Cementing an Emotional Bond
By: Realty Plus Bureau
The country’s top cement manufacturer offers a wide range of products and services and forging all of them is a strong brand identity. Brand UltraTech has carved a unique identity with the right mix of strength and emotion. O P Puranmalka, Business Director, UltraTech Cement shares insights and strategies behind the brand’s successful
UltraTech’s signature line ‘The Engineer’s Choice’ carries a strong message. How is this central message enforced in the branding and marketing of your product line?
UltraTech Cement as a brand is positioned as the expert for all construction needs. Its imagery, strengthened by the engineer in the yellow helmet, reinforces the aura of knowledge and specialisation. UltraTech connects with its consumers on an emotional level by providing the assurance that comes from associating with a knowledgeable expert. It is this that is succinctly encapsulated in its tagline, The Engineer’s Choice.
Our television commercials ‘Iss Cement Main JaanHai’, ‘Maine KalKoDekhaHai’ and the latest commercials on Childhood and EMI show a real life hero (the Engineer) who depicts success and contributes to nation-building. All these activities have an underlying thought of ‘I am an Engineer and I choose UltraTech Cement’, displaying the right mix of strength and emotion to further cement UltraTech’s positioning as a champion brand with a humane face.
Brand UltraTech has been able to forge a strong emotional bond with the customers as ‘the expert who cares’. How and why was this unique positioning strategy devised?
Most of the players in the cement category talk about strength. One needs to have a distinct differentiator to break the clutter in a crowded market. We believe quality and strength is vital to cement. However, construction is a highly technical subject and one will definitely seek expertise when it comes to constructing a house. For individual home builders, an expert’s opinion matters.
The UltraTech imagery and baseline “The Engineer’s Choice” has a distinct edge of modernity, which is more relatable with its products and lends the brand more reliability.
UltraTech’s association with some of the showcase structures in India is a testament to the fact that the slogan, The Engineer’s Choice, is not just words but a deed that UltraTech works very hard to live up to.
The brand also has a unique youth connect and encourages many sports. Please elaborate on the sports-related associations of UltraTech.
Despite the general perception that cement is a commodity business, UltraTech Cement has deftly utilized the platforms of cricket and films along with the more traditional forms of promotion. The in-film branding with Chak De India and its association with the Indian Premier League as the principal team sponsor of Rajasthan Royals in Season 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7, and with Deccan Chargers in Season 4 has made UltraTech a youthful brand. We are also involved in in-stadia advertising during cricket matches, both in ODIs and tests in India, as well as IPL matches involving Rajasthan Royals.
Our presence in cricket gives us enough brand exposure which is important, especially in the case of individual house builders as their purchase is guided by brand familiarity.
Your portfolio includes a wide variety of products, how do you market and brand each product differently?
Mass media plays the most pivotal role in the marketing of our grey cement and white cement brands across the country. Television, among other media, is the preferred choice followed by Radio. Our grey cement brand, UltraTech Cement, is our flagship brand and a vast majority of our marketing activities are focused towards it.
Being the largest manufacturer of white cement in India, we are also actively involved in promoting Birla White, our white cement brand. Birla White Wallcare Putty, a product that prevents walls from flaking, has been actively marketed across television channels, radio, and OOH media, among others.
Each of our other products has distinct properties and functionalities. They are individually marketed across various media vehicles depending upon their relevance, target audiences, seasonal demand, etc. For example, our waterproofing products like Seal & Dry would be extensively marketed during monsoons. Our white cement products find more demand during prominent Indian festivals, or during the wedding season.
UltraTech Cement has introduced a retail format called ‘UltraTech Building Solutions’, please elaborate on this new concept.
UltraTech realizes that individual home buyers in rural and semi urban areas are actively involved in buying construction material for their homes. To cater to needs of these customers, UltraTech offers a one-stop shop solution to meet all primary construction needs. The retail format of ‘UltraTech Building Solutions’ offers a wide range of construction products to the end customers, while creating enhanced business opportunities for its distributors. These outlets also provide value added services like construction cost calculators, vaastu consultancy and product training. UltraTech is a pioneer in this segment, with UBS being a one of its kind initiative in the Indian cement industry.
What is your professional vision for Brand UltraTech?
UltraTech takes forward Aditya Birla Group’s legacy of trust. To this legacy we have added expertise and innovation, making UltraTech a Superbrand and a Powerbrand in the last few years. Going forward, we will continue to invest in our brand such that we become the preferred partners for all out stakeholders – customers, dealers and stockists, employees, investors and communities.