After Hindustan Unilever Ltd’s successful relaunch of most of its products last year, Godrej Consumers Product Ltd is now following suit.

Godrej aims to relaunch products across categories to revive demand and enhance consumer recall. In some cases, the products will only be repackaged and relaunched with a new marketing strategy; in others, the brands will be extended to some new product categories.

New pitch: The consumer goods major has hired Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan to endorse its flagship soap brand Cinthol

The company has lined up major initiatives for its soap business. With 11% market share in value terms, Godrej is the second largest soap maker after Hindustan Unilever.

Godrej plans a complete makeover of its flagship soap brand Cinthol and has hired Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan as a pitchman. The brand, which was launched in 1952 as the first deodorant soap in the country, has been through several changes since then. It was initially positioned as a male-centric product but later it was repositiioned as family soap but now, the company plans to pitch it as a youth-centric brand, along with launching new products under the same brand name.

“We will also introduce hand wash and shower gels under the (Cinthol) brand," said Hoshedar K. Press, executive director and president.

In the 1980s, Cinthol was a leading brand with market share in double digits and was endorsed by popular celebrities such as Vinod Khanna and former Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan. According to AC Nielsen, in August, Cinthol had a 2.5% share in the Rs6,000 crore annual soap segment. “Cinthol enjoys a good brand equity among consumers, which doesn’t reflect in its market share. The repositioning will positively boost growth," says Sameer Deshmukh, an analyst at IL&FS Investsmart Securities Ltd.

Godrej is relaunching another soap brand, FairGlow, with a new look and the initiative will be supported by significant advertising. Godrej is, however, withdrawing the Vigil brand that was relaunched recently.

“We tested the soap in the market after its relaunch but it didn’t do well, so we decided to withdraw it," said Press. The soap segment contributed around 64% of Godrej’s revenues of Rs758 crore in 2006-07.

Godrej is revamping its hair colour business as well. It plans to introduce a powder version of Renew, its premium hair colour cream. “Several consumers find powder hair colour more convenient and the move is aimed at providing consumers more convenience," said R.K. Sinha, the company’s COO, marketing and operations.

While Godrej has an overall share of 36% in the Rs780 crore annual hair colour market, Renew only has a 1.1% share. While its Godrej hair dye powder is the leading product in the hair colourant market with a 27% share,the premium segment is still dominated by multinational brands, such as L’Oreal. Despite its multiple product plans, Godrej says overall advertising spending for the year will be comparable with last year’s. It had spent Rs53 crore in advertising and promotion in 2006-07.