‘Can I get a bottle of Rooh Afza?’

In this holy month of Ramadan, one cannot imagine opening Roza without a chilled Rooh Afza. Rooh Afza, the brainchild of Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed has been a household name for more than 100 years now. The product having a unique flavour has made a market for itself. This Ramadan, we saw a shortage of the product in the market and there are some key insights that I would like to share with all marketers!

• Of the 4P’s, ‘Product, Product, Product’ matters a lot!

There have been many other alternatives to Rooh Afza like Mala’s Sharbat – E- Ruhaan, Dabur’s Sharbat – E – Azam, etc but Rooh Afza has made a niche for itself even without much of marketing & promotion you have majority consumers buy Rooh Afza only because they like the product. Thus, as brand managers, the key learning here is to develop your product in such a way that it sells itself.

• Invest in Positioning, it will pay off!

The FMCG market has become such that you have a consumer for each product but some brands have positioned themselves so well that it’s difficult to cut into their market share. If you ask a consumer in the month of September do you want Rooh Afza he would possibly not buy it but if you ask him to buy it during Ramadan, he will buy it happily. Thus, strong positioning will help you in brand recall and a repeat purchase will become easy. Another classic example, I have many people asking me at my store can I get Bisleri instead of asking can I get ‘mineral water’.

• Inelastic Demand:

The product has seen an inelastic demand where consumers have been willing to pay extra to purchase the product. There have been places in Mumbai where the product has been sold for Rs.200 which has an MRP of Rs.145.

• Distributors Delight!!

This would be the first time in the FMCG industry where people have come from far of places directly to the distributor's warehouse to purchase the product and have given an instant payment on the spot and have not even bargained for the price with the distributor. Many distributors face problems of replacement, claims, and payment from parties but they all just got solved. Distributors saved heavily on transportation cost as all buyers have procured it directly.

• Word of Mouth Promotion for Retailers!

The stores where Rooh Afza has been available have seen a huge increase in footfall. There has been a word of mouth promotion done by the consumers where they have mentioned that the product is available at XYZ store. This has helped retailers in selling their products and increase turnover.

Thus, we must develop a product which is the best and should not compromise on its quality and position it in such a way that consumers come asking for it.

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