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A strategic instigation by @wolfzhowl into the laundry category in India. WIth specific insights into both India & Bharat markets. Submission & escape both in the modern Indian context and the traditional Bharat context make for interesting #wolfSIGHTS powered by #stratalogues.

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  1. 1. #LaundryQuandry #LaundryQuandry "Things that you own, end up owning you"...Fight Club! How true it is for the detergent /wash category. Product innovations are based on divergent metrics. Each metric a polar-opposite to the other. (a) As my life & role is evolving, I Need to spend less time washing clothes, hence I desire a detergent which washes easier, removes stains & dirt easier and foams more (more foam = more cleaning as per consumer perception). Hence
  2. 2. det-product innovations are all about reducing laundry- time. So i washing machine innovation (& we will come to that later). I dont want to starch clothes anymore, I want cuffs & collars to be whiter - faster! etc; etc; VS (b) As my lifestyle & indulgence quotient is evolving, I am spending more on clothes compared to the previous generation. These "more" expensive clothes are more delicate and sensitive, made of so called better material and hence demand more care! Spread dry Vs drip dry. Hand wash vs Machine wash. Cold water Vs Luke-warm- water-vs hot water wash. Dry in shade Vs dry in sun light. "I want to wear posher/branded/more sophisticated clothes - but these clothes demand more of my "care" time". Consumer Tension 1: I want to reduce the time spent on everyday chores (to be able to spend more time on an indulgent out-side/out-going life) Vs The more expensive/posh clothes I buy to look good when I indulge in my "out-side" life demand more laundry time & focus of mine. Less laundry Care Vs More Laundry Care.
  3. 3. VS (1) Iam replacing clothes faster (older clothes in my wardrobe are making way for newer clothes faster) and hence damaged clothes are less of an eye/conscience- sore!. VS (2) My Clothes are becoming more expensive and sophisticated and hence need better care and the current washing options (detergents & washing machines) are abrasive and damage my clothes faster. Newer clothes look older faster (colorless & faded, lifeless & saggy etc;). The current claims of hand-like wash by both detergents & washing machine brands are a reaction to this thought- action by consumers. Consumer Tension 2: I want to auto-mated care for my more expensive clothes and the current washing enablers are more damaging than caring. (Hence the growth of fabric conditioners in our market). More care need = choice of perceived best brand Vs dissonance with best brands as caring for dirt fighting at the cost of fabric saving.
  4. 4. Consumer lesson: India is subsume-market. Not a bad idea for brands (Just like shampoo market to subsume conditioner in detergent). Challenge to market leader SURF: "Kya aapka detergent ko daag acchey lagtey hai, kapdey nahin" (Does your detergent love dirt and not clothes, then why does it damage clothes so?) messaging by a pro-active, care- subsumed detergent. An interesting #stratalogues - 2013 anecdotal laundry insight: In Bharat, the mum-in-law still prevails, She expects the educated/semi-educated/relatively-uneducated daughter- in-law to demonstrate her commitment & responsibility to her household via regaling herself in some menial tasks (oh! how female-chauvinistic). She uses the lack of electricity (or the constant absence of it in Bharat), cost of electricity as an aide to prevailing over her daughter-in- law into this daily laundry slavery. She also throws-in the damage done by machine wash to precious clothes (in a predominantly VFM conscious society) as a further "nail in the bucket" and hence legitimises her frothing and "foaming" (Pun intended) at the daughter in law not adhering to the laundry slavery. Now what is pitiful is the attitude, but what is amazing is the counter by te modern day educated daughter-in-laws.
  5. 5. Now education is the class-barrier breaker in Bharat (& in India of course). An average Indian family spends most on child's education and nutrition (as an investment to the child's future). Lot of Tiger moms still here - mind you!. Penetration of multi-media schools into even the heartlands, increased strain of academic & extra- curricular rigor even in Bharat means more at-home guidance/tutoring/responsibility. The father (though more involved in child upbringing in this generation) simply does not have the time...hence the new-age mother (also the daughter-in-law) steps-up and assumes the at- home responsibility. Child's new age education demand more time and hence she brilliantly uses it to say she has less time for laundry - resulting in one of the 3: (a) upgradataion to a premium- detergent (b) hiring of a maid to do the laundry or (c) buying of a washing machine and spending precious inverter energy on it. Effectively over-ruling either the traditional (female- chauvinist) mum-in-law (Joint family) or the continuously chauvinistic husband (Nuclear family). Now its a known truth (due to rural-urban migration) that you have a better maid in the cities than in the town or the village. Hence the laundry category is either a slave to the
  6. 6. maid or needs to be up-graded / automated. (Washing Machine brands - need to pay heed here). NOTE: By the way a/c on inverter is frowned upon (leading to an a/c consumption barrier in the electricity betrayed Bharat), if only Child's education demands focus/concentration and the placating atmosphere of an a/c (especially during summer) becomes the trigger the a/c category can look at tripling its Bharat sales. & by the way, Bharat – sensitive fathers have started going out of home for a quick breakfast – possibly a good piece of marketable insight to plug in some quick breakfast in the early morning rush hour! Bharat mornings are more rushed than India morning by the way! In sizeable enough cases atleast. #Stratalogues #wolfSIGHTS Management of meaning...this time for laundry categroy!