Joy has grown to be a Rs 490-crore brand today: Poulomi Roy

Joy, the beauty and personal care brand from RSH Global, continues to question stereotypes in its campaigns. Reinforcing the belief of ‘Beautiful by Nature’, Joy has unveiled its latest campaign for its Honey & Almonds Body Lotion featuring new brand ambassador Mouni Roy, which seeks to inspire women to embrace the qualities that make them naturally beautiful. 

Developed in-house, the campaign highlights how people are conditioned into following certain pre-defined beauty standards of how a woman should look, behave and carry her around. Physical appearance has always been the yardstick to measure a woman’s beauty, while her smartness or confidence is not given a similar treatment. 

It may be recalled that the previous campaign for Joy Honey & Almonds Body Lotion, released in 2016, had featured comedienne Bharti Singh, who candidly stated how she had been ridiculed for being overweight all her life. She mentioned how she overcame all negative comments to become the queen of comedy and then people started seeing her talent and inner beauty. 

Elaborating on the thought behind these campaigns, Poulomi Roy, Chief Marketing Officer, RSH Global, said, “We do not believe in typecasting beauty, we discuss and debate on the various stereotypes that are attached to a woman’s appearance. The beauty of a woman lies not just in the way she looks, but also in the way she exudes confidence, pride and smartness. We believe in our brand philosophy that every woman is born beautiful and it translates into our products which are made from the goodness of nature (natural extracts).” 

On the choice of Mouni Roy as a brand ambassador, she said, “Mouni is most certainly categorised as a conventional beauty, and hence, is often subjected to real-life situations, where people appreciate only her external beauty and not her intellect. She is a well-read woman, yet, not much has ever been told or spoken about her beyond her looks. We try to choose people who have an interesting story to lend to our brand philosophy ‘Beautiful by Nature’.” 

In an interaction with Adgully, Poulomi Roy speaks at length about the creative thought behind Joy’s latest campaign, the positioning of ‘Beautiful by Nature’, tough competition, expansion plans and more. Excerpts: 

Joy has had Bharti Singh as the brand ambassador for Honey & Almond Lotion. With Mouni on board, will you still continue with Bharti?
That campaign has been phased out and now Mouni Roy is the new ambassador. 

What is the core creative thought behind Joy’s campaign?
Through ‘Beautiful by Nature’ we are trying to eradicate the stereotypes that are attached with women, like ‘She is beautiful and thus she gets it easily in life’, ‘She is very studious, so she can’t get it’ or ‘Beauty with brains is a rare combination’. All these are the society’s perception. I have often seen even women making such comments. The thought is simple – that it is not Beauty or Brains, but it is Beauty and Brains. We wanted to tell this story through a character who resembles it clearly. Every time we choose a brand ambassador, it is very neatly embedded in the story. What we want to say here is that we don’t categorise among people. Everything and everyone is beautiful. That was one thought that we did last time. Similarly, a research analyst can also look like a model or just because a woman is a scientist it doesn’t mean that she must look drab in specs. These are concepts that we have built around ourselves and that is something we want to remove. Every time we come out with a campaign, we try to have a conversation with the consumers which is interesting enough. 

What is the media mix for the current campaign?
It’s a 360-degree campaign comprising digital, television, print, etc. Apart from that, it’s a very high frequency campaign that commenced from November 12. You can see the ad film on television across genres. 

What is the key positioning that you see for brand Joy?
I think we are one of the few Indian personal care companies having an entire spectrum of products. For example, if you look at Vaseline, it is into lotions, similarly Nivea is into lotions, Himalaya is into face wash, Lotus Herbal has skin care products but not hair care. We, on the other hand, have an entire range of products from hair care, body care, skin care, shampoo, scrubs and many more. Currently, with winters round the corner, we are focussing more on winter care products. What makes Joy Honey & Almonds Body Lotion stand out from the rest of the products is that it deeply moisturises and is perfect for the Northern markets where winters are severe. Once you use it, you don’t need to reapply. Besides, the pricing has been kept very reasonable. 

Our product quality is consistently high and we have completed 30 successful years in the Indian market. 

You had mentioned that Joy aims to be a Rs 600-crore brand by 2020. How close are you to achieving that?
That is our Lakshya 2020. Currently, we are a Rs 490-crore brand. We were at Rs 250 crore when we had started out. 

Could you share your expansion plans? Apart from units in Kolkata, Shimla and Guwahati, are you looking to setting up more manufacturing facilities?
Right now geographically in India, we are looking at Maharashtra and the Eastern part of India. South is still in modern trade and we haven’t had a general trade entry there. So, we will hold it back for some years. Currently, Maharashtra is the main focus. 

How tough has it been to fight the competition in the beauty care market, now that even MNC brands are going the nature care way?
Personal care is a very challenging market, because it is ever growing and ever consumed market as per the consumers’ needs and fancies. You have to have a very in-depth research and understanding, because what you are making is what people apply on their face. So, as far as product is concerned, at that level there are a lot of options. 

There are a lot of fly-by-night operators, thanks to e-commerce. There are a lot of new players who make 2-3 products and it’s easy for them to reach people because there are people who believe in looking good and not feeling good. People like us, who have been in this industry for long, know that these products contain certain chemicals and that utmost care is needed to use them in the correct proportion. But a lot of people in this business do not understand this. 

Thus, we are constantly fighting:

  • People who are merely in it for instant beauty
  • Consumers who do not understand the impact of using such products five years down the line
  • As a company, we are not going to use such chemical extracts and still, we have to constantly be in the market
  • We are competing against companies with big pockets like HUL, Johnson & Johnson and others.

So, there are a lot of challenges in the way you want to convert the consumers and stay relevant for them. 

What would be your key focus in 2019?
We are coming up with a couple of launches in 2019. We are looking at expansion in Maharashtra. Honey & Almond Lotion will see a major growth this year and we are almost there. We will also come up with something for the summers in 2019.


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