Repositioning Strengthens Lifebuoy’s 107-Year Heritage

12-02-2002 :

Lifebuoy is no longer a carbolic soap with cresylic perfume. It is now a milled toilet soap with a new health fragrance. The new formulation has an ingredient, Active-B, which offers protection against germs, which can cause stomach infection, eye infection and infections in cuts and bruises. The new health perfume has been selected after one of the most extensive perfume hunts in the industry. The new milled formulation offers a significantly superior bathing experience and skin feel. The new formulation, new health perfume and superior skin feel, along with the popular red colour, have registered conclusive and clear preference among existing and new users.

Lifebuoy is already used by about 600 million consumers, with about 2 million tablets sold every day. The relaunch strengthens this equity by repositioning the brand. Lifebuoy was previously targeted at the male user with an individual-oriented “success through health” positioning. The new Lifebuoy is targeted at today’s discerning housewife with a more inclusive “family health protection for my family and me” positioning.

Introducing the new Lifebuoy

Introducing the new Lifebuoy, Mr. Sanjay Dube, Category Head - Mass Market of HLL’s Detergents Profit Centre, said, “Launched in 1895, Lifebuoy, for over a 100 years has been synonymous with health and value. The brick red soap, with its perfume and popular Lifebuoy jingle, has carried the Lifebuoy message of health across the length and breadth of the country, making it the largest selling soap brand in the world. It is to maintain its leadership, and further strengthen its benefits of health to larger sections of consumers, that we have researched and developed this new mix. We have repositioned Lifebuoy and have made a deliberate shift from the male, victorious concept of health to a warmer, more versatile, more responsible benefit of health for the entire family.

“The significant changes in formulation have registered a clear consumer preference. The new perfume has been selected after one of the largest perfume tests in the industry to ensure a universal appeal without alienating the 600 million loyal users. We are confident that this mix will deliver an enjoyable bath experience and also deliver on the core Lifebuoy properties of health and value. This will restore the brand’s growth by expanding its consumer base, ” Mr. Dube added.

Lifebuoy Range

Lifebuoy is among HLL’s power brands, which the company is focussing on, selected on the basis of their absolute size, brand strength, brand relevance, competitive advantage and potential for growth. The new Lifebuoy range now includes Lifebuoy Active Red (125gm, 100 gm and 60 gm) and Lifebuoy Active Orange (100gm). Lifebuoy Active Orange offers the consumer a differentiated health perfume while offering the health benefit of Lifebuoy. At the upper end of the market, Lifebuoy offers specific health benefits through Lifebuoy International (Plus and Gold). Lifebuoy International Plus offers protection against germs which cause body odour, while Lifebuoy International Gold helps protect against germs which cause skin blemishes.

In 2001, HLL’s soaps & detergents turnover was Rs.4295 crores, which is approximately 39% of the company’s net turnover of Rs.10972 crores. HLL’s power brands in soaps registered an overall growth of 5.3% in 2001. HLL has been significantly increasing investment behind its power brands, in innovation, quality improvement and marketing. These have been backed by major sales initiatives. In rural India, the focus is to further extend reach, which has resulted in direct coverage of about 46% of the rural population as of now. In urban markets, the objective is to improve customer service. Dedicated sales teams have been formed to service key accounts and wholesalers in larger towns and cities. A cell has been set up to attend to the modern trade, comprising chain stores.


Hindustan Unilever Limited
Unilever House,
B. D. Sawant Marg,
Chakala, Andheri (E),
Mumbai - 400 099.

T: +91-22-39830000
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