David Ogilvy once said: “Good products can be sold by honest advertising,” and proving the validity of this quote is a biscuit brand that not only turned out to be a great product but also touched lives of millions of people. An iconic brand backed by a history of more than 75 years that has evolved over time to become the world’s largest selling biscuit brand. A brand that never differentiated its customers based on their income levels. A brand born before its country emerged as an independent nation.
Parle-G was first manufactured in the year 1929 on a very small scale in Mumbai but was quickly accepted by biscuit lovers. Due to its initial success and sensing a huge growth opportunity, Parle launched an ad campaign, in the year 1947 (soon after India’s independence) to compete with foreign brands and promote Indian biscuits. The ad campaign ignited the patriotic sentiments of Indian consumers as it turned out to be a masterstroke and took the brand to new heights. Parle-G became an instant hit and was embraced by the Indian masses who perceived it to be a ‘Desi’ brand (just like Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali is seen today).
Due to the imitable nature of the product, other companies started replicating Parle-G’s strategy. However, Parle-G tackled the competition very professionally. They re-positioned their product from an ‘energy biscuit brand’ to a ‘tasty, healthy food for all’ brand. And this is how Parle Gluco became Parle-G (G maane Genius).
Success Factors of Parle-G
Parle G is priced at ₹5 and is considered to be one of the most affordable biscuits. With its low pricing strategy, the brand has ensured that it is available to the population present even in the remotest of locations. Even though inflation in India has seen an increase almost every year, in the last decade, Parle-G, with its constant innovation ensures that its prices are not raised beyond a certain level. For such a low price, the perceived value for the customers is high, resulting in more sales.
Though the low price is one of the factors for high acceptability of Parle-G by the masses, however, there is another big factor due to which Parle-G is such a huge success i.e. good taste and quality of biscuits. The taste of the biscuits is so generic that it is liked by people of all ages. The fact of its high acceptability is evident from the fact that Parle-G is used as ‘a verb’ every time somebody wants to consume a biscuit at a tea stall (‘Bhaiya, ek Parle-G de do). The biscuit brand is tasty, and a treat for the consumers.
Parle-G biscuits come wrapped in red and yellow wax paper with the image of a small girl on the pack. The image on the packet is used to build a brand association and connect with people. All these years, Parle-G hasn’t experimented much with its packaging and kept it very simple and rustic. This eventually helped the brand to differentiate itself from the competitors and led to a high recall value among the customers.
Parle G is branding itself as – ‘Bharat ka Apna Biscuit’. (India’s biscuit.) With its effective TV and print ads, the brand has been creating memories since 1939. It has been very effective with its advertising campaigns and ensures that it targets all the segments: be it kids, the youth or the elderly. One such campaign which targeted kids and became a huge success was Parle-G’s – ‘G maane Genius’ campaign. Soon after the campaign, the biscuit brand saw a huge increase in its sales and further strengthened its dominance in the market.
Albert Einstein once said: “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” Parle-G with its low price, high quality and a strong brand image has ensured a high perceived value for the customers. This, in turn, has resulted in the brand history of over 78 years and made Parle-G the undisputed leader in the biscuit industry. In a country like India where a lot of new biscuit brands are launched every year with very less differentiation, surviving for such a long period seems like an unimaginable task. However, Parle-G has shown that if people love your product, then you don’t really need to worry about the competition.
Parle-G is the most consumed biscuit in India that not only provides relishing moments to people who crave to eat something good but is also available to those who belong to the lesser privileged sections of the society. In every sense, Parle G has proved to be an iconic brand that focuses on adding value to the end customer rather than minting money from the pockets of Indian masses. This is what has differentiated the brand from its competitors and has led to its magnificent success.