Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The latest Warchips

While I munch Lays and sip Pepsi (brand loyalty not intended), I wonder how a week of market visit and working on a marketing summer project changes your perspective in life (literally!). As you walk on the roads of Patna, you look at the sachets & brands stocked in front rather than the name of the shop. You look at hoardings (thinking - what a visibility!) instead of the car waiting to dash you. While watching an IPL match, you wonder about the visibility of the stickers all over the batsman's shirt (and the umpire's!). An instance - was watching the Kurkure's new Desi beats ad during a commercial break. And thought of how the snacks (specifically chips) industry has changed in recent years. Originally a near-monopoly, the market changed with the aggressive entry of ITC - intentionally advertising the non-conventional variants, thus avoiding a head-on. With its distribution and muscle power, it placed Bingo racks in every other shop. Now we see Pepsico coming up with the triangular chips (against Bingo's Mad Angles) under Kurkure. There are 2 things to learn from this. First, Bingo has created a category of its own, causing the market leader to react. Its not far that we'll see Pepsico replicating all its variants. Secondly, look at Pepsico's strategy. Intentionally, it has launched it under Kurkure and not Lays - to ward off direct competition with a newbie like Bingo. This ensures that Bingo now fights 2 brands - both Lays and Kurkure - and Lays would like to retain its position as the most preferred chips. Even if people prefer Bingo, it can afford to forego Kurkure's market share, not the Lays brand. A masterstroke, I would say. To continue with the wars, Bingo now introduces 'International cream & onion' against the 'American cream & onion' (incidentally the variant that I am munching while writing this!). It has gained the strength to do that now. Take on Lays in its own forte, with people knowing the Bingo brand by now. It would be interesting how this war progresses over time.

1 comment:

Seeker of Truth said...

Potato chips always left us asking for more...
The plain salted classic taste never did bore!
But local tastes now decide what one buys;
Demanding a dash of outlandish spice!
Now chips aren't just about potatoes anymore!