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.
"Things that you own, end up owning you"...Fight
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
det-product innovations are all about reducing laundry-
time. So i washing machine innovation (& we will come to
I dont want to starch clothes anymore, I want cuffs &
collars to be whiter - faster! etc; etc;
(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"
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
Less laundry Care Vs More Laundry Care.
(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-
(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.
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-
An interesting #stratalogues - 2013 anecdotal laundry
In Bharat, the mum-in-law still prevails, She expects the
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.
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-
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
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
Management of meaning...this time for laundry categroy!