History: Flagship brand of Parle Products Pvt. Ltd
Status: Has a market share of 60% in the glucose biscuits category, worth about Rs2,000 crore
Brand story: In the hit Bollywood movie Welcome, actor Nana Patekar, in a passing reference to Parle-G, notes that even biscuits command respect and have to be addressed with a ji (a term of respect in Hindi). His remark, while made in jest, is not far off the mark.
It is a heritage brand. We sell over 25 crore packets every month. That should reflect the stature of the brand,” says Praveen Kulkarni, marketing head at Parle Products Pvt. Ltd.
Parle’s mantra has always been about repositioning the brand without tweaking the look and feel of the product. “The brand is clearly an Indian brand and it straddles all economic strata. The fact that it is a staple for everyone in the house keeps it going,” says Nirvik Singh, chairman and president, Grey Global Group, South and South-East Asia, the agency that handles the Parle-G account.
There was a time when Parle-G’s dominance was threatened by rival brands, especially the Tiger brand from Britannia. “We found out that Tiger was getting stronger in the kids segment, and we decided to change our positioning,” says Kulkarni. Later, when the company sponsored the television show Shaktimaan on Doordarshan, it literally rescued Parle-G.
The brand also had some innovative commercials involving young children with a new punchline, G means Genius, which was an instant hit.While rivals have signed on celebrities, Parle-G has managed to retain its leadership position with just a simple white-and-yellow striped wrapper with a picture of a baby on it. “We don’t need celebrities as the brand equity is so strong,” says Kulkarni.
The biggest concern is that the brand shouldn’t become outdated as it is a historic brand. The brand has managed to retain its leadership position because it has evolved its campaign with every consumption trend,” says Singh.
The last campaign, Hindustan ki Takat, (the strength of India) is a huge position which no other brand can take so effortlessly.”