Himalaya Herbal Toothpaste: Category and Brand Involvement in an Emerging Market
(5 pages of text)
Ramesh Kumar was curious to determine whether consumers were loyal to toothpaste brands. Himalaya Herbal Toothpaste had herbal offerings in the retail and prescription segments, affording him the opportunity to conduct research. Were consumers loyal to a particular brand of toothpaste? Did they remember the functional brand benefits? Were consumers buying brands due to the social benefits reflected in ads? Did consumers continue to buy particular brands without switching? Were consumers interested in herbal toothpastes? How should Himalaya be perceived by consumers? This series of issues presented an opportunity to conceptualize consumer behaviour in the Indian context.
The concept of product involvement differentiates consumer segments based on the degrees of personal interest expressed by consumers with regard to products and services. High-involvement categories require consumers to be involved in extensive buying behaviour that leads to one or more of the following: risk reduction, enhancement of self-image, and gratification in having achieved an optimal choice after examining the alternatives. Low-involvement categories are those that are bought in a routine manner by consumers, with a lower degree of personal interest. Marketers always face competitive challenges in enhancing the degree of involvement even in low-involvement categories through appropriate branding initiatives, including in the toothpaste category.
This case can be used at the graduate and postgraduate levels in courses on consumer behaviour, international marketing, emerging markets, and competitive brand strategies to illustrate:
- How do involvement levels of toothpaste consumers affect brand attitudes?
- How do consumers get segmented based on involvement levels associated with toothpaste?
- Can involvement levels associated with the toothpaste category be linked with brand positioning strategies?
Health Care Services,
India, Large, 2011
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