One of the numerous oil and ghee brands adorning the greasy shelves of superstores, hypermarts and karyanas across the nation, Kashmir Banaspati, recently shed its old skin and put on a new look. Competing in a crowded category with leading brands like Dalda, Habib and Soya Supreme, newly famous names like Meezan and the simply weird ones like Moulvi Banaspati, Kashmir is up against a challenge and a half.

Although Kashmir has been around for over 50 years and has been selling three variants – Banaspati, Canola, and Premium Gold – the brand does not enjoy the same status as the iconic Dalda or Tullo. This lack of mindshare can be attributed to the complete lack of a coherent direction and theme in Kashmir’s advertising and marketing messaging. If one campaign is centered around sensuality (Iman Ali’s Premium Gold Seduction Fest), the next one would be all about discovering the lost identity of us Muslims (Shehzad Roy and Cybil going on a noble expedition to Dubai et al.).

Kashmir has tried to rectify this by promoting all three variants through a unified communication strategy. In simpler words: one ad that promotes all three products at once, under the master brand line ‘Yehi Hai Jeenay Ka Maza’ (This is the joy of living). Futher along this route of integrated communication is this latest initiative of redesigning the packaging to make the products look more unified.

Is it a worthwhile effort? Let’s find out.

A Smart Thought:

The thought of redoing the packaging to unify the brands is surely a smart one. It is a practical and effective way to 1. Emphasize the association between the variants as well as with the relatively well-known parent brand, 2. Generate some marketing buzz, and 3. Refresh the brand while we’re at it.

kashmir banaspati new packaging

So, the strategy is spot on. Execution, obviously, is a bitch. We all know the best of ideas and the most profound of plans can fall flat if not executed expertly. In Kashmir’s case, the execution is certainly not a failure, but at the same time, it was an opportunity to do soooo much more.

Missed Opportunities:

Let’s start with the logotype of Kashmir. The stylized lettering is a relic from the 60s’ decorative style and desperately needs updating. It does not have to be a radical hack-all; a competent evolution that retains the important aspects and brings the mark to the 21st century will get the job done. So that is missed opportunity number one.

kashmir banaspati packaging

Number two is the failure to innovate with the actual packaging. There is so much more to a ghee ka dabba than just the label. More ergonomic designs would surely have helped place Kashmir among the Easy Pour and Smooth Pour technologies that are becoming the new devices of differentiation for the premium brands.

kashmir banaspati pack 2

Old packaging.

Number three is the lost chance of simplifying and strengthening the brand architecture. Unnecessarily wordy names do not aid in winning customer mindshare in the slightest. Kashmir has three products with distinct naming conventions: Banaspati is simple and descriptive while Canola leans on ingredient naming, and then there’s the Long Name Diva. We are looking at you, Kashmir Premium Gold Cooking Oil. This repackaging was an opportunity to apply a uniform, simple and uncluttered naming strategy so that the hero name, Kashmir, gets all the attention.

kashmir banaspati

And finally, how much more money would it take to get a proper illustration done for the Banaspati pack? Sure, it’s an improvement over the old one, but a very slight improvement. Could have been so much better.

kashmir banaspati oil package

Flashes of Inspiration

But with all that is amiss in this new endeavor, there are some things that are done right. Number one: the colors! The palette of greens and teals is a refreshing break from the predominantly yellow tones of the cooking oil segment. The Canola and Premium Gold packs are pleasing to look at and will surely stand out on the shelves. Kudos for experimenting and going with something different.

The launch TV ad, while obviously not groundbreaking, is an enjoyable watch. The beautiful Mahira Khan fits in very nicely with the overall feel and tone of the ad and lends a lot of star power to the brand.