FAIR & LOVELY
History: The fairness cream brand was developed by Hindustan Lever Ltd (now Hindustan Unilever Ltd) in 1975.The product was then marketed nationally in 1978
Status: According to industry estimates, Fair and Lovely holds 80% market share in the at least Rs1,000 crore by sales Indian fairness cream market
Brand story: Made to cater to the Indian market, where beauty is equated with fair skin, the launch of Fair and Lovely was met with much enthusiasm. In 1988, the brand went international, and is now available in 40 countries.
The brand has had its share of negative publicity, with women’s groups calling the ad regressive. The ads, which focused on the mass aspiration of “marrying well”, soon moved to more progressive ones in the 1980s.
The early 1990s saw the brand take on the role of enabler of t dreams. In the late 1990s, the brand message was that a woman could make her own destiny—a thought that was carried forward in all its campaigns. In 2007, the brand tweaked its approach to the Power of Beauty platform.
With the fairness cream business accounting for the lion’s share of the skincare products industry here, several companies have launched fairness creams in the hope of securing a piece of the growing pie.
While none were able to challenge HUL in terms of numbers, they did start eating into the company’s market share with unique offerings.
Fair and Lovely was quick to take on competition—with variants. So, whether it was unique offerings such as ayurvedic formulations with saffron (to combat Fairever by CavinKare Pvt. Ltd) or those that claimed to erase marks (to fight No Marks by Ozone Ayurvedics), Fair and Lovely managed to launch variants that matched, and in some cases even topped, the promise touted by the competitor. To tap the premium segment of the market, Fair and Lovely also launched Perfect Radiance. The popularity of the brand and category can be gauged from the fact that today, it even has a variant for men.