it’s an extension as we are dealing with natural products,” added Varma.
Multiple pitches for same products
A recent empowering campaign for Roghan Badam Shirin spoke about women confident in their skin.
The CMO explained, “Seeing the women’s equity in the things that are happening around, our brand needed to speak through these young women in a tone of voice that they like. There’s a line in the film that says, ‘Khoobsurti humse se hai aapke nazariye se nahi darling.’ It’s a bold statement and yet there is truth in it. The younger people you talk to, they seem to be so confident of who they are. You need to resonate with the kind of consumers we are seeing in today’s day and time and have to bring your brands closer to them. Portraying women positively and brands’ influence on such women is an important aspect of both the brand’s narrative and marketing aspect.”
The extension of the said campaign is now out, riding the fact that most Unani products have multiple benefits and can hence appeal to other customers differently.
“Even an almond oil, Roghan Badam Shirin, has multipurpose usage. There were two aspects. It helps us to segment the audiences separately and can have a very strong narrative going for mother and child, and then you look at beauty as a platform. The same product reaching two different audiences. The beauty film will be visible across GEC, in films, cinema halls, and music programmes on television along with digital, YouTube and OTT platforms. The mother and child memory film will be plugged at the heart of SaReGaMa Little Champs, and Momspresso, which has a mother’s community,” she noted.
The brand also received a lot of appreciation for its national campaign ‘Sehat hai toh watan hai’. The intent was that the two years of Covid when everybody was locked inside, the police, army, BSF, they were working 24/7 and hence the initiative for the keepers of the nation.
The campaign was a CSR initiative where 6,000 camps were conducted in six months. Towards the end, the company announced 75pc off on medicines for defence forces.
E-com play, retail and product expansion
Admittedly, it was Covid that triggered the digital explosion in the company, as it did across the country.
“When we started using Zoom the power of technology sunk home with meetings happening no matter where you are. It was a marketing initiative where we set up online consultations for people. In the first two months the number of video consultations that happened and the number of people who came, gave everybody the boost of energy to say that maybe there is merit in tapping the untapped,” noted Varma.
‘Serious business’ started on ecommerce started only last year. “It has started showing good signs, we are 50pc more than last year. With smartphone penetration all this has become easy, shopping on e-commerce has become a way of life for most people,” she added.
The company’s strong retail numbers for OTC are up North, in UP, Bihar, and parts of Rajasthan among others. “The ambition on the retail front would be to double what we have, in the coming year. The groundwork has already begun, and market expansion is the only way one can grow. Tier 2, Tier 3 are the areas that are going to give us growth. You can’t write off rural because it is the one which is most ambitious, and we have affordable medicines,” Varma elaborated.
“The basket of brands need to be a little more different and exciting; you need to have different products coming in different formats, categories, things that will appeal to the millennial. Beauty is an area everyone loves dabbling with, we will look at products in this place for sure,” surmised the CMO.