Godrej Consumer Products has entered the premium hair care category with B:blunt, its most expensive brand till date.
The B:blunt range of hair care and styling products will be pitted almost directly against L'Oreal's salon brand Kerastase. Being a market leader in the mass hair colour segment with a 25 per cent share, Godrej is now ready to compete in the premium segment.
In 2013, Godrej Consumer Products had picked a 30 per cent stake in a Mumbai-based upmarket salon owned by Adhuna Bhabani Akhtar (wife of Bollywood celebrity Farhan Akhtar) and Osh Bhabani.
"Unlike MNCs (multinational corporations) which import their products, we will be a ‘Make in India' brand to cater to the full hair care regime with R&D designed for Indian hair. (Our) products will be priced below the MNC brands such as Wella, Schwarzkopf or Kerastase," said Vivek Gambhir, Managing Director, Godrej Consumer Products.
While multinational brands like Kerastase would be pegged above ₹1,000, B:blunt's range would be between ₹300 and ₹500. "We have positioned B:blunt as a sub premium brand with pricing which is a sweet spot between the upmarket MNC brands and the local ones," added Gambhir.
So while L'Oreal would like to be seen as an ‘affordable' luxury brand in India, Godrej would offer a ‘mass premium' brand with B:blunt.
"Our biggest challenge would be to create brand equity since we will make B:blunt a world class product which would eventually get manufactured at our own facilities. There would even be a separate distribution channel created for the brand to reach out to general trade outlets," added Gambhir.
Besides, e-commerce would also be an additional point of sale for the premium brand.
"In the UK, almost 25 per cent of premium beauty products are sold through e-commerce and also become a significant channel for B: blunt," said Gambhir. However, competing with MNCs will not be easy as building a new brand would require having deep pockets for advertising.
"Most of the investment behind B:blunt is expected to be on advertising," he added.
Besides, demand is picking up in the fast-moving consumer goods category in the home and personal care segment.