In 2010, Wipro Consumer Care had acquired Yardley for India and a few other international locations and since then, the personal care brand has grown at least 10 times. It now expects to be among the top three brands in the women’s categories of talcum powder, deodorant, and roll-ons.
To capture the interest of younger generations and young Yardley users, it is going all-out in terms of marketing efforts, product differentiation by betting on 90% natural deos, and enhancing product and e-commerce capabilities.
BestMediaInfo caught up with Manish Vyas, Business Head of Yardley India, to discuss its overall marketing strategy for both traditional and young users and its expansion plans. He talked about how categories born out of pandemic, such as hand wash and sanitisers, are helping it to generate additional revenue streams.
The company is active in three segments. There is the female portfolio. Then comes Yardley gentleman, which is 30% of its business, and is growing on its own and doing very well. The third is the personal hygiene portfolio, which it doesn’t advertise at all.
Since the brand is back after almost four-five years in terms of advertising the deodorant, it has increased 30-40% of its adspends, Vyas said. “Digital has increased 100% over the previous year.”
With 250 years of legacy in fine fragrances, the company continually evolved to remain true and relevant across generations. And based on the latest insight that women do prefer natural products, it has done some work on product development and has re-launched its deodorant. It believes in inspiring women to showcase their true potential and step up to their best version.
It has released a TVC about the concept of nature-like freshness and taken on board Bollywood actor Kriti Sanon as its new brand ambassador.
The TVC has been launched across multiple channels across regions, including digital. An extensive print campaign is also planned along with a prominent presence across general trade, modern trade, and e-commerce sites to create 360-degree visibility.
Vyas said TV will be the mainstay for the ad. “We are looking at GECs, news and movies and music channels for TV. We are coming back with a big investment campaign with a celebrity in a long time, so allocating maximum budget towards television to have mass appeal. This is followed by digital, including OTT and YouTube.”
Until 2012, it had Katrina Kaif as the endorser and Amy Jackson too at some point of time for some of the South markets.
The campaigns with Kaif and Jackson:
In terms of ROI, Vyas said the brand is looking at a strong number of GRPs required to make an impact. It is also going local with a good mix of Hindi and regional languages.
India contributes around 40-50% to its overall global revenue as compared to less than 10% back when Wipro had acquired the brand. It is now hopeful of growing faster than the rest of the world.
“It had a very small presence in the country when we had acquired the brand but since then, we have launched ourselves in multiple categories. We don't have one single market share but across all these categories. I wouldn't say we are a leader, or either among the top five right now, but yes, we are growing to be among the top three brands in most of the women categories, wherever we present. We have grown at least 20 times in the last 10 years,” he said.
“We will continue this rapid growth in the coming years and we have significant a share at least in two or three categories,” he added.
Even amid the pandemic last year, it had been durable enough to extend into various hygiene categories such as sanitisers, hand wash and got accepted very well.
The sales of need-based categories related to hygiene increased a lot during the first wave. By the end of June or July 2020, the category and the growth numbers again became negligible. There was some increase again during the second wave in March-April this year.
“The sales have again become very insignificant and most of the brands have withdrawn their sanitiser products. We were never planning to get into this category. But with the technology available, with a larger pool of R&D, we accidentally entered this category and that experimentation turned out to be very successful. Yardley anyway enjoys trust and quality perception in the market. We had differentiated spray formulation approved by WHO and this helped us sustain the sanitiser business,” he added.
When discretionary purchases on body lotions went down, it introduced a germ-shield lotion, which got a lot of acceptance.
Asked if they will continue to sell products born out of the pandemic, Vyas said, “We have a very sell out-based approach. We produce and stock in line with what sells in the market. So, we will follow the market optics. But we will build a surrounding portfolio such as hand wash and soap, which will sell irrespective of the pandemic.”
In the last quarter, Yardley India had grown by almost 20%, which is its best-ever revenue number. “We would definitely cross a very strong annual run rate in this quarter too.”
This growth, according to him, happened on the back of its strong equity and multiple categories. Earlier it was restricted to a few categories.
E-commerce has given it good access to consumers. 15 to 20% of its business comes from e-com. Apart from aggregators such as Amazon and Flipkart, which is its mainstay; it is present across grocery e-com platforms such as BigBasket and even Dunzo for hyperlocal delivery. Other than sampling websites and niche ones such as Purplle, he said its own website is not significant in terms of the sales.
However, it has plans to change its approach there. “We will have a revamped website, which will come in a month or two. And that will further our volume. We are trying to do all b2b, b2c, hyper local, grocery, but sales wise our mainstay will come from the marketplaces,” he added.