Milk producers intensify brand-building as the festive season approaches.

Once upon a time, it was your mom desperately trying to make milk an object of desire. Now it’s the dairies. As brands of all sizes, be it Amul, Mother Dairy or others, vie to sustain and grow their business, milk has never had it so good – in a market where all milk looks the same, producers are trying hard to make theirs the coolest one.

Parag Milk Foods, private dairy player and manufacturer of brands such as Go Cheese and Gowardhan Milk, has launched milk for the first time in cartons.

“Today’s consumers are information-driven, technologically-savvy and health-conscious. And here lies the rationale for packs that denote fresh milk, suited for fast lives. Owing to longer shelf life, it will be a pan-India category, unlike our other perishable products like packet milk and lassi which are circulated in our regional markets,” says Nirmal Kumar Chaudhary, Advertising Manager, Parag Milk Foods.

Parag’s new television commercial hits the small screen on September 20, the media campaign for the product entailing an investment of Rs 4 crore. Milk is young again, the campaign says, showing two romantic couples around a pack of milk. Mall activations which engage couples with the brand will follow.

“Our marketing expenditure for the fiscal is Rs 35 crore. Ours is a Rs 1,000-crore company with milk contributing 5 per cent of the business,” says Devendra Shah, Chairman, Parag Milk Foods.

Mother Dairy too has changed its packs to differentiate itself from the herd. The new look has village scenes highlighting how milk from the farm reaches consumers’ homes.

The official spokesperson at Mother Dairy says, “Consumer research shows villages are synonymous with purity. We have taken this insight and brought it alive in our packaging.”

The new pack has been designed by brand consulting and design company Ray + Keshavan,

Yet another brand, and Rs 500-crore company, Gopaljee, has re-branded its name as ‘Gopaljee Ananda’, Ananda denoting eternal bliss from purity with connotations of Lord Krishna amidst his ‘gwal baals’ (cowherd companions), and the new tagline of the company being ‘joy of fresh milk’.

The company has invested Rs 3.5 crore in the entire re-branding exercise right from packaging, new logo and new tagline. Aqua Communication is the creative agency behind the initiatives.

“It is an excess economy market where a standard product like milk needs to be differentiated by packaging, tagline, and such. In order to resonate with the consumer, players use different planks such as purity and nutrition.

They are basically trying to show value in their product,” says Harish Bijoor, brand domain expert and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults.

Mother Dairy too agrees with the need for constant re-branding. “A brand is an experience and therefore every touch point needs to be reviewed and renewed constantly,” says the official spokesperson of Mother Dairy.

These moves come on the heels of the festive season when players see a spike in sales. “We are trying to leverage the festivities. During September-December we typically see a 20-30 per cent spike in sales,” says Chaudhary of Parag Milk Foods. Now let’s see if that milk moustache grows any thicker!

(This article was published on September 13, 2012)
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