Linc Pen and Plastics Limited: Creating a Brand from a New Product
(8 pages of text)
Linc Pen and Plastics Limited (LPPL) was a 40 year old Indian writing instruments company with a presence in over 50 countries through its sole brand Linc, a value brand that had a brand image of providing good quality products at a low price. Over the past year and half , LPPL had faced margin pressure due to a steep increase in the price of raw materials. In late 2019, Deepak Jalan, the managing director , decided not to disturb the brand equity of Linc but instead to move upmarket by developing a new ballpoint pen, Pentonic, for the premium segment. LPPL priced Pentonic ball pens at ₹10 —higher than Linc’s original ball pens, which mostly sold at ₹5. The Pentonic ball pen was highly successful right from its launch, and within a year, Pentonic had become the company’s second largest product in terms of volume and its largest product in terms of value. Pentonic had an independent identity in the market. In the last board meeting, Jalan had proposed building Pentonic as a separate brand for the premium market. The board had asked him to develop a detailed plan for developing the new product to target the premium market and balancing the marketing mix and positioning strategy for the specific target customers of the two brands, Linc and Pentonic.
This case has been developed to be used in graduate-, postgraduate- and executive level courses on marketing strategy, marketing management, retail marketing, retail management, brand management, and business leadership. It illustrates competition from a marketing point of view, including competitive advantage and brand protection. The case also fits nicely into courses that deal with business strategy for both large enterprises and entrepreneurs. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Explain how to create a new brand for positioning among other plausible options.
- Analyze the impact of marketing mix and positioning strategy for the specific target customers of two brands with two distinct brand images.
- Outline the initiatives involved in establishing a new brand.
- Identify and evaluate the different aspects of positioning a new brand with regard to both the competition and customers.
India, Large, 2019
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