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Gouri’s Cereals: The Packaging Dilemma for the Challenger Brand

CASE STUDY, BRAND MANAGEMENT
ET Cases, 12 Pages

Case Preview

Gouri’s Cereals: The Packaging Dilemma for the Challenger Brand

 

On August 1st 2016 with the incessant rains, Mumbai’s temperature dropped to 23 degrees Celsius and the climate very windy. The Monday morning traffic moved at snail’s pace. The meeting at 11am to Gouri’s was already delayed by 20 minutes.

Before the interview began, Vidur Gupta (Vidur), Managing Director of Gouri’s offered a fresh shot of Latte Macchiato brewed from Blue Tokai1. While walking towards Gouri’s office (located near the iconic Mahalakshmi Race-course, in the Unit 27 of the industrial estate of Mill Street), Vidur, sipping and savoring his freshly brewed coffee remarked that, Gouri’s has experienced a steady increase in its orders from its inception but the demand didn’t come as a surprise to the startup because the growing health conscious segment were looking for healthier food to munch on and that is what they truly provide.2

To validate this better, he walked towards the Unit 27 to his office. Located inside the mill estate, as you enter in, the aroma of palm jaggery, honey, chocolate and sesame fills up your senses. His office had several boxes of Gouri’s cereals neatly stacked up in a corner, white boards had plan of action for the week and to-do lists for the day. While four women were busy sorting and measuring cereals, de-seeding dates and pounding the cereal bars, Gouri Gupta (Gouri), the founder of Gouri’s artisanal energy bars, was guiding one of the staff member in packaging and labelling the energy bars and crumbles. The rest of the space had a properly designed compact and clutter-free kitchen. It had a counter/platform with ample space and storage cabinets shelved neatly underneath the staircase and the staircase leading to a small office space of Vidur. Before we sat down for the interview, Vidur offered palm jaggery and Belgian milk chocolate mini energy bites which were a perfect blend of nutritious ingredients, good taste and honestly delicious!..................


 1 Blue Tokai, headquartered in Delhi, is a coffee startup with a thriving online presence. It has a coffee roastery and café attached.
2 Personal Interview with Vidur Gupta by ET Cases, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a36z1fXAo-o

Teaching Note Preview

Gouri’s Cereals: The Packaging Dilemma for the Challenger Brand

 

Synopsis

Gouri’s differentiated itself from other cereal makers as a cult brand of energy bars through its innovative product range, greater customer service, unconventional marketing approach, and uncompromising quality. Though Gouri’s had around 4,500 highly satisfied customers1 across the country, the company is yet to compete with the established FMCG players. With a goal to achieve INR100 crore by 2020, the plans are in place to create a top-of-the-recall brand in the category with its packaging practices. With no deep pockets to splurge on marketing blitzkrieg and with a keen focus on building a ‘differentiated’ brand through natural ingredients, can Vidur Gupta’s plan to scale up a neighborhood hobby into a sizeable business and make a challenger brand, fructify? What are the specific yet costeffective branding initiatives that he should opt for?

Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding (PCU)/Before the Classroom Discussion

This Case study’s discussion would be more effective if the participants understand the concept of packaging in building a brand’s brand equity. A preliminary understanding of this concept can be had from the following suggested chapters and the video:

  • • Kevin Lane Keller, et al., “Choosing Brand Elements to Build Brand Equity”, Strategic Brand Management, 3rd Edition, Pearson Education, Inc., 2011
  • • Kevin Lane Keller, et al., “Measuring Sources of Brand Equity”, Strategic Brand Management, 3rd Edition, Pearson Education, Inc., 2011
  • • Kevin Lane Keller, et al., “Introducing and Naming New Products and Brand Extensions”, Strategic Brand Management, 3rd Edition, Pearson Education, Inc., 2011
  • • Leon G. Schiffman, et al., “Consumer Perception”, Consumer Behavior,10th Edition, Pearson Education, Inc., 2010
  • • Philip Kotler, et al., “Setting Product Strategy”, Marketing Management A South Asian Perspective,14th Edition, Pearson Education, Inc., 2013
  • • ET Cases Case Suite with Vidur Gupta, Managing Director-Gouri’s

 

Mandatory Viewing

The students/participants must watch the following ET Cases’ case suites to help connect with the case’s expected learning:

  • • ET Cases’ Case Suite with Vidur Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO, Gouri’s, “Gouri’s Cereals: The Packaging Dilemma for the Challenger Brand – 4P’s of Marketing”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a36z1fXAo-o
  • • ET Cases’ Case Suite with Vidur Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO, Gouri’s, “Gouri’s Cereals: The Packaging Dilemma for the Challenger Brand – Brand Differentiation - Packaging”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrgLuTftLpI

 

Case Positioning and Case Setting

This case study can be used for either of the following

  • • MBA Program – Brand Management course – “Choosing Brand Elements to Build Brand Equity” Chapter – To understand the guidelines for creating high-impact packaging
  • • MBA Program – Brand Management course – “Measuring Sources of Brand Equity” Chapter – To access the visibility of packaging and brand awareness using Brand Asset Valuator (BAV) model
  • • MBA Program – Brand Management course – “Introducing and Naming New Products and Brand Extensions” Chapter - To evaluate brand extensions by evaluating brand elements such as packaging and labelling
  • • MBA Program – Consumer Behavior course – “Consumer Perception” Chapter – To understand the importance of packaging as a positioning element
  • • MBA Program – Marketing Management course – “Setting Product Strategy” Chapter – To understand how companies use packaging and labelling as marketing tools

 

Assignment Questions

I. Discuss the changing landscape of the Indian Breakfast Cereal Market and elucidate on the consumer’s paradigm shift-breaking the traditional breakfast habits and turning towards the healthconscious segment.
II...............

Preamble to this Case Study Analysis

This case study is meant to introduce the participants/students to the idea of how brands can build brand equity leveraging on packaging as a tool of positioning element. Although this case study highlights the entry of brand Gouri’s, its vision to build a niche cereals and energy bars brand in India by reaching out to the customers and building on the personal relationship edifice, the participants should be directed towards how companies use packaging and labelling as effective marketing tools..........

$4.57
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Product code: BM-1-0017, BM-1-0017A

Abstract

This case study is meant to discuss and debate on the need to create a challenger brand in an entrenched category, Cereals. With competition from the likes of Nestle, Kellogg’s, ITC, Patanjali etc., Gouri’s Co-Founder and CEO, Vidur Gupta (Vidur) is keen to build a niche cereals and bars brand in India by reaching out to the customers and building on the relationship edifice. With a goal to achieve INR100 crore by 2020, the plans are in place to create a top-of-the-recall brand in the category with its packaging practices. With no deep pockets to splurge on marketing blitzkrieg and with a keen focus on building a ‘differentiated’ brand through natural ingredients, can Vidur’s plan to scale up a neighborhood hobby into a sizeable business and make a challenger brand, fructify? What are the specific yet cost-effective branding initiatives that he should opt for? Given the premium nature of the product, would there be enough takers? How many multiples of existing customer base of 4500 are required to shore up the scale?

 

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To have an overview and understand the changing landscape of the Indian Breakfast Cereal market, breaking the traditional breakfast habits and turning towards the health conscious segment
  • To understand the product differentiation for a fledgling brand like Gouri’s, given the resource constraints and the nature of competition and to discuss the key brand elements (including the brand promise, the brand perception, brand expectations, brand persona, logo etc.) that can establish Gouri’s as a formidable brand in cereals and bars category
  • To examine how Gouri’s differentiated itself with its packaging decisions and to discuss the most suitable branding and packaging strategy for Gouri’s using Brand Asset Valuator (BAV) model

Case Positioning and Case Setting

This case study can be used in MBA program for either of the following courses:

Course Chapter Purpose/Learning
Brand
Management
Choosing Brand Elements
to Build Brand Equity
To understand the guidelines for creating
high-impact packaging
Measuring Sources of
Brand Equity
To access the visibility of packaging and
brand awareness using Brand Asset
Valuator (BAV) model
Introducing and Naming
New Products and Brand
Extensions
To evaluate brand extensions by
evaluating brand elements such as
packaging and labelling
Consumer
Behavior
Consumer Perception To understand the importance of
packaging as a positioning element
Marketing
Management
Setting Product Strategy To understand how companies use
packaging and labelling as marketing tools

 



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