Rebranding Fair & Lovely By HUL: How Brand Experts View The Move

HUL has announced that it is going to drop the word 'fair' from its iconic brand 'Fair & Lovely.

"When a consumer picks up a product, a small change in the name won't make a difference if the other branding elements the same," said Harish Bijoor, to BOOM about the Hindustan Unilever announcement that it was going to drop the word 'fair' from 'Fair & Lovely' in order to distance itself from the notion that fair skin is a beauty ideal.

Harish Bijoor, Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults was joined by broadcast journalist Anuradha Sengupta in a discussion with BOOM revolving around Fair and Lovely's rebranding, and its timing of doing it because of the black lives matter protests that have gripped North America and Europe. The name might be changed to 'Glow and Lovely' as per reports.

While Sengupta thinks that the rebranding decision was because of the persistent criticism that HUL had received against the brand, and the black lives matter protests were just the tipping point, Bijoor thinks the decision was a hurried one brought on by the BLM protests.

He said, "I think the decision of rebranding was taken in a hurry because of the large momentum the black lives matter protests have gained. They haven't even announced the new brand name yet."

According to Bijoor, Fair & Lovely's rebranding is a result of 'top-down' marketing which is the attitude that the marketeer knows best. Here, the marketeer is saying that colourism is bad, even though the consumer might be buying the product.

Sengupta thinks that there's still time to envision the future of what Fair & Lovely's new brand ideal will be. She said, "All we have here is a statement of intent. But Unilever does want to infuse purpose into its brands, even if they may run the risk of not being able to make as much money out of it."

Future of Fair and Lovely

Sengupta points out that while renaming the brand is a good option, Fair and Lovely will also have to rework its imagery in order to truly rebrand itself, because it can't be a fair woman getting five shades lighter by the end of the new product.

"My problem with the aspiration of fairness is that being dark is associated with being from a poorer community, being dishonest or criminal," added Sengupta.

Bijoor agrees that it will take more than just renaming the product to truly make a difference. If a consumer wants to pick up a product, then a small change in the name won't make a difference if the other branding elements like the font, packaging, and kind of packaging are not different. "It's a question of semantics and semiotics," he said.

"The game is won at the distribution. If the new packs are going to be stacked in the same counter in the same place where the old ones used to be stacked, and they look more or less the same, it won't make a difference to the consumer. It will be interesting to watch what the brand does," Bijoor concluded.

Highlights:
-Fair & Lovely renaming itself without changing its overall packaging like font, way of advertising, and packaging won't make much of a difference to the consumer.
-Unilever does want to infuse purpose into its brands, but they may run the risk of not being able to make as much money out of it.
-The decision of rebranding was taken in a hurry because of the large momentum the black lives matter protests have gained since the new brand name hasn't even been announced yet.

Catch the full interview on YouTube or click on the link here.

Updated On: 2020-07-09T15:00:35+05:30
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