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Exploring Personality in the Indian Deodorant Category

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Indian Deodorant category: A personality perspective
The Deodorant market in India transformed from being a predominantly grey market to a market with severe competition among popular brands. Most of the deodorant brands have taken advantage of the progressive and cultural shift happening in India by appealing to hedonistic pleasures of using a deodorant with daring advertisements that appeal to the Id component of the personality of the target market. Most of the brands focus on the primitive and baser drives, mostly sexual, of the individual and focusing on the sensation seeking trait, while some of the brands also appeal to the under stimulated category of individuals who are in need of excitement in their lifestyles. The brand personalities of most of the brands conform to excitement in the brand personality framework and appeal to linking the ideal self-image of the consumer with the brand in order to forge a strong self-brand connection As the market gets more cluttered by brands which focus on the same personality aspects of the target market, recent launches by a few brands focussing on the need for cognition (NFC) of the consumers and also targeting the low dogmatic consumers with product related, factual benefits makes for an interesting learning in application of personality concepts.

Brands in the category
AXE: Axe appeals to the Id component of personality with its advertisements focusing on attractive women going after the male with the ‘Axe Effect’. With its ‘Call me’ campaign it appealed to the ideal self-image of modern youth who likes to see himself getting phone numbers of girls and being a point of female attraction. It has also used its brand personality to attain fortification in life cycle by entering the soap market with Axe Deo Soap. Wild stone: Wild stone targets the hedonic needs of the consumer with its advertisement of man being seduced by a woman with peripheral cues like Hindi song playing in the background.

It positions itself as a daring and adventurous brand thereby appealing to the sensation seeking trait of consumer and high Optimum stimulation level (OSL) consumer Fogg: Amidst the clutter of hedonistic and Id oriented brand advertisements Fogg appealed to the Need for Cognition of consumers by comparative advertising, emphasising additional value present in each spray as opposed to gas-based deodorants in the market. It also appealed to the low dogmatic consumers by stressing factual product differences and benefits (800 sprays guaranteed). Garnier: Garnier launched its deodorant series with a brand personality of ruggedness with its challenging sports backdrop to advertisements. It appealed to the superego by stressing on social stigma associated with sweat patches and also to the verbaliser and high NFC customer by detailing about its pearlite content which absorbs sweat at the rate of five times to that of talc.

Brand chosen: Fogg
Fogg cleverly positioned itself on the functional aspect which is difficult in a category like deodorants which essentially appeals to hedonistic pleasures. It can further enhance its brand over competitors by focussing on traits like Need for Uniqueness, Variety and Novelty seeking, ethnocentrism and brand personality building. With deodorant category being overloaded by brands focussing on symbolic, hedonistic and Id oriented appeals, Fogg has the advantage of offering a unique value proposition by its spray comparison. This is against conformance and hence could be targeted at people who have Need for Uniqueness (NFU). Related to this is the consumer segment which exhibits exploratory purchase behaviour by virtue of variety and novelty seeking. These consumers switch brands or look for variants to experience new and better alternatives. Another segment that exhibit exploratory behaviours is that of high OSL consumers.

By introducing more variants in terms of colour and fragrance, Fogg can target this segment. Fogg has already introduced a female deodorant that targets the low NFC consumers by focusing on the symbolic and peripheral aspects in its advertisements. It can use some peripheral cues in the male deo segment as well along similar lines. With the Indian deodorant market lacking a formidable indigenous brand, Fogg, manufactured by Gujarat based Vini cosmetics, can appeal to high ethnocentrism customers by focussing on the “Indian Deodorant” aspect. Fogg can also build a brand personality based on the needs that it has targeted initially. By comparing with other brands and promising less gas and more value, it is focusing on the functional need. It can target the actual self-image of the consumer to forge a strong, positive self-brand connection. It can build a brand personality based on competence and sincerity by portraying the reliability and honesty of the brand.

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