By : Peeyush Pavanan Roll No. FO 40 WHIRLPOOL OF INDIA LTD. Whirlpool, right from its inception in 1911 as first commercial manufacturer of motorized washers to the current market position of being world's number one manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, has always set industry milestones and benchmarks. The parent company is headquartered at Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA with a global presence in over 170 countries and manufacturing operation in 13 countries with 11 major brand names such as Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Roper, Estate, Bauknecht, Laden and Ignis. The company boasts of resources and capabilities beyond achievable feat of any other in the industry. Whirlpool initiated its international expansion in 1958 by entering Brazil. However, it emerged as truly global leader in the1980's. This encouraging trend brought the company to India in the late 1980s. It forayed into the market under a joint venture with TVS group and established the first Whirlpool manufacturing facility in Pondicherry. Soon Whirlpool acquired Kelvinator India Limited in 1995 and marked an entry into Indian refrigerator market as well. The same year also saw acquisition of major share in TVS joint venture and later in 1996, Kelvinator and TVS acquisitions were merged to create Indian home appliance leader of the future, Whirlpool India. This expanded the company's portfolio in the Indian subcontinent to washing machines, refrigerator, microwave ovens and air conditioners. Today, Whirlpool is the most recognized brand in home appliances in India and holds a market share of over 25%. The company owns three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Faridabad, Pondicherry and Pune. Each of these manufacturing set-ups features an infrastructure that is witness of Whirlpool's commitment to consumer interests and advanced technology. In the year ending in March '09, the annual turnover of the company for its Indian enterprise was Rs.1,719 Crores. The company's brand and image speaks of its commitment to the homemaker from every aspect of its functioning. It has derived its functioning principles out of an undaunted partnership with the homemakers and thus a slogan of “You and whirlpool, the world's best homemaker” dots its promotional campaigns. The products are engineered to suit the requirements of ‘smart, confident and in-control' homemaker who knows what she wants. The product range is designed in a way that it employs unique technology and offers consumer relevant solutions. SEGMENTATION STRATEGIES OF WHIRLPOOL INDIA LTD. Whirlpool has understood Indian market very closely and has been launching products as per the requirement of the customer from different segments. Whirlpool segmented the market mainly on the basis of price and capacity. Price has been kept keeping the needs and wants of the customer and product is designed such that it is feasible to every customer. Whirlpool has segmented its refrigerators under three segments. They are: • Direct Cool, • Frost Control • Frost Free Direct Cool: It is the basic segment. The most basic product under this segment covers almost all the features of this segment except for modular shelves, all metal door and single metallic sheet body. The capacity of the refrigerators in this segment ranges from 180 Lts to 230 Lts. Refrigerators from this segment can serve a small family, small shops and can be used in offices where not much stuff is required to be stored. The price range of this segment starts from Rs. 8850/- to Rs.12700/- The base product of this segment is Masterpiece 19(180 Lts) with Unique Health Guard, Jumbo Bottle Rack and Thick Door Design. The highest product from this segment is Genius XL Premier(230 Lts) with Unique health Guard, Jumbo Bottle Rack, Thick Door Design, Chill Max and Modular Shelves features. Frost Control: This segment is known as the Premier Segment. It has more features and more added values as compared to the basic segment – Direct Cool. The refrigerators of this segment are more technically advanced and are aimed to reduce the frost formation in the refrigerator. The capacity of the refrigerators in this segment ranges from 180 Lts to 310 Lts. There are 12 models in this segment and each has different features and targeted to specific Market segment. The price range of the refrigerators in this segment starts from Rs. 11550/- to Rs. 17745/- The base product of this segment is fusion 19 Supreme which has all the features of Direct Cool plus has 6th sense Frost Control Technology which is the plus point of this segment. Frost Free: This segment is known as the Elite Segment. This is the most profitable segment from Whirlpool, which is evident from the number of models that has been introduced in this segment. There are 21 models in this segment. The price and capacity has also been increased for this segment. The capacity of the refrigerators in this segment ranges from 220 Lts to 450 Lts. Whirlpool has not introduced any refrigerator having capacity of 180 Lts in this segment. Whirlpool has clearly created these Elite models for the higher segment. The refrigerators with capacity of 450 Lts are an added advantage as it would capture the business from supermarkets, malls and such places. The price range of the refrigerators in this segment starts from Rs. 13755/- to Rs 36200/-. Whirlpool introduced the technology to make the refrigerators frost free, 6th Sense Tower Cooling Technology. Also Whirlpool introduced 30 Ltr Crisper in its high end products. TARGET CUSTOMERS FOR WHIRLPOOL Indian refrigerator market is valued at Rs 4000 crore. Refrigerators hold only 16% of consumer durable market that is valued at around Rs. 20,000-25,000 crore in India. Its market is growing at the rate of 7-8% annually. Whirlpool's market target for “Direct Cool” segment is the consumers with requirements of not very big capacities, i.e. Households, Small Shopkeepers and Bachelors etc. Whirlpool’s market target for “Frost Control” segment is the middle class consumers who has average amount of income to dispose. The target for “Frost Free” segment is the upper class or high class consumers, which includes people with high income and also industries which requires storage capacity of more than 310 Lts. This is in terms of capacity and usage nature of the consumers. In terms of income capacity, Whirlpool is focussing on Lower Middle class, Middle class and Higher Class segment of the society. Also Whirlpool through its advertisements has been trying to target the housewives, trying to portray as a partner in homemaking. Hence, the prime target consumer for Whirlpool are Housewives. POSITIONING Whirlpool has been trying to position itself as partner in homemaking. This has been pretty much evident from the advertisements of Whirlpool. Whirlpool’s advertising tagline is ‘Your magic in Homemaking.’ This is Whirlpool’s advertising tagline. Whirlpool’s earlier tagline was “You & Whirlpool. The world’s best homemakers.” It has been evolved to reflect the changed homemaker of today vs the yesteryears. Through Whirlpool’s intensive consumer research Whirlpool found that today’s homemaker believes in having everything perfect at home and takes pride in having achieved it! She has begun to look for that something exceptional, something additional in all the brands she chooses to help her achieve that. Whirlpool, as the brand that partners to this demanding homemaker of today, call this quality of hers as ‘magic’ and wish to be the home appliance brand that helps her create her “magic in homemaking”. Hence the new tagline “Your’s magic in the homemaking”. Recently Whirlpool India has appointed Contract Advertising to handle their business categories that are being identified for the next phase of the company's growth strategy. Whirlpool would be spending Rs 70 crore on advertising and promotion, and around 40-45 per cent of this will be taken up by above the line advertising. Originally, Draft-FCB-Ulka was looking after the creative for the four categories in which Whirlpool is currently present: washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners and microwaves. FCB-Ulka has done path breaking work to build the Whirlpool brand over the last decade. Positioning brand Whirlpool as a partner in homemaking and creating the concept of a homemaker as against a housewife, marked a shift in the depiction of women in Indian advertising. Ajay & Kajol are the brand ambassadors of Whirlpool. The association came about two years back. According to Whirlpool, they choose Ajay and Kajol as brand ambassadors because Kajol represents what today’s woman aspires to be – balance work and home beautifully. Her relationship with Ajay represents an ideal modern-day couple’s aspired relationship- one of equality, love and romance. Thus, they embody the brand values Whirlpool has stood for. They are an integral part of Whirlpool’s strategy to take the brand positioning forward. On association with Whirlpool: "Whirlpool believes in providing world-class quality to its consumers. Whirlpool is a '‘Perfect partner to the demanding homemaker' of today. Whirlpool's products are stylish, modern and contemporary with elegant looks and reflect the sense of pride homemakers take in choosing them for their homes." On association with Whirlpool: "Whirlpool brand has successfully emulated the dreams, aspirations and expectations of Indian home maker through the years. It symbolizes a relationship based on equality, love and romance, which is why I agreed to represent the brand," declares Ajay Devgan. " We are very pleased to be associated with Whirlpool – the leaders in home appliances”, he adds.
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