07 Feb 2018 19:53 IST

Model based on promotions, participation will succeed

Apart from the 3P matrix, Ayush should run consumer contests and reward the mega shoppers

Products are made in factories but brands are created in the mind.

Those words of branding and consumer research pioneer Walter Landor seem to be especially relevant in the Ayush-Patanjali face-off in the market. Building on the foundation of strong public relations and faith placed by the customers in a yoga guru, Patanjali has succeeded in dominating the Ayurvedic market in India. With people’s health-consciousness and affinity towards products such as those made by Patanjali growing by the day, HUL needs to be aggressive in its approach to gain market share.

Situation analysis

A thorough analysis of the case highlights the following challenges faced by Ayush.

1. Lack of an influential figure, like Baba Ramdev, in its promotion campaigns

2. Lack of touch points in retail outlets

To address these issues and gain an edge over Patanjali, HUL needs to do an assessment of its strength of market share and its capability to influence the market with its products through a competence-market share matrix.


Competence-market share matrix

Our assessment shows that, though growing, Ayush has a lower market share than Patanjali in the personal care product segment. However, since HUL has a huge distribution network, the brand has a high competence to influence the market. Hence, we place it in the “disruptor” category. Patanjali maintains its dominance in the “authority” category, where Ayush has to make its entry.

3P Model Strategy

To create a market for Ayush and to take on Patanjali, HUL needs to adopt a three-pronged 3P approach — point of contact, promotion and participation.

Point of contact

The presence of trained ayurvedic practitioners in Patanjali’s clinics acts as a differentiator. HUL must hire a workforce of young graduates from Ayurveda colleges and train them about the Ayush portfolio. These recruits will act as Ayurvedic consultants in HUL’s distribution centres and offer free advice to customers, guiding them on the benefits of Ayush’s ayurvedic products. HUL needs to maximise the customer’s interaction with the expert consultants, something most shops and pharmacies don’t do.

Interaction-Expertise matrix


HUL must also consider opening Ayush outlets, especially in cities where Patanjali’s outlets are present. These outlets will be a one-stop solution for all the needs of customers for ayurvedic products.


HUL must aggressively advertise Ayush products in the print and electronic media. The advertisements must include the following three elements.

Awareness: Proactive marketing

Highlight the superior quality of its products, vis-a-vis the allegedly sub-standard nature of Patanjali’s products, without directly naming or defaming the competitor. The advertisements must carry messages from experts at Arya Vaidya Pharmacy about the benefits of opting for high-quality ayurvedic products for the body-care segment. Advertisements can also show how revenue from Ayush products can help HUL drive its social initiatives; this will establish a swadeshi feeling for Ayush.

Distinguish: Reactive marketing

Portray HUL as knowledgeable ( jaankar) about ayurvedic products, unlike Patanjali that aggressively focusses on sales, and one call them dukandaar. Jaankar vs. Dukandaar must be the tagline of Ayush’s branding strategy. Patanjali must be targeted head-on for its allegedly substandard products in the media. Don’t directly name and defame Patanjali, as defaming ads are illegal in India.


In retail outlets, place the Ayush products right where Patanjali’s products are placed. Packaging must be distinct from Patanjali’s and must be appealing to the eye.


Launch contests for consumers of Ayush products, like ‘share your best experience with Ayush video contest’, ‘tweet your first purchase of Ayush products’, and so on. Make customers live and celebrate the experience of associating with Ayush. Scott Cook says, “brand is no longer what we tell consumers. It is what consumers tell each other.” Let consumers talk about their joy of buying Ayush products, which will be an amazing public relations campaign.

Another marketing campaign that can be successful is a Super Moneyback Contest. Each month, the highest buyer of Ayush products will get the entire purchase refunded. This campaign, even if run for 12 months, can lead to a huge push for Ayush.

Implementation timeline

The following graphic shows the implementation time-line for Ayush’s marketing campaign.



The 3P model must help Ayush regain its market share and ride the wave in the highly competitive market of ayurvedic products. It must keep a watch on Patanjali’s growing competence in the supply chain area and always maintain an edge over it.

(The winners are doing their first year PGDM at IIM Kozhikode.)