Growing Competition Drives

From smarter logos to vibrant logos to vibrant colors, sleeker packaging to new names, companies are doing everything to remain relevant in an evolving market where the consumer seeks more bang for his buck.

The Murugapppa peacock has gone from a staid blue to a flaming red. Some of the Taj Hotels have a stylish new name — Vivanta.. And Horlicks now look sleeker. The past month has been a flurry of re-branding activity. And among others who have embarked on the new and improved way of selling are marketing communication s group Mudra, real estate company Mantri and IT firm CSS Corp.

Given the stiff competition over the last few years companies across sectors have been changing positioning logos, an sometimes even the color with which they are identified to stand out and offer a differentiated product to capture the mind space ad market share.

Public sector lender such a the Bank of Baroda and United bank consumer durables companies such as Videocon, and Onida and flag carrier Indian Airlines have changed their branding and communication.

Each of these companies had a different reason for re-branding. Taj for instance, found it necessary to segregate the hotels under some common criteria to draw absolute parallels in service ambience and the overall experience. The group unveiled the Gateway brand for similar reasons in 2008.

The re-branding exercise or the Brand Architecture exercise is a way of reorganizing the portfolio of hotels that constitutes Taj Hotels resorts and Palaces. Within the group, all hotels are not the same. So Taj hotels resorts & palaces has been segregated into distinct brands

So while gateway is the business hotel (not exactly no frills) Virvanta is one notch up – not indulgent luxury like the palaces but for the global cosmopolitan traveler who is a bit jaded by the typical predictability of traditional five star hotel. This customer appreciate luxury but in a more contemporary minimalist and laidback way.

For Mudra re-branding celebrated the agency’s 30th anniversary. Mantri timed the make over exercise with the success of its Bangalore mall Mantri square –a sign that the company has arrived. Mantri has finally become more than just a local Bangalore brand wt projects in other states.

Similarly Chennai based CSS Corp a software services form, timed its band make over with the opening of its new facility in Chennai the company’s growth n the back of three acquisitions in the recent past and its expanded services portfolio.

For the older brands such as Murugappa the Chennai based bicycles to sugar group, and Horlicks the malted foods brand of GSKCH the re-branding is a way to appear contemporary without losing original identity. The changes are noticeable but not drastic.

Re branding a contemporary rendition of the Murugappa peacock. Red is used. Branding as a color that embodies vigor, power, passion, drive, energy and is renowned for its excellent visibility. The clean lines and the unique lower case style in which Murugappa is written help connect with audiences through simplicity and elegance.

The association of blue and orange with their core health drink product was to strong for them to move away from. But the whole exercise was to position. Horlicks not just as a health drink brand but a larger foods brand. The company which also has biscuits and nodles in their portfolio is planning to introduce more products under the Horlicks brand. It has been in India since the 1930s and has now become an Rs 1,500 crore brand.

The timing of this re-branding activity can be linked to companies coming out of their cautionary recession where they weren’t short of cash but were being careful. Says brand consultants. His agency has done 14 brand makeovers in the first nine months of 2010 against six of all of 2009.

Consultants say growing business competitiveness is making companies rejig their brands. Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding and the market is evolving so rapidly that companies need to constantly reinvent themselves to stay relevant.