Marketing Lessons Taught By ‘Parle G’
It is said that- “Great companies are built on Great Products’ and proving the value of this quote is a biscuit brand that not only did wonders for its parent company but also touched lives of millions of hungry people. An iconic heritage brand backed by a history of more than 75 years that evolved over time to become the world’s largest selling biscuit brand. A brand that never differentiated its customers based on their income levels and catered to both the rich class and the poor people. A brand born before its country emerged to be an independent nation: Parle G- ‘India’s own biscuit’
Parle-G was first manufactured in the year 1939 on a very small scale in Mumbai but was quickly accepted by biscuit lovers. Due to its initial success and sensing a huge growth opportunity, Parle launched an ad campaign, in the year 1947 (soon after India’s independence) to compete with foreign brands and promote Indian biscuits. The ad campaign ignited the patriotic sentiments of Indian consumers as it turned out to be a master stroke and took the brand to new heights. Parle G became an instant hit and was embraced by the Indian masses who perceived it to be a ‘Desi’ brand (just like Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali is seen today).
Due to the imitable nature of the product, other companies started replicating Parle-G’s strategy. However, Parle-G tackled the competition very professionally. They re-positioned their product from an ‘Energy biscuit brand’ to a ‘tasty healthy food for all’ brand. And this is how Parle Gluco became the iconic Parle-G (G maane Genius).
Here are few of the Marketing Lessons taught by ‘Parle G’-
Parle wanted to compete in mass market and thus sold biscuits at a very low price (possibly the lowest in the industry). This resulted in high adoption rate by the consumers who found it affordable and perceived value in buying the product. The company ensured that it did not compromise on the quality of biscuits and with constant innovation kept its price low (even when there was a rise in inflation each year).
Lesson Learnt- There shouldn’t be a trade off between the quality and price because- ‘The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory’.
Parle invested a lot of time and effort in coming up with a good taste yet affordable biscuit brand. Since the company wanted to compete in mass market, they kept the taste to be generic in order to target people of all ages. The combination of low price and a good taste did wonders for the company as within few years from its inception, Parle G became the top selling biscuit brand in India.
Lesson Learnt- A Great product is the backbone to a strong brand. Therefore, it’s worth investing time, money and effort in building one.
Parle G used a character of a ‘small girl’ on the packet. This was done in order to build a brand association and connect with common people. Throughout the years, Parle G didn’t experiment much with its packaging and kept it very simple and rustic which gave it an Indian look and communicated a sense of belonging among Indian consumers. This helped the brand to differentiate itself from the foreign competitors and led to a high recall value among the customers.
Lesson Learnt- Packaging can be a theater and it can very easily depict a story.
Parle G relied a lot on its branding activities which played an important role in the company’s success. Parle used a mix of print and TV media combined with effective ad campaigning which did wonders for the brand within a short span of time. For example:-Parle G’s – ‘G for Genius campaign’ was a huge hit and resulted in a roaring surge of biscuit sales.
Parle G spent a huge chunk of money in brand building every year in order to ensure that the brand was considered to be a ‘low cost/affordable biscuit brand’ and not a ‘cheap and inferior biscuit brand’. This way the brand was able to capture the lower as well as the upper strata of the society.
Lesson Learnt- Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind. A strong, consistent brand, built up over time, is the best guarantee of future earnings.
Albert Einstein once quoted- ‘Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value’. Parle-G with its low price, high quality and strong brand image has ensured a high perceived value for the customers. This, in turn, has resulted in the brand history of over 78 years and made Parle G the undisputed leader in the biscuit industry. In a country like India where thousands of new biscuit brands are launched every year with very less differentiation, surviving for such a long period seems to be an unimaginable task. However, Parle G has shown that if people love your product, then you don’t really need to worry about the competition.
Parle-G is the most consumed biscuit in India that not only provides relishing moments to people who crave to eat something good but also gives solace to the poor and hungry ones. In every sense, Parle G proves to be an iconic brand that focuses on adding value to the end customer rather than minting money from the poor pockets of Indian masses. This ideology is what differentiates the brand from its competitors and has led to its magnificent success.
Parle G with its continuous evolution has proved that it’s a genius product and we must preserve it.