The brand Dabur has almost become synonymous with good health. As we recall the story behind the legendary product, officials at the company say Dabur Chyawanprash accounts for nearly 14 percent sales of its consumercare division. Dabur originated in a small Calcutta pharmacy in 1884 where Dr SK Burman launched his mission of manufacturing healthcare products.
The Legend Behind
The story began when a saint named Chyawan, who was one of the eight sons of Bhrigu and Puloma married King Sharyati’s daughter, Sukanya, at an old age. Soon afterwards, the twins, Ashwini Kumaras came to visit him and offered him a medicine after using which the saint regained his youth. The medicine was named after the saint as ‘Chyawanprash’. In the 1940s, Dabur adopted the 2,500-years-old ayurvedic formula. In 1949, Dabur under the leadership of Dr S K Burman developed the first branded Chyawanprash in the country.
This health supplement from the Dabur stable was positioned as a health giver. The product was free from chemicals and was a combination of herbs and plant extracts in a base of Amla fruit pulp and was launched in a tin pack.
The primary ingredient in Chyawanprash is ‘amla’ (Indian gooseberry). This is rich in Vitamin C and Pectin. Pectin decreases the serum cholesterol in the human body. It is also useful in treating scurvy and jaundice, prevents indigestion and controls acidity.
The other constituents of Dabur Chyawanprash are ‘Ashwagandha’ (winter cherry) which modulates body functionality to control stress and regulates immunity; ‘Pippali’ helps in cough and other respiratory problem and also strengthens lung functions, ‘Kesar’, (Saffron) energises the body and also makes the skin radiant, ‘Guduchi’ enhances physical and mental strength and rejuvenates the immune system, ‘Karkat sringi’ cures recurrent cold while ‘Satavari’ promotes general health and increases stamina and ‘Bala’/’ Vidarikand’ helps to fight general weakness.
Phases of Growth
In 1969, 20 years after the product was launched, Dabur started looking for a new way to leverage its expertise in ayurvedic health. The healthy paste was now packed by Dabur in food-grade tins and was widely marketed and soon became a runaway hit with target consumers.
During the 1980s, the packaging for Dabur Chyawanprash underwent a sea change. The company started using HDPE (high density polyethylene) containers with screen printing. During 1993, the brand was relaunched with new packaging graphics and thermal imaging labels.
The Chyawanprash market is worth about Rs 300 crore out of which Dabur commanded a 66 per cent share (according to the ACNielsen Retail audit report) in 2005-2006.
When Dabur introduced the product under their label, the market was nascent. However Dabur’s effort to upgrade its product look strenghthened the brand position in the market and made the Dabur synonymous with Chyawan prash. To make Dabur Chyawan prash a life-size brand, communication played a significant role.
Striking the Right Chord
Dabur Chyawanprash has always promoted itself on the health platform, helping to immunise the body against diseases. The macro vision was to bring the goodness of Ayurveda (in the form of Dabur Chyawanprash) closer to people by making Dabur Chyawanprash relevant in the modern times.
While the product was traditionally seen as a medicine, Dabur wanted consumers to see the product as a readily available household health supplement.
According to its initial positioning, it was a tried and tested health tonic for the family. And it was represented through a television ad that the product was relevant for both young and old. In the campaign, a grandfather and his grandchild are seen playing with each other, and the communication said the brand maintains physical energy even in old age. The campaign launched during the 80s featured the late Dr Sriram Lagoo.
In the next stage, the positioning changed from general tonic to a more focused plank of building immunity. Dabur Chyawanprash was then positioned as the trusted immunity builder with the tagline, “Kare Bhitri Shakti ka Vikas”. This communication which was also released in the 80s revolved around the product’s lineage, speaking of the faith the ancient rishis had in its beneficial properties.
In a later communication between 1998-99, Dabur Chyawan prash further evolves from a provider of general immunity to a product that provides immunity to children from cold and coughs and positioning the product as one that makes everyone “Andar se strong” (builds the immunity and strength from inside). This was shown through a commercial that draws comparison between a Dabur Chyawanprash child and a normal child travelling by bus.
The Dabur Chyawanprash child can brave the chill wind coming in from the open window while the normal child, although well covered, catches a cold. The brand positioning witnessed a further progression from a provider of immunity for children to the protection of the entire family and keeping them active. The television campaign showed a the brand Dabur Chyawan prash family challenging a group of brash young boys to a game of basketball in the rain, and emerge the winner and the catchline says, “Bimariyan Door, Josh Bharpur”.
Connecting Brand Faces
In 2003 Dabur roped in Amitabh Bachchan as the group’s brand ambassador. Brand core message of ‘Androoni Shakti’ introduced in the form of ‘veer ras’ along with Amitabh Bachchan introduced Dabur Chyawanprash’s new pack on everyday heroes.
The idea was based on the fact that there’s a hero in all of us and by having Dabur Chyawanprash, this hero manifests itself in everyday situations. The campaign also had an aggressive baseline that said, ‘raho zindagi ke liye hardum tayyar’.
‘Androoni Shakti’ with Amitabh Bachchan was taken forward in the Swarn Jayanti pack with offers. Virender Sehwag was signed up to catch the world cup fever in 2004 and the same idea of heroism was depicted in the film.
The idea here was to establish the relevance of Chyawanprash in an increasingly demanding life, both for users and non-users and increase penetration. Another leading Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi was signed in 2005 and was featured as a non-user in the campaign to connect better to youth and kids. ‘Androoni Shakti’ was the platform along with a free honey promotions.
In its recent campaign that kicked off in 2006, Dabur targeted mothers and wives to introduce the product in households. The campaign shows Big B ordering a mom to go to school herself. The rest of the film in a series of fast cuts brings each real situation to life—classroom, assembly, playground, commuting etc. By the end of which, a tired and exhausted mother cannot help but say ‘Zaroorat Hai’.
The film also speaks to the ‘wife’ to make her understand the importance of Dabur Chyawanprash for her husband as he goes through an equally demanding day—at the office, while commuting, and while fulfilling the househld responsibilities. So, a look at the history shows that the Rs 175-crore healthcare brand, Dabur Chyawanprash has truly undergone an evolution as far as its marketing is concerned.
Right Product Portfolio
Riding on the success of Dabur Chyawanprash, Dabur launched `Chyawanshakti’ – an innovative variant of Dabur Chyawanprash in 2005. The product is targeted at people between 30-50 years of age, the age group that is most likely to suffer from stress. “Chyawanshakti is an innovative variant of Dabur Chyawanprash with high levels of ashwagandha to combat stress,” says Dabur India’s executive director of consumer care division, VS Sitaram. He further says, “Dabur Chyawanprash is our heritage product. Everytime one thinks of the company, it is this product that enjoys top-of-the-mind recall. Chyawan prash has always been perceived as a health supplement for the young and the elderly.” In 2006 December, Dabur India also test launched the sugar-free variant Chyawanprakash. This variant is targeted at diabetics and the calorie-conscious consumers.
New Corporate Identity
Dabur has also assumed a new corporate identity. The new Dabur identity modernises the 100-year old equity of the Dabur brand by subtly transforming the tree (the corporate logo). While it retains the essence of the banyan tree, it now projects a contemporary image, in consonance with today’s lifestyle.
The tree, a symbol of nature, is indelibly regarded as a provider of shelter, food and protection. On a metaphysical plane, the tree is regarded as sacred, trustworthy and a symbol of fertility. The new Dabur identity retains these enduring and valuable attributes, while it adds a fresh, healthy and holistic dimension to the tree. The new identity appropriates nature as the wellspring for Dabur. It conveys Dabur’s heritage, commitment and stability through the form and colours of the tree; its branches and leaves. It also conveys that the brand stands for wellness across age groups.