Godrej’s Kataria talks about Brand Cinthol’s 62 years of successful reinvention

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Sunil Kataria, COO – Sales, Marketing & SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products

Sunil Kataria, COO – Sales, Marketing & SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products

Speaking at the Pitch CMO Summit in Delhi, Sunil Kataria, COO – Sales, Marketing & SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products described an inspiring brand story, that of a brand that was launched on the fifth Independence Day of the country and since then it has been 62 years.No brand can sustain for as long as six decades without reinventing itself. That’s what Cinthol has done.

Kataria saidany brand story which remains relevant and fresh is the definition ofbrand reinvention. Cinthol at present is the number two player in South India and it has gone through three stages in the entire product cycle.
Kataria stated, “Cinthol in the beginning was a premium product and it was positioned as an alpha male, macho bathing bar. During 1985 to 1995, the brand released their television commercial featuring Vinod Khanna and then Imran Khan. That is when we were branded as a premium macho soap.”

In the next ten years, the brand started catering to the popular segment and families. “It was those years when we really wanted to cater to the family and reach out to the masses. The freshness and fragrance equity were carried forward but, the brand positioning moved away from youth to families. Cinthol started catering to family and became a popular variant, decent growth rate was an outcome but at the cost of brand’s imagery which switched from popular imagery that overshadowed the premium imagery.” This is when the brand wanted to reinvent again and wanted to go back to the core premium segment.

The third phase of Cinthol’s reinvention was initiated in 2007. “The objective was to go back to the roots, the macho premium positioning. We wanted to stick to the core attributes of freshness and fragrance, but at the same time we wanted to scale the brand up. We chose Hrithik Roshan to convey our message. The campaign did well but it was still not the reinvention we are talking about here,” Kataria said.

Sunil Kataria & Anupriyia Acharya, Group CEO, ZenithOptimedia Group

Sunil Kataria & Anupriyia Acharya, Group CEO, ZenithOptimedia Group

Cinthol continued with the positioning till 2011. Another reinvention took place due the cultural shift in the last five years. Kataria explained, “In 2012,we took a call of reinventing the brand. It was more about the future of the brand and how we wanted to portray the brand to the youth.”

Kataria called this generation ‘I generation’, a generation which does not really relate to celebrities and their on screen aura. In the process of defining this generation, Kataria said, “This generation will not relate to Amir Khan in 3 idiots but will relate to him in Satyamev Jayate. They lean towards the real side of celebrities and this is when we thought of associating with Virat Kohli,who represents someone who is going to face legends in the field, and not as a celebrity.” This was the real reinvention where we focused on the theme ‘Alive is Awesome’, which certainly wanted to appeal to the youth.The brand successfully reinvented itself again to remain relevant in the minds and hearts of the consumers.

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