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Marketing Management Case Study

Case Title:

Lifebuoy in India: Product Life Cycle Strategies

Publication Month and Year :  July 2009

Authors: C. V. Chiranjeevi

Industry: FMCG


Case Code: MM0026

Teaching Note:  Available

Structured Assignment: Available


The case study helps in understanding the difference between a product and a brand. It also enables to study the behavior of a product during various stages of its life cycle. The current competitive marketing environment during the new millennium is forcing managers to understand the needs of modern consumers and reevaluate the changing opportunities and threats in an evolving global marketing place. The concept of Product Life Cycle (PLC) since its inception in the early 1950s, gained significant recognition as a tool for effective marketing strategy in understanding the behaviour of product on sales, profits, 4P’s of marketing and consumer approval.

Since inception in late 19th century, Lifebuoy, was a nimble and good citizen brand of India, reaching millions of rural customers with a promise of ‘health and hygiene’ as a platform of its business. Its famous advertising jingle, tandurusti ki raksha karta hai Lifebuoy… was so famous that it enabled the brand ‘Lifebuoy’ to be perceived as a ‘red carbolic soap’ for several decades. The brand passed through prolonged stages of growth and maturity during most of the second half of 20th century and was faced with a decline stage during early 21st century with sales falling at the rate of 15%–20% per year. The downward trend of Lifebuoy carbolic soap sales made Hindustan Lever Ltd., to withdraw the product category during 2002 and rejuvenate the brand with prudent marketing strategies by optimally utilising the brand image. This case study analyses how Lifebuoy managed to extend the brand life cycle.

Pedagogical Objective:

  • To understand the concept of product in product life cycle and brand life cycle
  • To analyse various stages of Lifebuoy’s life cycle during 20th century
  • To understand how the strategies of brand rejuvenation helped in extending the life cycle of Lifebuoy.

Keywords : Lifebuoy; Product Life Cycle; Brand Life Cycle; Product; Brand; Marketing Strategies; Hindustan Lever; Indian Soap Industry; Carbolic Soap; Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna; Brand Rejuvenation; Brand Management; Extending the product life cycle; Stages in PLC; Repositioning, Marketing Management; Marketing Mix; Market Segmentation; Product Life Cycle; New Product Development; Consumer Behavior; Marketing Case Studies; MBA; Marketing Course for MBA Marketing Course Case Map; Course Case Map; Case Map


  • The Beginning of Lifebuoy’s Life Cycle
  • Lifebuoy's Life Cycle Changes in India
  • A New Life Line in Lifebuoy’s Life Cycle

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