PurposeThis paper aims to focus on the insights from the brand journey of Horlicks in India and evolution of the health food drinks (HFD) category.Design/methodology/approachThe paper explores the key reasons for the slowdown in the HFD category and the descent of brand Horlicks in India. It follows the strategic decisions and actions that Horlicks’ parent GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare took over its journey of close to 100 years. It also highlights the cardinal mistakes that it made in distribution networks, brand extensions, etc. and how these could have possibly eroded the brand equity of Horlicks.FindingsHorlicks as a brand made many strategic errors. It frequently and needlessly fiddled with unrelated categories in contrast to its nutrition agenda. It unnecessarily spent on developing brand extensions in unhealthy categories that customers did not value or relate to. It was strategically blinded by the dominance in two geographies and continued to be under-invested in distribution networks in others. In addition, it took too long to read the writing on the wall in terms of growing consumer consciousness about the presence of sugar and fats in health foods. Even when clear signals were available of the impending slowdown the HFD category faced, despite being the market leader in the HFD segment, it showed limited urgency to foster an innovation to bolster the category.Practical implicationsCompanies need to focus on a sharp business model and not try to be everything for everyone. Companies that gain valuable insight of what its customers value and design their business model to satisfy these requirements have higher chances of surviving through the weft and warp of time.Originality/valueThe paper considers the context of the highly dynamic fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry in India. It is an industry where for some of the categories like HFD, the brand equity of the mother brand may or may not have a rub-off effect on brand extensions, or dominance in a particular geography may not translate to similar dominance in another geography owing to heterogeneity factor. In such a scenario, brands such as Horlicks, which do not have a consistent and coherent strategy, find it difficult to grow their market share or the category. It provides insights into the common pitfalls in brand development strategy and how it can be avoided.
Strategic Direction – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 11, 2019
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera