Eveready name is almost a synonym for dry cell batteries in India. The company has close to 50% market share in both dry cell and flashlight segments in Indian market. Success of Eveready has been on their capability to adapt to the changing market needs quickly through their R&D focus, ability to connect to consumers’ needs with a strong brand image and extensive sales distribution network they have created over the years.
The company’s history can be traced back to 1905, when they introduce batteries in India for the first time. The company was initially a subsidiary of Union Carbide and they started their operations by first importing batteries and then integrated manufacturing to their operations. Now they have the largest distribution network, as per one of AC Nielsen’s studies the company has 70% of battery distribution outlets covered throughout both urban and rural India.
Eveready has extended its product portfolio to lighting and new age products too. The only diverse product line is packed tea which was started to leverage its nation-wide distribution network. Eveready’s product portfolio includes:
- Dry cell batteries (now around 75% of them are AA batteries)
- Flashlights and lanterns
- Packed tea (brands like Tez)
- Lamps and other Luminaries and
- New age products – rechargeable fan, radio and also mobile power bank
Eveready launched ‘Give me Red’ campaign in 1990’s. The campaign though had an appeal for urban market; it was so successful in associating the color of red to this brand in both urban and rural markets. The impact of this campaign in rural market was also high as Eveready batteries came to be called ‘Lalwallah’ batteries.
Brand Attribute Association
In 2006, Eveready launched a new campaign ‘Kuch hai Extra’ as an initiative to associate brand attributes of power and durability. They roped in Amitabh Bachan for their ad as part of this campaign. This ring bells among both urban and rural consumers. The demand for conventional batteries increased in rural market and the attributes were equally important for urban markets too where the demand for more rechargeable alkaline batteries was increasing due to the shift in income level and lifestyle which brought in many consumer appliances like remote controls, toys, MP3 players and so on.
Brand for New Age
As India is slowly moving towards a ‘middle income’ economy where consumer goods are influenced mostly by the consumption pattern of middle income families, the demand for new age power products especially those suitable for mobile phones and portable electronic gadgets is increasing. Eveready launched a new line of ‘Ultima Power’ products fitting to this new-age consumer demands. They roped in new brand ambassadors like Akshay Kumar to promote this new product range.
Business goals for 2013
Eveready wishes to continue its leadership position in both dry cell and flashlight segments in both rural and urban India. They wish to consolidate and increase their market share in Lighting and Luminaries segment. Packed tea is a stable segment for them. However new-age mobile power product range is going to be the star segment along with Lighting for the company going forward. They introduce new range of product like mobile chargers, USB charger early this year. The company plans to leverage their 4000 retail outlets as well as new channels like mobile phones, online stores and apparel outlets to distribute their new product range. The company targets a two digit growth rate in 2013-2014, it is too aggressive?
Challenges in Market
The company faces many challenges in different product segments:
- Price increase of dry cell batteries due to rising cost, which is reducing the demand of the same.
- Sales from conventional product lines is stagnating
- Fluctuating Indian economy and weakening of Indian Rupee expect to make an impact on the imports as they still import their new product range from China
- Unorganized sector in Flashlights is eroding their market share considerably
- Shift in power consumption with more new age gadgets coming to the market
Beyond Red and Dry cells
It is time for Eveready to move beyond just being Red and a leader in Dry cell batteries segment. The company has to get their business and marketing strategy right in connecting to the fast growing young consumer market in India. It would be interesting to see how company can overcome the challenges and continue to have their market share intact in Indian market.
Disclaimer:The case is prepared based on secondary data and the purpose of this case study is to just bring out the key marketing strategies and techniques deployed by different firms from our perspective.