Vatika in Hindi means ‘garden’. The brand attempts to live up to the promises – beauty and nature – that are associated with its very name. Starting with these associations Vatika
has assiduously built a brand that delivers on all these values through its various
Vatika products contain natural ingredients that have been blended together through scientific processes at Dabur’s in-house research laboratories. Dabur Research Foundation has more than 100 scientists working together to make superior quality products that match international standards.
Vatika comprises products primarily in hair care. Vatika Hair Oil has made a huge impact with its innovative product offering, pricing strategy and promotion campaigns. The product innovation was fed by the vital consumer insight that many women in contemporary India are worried about hair problems caused by urban pollution, frequent change of diet due to geographical mobility and other factors. Beset by modern-day hair problems, they are far more inclined to rely on home-grown remedies. By offering hair oil that combined the benefits of natural products in a single pack, Vatika created a niche for itself as the ‘total hair care’ brand.
Vatika Hair Oil is coconut hair oil with special ingredients adding value to the product. While coconut oil has been regularly used by Indian women as a basic hair nutrient, a combination
of herbs and natural products such as henna, amla and lemon have been used for special hair needs. Of these, coconut hair oil provides nourishment to the hair, while henna along with other herbs coat the hair and protect it from oxidation, thereby maintaining its natural colour. Amla strengthens hair roots and helps maintain their natural health and thickness. Lemon with its astringent action controls sebum flow and helps in prevention of dandruff.
Vatika Henna Cream Conditioning Shampoo has henna with shikakai and green almonds – the ingredients which are used traditionally for conditioning hair. Henna is a natural conditioner that makes hair soft and silky; shikakai is used as a cleanser and green almonds are known to provide nourishment to the hair.
The qualities of Vatika products, ascribed to the brand by hundreds of thousands of satisfied consumers, have been further underlined by its attractive packaging. The transparent bottle for Vatika Shampoo and the unique mushroom-shaped cap for Vatika Hair Oil are exercises in innovation. The green-and-white colours, used in its packaging, reflect the brands’ natural ancestry and give it a premium look. These also help Vatika stand out in the cluttered environment of Indian retail.
Vatika, with its natural positioning, has created an equity that lends itself to brand extensions. As a result, Vatika has made an entry into skin care products as well. The first product in this category is the Vatika Fairness Face Pack, which like other Vatika products offers traditional Indian recipes in a modern format. The product offers the goodness of natural ingredients such as haldi (turmeric), kesar (saffron) and chandan (sandalwood) which have traditionally been used for skin care.
The delivery of the product in a paste format also makes for convenient application unlike offerings from competitors which are available in powder form.
Further to the product offerings by Vatika, the company is now looking at extending the appeal of Vatika products by providing them in smaller units. These would be more affordable and would be used by a wider segment. Smaller bottles and pack sizes, including a foray into the fast-moving sachet packs are expected to be tomorrow’s key drivers of growth for Vatika products.
Vatika – the key focus brand of the company – has always been well supported. The company realised early that, from the perspective of brand building, it was vital to invest in this brand. Vatika’s first promotion coincided with the launch of its hair oil. This campaign focussed on the key benefit – beautiful hair without hair problems – that came about as a result of the extra nourishment through the value addition of henna, amla and lemon-derived additives.
In the initial phase of the communication, the marketing objective was to create conceptual awareness about the new product – the goodness of coconut oil enriched with natural herbs. Vatika was firmly established as the leader in the new category of value-added hair oils and its promotion campaign was so successful that the product segment itself came to be identified with Vatika.
In 1997, the company created a new promotion campaign which reinforced the obvious fact that most coconut oil brands were not equipped to combat the effects of pollution, hard water and chemicals – the major causes of hair ailments and hair deterioration.
The idea of using an extraordinary hair oil that offered extra nourishment was communicated through campaigns featuring icons such as Mandira Bedi, Shefali Chhaya and Sudha Chandran– all modern, young women perceived to have that extra edge in their personality.
Vatika Shampoo was launched through the communication layered from a functional benefit taking it on to an emotional benefit of appreciation. The campaigns are still remembered by consumers. A number of commercials over the years have featured personalities like Aditi Govitrikar, Preeti Jhangiani and Shweta Jaishankar. However, in 2004, the brand shifted gear; it was brought in line with benefits consumers expect, by portraying extra voluminous and extra silky hair as specific Vatika conditioning advantages. It also had the effect of giving the brand an appeal that was a little more cosmetic. To infuse the values of youthfulness and natural beauty, Riya Sen became the brand ambassador.
The anti-dandruff effort relied on the ‘Dandruff pe vaar, baalon se pyaar’ theme. In
this category where players talk about chemicals – ZPTO, Ketakenazole etc – Vatika Anti-Dandruff Shampoo has capitalised on the consumers’ fear of chemicals by showcasing the efficacy of lemon to eliminate dandruff – with no ill effects on the hair. This was based on the insight that consumers who suffer from dandruff avoid wearing dark clothes lest it should show the dandruff more starkly. The campaign featured Nauheed Cyrusi dressed in a black and white dress explaining the reasons – white so that the dandruff doesn’t show and black so that falling hair are not seen.
In a series of other promotional activities, Vatika has been associated with shows and sponsored events such as the Vatika Super Model India 2001 and Vatika Zee Sangeet Awards. It has also had a strong association, since its inception, with Mover’s and Shakers’ – the popular TV show.
Vatika is a brand that espouses traditional wisdom about health in a modern format. It believes that nature has perennial answers to day-to-day health issues, particularly when it comes to hair care and skin care. In a world where modern living causes untold stress the Vatika brand holds out the promise of providing natural ingredients that rejuvenate and safeguard the human body in an extraordinary way. This concept is put to work through contemporary, modern products, offered by Vatika.
The Vatika woman is young, contemporary, educated, multi-faceted, achievement-driven
and confident. It is in the Vatika brand that she sees a true reflection of her own personal ideals.