Though Brand Lalu has been famous for more than a few reasons, very few marketers have been able to cash in on it on a sustainable basis. Products ranging from Toys to TV Serials, from toffees to dating sites, from movies to a website are being introduced in the market from time to time under the aegis of the “Lalu” Icon.
Consistent product introductions in the market tagged with the Bihari Persona has ensured that people remember him. His distinct style of communication and behavior has given him a unique place in the Indian community. So much so that the word “Bihar” and “Lalu” have become synonymous in the South Asian news circles. Following are a few pertinent branding stories floated in the market –
Lalu had gained considerable popularity on account of his involvement in the fodder scams in Bihar. Even though it was for all the wrong reasons, the name stuck nonetheless.
Leveraging this recall value of the local community in Bihar, Prakash Agro recently launched fodder under the Lalu Brand in Bihar.
How strong is the Lalu Brand in Bihar? A story on June 20 in one of the Bihar dailies discussed the feedback of the farmers, who insisted that cattle chewing on Lalu fodder give milk that’s much sweeter than before. Thus, thanks to Lalu fodder, their quality of milk has improved! Now that’s impressive for a first timer…but whether it’s the fodder or whether it is the ‘lalu’ component in the brand remains to be seen. For now, the company has got a magic formula to use for its brands!
Besides these products, local barbers and saloons are earning handsome money by offering what they call the “Lalu style hair cut”. One of the barbers commented that the style is a craze among the youths and even policemen.
However, not anything and everything can be “successfully” tagged Lalu. There have been brand failures as well. Bollywood failed to accept the movie based on him “Padmashri Lalu Prasad Yadav”, the Television industry failed to accept the TV serial titled Ram Khelawan & Family and the Lalu doll is also not available in the market any more.
Agreed that Lalu instantly connects with the rural populace and entails high recall. But the point here is what clicks with the consumers in one category might not click in another. I cannot launch motorcycles under the Lalu brand, neither can I launch Watches. There has to be a connect somewhere, which the consumer can psychologically map and associate with the ex-chief minister.
For now, such a trend definitely entails some excitement towards exploring more on the effect of a persona on the product offerings. Can we do this for soaps and detergents? What about White goods and apparel? Also, how much of an impact such a trend would make and spill over in markets outside Bihar? Are there similar iconic brands in other Rural markets as well?
[Tip from Hindustan Times]