Identifying Brand Repositioning Strategies of Savlon
Subject: Management | Topics:

For last few years parents are more concern about their children’s health and protection from the germs due to increased pollution in the environment. Taking the advantage of the consumers’ demands, some brands have come to action with antibacterial soaps, promising the complete protection against germs. Savlon, a well-known global brand of Antiseptic has a range of antibacterial Soap bars, currently doing business in the Bangladesh soap market. But there are some other established brands in the market that are not allowing them to conquer Savlon’starget market. This internship report is aimed to identify the scopes of making new marketing strategies to complete the rivals and capture the market for Savlon Antiseptic Soap Bar.

In the later part of the report I have concentrated on my topic entitled “Identifying the Brand RePositioning Strategies ofSavlon Active Antiseptic Soap in Bangladesh”. 2013. The paper analyzes their organizational structure and major functions with descriptions of their business activities. Their strategies, goals, objectives, strengths, and weaknesses have also been identified.

This part was completed using primary and secondary data and its analysis. Using the collected data and analyzing them I have concluded my research results followed with set of recommendations for ACI Ltd. I have tried my best to come up with the valid explanations for the results and useful recommendation. However, due to lack of sufficient practical experience regarding such Statistical analysis, the recommendation may not be the very best.

 ACI Historical Background:

ACI was established as the subsidiary of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in the then East Pakistan in 1968. After independence the company has been incorporated in Bangladesh on the24th of January 1973 as ICI Bangladesh Manufacturers Limited and also as Public Limited Company.

This Company also obtained listing with Dhaka Stock Exchange on 28 December, 1976 and its first trading of shares took place on 9 March, 1994. Later on 5 May, 1992, ICI plc. Divested 70% of its shareholding to local management. Subsequently the company was registered in the name of Advanced Chemical Industries Limited. Listing with Chittagong Stock Exchange was made on 22 October 1995.

Advanced Chemical Industries (ACI) Limited is one of the leading conglomerates in Bangladesh, with a multinational heritage. The company has diversified into three major Strategic Business Units (SBU’s), which are, Healthcare, Consumer Brands and Agribusiness.


ACI Limited’s SWOT Analysis

SWOT is the short form for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is an analyticalConstruction to help summarize in a quick and concise way the risk and opportunities for any Corporation across the value chain.

  • Factors pertaining to the internal environmentof the company. These are usuallyexpressed as Strengths (S) or Weaknesses (W)
  • Factors that pertaining to the externalenvironment of the company. These areexpressed as Opportunities (O) or Threats (T).



ACI Consumer Brands has different SBUs currently running successfully throughout the country. Savlon offers Antiseptic Soap, Antiseptic Hand Wash and Shower Gel in its Personal Care Range.

Savlon antiseptic soap has three different variants – Active, Mild and Fresh Antiseptic soap. Savlon antiseptic soap offers a delightful bathing experience to its consumers. Savlon soap range ensures a complete germ protection for all the members of a family. Savlon antiseptic soaps are available in pack size of 75 gm. and 100 gm. of each variant.

Among the three variances our concerned product is Savlon Active Antiseptic Soap, designed for those who leads active life style and always prefer strong protection against germs.

Problem Statement:

The sales growth of Savlon Active Soap is not the same as compared to other two variance of Savlon antiseptic soap. The sales growth of Savlon mild and fresh soap is up to the mark. But Savlon Active Soap sales growth is truncating. Because of the aggressive marketing strategies of their close competitor Dettol antiseptic soap bar ranges, they have become the market leader in the health soap bar category; their soap categories are quite similar to the Savlon soap bar ranges.

Dettol original soap is similar to Savlon Active Soap. So Savlon Active is having a tough competition to capture and hold their consumer. The soap itself is a low involvement product so majority of the consumers do not judge before buying soaps, they take whatever the seller give them.

The purpose of this internship report is to identify new and potential scope of growth of Savlon Active Soap in Bangladesh. ACI Ltd being the authorized marketer of this Soap in Bangladesh, they are likely to use research findings to analyze every opportunity to compete with their rivals and boost their sales and capture all possible segments of antiseptic soap uses in Bangladesh.


Broad objective:
The main objective of my report is to find out ways to suggest new marketing strategies to ensure the further growth of Savlon Active Antiseptic Soap in Bangladesh.

Specific objectives:
• Identifying the consumer preference about the antiseptic soap
• Market potentials for Savlon Active Soap
• To suggest ACI Ltd in enhancing the sales and increasing the communication with the consumers about Savlon Active Soap.

Significance of the Study:
This research is particularly important for ACI, as it will help the company to identify the flaws in their practice of marketing their antiseptic soap to the target consumers. This research will help the company to find out the consumer preference about the antiseptic soap features from the competitor brand’s antiseptic soap. This report is a way of suggesting the organization to reposition their product in the current market and establish a visible presence of Savlon Active Soap in the market.


The report will involve the following set of data collection and analyzing procedure:

i) Primary Data:

Under the primary data collection, I took information from marketing principal books; I have used pre-prepared Questionnaires to conduct a consumer survey. The survey was done within a number of 300 samples. I have also interviewed the respondents to collect the qualitative data.

ii) Secondary Data:

For collecting the secondary data I used some related journals, related websites and some Previous works of others to get ideas.

Industry Overview:

Bangladesh soap bar market has two major categories of soap bars, Bathing Soap and Laundry Soap. There are two different segment of Bathing Soap, “Health soap” and ‘Beauty soap”. In the current market situation, Beauty Soap has gained the majority of the market share and enjoying the market leadership with 80% of total market shares. While the Health Soap or the Antibacterial Soaps are still lagged behind with only 20% of total market shares. Under health soap segment in existing situation, there are three prominent brands in the market which are Lifebuoy, Savlon and Dettol. Lifebuoy soap has gained the leading position in the market with majority of total market share of health soap bar category where Dettol is in the second position.

These two brands have put our brand in the third position in the market. Savlon, an international brand from Jonson & Jonson for which ACI is doing marketing activities locally as a separate, individual entity. They have their slogan for Savlon antibacterial soap bars of “everyday protection from germs”. Though health soap bars are playing for a long time in the market, but it is seen that only for past few years antibacterial soaps are generally accepted.


The main competitor for Savlon antiseptic soap is Dettol Antiseptic Soap by Reckitt Benckiser.Dettol is the world leader in antiseptics bought for use at home. It is marketed in 37 countries.

Dettol is the trade name for a line of hygiene products manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser. The brand started its journey in 1933 as antiseptic liquid, but over the years, it has beenextended to a number of product categories like soaps, liquid Hand wash, liquid Body wash, shaving Cream and plaster strips. Currently Dettol has its different variants available in the market. Original Soap, Skincare Soap, Cool Soap & Re-Energize Soap are the running variants of Dettol soap range.

Savlon Active Soap’s main and dominant competitor is the Dettol original soap. New and Improved Dettol Original Soap is specially formulated for everyday use. Dettol Original Soap is 10 times better at fighting germs compared to ordinary soaps. So give Dettol’s trusted protection to the entire family.

Some recent marketing strategies of Dettol soap in Bangladesh

• ‘Dettol My Mom My Hero Contest’: The participants had submitted photos and shared their stories to the theme “Most Memorable Moment with My Mom, My Hero”. On behalf of Reckitt Benckiser (BD) Ltd. Market Director Mahbub Baset, Product Group Manager Faria Yasmin, Assistant Brand Manager Sajuti Saleque and Digital Marketing Executive Sabriya Tasneem were present to give away the prizes.

• Dettol Shera Ami Shonge Ma: First ever reality show pairing mother & child. Reckitt Benckiser Bangladesh and RTV one of the most popular C&S channels of Bangladesh jointly created unique platform called “Dettol Shera Ami Shonge Ma” where mothers and kids will explore their talents to be the country’s best mom and child pair. They will be selected and honored through many interesting games & performance.

• Besides the sponsored reality shows, Dettol provide their retailer some lucrative trade offers. For example: 2 soaps are free for the retailers for ordering 12 soaps,
• They also give some offers for the consumers such as; they get 1soap free for buying packets of soap.

Marketing Mix of Savlon Active Soap:

Product Differentiation:

Savlon Active Soap is an antibacterial soap which is produced from finest quality ingredients that makes it only among the very few Grade 1 (TFM > 78%) bar soap in the market. The soap has antibacterial agent which ensures strongest possible protection against harmful germs and bacterial thus providing safety from skin infections and diseases spread through bacteria. Savlon is an international brand from Jonson & Jonson form UK. But in Bangladesh ACIare the sole distributer and producer of Savlon products. Savlon Active Soap is manufactured by Hauq and Company and Silver soap limited on behalf of ACI.


The product contains the brand name of Savlon Antiseptic. And the slogan of the brand is: complete family protection. And the Savlon Antiseptic Soap bar has its slogan that: everyday protection from germs.

Packaging and Labeling:
The packaging of Savlon soap has a major role in its promotional activity. As it is an impulse product, people will buy it for its packaging. And the labeling in the package provides information regarding: Company Logo, Brand & Product Name, and Brand Mnemonic & Logo in the front side. And Product descriptor, Branding information, Product name, Product descriptor, Description of procedure of use, Warning against contact, Declaration of Price, Use of Product, Manufacturer and Marketer’s name, Barcode, Legal copy, trademark, etc., Best before/date coding , Weight declaration/quantity.

The packaging of SavlonActive Soap:



For pricing of Savlon Active Soap, they follow the market leader. Dettol is the market leader of antiseptic soap market. For each 125 gm. Soap Dettol charges tk.35, and following the leader, Savlon charges tk. 34 for each 100 gm. of Savlon Active Soap. Product Line Pricing: Savlon active uses product line pricing. Product line pricing is when
management must decide on the price steps to set between the various products in a line. Savlon Active 75gm Is Charged BDT 27, 100gm Is Charged BDT 34.

Mark up pricing: ACI calculates the cost of producing the soap and adds on a markup (profit) to that price to give the selling price. Savlon Active Soap has the following costs and sales expectations:



Savlon Active Soap does not have any recent TV commercial or any kind of sales promotion.  For past few years ACI is doing BTL (Bellow the Line) promotions. They don’t advertise their products to the end consumers; rather they are doing promotional activities for the customers. Retailers are offered various trade offers and commissions. The target is that, soap is a moderate to low involvement product. Very few people think much for buying soap, in major cases people in this situation purchase what sellers give them. They only ask for soap, and the sales people puts on their basket. So it is important to do the BTL promotion for Savlon Active Soap.


Savlon antiseptic soap has a distribution channel throughout the country. Savlon soap has their distribution points in almost every district. And every regional distribution point has their sub depots through which soaps are distributed to the retailers of the nearby areas. Regional Distribution points are: Dinajpur, Rangpur, Bogra, Rajshahi, Maymensingh, Tangail, Gazipur, Dhaka, Narayangang, Comilla, Kustia, Faridpur, Jossore, Khulna, Maijdi, Sreemangal, Sylhet, Chittagong, Bandarban, Cox’s Bazar,

The soaps are first manufactured in the factory, from factory half of the products are sent directly to the distribution points to the retailers through some rented vehicles and half of the products are sent to the depots and then to the distribution points and then to the retailers. This process is done through some rented vehicles and some company owned vehicles. The distribution flow is shown by a flow chart below. And the distribution channel is shown by a
map bellow:

Distribution flow:


SWOT Analysis of Savlon Active Soap:

Savlon Active Soap is a high potential product for the current antiseptic soap market. There are some few players in the market but the competitors are very strong. Dettol has captured the targeted market with their strong marketing and communication strategies. But Savlon active still have a potential scope of capturing the market. Because the market is not fully saturated. In this existing market Savlon Active Soap has some strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats such as:

Savlon active is an antibacterial soap which is produced from finest quality ingredients that makes it only among the very few Grade 1 (TFM > 78%) bar soap in the market. And it has the brand name of Savlon, which is well known for protecting and fighting against germs for years.

For last few years, Savlon active has no direct marketing activities towards its targeted consumers. They used to place advertisements in several magazines and business papers. But currently they are not doing any consumer targeted sales promotion rather they are doing BTL promotions. If they do not communicate with the end consumers sale volume will not raise.

Savlon active have a potential scope of capturing the market. Because it’s been only few years that mass people have accepted and started to use antiseptic soap bars for their regular use. People are becoming more health conscious because of the increasing pollution. Mothers are concerned about their kid’s hygiene. So heath soap market has a potential growth opportunity in near future as the market is not fully saturated.

Dettol is the market leader of antiseptic soap. It is a Strong competition for Savlon antiseptic soap. Dettol with its strong marketing skills has captured the maximum number of consumers. Fighting with Dettol original soap is a great threat. There are more and more new products are coming in the market. Hand wash is the substitute for soap bar. Hand wash products convey more cleanliness and germfree perception towards the consumers. Soap is a Convenience product. So if people are not aware of the Savlon Active Soap, it is hard to create a customer loyalty towards the brand.

Here is a graphical representation of SOWT analysis of Savlon Active Soap:


Understanding the Consumers:

A consumer survey on the mass (general) people was conducted to measure the attitude towards the Savlon active and Dettol original soap. The majority of the people find Dettol original soap was more preferable to use. The report concludes with the view that 57% of the respondents wishes to see TV ads for Savlon Active Soap and recommends that to increase the popularity of the soap.

For past few years, the sale of Savlon Active Soap bar’s sales is down in the market. On the other hand the competitor Dettol original was selling their product on potency. Both the Savlon active and Dettol original soap having the similar properties Savlon active is less popular among the consumers. To find out the difference among the sale volume reason, we conducted a consumer survey with a questionnaire and 5 types of consumer groups as respondent.

It took two weeks of time period and information was collected randomly. No personal information was provided and the survey was voluntary.

Methodology of the Consumer Survey:

This research was conducted by a pre-prepared questionnaire and investigated the mass people around the city. A total number of 300 questionnaires were distributed among the people. The respondents were categorized by the following attributes.



Respondents were asked the questions personally and filled by the assessor. Some were filled voluntarily by the respondents. It seems that both the soaps are quit similarly popular and used by the consumer groups. The questionnaire was prepared to directly compare between the features of the soaps. Respondents were asked to choose a soap they like according to the features.

Following are some main features that respondents were asked to select:

Among 300 participants, 41% uses Savlon Active Soap, 46% uses Dettol original and the rest uses other antiseptic soap brads.


The survey also allowed the participants to recommend any improvement they desire to have in both of the soaps through open ended questions.

Following are some common recommendations from the respondents, as answers of the question “Would you like to make any recommendation for improving any function of Savlon Active Soap?”

• Increase the popularity.
• Add more variance.
• Improve the quality.
• Improve the fragrance.
• Reduce the product price.

When respondents were asked which antiseptic soap they use? 43.7% people said they use Savlon Active Soap. 46% of the total respondents said they use Dettol original and 10.3% said they use other antibacterial soaps.



When people were asked about the freshness factor of the tow soaps the result is described by the following graph:


From the above Bar diagram we can see that, majority of the respondents (52%) prefer Dettol original soap for freshness, where 48% respondents said they prefer Savlon Active Soap for freshness. If we look at the chart, we can see that 56% male living with family prefers Dettol original, 55% of the male living without family prefers Dettol original, 54.55% of the female students prefer Savlon active, 54.55% female service holders prefer Savlon Active and 56.36% house wives prefer Dettol original for freshness.

Skin care

For skin care purpose, most of the sampling units prefer Savlon Active Soap. Total 51% of the respondents prefer Savlon active for better for skin care.


From the above graph we can see that 53% of total male people prefers Dettol and 47% male people thinks Savlon is better for skin care and 47% of total female respondents think Dettol is better for skin care and rest 53% thinks Savlon is better. 51% of total respondent think Savlon is better for skin care.


The survey result shows us that of total 300 respondents, 40% respondents thinks that savlon active is much preferable for hyigene purpose. And rest 60% people prefer dettol original soap.


The above graph, the green area indicates Dettol original is prefer for hygiene by total respondents and the blue area representing Savlon active for hygiene preference.

Product Packaging

From the results from the survey, it is seen that majority of the respondents prefer the packaging of dettol original soap more attactive that savlon active. Both the user and non users of Savlon Active Soap prefered dettol original packaging much attactive.


Interpretation of the Results:

After analyzing the results, it can be said that the target consumers of Savlon Active Soap are more familiar to the Dettol original as the antiseptic soap for their preference. It is mainly because of the popularity of the brand. People consider Dettol much better in hygiene, and freshness. But on the other hand they prefer the fragrance of the Savlon active more attractive.

There is a huge difference in the visibility of the both soaps in the stores. People said they find Dettol more available in the stores. Dettol original is more attractive in packaging, the packet of the soap gives the consumers an idea that the soap is more medically recommended. Threats and potentials:

The survey result shows that the product packaging of Dettol original soap is almost 35% much preferred by the respondents. Because of the color of the packet Dettol original gives a perception that it is more safe and hygienic for the users.
Product Packaging:
It is seen that the Dettol original soap is more popular among the consumers. Because of its communication strategy to consumers, Dettol has occupied the target market.
Popularity of the Brand:
Availability/Visibility at The Stores: Though there are enough products available in the market, people do not see the product as they are not aware of it. Medical Perception:People perceive Dettol more medically recommended and safe to use as an antibacterial soap. May be one of the reasons of this Dettol has an intensive marketing activity.

Usage: The result of the survey shows us that, there is lots of user of antibacterial soaps in the soap market, so the market size is a great potential for Savlon Active Soap.
Fragrance: As a result of the survey, it is seen that people prefer the fragrance of Savlon Active Soap more than the Dettol original soap.

The consumer survey conducted to see the consumer mind set for the antiseptic soap, shows us that the Savlon Active Soap is not that much popular among the consumers in Dhaka city. Although there is a high demand for the soap because of the quality and the Brand name of Savlon, but the popularity of the Dettol original soap is very much high. Because of lack of communication with the consumer, Savlon Active Soap is losing its market.

• Soap is an impulse product. Consumers often do not ask for a specific brand while buying soap.

1) Keep the Current Marketing Strategy:The current marketing practices by ACI for Savlon antiseptic soap is to motivate the retailers to promote their products to the end consumer. If they stick with this practice and add some new facilities for the retailers sales growth of Savlon antiseptic soap may increase.

There are both positive and negative sides of their current marketing practices:
Positive Sides of keeping the current marketing strategy:

• Savlon is a well-known Brand for antiseptic. So the retailers can easily convince the consumers to buy the product
• The fragrance, skin care and the quality of the Savlon soap is known to the people

Limitations of the current marketing strategy:

• Savlon Soap does not communicate with their end consumers properly. People do not have proper idea about the existence of their product.
• While Savlon soap’s competitors advertise their products to the end consumers and also provide desirable incentives to the retailers, there is a high demand for the competitors’ product and also the retailers are more interested to sell the competitors product.

2) If Savlon Soap can Re-Position their branding strategies; they can conquer the market of antiseptic soap. People of the country are not properly aware about the existence of the Savlon soap bar. The marketer could make people know about their product quality through proper communication.

3) If Savlon Active Soap’s visibility could become more attractive to the consumers, through special promotional activities such as :

• Point Of Purchase advertisements, point of purchase displays through attractive gondolas and also word of mouth (the seller) could introduce the product to the consumers.
• Social awareness advertisement through distributing free samples to the diarrheaattacked children.
• Social media ad: Facebook, twitter
• Sponsorship for reality shows, campaigning and social work shops targeted to the parents and children.

4) The package should clearly communicate the name and convey the image of the brand. Packaging is an important tool because people make decisions in stores, where packaging is the key marketing communicator. The average life of a package before its next makeover is down to two years. The product packaging should be improvised and make it more attractive to the consumers. If the color of the package be more colorful, informative and attractive consumers may prefer Savlon Active Soap.

5) They can improve their branding strategy by Line Extension. The existing Savlon Active Soap is available in 100gm. Pack size. If ACI could introduce 1 or more SKU’s to the market it could be helpful. Consumer may buy different SKU’s for different uses.

6) Improving the distribution strategy. As Savlon Active Soap is a convenient product, and bought frequenty should not only focuse in the big cities and urban areas, they should also focuse on the rural and semi urban areas. And by the consumers. The product should be distributed in as many stores and retail out lets as possible. For that, ACI may adapt thirdparty distributers for each distribution points.

Positive sides of using third-party distributer are:
• Each area distributers are well informed about the stores and consumer size. So they can properly locate them.
• Using a third-party distributer is cost effective. For interceding these transactions, thirdparty distributors receive a portion of the advert fees associated with joint fund sales for acquiring new business.
• Thus ACI can save the salary of the Sales representatives and other sales stuffs, warehouse costs and transportation costs.


People from all social economic classes are becoming more heath conscious now-a-days because of the pollutions everywhere. Thus the antibacterial soap category is being accepted generally. That is creating the perfect opportunity for brands of antiseptic soaps to enter and grab seats in the market. Savlon is a well-known brand in this antiseptic market. It is comparatively new in the market. Savlon Active Soap is losing its market sharers due to its competitor Dettol original soap’s popularity.

In order to re-position the Brand in the market, must take in mind the dynamic factors that influence the locales in selecting and being loyal to a brand and use to factors to maintain proper communication to retain and grab more customers. This research was done so that ACI Ltd. can get better insight and formulate better plans regarding Savlon Active Soap. However it must be kept in mind that due to time and resource constraint and to before mentioned limitations the data or the research might not be fully accurate. But adequate effort was provided so that maximum accuracy could be attained.

Related Management Paper: