July 4, 2020

Brand, Media & Advertising

How Pulse “Masala Bomb” candy became a 300 cr. brand?

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The Base of any strong product lies in the amount of research which is put in combined with making use of your existing resources. Ds group research team pointed out an interesting facts about Indian users. They are fond of “salt & spices”.

Research

Although the margins were larger in high-end chocolates, about 40 per cent of the confectionery unit sales came from candies priced at ₹0.50 – 1. Most of these sales were through unorganized retail, comprising small kirana (mom-and-pop) stores and roadside kiosks, and the candies were sold as single units rather than multi-unit packs or bulk purchases. The purchases were frequently made on impulse, and children were the primary consumers. Many of the shopkeepers used low priced candies instead of coins to provide.

Making use of Existing Resources

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DS GROUP had Catch spices stock & units to make hardened candy due to Pass Pass. They used both of their resources.

Pricing

Ds group current products were all placed at 0.50 paise & 1 rupee. They wanted to keep this new product in the same range. They went with 1Rs.

Taste / USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

Raw mango was a selling taste but parle already had a product which was well selling. So the product just can’t be raw mango there has to be something differentiating. But what ?

India being a tropical country people want something soothing such that their saliva can make a go go. The spices and salt were kept in between the hardened outer core. As soon as the outer core breaks the inner mixture was released which had an impulse effect in mouth.

Name

Indians want the flavour to define name of the brand. But DS wanted to alter it so Im-pulse they kept pulse as name.

Packaging

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They wanted a standout packaging. We have seen mountain dew coming up with a differentiating packaging. Bringing Neon as colour makes it easy with no additional making costs.

Distribution Network

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They already had a strong distribution network of 1 million retailers across states in India. They just had to push this product with existing ones. In doing this they used just 10 member team. Their reach was around 850000. Initially it was launched in Delhi Gujrat & Rajasthan. But later Maharashtra was added in channel.

Production

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Initially the production was kept low as the product was new and team didn’t expect such level of demand but soon the demand went up distribution need was everywhere. The production couldn’t match the demand. Soon counterfeit products came in market. Selective distribution strategy predicting sales volume by the team clearly failed. Hence they only had 2 production units nationally so they tied up with contractual vendors to distribute nationally.

Campaign Budget

0Rs initially. The group initially spent nothing on above-the-line advertising or sales promotion. However, the candy earned extremely favourable responses from early adopters, who shared their experience with Pulse on social media. Some of them even posted videos on YouTube detailing the candy’s attributes. Gradually, the company established below-the-line activities such as in-store promotions and displays, and outdoor advertising.

Success

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By April 2017, within two years of its launch, Pulse, a raw-mango-flavoured, hard-boiled candy, had reached ₹3.26 billion in sales and become the leader in the hard-boiled candy segment, beating leading brands like Parle Products Pvt. Ltd. (Parle)’s Kaccha Mango Bite and Perfetti Van Melle Group B.V.’s Alpenliebe. Pulse sales were even higher than those of multinational brands Oreo and Mars, which had been in the Indian market since 2011.

What worked for Pulse ?

Taste obviously & what about price ?

The team was in two minds .50 or 1 RS the team went with 1 RS as they predicted down the line Indian income is bound to rise and current market war on .50ruppee will shift to 1rs segment.

Overall what worked was mix of each of above elements.

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The two-stage taste experience of the candy was described by consumers as “masala [spicy] bomb” or “magical core,” highlighting the enthusiasm created by the candy in the market. The overall feel and taste of the candy left most consumers amazed and craving more.

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This craze drove customers to buy in greater volumes, usually five to 10 candies in one purchase. Many of them talked about the brand on social media. Initially, most purchases were made by youth, but word-of-mouth publicity and online reviews helped the brand gain quick awareness and adoption among all segments, including schoolchildren, college students, and more prominently working professionals.

Akash is a new age marketeer. He has been Part of teams that launched Cafe Mocha & Grape Seed Oil with Parle & Sula. He also represented the Brand on radio interviews & created podcasts. Organized events of a stature #IPCAWARDS biggest in Poker Industry. His Digital & OOH Campaigns got featured on Afaqs & Adgully in Spartan Poker playing pivotal Marketing role in the Company.