CHICAGO: Aditya Birla Group, the conglomerate, successfully tapped into marketing insights in launching and promoting Liva, a fabric brand that helped transform one of its core business units.

Prakash Nedungadi, ABG Group’s Head/Customer Insights and Brand Development, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2017 Masters of B2B Marketing Conference.

And he explained how Birla Cellulose, a division of Aditya Birla Group that makes rayon – a constituent used in many garments – introduced Liva in 2015, based on insights gathered from spinners, weavers, retailers and consumers.

This approach, Nedungadi said, represented a “bold step” forward for Aditya Birla, as it employed this information not simply to sell existing goods, but instead to guide development and growth for new offerings.

“Liva started creating a pull for a brand that had been missing for all these years,” he added. (For more details, read WARC’s exclusive report: How marketing developed a new brand for Aditya Birla Group.)

More specifically, Nedungadi asserted, prior to Liva’s launch, India was the company’s biggest market for rayon, but had been flat for over ten years.

And research undertaken throughout the supply chain led Birla Cellulose to learn that women liked the benefits offered by rayon – such as flowing, comfortable clothes – but typically did not realise it was this constituent at work.

“Many of these clothes actually had a lot of rayon,” Nedungadi said. “But the women didn’t know it. They thought it was some kind of cotton or cotton spandex. And we had our first insight: They loved our product, but they didn’t know what it was.” 

Building on this knowledge, the fact rayon provided distinct benefits – which were flagged up in marketing communications – helped position Liva as an alternative to cotton and other competitors among apparel manufacturers.

“We had a new value proposition to broaden this category,” Nedungadi said.

And, even though the business had been static for more than a decade, the result was 80% growth in sales in the three-year period ending in June 2015. “It was the push that we needed after so many years,” Nedungadi said. 

Data sourced from WARC