Dollar: Repositioning its boss

Repositioning is not of popular opinion amongst marketers. It is considered a risky proposition. There is a good mix of those who have done it well enough to change fortunes and those who have gone the other way.

The reason is very simple.
Colors, shapes, music, imagery, characters build unique recalls for a brand in consumer’s mind ultimately making them spend money. Any major shift is likely to make the brand lose its relevance in the consumer’s mind, and then start from zero.

There are 3 rare occasions on which experts recommend brand re-positioning:

  1. Venture into new opportunities (business/ talent/ markets)
  2. Dire state (bad branding in past/ no cultural connect)
  3. Emerging future trends (transforming mindsets/ market or industry)

The need for 1 & 2 mostly arises from a business/ revenue standpoint. 3, however, is pure marketing magic.
Latching onto relevant and emerging future trends to brand’s benefit is brilliantly used by Tata Tea with its Jaago Re campaign. It has done wonders for the brand to stay relevant and maintain a high TOMA.

A repositioning on the lines of an emerging trend was recently announced by the innerwear brand — Dollar Global.
A high decibel TV campaign went on air. What caught my attention was a steep change in tonality, messaging, branding and more importantly the target audience — all at once.

Since the past 10 years of Dollar’s association with Akshay Kumar, the campaigns have always been set outdoors, with AK rescuing the supporting female from villains. You could guess how the commercial would end even before you saw it.
These were bits of alpha masculinity and borderline chauvinism enticing millions of Indians into acts of heroic machismo.

Dollar’s new positioning focuses on elements of Gender equality and Inclusive family— two upcoming trends in the country. The new tagline “Wear the change” deemphasizes the focus from a male protagonist and induces a homely vibe, completely opposite to how the brand’s ad films had been so far.
Perhaps a good move to stand out in a category cluttered with male machoism communication.

The move might also help Dollar stand out as a more appealing ‘family brand’ and diversity it’s presence in other growing spaces — Kids, Thermals & Women.

Source: Earnings Call Q3 2019–20

Dollar’s change narrative will be backed by approx Rs. 100 Cr it spends every year on its Brand marketing campaigns. 62% of consumers acknowledge the influence of advertisements on their buying decisions made within the category.

Until now, most campaigns in the category had been fueled with communication high on steroids like adrenaline and testosterone. This led to massive growth for the category, enabling innerwear to evolve from a functional product to a fashion statement.

Except for Jockey which focuses more on the feeling of ‘comfort’ in a gender-neutral way, all leading players follow the same formula.

Bollywood Star + Female Seduction + Aspirational action

Rupa does it with Ranveer, Lux with Varun and Amul with Tiger and Saif.
It will be interesting to see how revenues pan out for the company in the next few months and how the competition follows up with the shifting trends!

Marketing, Coffee and Formula 1 keep me up at night.