If you have been living in India for the last couple of years, there are very high chances that you have met at least one person who answers your “kya chal ra hai?” with “Fogg chal ra hai”. This is how deeply one particular deodorant brand is ingrained into our thought processes.
Fogg, or Friend of Good Guys/Girls, is the brainchild of Darshan Patel under the umbrella of Vini Cosmetics. Patel, a veteran of many years in the cosmetics industry and the name associated with many popular brands like Moov, Itch Guard, Dermicool, Krack and Livon, sold his stake in the family business Paras Pharmaceuticals in the year 2006 for a handsome amount. While many would have been comfortable living off the huge fortune he made while operating his family business, Darshan, staying true to form, kept looking for new opportunities. The new opportunity came in the form of Vini Cosmetics, which he started with Dipam, his cousin. Realizing that the Indian deodorant market stands at well above ₹ 3000 crores in terms of expenditure per year, the first product developed by Vini Cosmetics was Fogg.
Fogg was launched in 2010-11 and was an instant hit with the consumers. The brand sold more than a million cans of deodorant within the first four months of launch and crossed the ₹ 100 crore sales barrier within the first year itself. Darshan Patel says, “That is when we realized that we are onto something pretty big”. In about two years of its launch, this new deodorant brand had knocked the market leader and extremely popular deodorant brand, Axe, off its perch.
What made Fogg stand out among a crowd of deodorant brands was innovation at its finest. Darshan Patel came up with a pump that did not need aerosol, leading to a revolution in the industry with brands clamoring to introduce the no-gas, or non-aerosol, pump to their line of products. The design ensured that the fragrance lasted for longer, while less deodorant was wasted on the application, adding to the duration of use of a single can. “We were studying the deodorant market prior to launch and found that there was space for a product such as Fogg,” says Darshan Patel. “People were actually looking for a product which had no waste when applied,” he adds. In a market like India, where cost-effectiveness is an extremely important parameter, this new design worked like a charm.
While the brand had gotten off to a great start, it was equally important that they stay ahead of the curve in this highly competitive market. The next step was to appeal to a larger target audience base. Creative ad campaigns were designed for the brand, featuring people of all age groups to establish a wider connect. Patel says that positioning the brand as a sort of a family deodorant has been one of the key components of the company’s growth after the initial push.
As things stand today, Fogg owns more than 20% of the share of the deodorant market in India, while being the chief contributor to Vini Cosmetics’ company value, which stands at above ₹ 4000 crores presently. A bombardment of bargain offerings, creative positioning, value propositions and even some sexually suggestive advertising campaigns, has drawn customers towards the brand in hoards. The brand leads the race for the fastest growing deodorants, and boasts of the highest market share in the deodorant space, while the traditional rivals Axe have slipped down to 5th in the list.
With an ever-expanding line of products and creative campaigns to go with it, Fogg is sure to be a winner in the coming few years.