Amul -The Taste of India
Company Name – Amul
Founder – Verghese Kurien
Amul is a name we have all grown up hearing. That utterly butterly delicious smell of it has sometimes even made us leave our beds and run to the kitchen. Anand Milk Producers Union Limited or Amul, based at Anand in Gujarat is an Indian dairy cooperative. The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF) is India’s largest food product marketing organization and Amul is a brand managed by them.
#How It All Started
The cooperative movement was triggered off when the farmers were angered by the unfair and manipulative trade practices followed by the local trade cartel in Anand, Gujrat. The farmers sought help and advice of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. They were then advised to get rid of the middlemen and market their milk through a co-operative society of their own which would have procurement, processing, and marketing under them. Hence under the guidance of Tribhuvandas Patel, Sardar Patel and Morarji Desai, they formed their own cooperative Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited (KDCMPUL) which was later better known as Amul.
Amul-cooperative was registered on 14 December 1946 as a response to the exploitation of marginal milk producers by traders or agents of the Polson dairy, which was the only diary then as the government had given monopoly rights to Polson to collect milk from Kaira and supply it to Bombay city. All this was resulted in the formation of the Cooperative and by June 1948, the KDCMPUL had started pasteurizing milk for the ‘Bombay Milk Scheme’. This cooperative was further developed and managed by Dr. Verghese Kurien with H.M. Dalaya. Amul became the first brand in the world to make skimmed milk powder from buffalo milk in the 1960’s. Today whenever any milk products like Ice cream, milk, cheese, butter etc are mentioned, Amul is the first name that generally occurs in one’s mind. Thus innovation at each step could be regarded as a reason for their grand success.
Amul’s marketing strategy and Interesting Reasons behind its Success
- The Brand: As they promote all their products under one common brand name – Amul, it allows to gain more brand visibility and results in lesser marketing and advertising costs. Having a top of the mind positioning, excellent supply chain channels, Amazing product line, and the low pricing strategy have all helped the brand grow.
- Product Portfolio: Amul has a diversified product portfolio and has been able to cater to the needs of all the segments from kids to old alike. The list of products which Amul contains are: Amul Milk, Amul Taaza, Amul slim trim milk etc, Bread spreads (Amul butter, Amul Lite, delicious table margarine, unsalted butter, garlic butter), Amul Cheese, UHT milk, Amul Beverages (Amul kool flavoured milk, Amul masti buttermilk), Amul Ice cream, Paneer, Dahi, Ghee, Amul chocolates, fresh cream, pouch buttermilk.
- Innovation: Amul has always been known for coming up with new innovative products for different customer segments. For its continuous innovation, the brand won the “CNN-IBN Innovating for Better Tomorrow Award” and “World Dairy Innovation Award” in the year 2014. The three-tiered Amul Model helped the cooperative to change from its traditional methods to more efficiently functioning one.
- Pricing Strategy: Amul always catered to the needs of all economic segments without any compromise on their product quality. Products that cover a huge market segment and are used on the daily basis like milk, ghee, ice-cream, cheese, butter are tried and provided at rates lesser than that of their competitors. With the rise in the Indian economy, transportation cost, storage cost, labor cost etc have piled up but still, Amul provides quality products at a fair and affordable price in comparison to its competitors, thus emerging as the most preferred brand.
- Efficient Supply Chain Management: The Amul model is a three-tier cooperative structure which consists of a dairy cooperative society at the village level that is affiliated with milk unions at the district level which in turn is federated to a milk federation at the state level. Milk is collected at the village dairy society, procured and processed at the district milk union and marketed at the state milk federation. The model was found to be so amazing that Dr. Verghese Kurien was asked to replicate this model all over the country under Operation Flood in the 1970’s as this model had the efficiency and swiftness in its operations. The Amul model has helped India become the largest milk producer in the world.
- Advertising Campaign: Amul has been awarded the Guinness World Record for the longest running advertisement campaign. The Amul girl- a cartoon figure, is used by the company to promote their brand. Amul generally uses the current news scenario with a bit of sarcasm and wit for their promotion which usually connects with the audience well. Amul’s Utterly Butterly girl has managed to keep her fan following intact and on 17 October 2016, celebrated 50 years from when she first appeared in the topical ad titled “Thoroughbread”.
A blue haired moppet in a polka dotted dress, who hasn’t grown even by a day ever since she graced a billboard for the first time in 1967. The Amul advertising campaign story began in 1966 when Sylvester daCunha, the then managing director of the advertising agency was entrusted to design an ad campaign for Amul Butter. As Amul has always enjoyed a top of the mind positioning, it does not spends more than 1% of its revenue on promotions as it would directly influence the cost of product.
In 1966, DaCunha and Fernandes designed the mascot’s first public appearance on billboards. The cute image of Amul girl kneeling in prayer, with one eye closed and another on a pack of butter with the words, “Give us this day our daily bread with Amul Butter” got an immediate positive response from the public.
In 1970, Amul released its first television ad. It showed how a person is a library begins to eat his toast with the spread of Amul Butter on it. But due to his noisy easting in the library, the librarian is seen taking away his tiffin and not returning on even after repeated requests. Later, however, she is seen saying “Rules may be rules. But with Amul Butter, one must make an exception” while having a bite of it herself.
Amul Milk adverts have the tagline “Amul Doodh Peeta Hai India (India drinks the Amul Milk)”. There are commercials which encourage the children to drink the milk and they say “Amul raises a glass to child power”. Another one is about Women empowerment that says “Amul raises a glass to India’s Women power.” And then there is “Aage Badta Hai India… Amul doodh peeta hai India”. Its latest ad (2018) points at being hygienic and buying hygienic products that are well packed; hence with the tagline “Doodh Ka Packet, Safety Ka Jacket”.
Amul started the tagline ‘Taste of India’ which reinforced its Indian connect when the advertisement appeared on the television. The ads taught Indians how butter could be used in our day to day life and that it’s not something that’s only a part of the English breakfast. Amul also came up with the famous Amul song ‘sapne ho gaye hai sakar’ where it showed how Amul cooperative works and connects all the milk producers in Gujarat. This ad further reinforced what Amul has done for India and hence became very popular among the Indians.
Amul had launched the ‘ Har Ghar Amul Ghar’ campaign in Jan 2014 as a part of its social media strategy to reach out to a new generation of consumers in the digital media. They have released a line of films that are only advertised on the digital mediums as it’s easy to tell stories in longer duration than with the time limitation as on televisions. Usually, the ads are emotional stories centered around typical families with funny twists most times.
- Har Ghar Amul Ghar – Is a drama comic on parenting
- Pahla Pyaar, Amul Pyaar – Is about how 2 teens fall in love
- Har Bachpana Amul Bachpana – Is on how grandparents are still like kids
- Har Dosti Amul Dosti – Is on the friendship of 3 Old People
- Har Umar Amul Umar – Is on neighbours of different age (kid and an older uncle) and how they get close
- Har Ghar Amul Ghar – Pyara Bandhan is on sister’s love for the newborn baby.
Without endorsing a public figure for millions, Amul ads are captivating in itself. The appeal of the ad lies in its simplicity. There is clarity in the message. In 2011, Amul was named the Most Trusted brand in the Food and Beverages sector in The Brand Trust Report published by Trust Research Advisory on 18th January 2011. Amongst India’s top 20 brands: Amul is No. 1.
Amul spurred India’s White Revolution. The Anand pattern experiment at Amul, a single, cooperative dairy, was the engine behind the success of the program. As it was under the guidance of Dr. Verghese Kurien, he is known as the Father of White Revolution in India and also as the Milkman of India. It transformed India from a milk-deficient nation into the world’s largest milk producer, achieved not merely by mass production, but by production by the masses; the process has been called the white revolution.
Amul has some good competitors where Most of these ice creams entered regionally but then held on to the regional market share. Thus, even though individually these brands might not be a worthy adversary, combined and with their total net aggregate, all of them together are giving a very tough competition to Amul.
Some of these competitors are Kwality walls, Vadilal, Havmore, Dinshaws, Arun Ice cream, Baskin Robbins, London dairy and others. Many of these ice cream products have their own niche or geographic targets. Arun ice cream is strong in the south whereas havmor and Vadilal are strong in the west. Though the competition in Ice cream segment is high, the competition in Butter and Cheese and other dairy products is far lesser for Amul.
Amul has been given the award of ‘Marketer of the year’ 2018 by IAAI.
The brand has encouraged and enabled farmers to be entrepreneurs and earn their own living. The whole process is transparent and it has been ensured that there is no exploitation. The brand has proved that it is not just a product but a movement that represents the economic freedom of farmers.
Hence we can say Amul in all its sense is Amulya (Priceless) for our nation.