By NEETA NAIR
Look around and chances are you’ll see AkzoNobel’s influence there. Their products can be found everywhere from the Beijing Olympic arenas and Buddh International Circuit in New Delhi to, quite possibly, the house next door to you. With operations in more than 80 countries and a 60 year old presence in India, AkzoNobel Paints is one formidable brand here, better known in the country by the name of one of its products Dulux Paints. In conversation with Rajiv Rajgopal, Director, Decorative Paints, AkzoNobel India on the marketing strategies the brand employs to distinguish itself from competition.
Rajgopal says, “We want to project Dulux as a catalyst for positive emotional change. For distinct proposition of our leading brands – Dulux Velvet Touch and Dulux Weathershield, we focus on Television, Print & Digital media. We seek to communicate with our consumers through emotive stories to highlight how the functional/ aesthetic benefit of Dulux leads to a positive change in life. We also directly communicate with retail and professional contractors.”
The brand is also engaging its customers with a slew of initiatives in the digital space. Rajgopal elaborates, “One of the key digital products by Dulux is the Dulux Visualizer app which helps consumers see their room or home in different colours before finalizing on one. The Dulux Visualizer app with its augmented-reality feature, gives an instant and realistic impression of how any room will look, in the colours of one’s choice. The Dulux website and social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram help consumers in multiple ways to decorate their homes, in both contemporary and classic styles.” These initiatives, Dulux claims, has resulted in a 30% increase in web traffic and positive growth.
They recently also came up with a novel way of ensuring the well being of their consumer’s home in the form of a partnership between Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and AkzoNobel India, where the brand is providing insurance cover to the paint users. Talking about the insight behind that Rajgopal says, “We saw a great strategic fit between the two brands. Dulux Weathershield is synonymous with performance and protection while Bajaj Allianz seeks to do the same for its customers. The alliance was a great opportunity for Dulux Weathershield to re-affirm its commitment of giving unsurpassed protection from natural and accidental calamities as well. The response has been good and has helped us deepen our relationship with our customers. Moreover, the use of technology (through the digital medium) has ensured that the entire registration process for the insurance is easy and takes bare minimum time due to a dedicated helpline being in place during the promotion period.”
Currently in the overall decorative paints market, Dulux stands at number four position while in the premium segment they are number two. Rajgopal says, “We want to leverage our global leadership positioning and the power of Dulux’s best-in- class products, which are of international standards to increase our market share.” The brand is making the best possible use of their international lineage by promoting their leading global products like Dulux Weathershield Signature and ColourFutures™.
In an attempt to make a connect with the consumer, Dulux has Akhtar and Shraddha Kapoor. “Both the brand ambassadors lend their own set of unique values to Dulux – while Farhan brings the values of versatility, excellence and innovation to the brand, Shraddha brings alive modern aesthetics that Dulux promises to deliver to its consumers. Together they support the brand in reaching out to the next generation of consumers,” adds Rajgopal.
Absolutely optimistic of the opportunities for the brand in the market, he says, “We have seen the average age of home ownership falling. Consumers are far more involved in decorating their living spaces and we are confident that our revitalized portfolio offers the best products and propositions to inspire consumers to decorate using Dulux. The upwardly mobile Indian is not satisfied with what’s best in his neighbourhood but is inspired by things that are truly world class. Dulux is the only paint brand that provides solutions –performance and aesthetics that are proven to be world class making us the natural brand of choice for India today.”