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Revital gets a booster dose

Ranbaxy?s health supplement brand is doing everything it takes to retain its market leadership

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Unless it went straight to the junk box, it is unlikely that you would have missed Salman Khan’s email Holi wishes this year. No, it wasn’t an attempt to hardsell his latest movie, rather it was part of a message meant to promote - the health supplement brand that Bollywood’s leading actor started endorsing recently.

New ambassador will take forward the brand promise ‘jiyo jee bhar ke’ (Live life to the fullest), which Indians have been hearing for the last three years from cricketer Yuvraj Singh. In fact, Singh was the first brand ambassador for Revital.

Ranbaxy, India’s largest pharmaceutical company which owns Revital has chosen Khan, Bollywood star with smash hits such as Dabangg, Ready and Bodyguard, over Singh, currently undergoing cancer treatment in the US.

“Revital suffered a damage in positioning, since has been hospitalized after detection of cancer. Thus to counteract and keep business in safe boundaries, they (Ranbaxy) signed Salman Khan”, R B Smarta, managing director of Interlink Consultancy, said.

A official however said that the “megastar was an obvious choice keeping in mind the huge mass appeal he carries and also because he is a fitness icon.”

Smarta agrees, and adds that the decision to choose Khan for an estimated endorsement fee of Rs 7 crore was an ideal move by Ranbaxy Global Consumer Healthcare.

What accompanied Khan’s Holi wishes was a limited period offer to test, free of cost, the newly introduced brand extension of the country’s best selling health supplement – Revital Woman.

For a company that began its sampling campaign with 12 million sample capsules being distributed through magazines in six months time a couple of years ago, email promotions is just an extension of its mass campaigns in the twitter-friendly world.

www.myrevitalite.com, http://woman.myrevital.com, there are brand extensions galore on the cyberspace as Ranbaxy tries to extract the maximum out of its money spinning Revital - a combination of vitamin, mineral and the Chinese wonder herb Ginseng. While Revital Woman targets the special needs of women, Revital Senior is meant for people aged above 50.

Led by Revital, Ranbaxy’s Consumer Healthcare or non-prescription business recorded sales of Rs 311 crore, a growth of over 20 per cent year on year in 2011. The company has not disclosed Revital revenues separately.

However, the latest data generated by market research entity AIOCD AWACS shows that Revital brands grossed Rs 158.5 crore for the 12 months ended February 2012 (on a moving annual total or MAT basis). The MAT value on February 2011 for the brand was Rs 140.7 crore. Comparable figures for the same period in 2010 and 2009 were Rs 117.5 crore and Rs 68.1 crore, respectively.

“Revital, is Ranbaxy’s flagship OTC brand and is the No. 1 Vitamin & Mineral Supplement Brand (IMS Health SSA MAT Dec 11) in India”, a company official said.

The domestic OTC products market is pegged at over Rs 4,000 crore, growing at 12-14 per cent. Revitals’ competing brands include Dabur’s Chyawanaprash, Himalaya’s Liv-52 and Pfizer’s Becosule.

Major brands among rejuvenator products are Supractiv (Piramal), Nutralite (Amway), Nutrigo (Dabur), Well AM-PM, Well multivitamin (Modicare) and GNC (Guardian Lifecare Pvt. Ltd). However, in the specific Vitamins + Minerals + Ginseng segment, the competing brands are Actival – Z – (Taj Pharmaceuticals), Seven Seas Multispectrum (Merck), etc.

According to Smarta, Revital was the fourth largest OTC brand in India as per Nicholas Hall 2010 report and had won the prestigious ‘Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand’ for the Health & Personal Care category for 2nd consecutive year in 2011.

Revital had the first mover advantage as it was one of the well established brands already when Ranbaxy decided to shift the product from the drug category into a food supplement. By doing so, Ranbaxy got the freedom to price / revise price of Revital products without any fear of government interruption. Since the price control and profit margin restrictions are limited to drugs, Revital as a health supplement was better placed than Revital as a drug to penetrate the market, experts feel.

“Revital’s success is largely attributed to an aggressive mix of first of its kind in over the counter (OTC) marketing and sales initiatives, like 21 day money back challenge or the rural van promotion”, Smarta points out.

The company also tied up with FMCG major ITC to sell its products in rural areas as the distribution reach of an FMCG company into rural areas in India is much wider than that of a pharmaceutical company.

Marketing experts also highlight the recent addition or dual usage of brand name (Revital) in current marketing collaterals featuring Khan. While the previous collateral with Yuvraj Singh had his signature along with headline “I Trust Only Revital”, the current one with has his signature along with the headline “I Trust Revital...Only Revital”—perhaps the reason why Revital enjoys 88 per cent market share in its comparable health supplement segment.

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