we think of cement and the cement industry,
it doesn't exactly make our pulse race and
our eyes widen in excitement. As a category,
cement has always kept a low profile, though
perhaps involuntarily so. It is a functional
necessity in our everyday life. Involvement
in the product and the category has been essentially
non-existent for the end consumer the
homebuilder. He has thought it more prudent
to let the engineer and the contractor figure
out the cement bit of his house while he takes
part in the more glamorous aspect of interior
design. So the cement category as a whole
was never much in the limelight. And white
cement got off to an even slower start.
is till Birla White decided to change the
rules of the whole category.
birth of an idea
White had comfortably been the leader in
the white cement category for quite some
time. The market was present but was growing
at a slow pace. The brand was also expanding
its market by exporting to several countries
including the UAE, Australia, Doha-Qatar,
South Africa and Sri Lanka.
being part of the visionary Aditya Birla
Group it wanted to consolidate its position
and give direction to the category.
cement is a cement is a cement right?
How do you get your end consumers to get
more involved in something as basic as cement?
How do you make sure that the architects
and the interior designers ask specifically
for your brand of white cement and actually
get peeved if they don't get it?
position it as a design tool that can bring
to life any design that you imagine. You
position it as a décor accessory
rather than a building block of the house.
You get into the architects mind at the
drawing board stage. Thus evolved the "My
kind of Design" campaign. The old but
trusted tagline of 'The whitest white cement'
was pushed into the background. Birla White
aspired to be much more than merely cement,
it aspired to be the complete designer tool.
'My kind of design' campaign
'My kind of design' catch line was based
on extensive research that revealed that
people have lots of individualistic designs
and ideas in their heads that they do not
express fully. They are stuck with the tried
and tested popular finishes for their walls
and floorings but are craving that little
extra. Birla White wanted to satisfy this
craving. The aim was to get these people
involved and actually get them to ask for
their dream designs and ideal homes.
changed the whole paradigm of communication
that was associated with the cement category.
A new television campaign and a new press
campaign were made the precursors to bring
in this change.
players in this category used to advertise
the basic utilities of white cement like
cement wash and floorings. But Birla White
came up with a design-oriented campaign.
The campaign talks about the whole gamut
of design solutions and applications possible
through white cement.
cement companies also preferred product-based
print ads in home décor magazines
aimed at architects and people connected
with the construction industry. The Birla
White campaign spoke directly to people
dreaming of doing up their homes, with lines
such as 'You have an interior designer
within you. Be kind enough to show this
ad to her' and 'The problem with
dream homes is their location. They remain
in your dreams.'
helping homeowners make decisions on the
finish of their walls to a specialised team
of applicators to make their designs come
alive, the Birla White team has developed
a whole range of specialised designer products
like GRC and textured finishes to further
whet the imagination.
White boasts of a portfolio ranging from
the most basic of wall finishes to the most
intricate of claddings. The biggest advantage
Birla White offers is that its products
are cement-based. This makes them last much
longer than other finishing alternatives
White offers at the basic level cement wash
and cement paint applications. Also offered
are end products like 'Wallcare' putty and
'Textura' textured wall finish. Made with
Birla White, the whitest white cement, they
are not only aesthetically superior but
also because of their endurance are great
value-for-money propositions. To give your
walls a more unique look, there are also
rugged exterior finishes like Stone Crete,
Tyrolean and Grit wash that sparkle in the
sun like Starlite. For your walls there
are textured finishes and an array of wall
tiles. Then there is glass fibre reinforced
concrete or GRC, which allows you to replicate
the most complex of architectural structures
and styles. You may just want a 18th century
sprinkler on your front lawns. You need
to just think of it and its made at the
factory and delivered to your doorstop.
floorings, Birla White offers a whole host
of options, from mosaic tiles to amazing
terrazzo designs. Especially significant
is Terrazzo, which allows you to create
your dream designs on the floor. If you
want to go with a marble floor, a slurry
of Birla White under the marble can do wonders.
kind of results'
research results have shown that there has
been a more appreciable difference created
in the minds of consumers and architects
between Birla White and its competition.
People clearly associate Birla White with
design connotations. In other historic parameters
that used to be important like whiteness
and strength, research revealed that perceptually
the other competitive brands are at par
with Birla White. The only clear differentiator
that came out was the design connotations.
rub-off effect of the new positioning has
strongly affected the performance of the
more utilitarian and basic applications
of white cement like cement wash and as
an underlay for marble. The premium that
is being associated with Birla White because
of this campaign has seen sales in these
applications pickup considerably.
white cement category has grown by 11 per
cent over the last year, while Birla White
clocked a growth rate of 14 per cent. And
this being just the first phase of the repositioning
on Birla White, white cement has traversed
the journey from being a mere stopgap measure
to a design tool.