Fair & Lovely ( FAL) is the brand that revolutionized the Indian Skin care industry. This brand is World's first and largest Fairness cream brand with a presence in 40 countries and a value of around Rs. 6 billionIndian skin care market was dominated by conventional beauty care products like Bezan,Multani Mitti etc. FAL changed all that. Launched in 1975, FAL is the product born in the Unilever research center. In 1988 the brand went international. FAL commands a market share of over 70% in the Rs 1000 crore fairness market in India.FAL virtually created and owned this category for long. In the fairness market, FAL enjoyed monopoly till Cavin Kare entered this lucrative segment with Fairever. The success of Fairever prompted many players like Godrej to tap the market.
FAL sustained the pressure from the competitor by careful branding and new product launches. The brand never failed to emulate and learn from the competitor .When Fairever launched the ayurvedic variant, FAL launched a much better variant. Then came the competition from Ozone Ayurvedics with their brand No Marks trying to carve a niche. HLL countered with FAL Antimarks and launched a controversial comparative ad that took the steam out of No Marks.
When Fair ever launched the soap, FAL also responded with soap. FAL never allowed the competitors to gain an upper hand in the market which it created. FAL achieved such tremendous success because of careful branding and ad campaigns. Initially HLL to do some ugly talking about fairness. Some of the ads were controversial because of gender inequality and stuff like that. It was necessary at that period because the category was new and the brand should first talk about the need to be fairer.
Now the brand has laddered up to more aspirational values like "Transformation of Women" The insigh
t is that the transformation will be more than skin deep. The ads showing a girl achieving the ambition of being a cricket commentator ( a male bastion) were very much effective in connecting with the TG.
HLL has also extended the brand to more aspirational values by launching Fair& Lovely foundation that works for Women Empowerment achievement and Transformation which are the qualities for which FAL stands for. FAL have also launched a premium subbrand Perfect Radiance to tap the premium segment of the market. Fair & Lovely was able to dominate the fairness market because of careful marketing and is a showcase of the marketing genius of HLL.