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ITC eyes better margins by riding up the price chain with Fiama Di Wills
The Hindu Business Line - 29 Jan 2013

ITC plans to seek better margins from its soaps portfolio by moving up the price ladder with its soap brand Fiama Di Wills. The brand has launched its first 'Couture Spa Range' infused with gold priced at Rs 75 for 125 gm. The new range of special edition soaps has been designed by collaborating with Wendell Rodricks.

At present, Fiama Di Wills soap bars are priced between Rs 32 and Rs 38 for 75 gm.

Segmenting the soaps portfolio under brands such as Essenza Di Wills, Fiama Di Wills, Vivel and Superia across price points, it has been trying to attract consumers through better propositions in the cluttered soaps category which it entered nearly five years ago.

Offering innovations through its 'Couture Spa Range' is expected to elevate Fiama Di Wills gel bars to a higher position.
 
"A significant challenge for any new entrant, especially in the intensely competitive and well-entrenched personal care segment, is to build consumer franchise and attract consumer mind space. ITC's commitment to deliver superior brand value propositions, innovative products, effective brand communications and engagements has helped the brand make significant inroads into the consumer's consideration set within a short period of time," says Nilanjan Mukherjee, Head of Marketing, Personal Care, ITC.

At the same time, the FMCG major is also building volumes for its soaps portfolio with new variants under its mid segment soap brand - Vivel. Last year it introduced new variants such as Vivel Luxury Crème and Vivel Clear 3 in 1 in the transparent soaps segment.

The company has invested behind big-ticket brand ambassadors such as Deepika Padukone (Fiama Di Wills) and Kareena Kapoor (Vivel) for its soaps.
 
The soap brands have also been extended into new segments within FMCG categories. For instance, Fiama Di Wills has been stretched as a talcum powder with three variants last year. Besides, the face wash category has also been tapped by soap brands Fiama Di Wills and Vivel. Superia also entered the fairness cream portfolio.

"ITC is planning a quantum jump in volumes and image of its soaps portfolio. It is catering to the aspirations of Indian consumer. Despite being just a couple of years in the FMCG business, it is giving stiff competition of some of the big FMCG players," said Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants.
 
Last year, ITC witnessed sharp escalation and volatility in the prices of key inputs in the FMCG business. It has been trying to enhance margins through a mix of sourcing strategies, value engineering and cost control measures to mitigate the impact and enhance margins.

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