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  The IUP Journal of   Brand Management :
A Comparative Study of Branding Strategies Harnessed by Indian Cement Manufacturers
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The Indian cement industry is the second-largest in the world, and a significant source of revenue and employment for the country. Post the deregulation of this sector in 1982, it has experienced a rapid surge in investments and has attracted several domestic and foreign players. This has created an urgent need for the manufacturers to distinguish their products from those of their competitors through innovative branding techniques. However, with cement traditionally being viewed as a bulk commodity and a low-value product, manufacturers must work against the grain to build brand awareness and recall, to be able to reach out to individual consumers, while also targeting larger, institutional users. Through this study, we examine the branding strategies adopted by leading cement manufacturers in India in order to differentiate themselves and, in turn, enhance sales.

 
 
 

The sudden proliferation of cement manufacturers and the inherently ubiquitous use of cement in construction activities have necessitated strong branding efforts by cement manufacturers, in order to change the prevailing view of cement as a ‘bulk commodity’, among consumers. Although cement purchases in India have been restricted to contractors and developers, individual home-owners now contribute up to 50% of cement purchases. Today, approximately 67% of consumption can be attributed to the housing sector, 13% to the infrastructure sector, 11% to commercial construction, and the remainder to the industrial construction segment. Efforts are now being made by the cement manufacturers to reach out to individual users to encourage them to make conscious purchase decisions. Effective branding has a direct impact on companies’ bottom lines, as customers are far more inclined to buy from brands that they know and trust.

 
 
 

Brand Management Journal,Branding in the Indian Cement Industry, Growing from Strength to Strength, Product Differentiation, Focus on Sustainability