It is rare to find brands that are known for representing an entire product category. Then there is Fevicol.
Fevicol, sold in its signature blue and white packaging, is a familiar sight in most households and the go-to product in India’s adhesive category.
The Fevicol story began in 1959 when Mr. Balvant Parekh, of Parekh Group, floated Pidilite Industries. Fevicol brand was launched as an easy-to-use glue for carpenters replacing the old collagen and fat-based adhesives (colloquially known as “Saresh”) that required melting before application. Fevicol, being a synthetic resin adhesive, was easy to apply.
This worked as a unique selling proposition for Fevicol.
The company aimed to capitalize on the potential market for synthetic resin adhesives, or “white glue” in India. The white glue’s primary application was woodworking, with secondary applications in upholstery, flooring, and footwear.
Here’s are 3 ways Fevicol became a market leader today:
1. Fevicol used the Direct Marketing strategy to sell to its customers.
Fevicol was quick to realize that a carpenter has the most important role to play in determining the type of adhesive to be used.
Fevicol’s competitor at that time, Movicol (currently discontinued), was focussed on selling to the middlemen, which included hardware stores and timber marts.
Parekh decided to sell directly to the carpenters. This decision helped the brand to gain a strong foothold in the white glue market.
2. Fevicol strengthened social relations between its customers
Fevicol started sponsoring social activities targeting carpenters and their families by setting up Fevicol Champion’s Club (FCC). The platform also served as a network where all carpenters became a family, giving them a sense of belonging.
The brand created a strong bond and a high level of trust with the carpenters through free dental checkups, education scholarships, festival celebrations, etc. This fuelled Fevicol’s word of mouth publicity.
It also helped Fevicol to build strong brand equity for itself.
3. Fevicol used advertising to win the hearts of its customers.
The use of intelligent humor in advertising made the brand stand apart in its non-interesting category. In the 1970s, Fevicol launched small tubes directed towards retail consumers.
One famous TV advertisements include showcasing an egg that won’t crack because the hen that laid it was fed from a Fevicol tub (1988). Another is the creaky bus carrying an unimaginable number of passengers glued together because of a Fevicol signage ad (2001).
The brand uses catchy phrases in its ads, such as “Dum laga kar haisya, zor laga kar haisha” and “Fevicol ka mazboot jodh hai, tootega nahi” (the strong bond of Fevicol won’t break). This caught on so well in India that “Fevicol” is commonly used as a metaphor for strong bonding or stubborn stickiness. It also started appearing in everyday conversations to Bollywood movie songs and even in the Prime Minister’s address.
In 2014, to describe India and Japan’s relationship, the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, mentioned Fevicol and quoted, “Yeh fevicol se bhi mazboot jod hai, tutega nahi.” The next day, major newspapers were forced to a brand name twice in less than 20 words to convey the Prime Minister’s address.
This helped in popularizing Fevicol not just in India but the world across – for free!
Pidilite Industries, which started with just one factory, manufacturing a single product, Fevicol, built a monopoly in the adhesive space. In 1973, Pidilite was also the first company in India to start the production of violet pigment. Pidilite’s other two flagship brands – Feviquick, and M-Seal, also went on to build around 70 percent market shares each, making Pidilite synonymous with adhesives in India.
Today, Fevicol is marketed in 54 countries, including over 50,000 locations in India.