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Positioning, Repositioning, Reverse Positioning Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

Fairness Products Market in India: Who is the 'Fairest'?

Publication Year : 2009

Authors: Fareeda, P. Girija

Industry: Manufacturing


Case Code: POS0035

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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This case study explains the significance of brand positioning in the highly competitive fairness products market in India. With increase in per capita income and corresponding shift towards Western lifestyle, Indians have begun spending more on personal grooming. The desire to look healthy and beautiful is on the rise. All these factors, coupled with near obsession of the Indians for fair skin, have given an unprecedented impetus to the Indian fairness market in the past few decades.

Banking on the opportunity, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) launched Fair & Lovely fairness cream in 1975. With its positioning as the first ever fairness cream targeted at common man, the brand turned out to be a huge success. Challenging HUL’s dominance, CavinKare, a Chennai-based FMCG, introduced Fairever. The product, aimed at middle class consumers, was differentiated on the basis of the ingredients used i.e., Kashmiri saffron and milk used in the preparation.

Soon a handful of domestic and multinational companies like Dabur, Emami, L’Oreal, P&G, Avon, Oriflame, etc., joined the fray with their unique differentiation and positioning strategies, thus contributing to the momentous growth of the Indian fairness products market. Given the competition from these global brands, Indian brands are facing a huge threat in terms of brand value. The case tries to analyse as to what should be the viable marketing mix decisions of the Indian fairness brands to make a mark globally. The case also facilitates a debate on the strategies that Indian players should adopt to emerge as leaders in the immensely cluttered fairness products market.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To examine the industry structure and attractiveness of fairness products market in India
  • To discuss the marketing mix of companies and relevance of branding in fairness products market
  • To analyse the potential of Indian cosmetics companies in evolving as global brands.

Keywords : Positioning, Marketing Mix, 4Ps, Positioning Strategies, Cosmetics, Marketing Strategies, Fairness market, P&G, Differentiating, Consumer Behaviour, Women consumers, Indian Cosmetics Market


  • Fairness Products Market: An Overview
  • Demand for Cosmetics in Emerging Markets
  • Competitive Landscape of the Fairness Products Market in India
  • HUL's Fair & Lovely
  • CavinKare's Fairever
  • Emami's Fair and Handsome

  • Shahnaz Husain’s FairOne
  • L’Oreal
  • Procter & Gamble (P&G)
  • Intensifying Competition: Foray of Other Players
  • Way Forward: Future Positioning and Growth Prospects

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