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The New Brand Identity Of Sunsilk Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 1106 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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As with humans, products also have a lifetime, and pass through various stages during that life, e.g. birth, growth, maturity, decline and, eventually, death. Product life cycle (PLC) is a portrayal of this life of a product in the market attempting to capture the dynamics of a brand from the perspective of business/commercial costs and sales measures. Sunsilk was launched in India in 1964 and it grew with the growth in the hair care industry, specifically the shampoo market, in India, launching a number of product variants.

Steps taken by Sunsilk at each stage


Stage I: Introduction

Sunsilk was launched as a cosmetic beauty shampoo, and was positioned the same way during its initial years in India

Stage II: Growth

Within ten years of its launch in India, Sunsilk introduced a tonic shampoo for dandruff, which was the first anti-dandruff shampoo in India. In the subsequent years, it launched many shampoo variants such as Sunsilk Silky and Straight Shampoo, Sunsilk Care & Repair Shampoo, Sunsilk Hydra, Sunsilk for Hair Damaged by Daily Wear and Tear. Sunsilk also came out with its range of hair conditioners such as Sunsilk Daily Repair Conditioner and Sunsilk Soothing Conditioner.

Stage III: Maturity

By the beginning of the new century, Sunsilk attained maturity as a global brand, with its products being sold in 69 countries. To prolong the set in of the decline stage, Sunsilk went for Brand rejuvenation in 2003 and came out with “SUNSILK NATURALS”.

From 2009, Sunsilk has started working with a number of professional hair experts to develop new and improved products. Each hair issue variant has been linked to an expert with the relevant specialist hair knowledge. For example, Dr Francesca Fusco, a New York dermatologist, co-created a “hairfall” variant for the brand. Sunsilk created a new look with new variants, new packaging, new advertisement and a new tagline “Life can’t wait”.


Stage I: Introduction

Sunsilk began its publicity efforts in 1955 with an advertising campaign that focused on specific hair “issues”. In the UK, the campaign focused on shiny hair. During the 1960s, a television commercial of Sunsilk featured a tune composed by John Barry, “The girl with the sun in her hair”, which became so popular that it was subsequently released as a pop single. In its early years in India as well, Sunsilk focused much of its marketing attention to position the product as a beauty shampoo.

Stage II: Growth

In the early 1970s, Sunsilk was advertised with the punch line “All you need is Sunsilk”. In its growth stage, the communication of Sunsilk was focused on different product variants and promoting the use of Sunsilk conditioners.

Stage III: Maturity

After the dawn of the new century, Sunsilk found it very difficult to capture market share and attract a younger audience. In 2003, Sunsilk went the online route with the website “Sunsilknaturals.com”. Further, it sponsored events like “Femina Miss India” and “India Fashion Week”.

In 2005, Sunsilk donned a new avatar to be more in sync with today’s 20-something women. It launched new variants to the line, repositioning itself into a complete haircare brand. The founding concept behind the campaign is that hair can dramatically alter a girl’s mood and actions. The philosophy behind it is that by taking appearance into their own hands, girls are also taking positive steps towards being more in control of their life: “Hair On= Life On”.

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From this came the tagline, “Life can’t Wait.” Hair has a deep emotional connection with women and plays a significant role in the audience’s life. Like skin, it is a part of the human form, but like clothes it can be manipulated. By acknowledging this emotional connect, Sunsilk has managed to stand apart from its rivals. Sunsilk understands that different girls have different needs and hence has created 7 products that cater to a variety of them.

On June 17, 2006, Unilever launched Sunsilkgangofgirls.com, India’s first “online all-girl community” which quickly caught the attention of the target group as it was promoted through a 360-degree media communication blitz. The site was branded space to promote Sunsilk, while at the same time it provided a social networking platform for girls.

The site offers its users access to a variety of local and global experts to address various hair care needs through its content, blogs and live chat room. The site includes rich content of hair care and fashion, and users can also take part in interactive games and quizzes. The efforts to take the GoG website on the road began in late 2006 when Unilever conducted a Sunsilk Hair Bars event in Delhi which was essentially a live version of the GoG website where girls could spend their weekend getting advice on hair care, mall activation programs and participation in college youth festival events.

Market Scenario and Challenges

Sunsilk faces tough competition from the ‘sachet’ market which accounts for 70 percent of the market. Also Sunsilk still neglects the rural market which is the major chunk of the shampoo industry in the present day scenario. Further, the brand is restricting its target to 20 something women only and in hence neglecting the middle aged customers. They have also lost a huge segment of male users by naming them ‘Desperate Guys’. The gang of girls has lost its relevance over a period of time with emergence of other, more effective social networking forums like Facebook, Twitter, Friendster and Orkut in India. Thus, Sunsilk has to up their ante against all these challenges to emerge as a force to reckon with.


In the early years, Sunsilk focused much of its marketing attention on gaining international presence. A new campaign was launched to recruit younger users. The new products focused on hair color, texture, feeling, dryness, etc. The updated Sunsilk campaign, “Get Hairapy”, followed the same strategy, marking a bold move towards users in their 20s and upwards said to be in their “quarter-life crisis”. Around 20% of the brand’s current users are new users after repositioning while 40% are brand loyal. The brand is also approaching the rural areas with “Sunsilk Sahelian”.


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