Godrej unlocks opportunity in home safety business

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Godrej Security Solutions is trying to build a mass market appeal for an industry that has always largely been servicing the B2B segment. The company has adopted a new communication approach shifting its focus from building consumer awareness to category adoption. The company has also worked on a pricing structure and product portfolio that caters to a wider set of consumers.

In its recent campaign it talks about the significance of having a security system in place with the tagline ‘musibat aaye toh darna kaisa?’. For the past two years Godrej was spreading awareness about the need for security solutions with the ‘musibat bata ke nahi aati’ commercial.

Mehernosh Pithawalla,Assistant Vice President, Marketing, Godrej Security Solutions

Mehernosh Pithawalla,Assistant Vice President, Marketing, Godrej Security Solutions

Mehernosh Pithawalla, Assistant Vice President, Marketing, Godrej Security Solutions says, “We are offering a range of home security products that include electronic home safes, videophones, home cameras and alarm systems. Contrary to the perception, security solutions cater to the masses. If we talk about home safes these products are from Rs 4000 to Rs 40,000. So they are placed at the right budget for the right customer. Similarly a videophone starts from Rs 10,000 and goes upwards.”

Pithawalla says that the consideration to this product has grown over the past few years, earlier it was 50 percent and now it is 60-70 percent. As far as B2B is concerned, Godrej has set up an effective customer relations management model which is going to be its primary focus. “The market is huge in the tier II and III towns but the penetration is low. That is what we are trying to increase by extending our product portfolio that is priced from Rs 4000 to Rs 40,000.”
Godrej is planning to get into 120 cities and are also doing region specific marketing. “We are doing both ATL and BTL with a 360 degree approach. Our major focus is on TV but we are also planning to get into the social media and events for sales promotion. The majority is TV, though social media and digital is on the rise,” he adds.

The brand is looking at a budget of 10 crore as marketing. According to the spokesperson the pure home security market in India stands at around Rs 150 crore and Godrej Security Solutons is expected to hold a 100-110 crore share this year. According to Pithawalla, Godrej Security Solutions’ revenue stood at Rs 60 crore last year and is expected to grow by 50 per cent with the launch of the new campaign.

Explaining the rationale behind the shift in communication Pithawalla says,“A lot of people are aware of brand Godrej. We put in significant effort in brand adoption through our previous campaign ‘musibat bata ke nahin aati’, with which we spread awareness. In India there is a mentality that ‘if it has not happened to us we are safe’. Therefore the new punchline is ‘ab musibat aaye to dar na lage’. Hence if you see the core proposition and the focus is still the same. With Godrej security solutions you can be in complete control – is our new proposition.”

Godrej has made an interesting twist to the campaign by adding humour to it. According to Pithawalla fear never works and happy faces do not work either. “One had to find a route that is clutter breaking and we are doing the same,” he adds.

Sharad Sarin, Prof - Marketing, XLRI

Sharad Sarin, Prof – Marketing, XLRI

But is there a market among the end consumers for products like these in India? “These products have a huge potential but the problem lies in the development of the market. To develop a market one needs awareness, affordability, acceptance and availability. Since Godrej is an established brand therefore the kind of publicity that they do by television will help accelerate awareness. Since it is known for its locks and safes, Godrej has credibility, hence the acceptance is taken care of,” says Sharad Sarin, Professor Marketing, XLRI.

In fact the company has witnessed growth in terms of the adoption of the category. Pithawalla reasserts, “We have seen that the consideration has increased a lot over the last few years and we have been tracking it. Hence we thought this is the right time we can bring in the products. Where earlier, it was all about unshackling, which was category adoption we have now moved on to category benefits.”

However, there is still a presence of small and big players in this domain like Zicom, Digital Track and Vectra Group among many others. But for Pithawalla though competition is from a lot of regional players, there is no large player right now in the home safe segment like Godrej. As far as the other products are concerned Eurovigil is the major competitor for the brand. “There is no one right now who gives both physical as well as electronic security, and we offer comprehensive solutions to our consumers. Our products are certified and we manufacture them ourselves,” he adds.

But is Godrej really going to be accepted in the electronic home safety segment?

In India security and safety are concepts that are not understood properly. In terms of mindset the Indians will not address the issue if they are not individually affected. But people are getting aware and are opting for such solutions. Probably the only challenge is the perception issue that Godrej needs to counter.

According to Sarin the potential is high in the B2B segment. Banks, educational institutions, retail chains and enterprises will use this more than the home segment. “The availability of service is the most important factor. In tier II and III cities the potential is strong but scattered and the service network should be focused here,” he says. The company on its part is also shifting focus to these fast emerging markets.

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