Amul, the Indian dairy brand, is so trusted by all levels of society it does not do the sort of market segmentation other brands customarily undertake, but that trust has been built over decades, based on quality and a local focus.

“Typically, marketers segment the market and then decide on the product positioning; at Amul we don’t believe in segmentation,” shared RS Sodhi, managing director at GCMMF. “For example, Amul butter is consumed by millionaires living in big cities as well as by autorickshaw drivers living in small towns, the perception of the brand is like that.”

Established in 1948, Anand Milk Union Limited, or Amul, is a cooperative brand managed by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which has enjoyed a long and ubiquitous presence in the hearts and minds of Indian consumers.

It played a pivotal role in India’s ‘white revolution’, which saw the country transition from a milk-deficient nation into the world’s largest milk producer, surpassing the USA in 1998.

Speaking at the Zee Melt 2019 conference held in Mumbai (organised by Kyoorius, the marketing and advertising company), Sodhi explained how Amul became a highly trusted brand in India. (For more, read WARC’s report: Trust and staying local forged India’s Amul, the original disruptor brand.)“Companies tend to exploit loopholes in the Indian food laws and reduce the cost of production by replacing expensive ingredients with cheaper alternatives,” he noted. “Amul does not do that, it does not short-change consumers and that is how it has won their trust.”

“Consumers have blind faith in Amul,” he continued “They know this brand will not cheat them in any way and this kind of faith comes over a period of time.”

Another difference is that Amul focuses on local and hyper-local markets. A few decades ago, Indian shoppers preferred international brands, especially when it came to food products, according to Sodhi. But visit a shop today and you will find local or regional brands occupying the front shelves.

Indian housewives want local brands because they are on par with international brands in terms of quality, because they use local ingredients and are manufactured next door.

“Amul is perceived as a local brand in various regions of India: it is perceived as a brand of ‘my region’ or ‘my city’ and that’s how we do the advertising creative as well,” explained Sodhi.

“Amul’s competition isn’t multinational brands, it’s the regional and city brands,” he added.

Sourced from WARC