Business Today

Godrej's new colours

It is makeover time for the 110-year-old Godrej brand. The famous Godrej logo, which is actually founder Ardeshir Godrej’s signature, will now look different.

Krishna Gopalan        Print Edition: May 4, 2008

It is makeover time for the 110-year-old Godrej brand. The famous Godrej logo, which is actually founder Ardeshir Godrej’s signature, will now look different. The signature, which so far has been red in colour, will now have maroon, green and blue. “It was important for us to review what consumers think of the brand. The objective has been to make it contemporary and relevant,” says Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group. The exercise has cost the group well over $1 million (Rs 4 crore).

Bright coat of paint: Adi and Jamshyd Godrej with the new logo
Adi and Jamshyd Godrej with the new logo
The new look logo has been designed by UK-based brand consultant, Interbrand. According to Godrej, the thought of giving the logo a new look was conceived around three years ago. “We appointed Interbrand a year-and-ahalf ago. For a long time, the logo was visible in various colours and around three years ago, we standardised it to red,” he says. A team that was put together— called the Strategic Marketing Group (SMG)—headed by Godrej’s daughter, Tanya Dubash, Executive Director and President (Marketing), Godrej Industries, worked closely with Interbrand during the exercise. Interbrand, in the past, has worked on brands like Samsung and Barclays.Interestingly, there was never a question of having a new group logo. “It is a difficult process since the logo is used in many places.

We decided to therefore stick to the original logo and just make it more contemporary,” says Jamshyd N. Godrej, cousin of Adi, and Chairman, Godrej & Boyce. He adds that there would have to be a “strong, overriding reason to change the logo.” The exercise for the moment has been restricted to just a new look logo. “We have not done a valuation for the Godrej brand. A year ago, Brand Finance in UK valued Cinthol, Godrej No. 1, Ezee, Fairglow and Godrej powder hair dye at Rs 2,600 crore,” says Adi Godrej.

The way forward will be to strengthen the key businesses of the group and there are some pretty interesting plans. The property business, for instance, which has doubled in terms of turnover over the last three years, will continue to be on the fast track. “We want to double in size for several years. More people today can afford residential housing,” says Adi Godrej. He points out that the growth in the property business has been a “pleasant surprise.” Godrej Properties will eventually become a company that’s listed on the stock exchanges, although it may be too early to get into specifics at this stage, he says.

Other businesses too, like fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and furniture, are looking at ambitious growth numbers. “Our growth in the furniture business has been driven partly by the boom in the IT and ITES industries,” points out Jamshyd Godrej.

For fiscal 2007, the Godrej Group reported a turnover of $2.2 billion (Rs 8,800 crore). Godrej says the group is targeting a growth of 25-30 per cent per annum in the time to come, both through the organic and the inorganic routes. It has been reported that the FMCG business is planning a foray into new categories like oral care. Adi Godrej says there are a lot of factors that have to be considered before taking the plunge. “We must have a technical and a marketing advantage. We could also end up acquiring some smaller brands that are No. 3 or 4 in their category,” he adds.

For the moment, the repositioning of the brand seems to be the big story and Adi Godrej is clear that there are many benefits that will accrue. “It is important to determine how the various businesses will help the brand and how the brands, in turn, will work well for the businesses,” he explains. Quite clearly, the new look logo could kick-off the next innings for the Godrej Group.

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