Repositioning Dabur

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG099
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 2001-2004
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Dabur
Industry : FMCG
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Our research showed that consumers found it difficult to distinguish Dabur as a corporate brand and as a master brand. The positioning was unclear to the public. So, we decided to embark on a brand recast to identify brands based on their product properties. This essentially means that Dabur is shedding its age-old umbrella brand strategy, where its entire product portfolio was under one roof.

- Sunil Duggal, CEO, Dabur India Limited in 20041.


In 2004, Dabur India Limited (Dabur) which started as a medicine manufacturer in 1884, was ranked at number four in terms of sales among the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies in India. The company now has interests in hair care, health care, oral care and foods as well (Refer Exhibit I). Though its spread into various segments has ensured that the company's bottom-line has improved over the years, Dabur's positioning was not clear. In the early 2000s, the company went in for a restructuring which included aligning Dabur's brand architecture2 with Dabur's brand equity3; pruning products that did not align with the brand architecture and launching new products (Refer Exhibit I and II).

The company focused on improving its sales revenue from southern India, which contributed only 8 percent of the company's total revenue in 2003. At this time, Dabur identified its ayurvedic platform as a driver of future growth and got its business units better aligned.

Moving away from using Dabur as an umbrella brand, the company shifted to individual branding and came out with a new logo. The company tried to bring to its consumers its Ayurvedic legacy with a contemporary feel. All these changes have improved the financial performance of the company in 2004 as compared to 2003.

Background Note

Set up in 1884 by Dr S K Burman in West Bengal as a proprietary firm for the manufacture of ayurvedic drugs, Dabur (an acronym of the name Dr Burman), started off with a direct mailing system to send medicines to villages in Bengal.

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1] Zachariah, Reeba, Datta, Kausik, "Dabur to do away with umbrella brand plan," Business Standard, October 6, 2004.

2] How an organization structures and names the brands within its portfolio.

3] The sum of all distinguishing qualities of a brand, drawn from all relevant stakeholders, that results in personal commitment to and demand for the brand.

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