Marketing Case Study Bhavsar’s herbal smoking device – Nirdosh
Introduction: The idea behind “Nirdosh” , a unique non-tobacco smoking device, was envisioned by Mr. Natwarlal Bhavsar. Mr. Natwarlal inherited a family business of making and marketing bidis. This family business was run under the brand name of Maans Products. Nirdosh was prepared by rolling herbs on a tendu leaf. Mr. Bhavsar cited several health benefits of Nirdosh and also claimed that this device will help the tobacco smokers to quit smoking. Challanges Faced: Mr. Bhavsar was unsure of the way he wanted to market Nirdosh. The dilemma he faced was whether to market Nirdosh as a heath remedy (for cure of cold, cough, asthma, etc) or as a device to help tobacco smokers to quit smoking. Both these options had a very distinct market segment which needed to be targeted. Additionally, Mr. Bhavsar had some product development issues which he needed to sort out before he could start marketing the product. These included automation and procurement of machinery for rolling of the cigarettes. Situational Analysis and Marketing Mix
Segmentation: The market for Nirdosh can be segmented on the basis of prior smoking habits of an individual. The current sales trends of Nirdosh indicate that majority of consumers of Nirdosh are the people who are tobacco cigarette/bidi users. There is huge opportunity in this segment as the number of tobacco smokers (cigarette and bidi) is approximated to be around 150mn. Wealthy cigarette smokers will serve as a great potential segment for marketing Nirdosh. Mr. Bhavsar also has an option to market this product as a health remedy product. But this market segment is not particularly well defined. Moreover, being a smoking device many doctors/patients may not adhere to this idea. Targeting: The target segment for promoting Nirdosh should be wealthy cigarette smokers. This segment is generally aware of the health detriments caused by tobacco smoking. By targeting this segment we can leverage the inherent benefit of Nirdosh i.e. helping smokers quit smoking. Positioning: The brand of Nirdosh needs to be projected as a boon for health of tobacco smokers. The premium segment buyer needs to perceive this product as to be developed for them.
For this the marketing of Nirdosh needs to emphasise on the health benefits of the herbs.
4 P Analysis
Product: Nirdosh is an innovative product which has several advantages over a normal cigarette or smoking device. This product is completely herbal made by rolling a mixture of 14 herbs in a tendu leaf. These herbs are proven to be very effective in treatment of minor illnesses like cough, cold, etc. The product also helps consumers to quit the tobacco smoking habit apart from giving the mentioned health benefits. Additionally, Nirdosh has no adverse health effects and keeps the mind and body of the consumer in delighted state. The product is available in packs of 10 in a cigarette box packing. Price: The price for a pack of Nirdosh (10 sticks) was Rs. 10. Although in case of bulk orders (over 400 packets) a different price point was used, 10 % free packets of the whole order were given. The price of Nirdosh when compared with other leading cigarette brands (Wills, GoldFlake, etc.) is highly competitive. The prices when compared against the bidis are on the higher side. But, keeping in mind the positioning of the Nirdosh cigarette as a brand which will be used by the consumers of higher income groups the price can be increased.
The increase in the prices can help the brand to extract more value from the consumers. Place: The Nirdosh cigarette was initially distributed out of the main outlet in Ahmadabad. For other cities the orders were sent out through VPP. There was a provision of giving dealerships in various cities. The product through the dealers and distributors must be made available at all leading medicine shops (ayurvedic) and also at cigarette shops. With the increase in demand the product can also be exported. Being an innovative and health beneficial product it is likely to attract many consumers in foreign countries too. Promotion: During the initial years the promotion of Nirdosh was done by Mr. Bhavsar via distribution of free samples to friends, family, well known doctors and vaidyas. An endorsement by certain celebrities like Ashok Kumar was also arranged for. As Nirdosh had several health benefits and was endorsed by several important people, Nirdosh also got free publicity in many newspapers and magazines. Mr. Bhavsar also collaborated with several stop smoking voluntary organisations and attended several meetings and seminars with then which promoted Nirdosh. Overall the promotion strategy can be streamlined to attract more consumers from the targeted segment of high income group consumers. Additionally, advertisements can be done at places like cancer hospitals explaining how smoking causes cancer and how a simple product like Nirdosh will help then quit smoking. As of now there is no TV commercial for Nirdosh but it can be introduced to target the niche segment targeted by Nirdosh.