Pandemic lockdowns combined with work-from-home directives increased sales of Philips grooming products such as hair trimmers, straighteners, and epilators. Vidyut Kaul, head of personal health at Philips’ Indian subcontinent business, stated in an interview that the firm is focused on boosting category penetration and generating development for its mother and child care brand Avent.
People were confined at home under covid, which manifested differently for men and women. Men made up 35-40% of those who entered the (grooming) category for the first time. Everyone began to experiment with cutting their own hair at home. People had to switch on the camera even though the workplaces were virtual. We saw that guys were paying much more attention to their facial looks. Women, on the other hand, dominated the epilation portfolio. The haircare section was nearly flat. Many men are upgrading to better items after reading this post.
How will you broaden your reach and penetration?
When it comes to describing the benefits of the product, there is still a lot of awareness that has to be developed in India. There are many phony or low-quality items on the market that are created in low-cost nations. They provide consumers with a negative experience in the category. So we’re doing a lot of teaching and awareness and enlisting celebrities to help.
As a brand, we believe in the principle of first understanding the market’s unmet requirements and then developing answers for them. In India, 70% to 80% of the portfolio has been designed to meet the demands of the Indian consumer. This entails a significant amount of consumer studies, such as determining price elasticity and usage patterns. Many of the things we sell here, and are in the process of developing more, are not available in other regions of the world.
Will you boost your marketing expenditure over the holiday season?
We’ve been spending a lot of money on advertising. We understand that we must assume the role of the brand that invented the category. We are ensuring that the money is spent where the customers are. As a result, the entire two-pronged approach of sending the message to the top with major superstars, but also going through influencers and local opinion leaders to ensure that the message lands. Virat Kohli is a brand ambassador for men’s grooming, whereas Alia Bhatt is a brand ambassador for women’s grooming. Both will continue to promote the items. On the product side, we have been inventing; it is in the company’s DNA. While we recognize the importance of the correct price points in unlocking the category and driving penetration, we have also pushed innovation to ensure that it is relevant to premium audiences. We have introduced a UV-protected hair straightener. There will be a greater emphasis on mid-premium and premium since that is where we can deliver more real innovation to customers.
How do you plan to drive mother and child care under Avent?
Mother and child care is a distinct industry. We’re talking about a child’s health and well-being here. So there’s a lot of research involved, as well as collaboration with the medical community. We are unable to advertise our goods due to government rules and WHO standards that advocate mother’s milk for babies—which is perfectly correct.