The Amul Case Study: Marketing Success and Conquering the Indian Market
Amul is one of the most popular and successful brands in India. With its wide range of dairy products, Amul has now become a household name in the minds of Indian families.
I’m sure that we all have at least one of Amul’s products in our house. It has elegantly created its family-friendly and patriotic image with its, “Amul – The Taste of India” marketing jingle which also evokes empathy towards the brand.
What also makes Amul so special is that it has constantly managed itself in staying relevant for all these years in the minds of customers ever since its foundation.
Thus, this also makes us wonder about what they are doing to stay relevant in this increasingly competitive and digitized world.
In this case study, we will go through Amul’s online marketing strategies and campaigns implemented by them over the years which have helped them stay on top of the game, ahead of its competitors in the industry.
So, Let’s start with what Amul as a company is all about.
Anand Milk Union Limited, popularly known as Amul is a cooperative society based in Anand, Gujarat in India. The company was started with the motive of providing welfare to the farmers and in the process, it went on to establish itself as one of the most successful brands in India.
Amul was established in 1946 not merely as a brand but a movement too. A movement that gave the farmers of Gujarat the courage to Dream, Hope, and Live. It was founded with the purpose to stop the exploitation done by the middlemen “Pestonjee Edulji” who marketed Polson butter.
Dr Verghese Kurein, who is known as the “Milkman of India”, was responsible for turning India from a milk deficient country to the largest producer of milk in the world today in which Amul has played a key role.
He left his government job and decided to join Tribhuvandas Patel and Morarji Desai who were trying to unite the farmers and form a cooperative movement against exploitation.
They hence started the Milk Cooperative movement “Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd”, which was later renamed “Amul”.
Currently, Amul is still a cooperative company run under the guidance of RS Sodhi, who is the Managing Director (MD) of the company. It is supervised by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF).
The company operates in the FMCG sector and has rich expertise in the dairy segment of the industry.
It has earned a lot of respect and recognition across the world by making its presence in the global dairy trade.
Now that you know about Amul as a company, let us now understand Amul’s business model popularly known as “The Amul Model”.
The Amul Model
This model aims to provide ‘value for money to the customers and protect the interests of farmers simultaneously’.
The Amul Model is a three-tiered structure that is implemented in its dairy production:
- Amul acts as a direct link between milk producers and consumers that removes the middlemen which help them offer products at affordable prices.
- Farmers (milk producers) control procurement, processing, and marketing.
- Run by Professional Management
With this model, Amul has made a significant impact in the market along with taking care of the farmers and also providing value for money services to its customers.
Let us now understand Amul’s target audience in the next section.
Amul’s Target Audience
Amul has targeted the mass market of India with no premium offerings and works on providing the best quality products at affordable prices.
So Amul formulates its pricing policy on the low-cost price strategy which has attracted a lot of customers in the past and it continues to do so.
Now let us understand Amul’s target audience based on customer-wise targeting and industry-wise targeting. Their strategy divides the target audience on the following two bases:
Customer-Based Target Audience
|Segment-wise breakdown of Customer-Based target Audience|
|Kids||Chocolate, Amul Kool, Amul Milk|
|Youth||Amul Pizza Cheese, Cheese spread|
|Health Conscious||Amul Shakti, Amul Lite Butter|
As the table showcases how Amul has its product range targeted towards a diversified customer base.
Industry-Based Target Audience
Amul has segmented Milk for various industries such as ice-cream manufacturers, restaurants, coffee shops, and many similar industries.
Further, it has segmented Butter, Ghee, and Cheese for bakeries, pizza, snack retailers, confectionaries, and many more.
The target audience study tells us that Amul has a strong presence in both business-to-business (B2B) and Business-to-Customers (B2C).
This is how Amul’s target audience is served, given that it has a decent concentration in both B2B and B2C segments. Let us understand the marketing strategies and campaigns implemented by them to market themselves in the next section of this case study.
Amul’s Marketing Campaigns and Strategy
In this section, we would go through Amul’s social media marketing strategy and campaigns implemented by them.
1. The Story of the Amul Girl, India’s Most Loved Ad Icon
Amul Girl is the official mascot of the Amul brand. It is a hand-drawn cartoon of a young Indian girl dressed in a polka-dotted frock with blue hair and a pony tied up.
The Amul Girl was created as a response to Amul’s rival brand Polson’s butter-girl back in 1967. It has made a world record for the longest run ad campaign that ever happened on planet earth!
Amul Butter Girl’s first-ever ad copy released in 1967
Here are some of the best advertisements of Amul Butter Girl,
Amul’s mascot strategy has worked out very well offline but lets us now check how is it working on the digital fronts.
2. Amul’s Digital Marketing Strategy
In this increasingly digitized world, every brand needs to revamp its marketing strategy. Amul too has cut down its expenditure on TV Ads and has started focusing more on the online form of advertising just like its competitors.
But before that let’s have a look at its social media presence from the below table.
|Social Media Overview|
|16,28,390 followers on Facebook||3,14,000 Followers on Instagram||3,35,000 Followers on Twitter|
1. Amul on Facebook & Instagram
In the present day, The shift from offline to online marketing was fairly an easy task for Amul. They were already creating content for banners and newspapers previously and now they just follow the same style for their creatives on Facebook & Instagram as well.
Their most popular creatives on Facebook and Instagram revolve around the Amul Butter Girl the buzz-worthy happenings all around the world.
Let’s now take a look at some of Amul’s digital marketing campaigns which were a hit on Facebook as well as Instagram.
“Eat Milk with Every Meal”
In 2013, Amul hired a digital marketing agency called Draftfcb Ulka to come up with a campaign for the digital space as well as print.
The objective of this campaign was to educate Indian buyers about the goodness of milk and its byproducts.
In older times milk was considered the world’s favourite energy drink but in the present era of junk food, the importance of milk has been undermined.
So, in this campaign, Amul focused on repositioning Milk and its entire range of dairy products to seem trendy and tempting to all.
Moreover, Amul created graphics to enlighten its consumers about the various scenarios in which they could consume Amul products (along with the numerous benefits of those products).
National Milk Day Campaign
On 26th November 2019, Amul celebrated National Milk Day by launching a new campaign by using hashtags like,
#CelebratingDrKurien #BikeRally #VaranasitoAnand and # 26 November.
The objective of this campaign was to connect with the youth and inspire them to be purpose-driven and motivated in their lives.
During the campaign, Amul organized a bike rally in which 50 bikers travelled from Varanasi to Anand (2500 Kms) to meet dairy farmers, dairy professionals and to learn about Dr Kurien and his works.
Amul also launched a small 70 seconds film on Dr Kurien on Facebook, Instagram & YouTube. It also went Live on all the above-mentioned platforms to record the 12-day journey.
2. Amul on Twitter
On Twitter, Amul has a massive fan base of over 335K followers given that Twitter is a very different platform when compared to other social media platforms.
On various occasions, Amul posts fun graphics featuring the Amul Butter Girl. Many people connect with those graphics and retweet them to show how they feel about the latest happenings in the world.
Twitter is a great platform for a brand to engage with its customers. Taking advantage of this, Amul tries to conduct interactive activities like contests and giveaways.
A lot of people also use Twitter to express their grievances for a service or a product. Amul makes sure that it replies to tweets of customers complaining about its products.
Unlike many brands that ignore or delete the negative posts of their customers, Amul takes the opinions of its customers very seriously and makes an effort to resolve their customers’ problems on Twitter even in the presence of thousands of people.
3. Amul on Youtube
Amul is also present on Youtube and it enjoys about 4,03,000 subscribers on its official youtube channel called, Amul The Taste of India. However, On Youtube, it puts out advertisements that are previously aired on television.
Although, during the Covid-19 pandemic when the country was in lockdown, Amul started a new campaign called Simple Home Made Recipes that was also promoted as “#SimpleHomeMadeRecipes”.
More about this campaign will be covered in the next section of the case study. So this is how Amul’s digital marketing strategy has played out.
Amul’s Digital Marketing Strategies during COVID-19
Despite the lockdown and Amul also being an FMCG brand, sales have increased due to excess consumption of households during the lockdowns and its presence on E-commerce sites like Grofers, Big Basket, Paytm mall, etc. However, it has also doubled its spending on its marketing efforts.
During the lockdown, everyone avoided stepping out of their homes and even if they did, nobody wanted to travel too far for their food supplies and put their safety at stake. So Amul went one step ahead and created an App to help its customers locate Amul products near them.
Let’s now have a look at the Marketing campaigns launched by Amul during the lockdown
1. Amul Classics
So we all know that Doordarshan had started airing Ramayan and Mahabharat again after a span of a long time. So, Amul received a lot of requests from customers to start airing their old 90s retro ads again.
That’s when Amul took its customers on a nostalgic trip by airing its old com online as well as on TV.
*Hums Amul Doodh Peeta Hai India in my head *
So, Amul is making a lot of effort to increase its visibility for the Indian public which is sitting home and consuming content on Social Media platforms.
2. Simple Homemade Recipes
During the start of the lockdown, Amul came up with a campaign called #SimpleHomeMadeRecipes.
They invited chefs from all parts of India and all types of eateries like Bakeries, Hotels, Catering establishments, etc, and asked them to showcase their cooking skills to their Facebook audiences.
In each episode of this cooking show, chefs shared a new recipe in which they used Amul products. Around 750 million people viewed these episodes, and Amul even shared pictures of dishes prepared by their audience.It has released more than 700 episodes on its youtube channel and continues to upload it regularly.
This move was successful and it received a lot of responses from the audience. With this, our case study comes to an end. Let’s now see what the conclusion of the case study has to say.
Amul has been ranked No. 1 brand by Campaign Magazine in its list of Top 1000 brands of Asia. From struggling with the exploitation of middlemen to being every Indian household’s mandatory product, Amul has come a long way.
By creating amazing strategies that could touch every Indian’s heart, Amul made its way towards success. Subtle placements of ‘‘Amul Girl’ with current affairs and then posting the same on every social media platform, Amul was able to create its strong presence in the minds of the customers.
It has been gathering the attention of a lot of customers with the help of digital marketing and has adapted consumer-friendly strategies. Considering this current global pandemic situation, we all should act realistic and choose the online mode to market our product.
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