‘Srichand’ — Rebranding brings return to success
Thai beauty product Srichand has got a facelift, but has not lost touch with its roots
It mustn’t be easy for a man to run a cosmetic company. But for Rawit Hanutsaha, CEO of Srichand United Dispensary, a Thai cosmeceutical brand that sells products that helps control facial oil and reduces rashes and pimples, it’s what he has to do — no matter how hard it is — to preserve his grandfather’s 67-year-old business that was once close to being forgotten. Rawit rebranded it with the sole mission of making Srichand a cool Thai brand.
Graduating with a degree in engineering and having been a currency trader for years, Rawit took over Srichand in 2006, despite having no knowledge about the business at all.
“I didn’t want my grandfather’s business to come to an end,” he recalled. “So I thought I would take the time to learn everything myself.”
Rawit had his work cut out for him, at that time, Srichand was a small and outdated company without any computer-based system, which was to prove to be the main problem. “When there’s no computer, it means there’s no electronic data source. What I first did was to computerise the database system,” said the 36-year-old.
After the company’s system was rearranged, Rawit talked with Srichand’s loyal customers for more understanding. One of them gave him a valuable piece of advice — Srichand had good quality powder, but the problem was the outdated packaging. Srichand was also seen in Thailand’s cosmetic market as an old and low-cost brand.
“We rebranded it over 10 times, but little by little because we were afraid it would affect our old customers. Although Srichand’s appearance was changed, the customers’ perception was still the same. Our product was still irrelevant to modern people.”
That made him realise that Srichand was in dire need of serious rebranding. Rawit started by modernising its image, by shortening its name from Srichand Powder to just Srichand.
Last may, the company released its new product, Srichand Translucent Powder, with the message that Srichand was no longer a traditional Thai kind of powder that needed to be mixed with water before application on the face. Rather, it is a translucent powder for daily use. Rawit considered this product launch his masterpiece.
“We invested heavily in Research and Development, imported the ingredients from foreign countries, did a blind test, upgraded the price, and redesigned the packaging to be unique.” It turned out to be a success as the distribution channels expanded from drugstores to 7-Eleven, Watson and more.”
The brand’s target consumers have changed from just the elderly, to people of all ages who seek a quality product at an affordable price.
Srichand’s new TV commercial spot came afterwards. In it, the audience sees a foreigner explaining the advantages of the product in English and it finishes with the tagline: “In your opinion, what brand do you think of?.” This, according to Rawit, was just to lure the audience to believe that this was a foreign brand, before it was revealed to be a Thai product.
“Our advertisement contains a paradox,” he explained. “We didn’t create this advertisement to praise foreigners. We only told people that if we changed the presenter, would they listen to us more? We didn’t try to make people think that we came from an international brand. We wanted them to ask themselves if the reason they don’t accept Thai brands is because the product is not of good quality or just because it is a Thai product.”
His long-term expectation is for the brand to be able to compete with other international brands in the market. “We know not everyone would choose our brand, but our playing field has changed. Our brand is being upgraded and isn’t being compared to old low-cost brands any more.”
Though this TV commercial has helped the company break its sales record, Rawit still believes there is still a long way to go before Srichand is a true success.
Rawit also gave his opinion on the current market situation in Thailand. He said Thailand is a country that produces high-quality products and has plenty of creativity. Unfortunately, many companies still lack a continuity of investment and entrepreneurs are not brave enough to take risks and invest in research and development.
“Thai companies are not the best when it comes to labour standards, but we can still compete against other international businesses in terms of innovation.”
“Everything takes time and success doesn’t come right away,” he concluded. “The Thai market has already made some moves, and so has Srichand.”
Source: bangkokpost.com/ tcdc.or.th
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