case study
you don’t have to be an emperor to build the taj
the empire:

year 2010. the estimated annual market for cement in the north-east is over 2000 crs. the market had been ruled by top national brands until a few years ago. the local brands then started coming in droves.

at the beginning of 2010 three brands ruled the retail segment with 85% market share.

1) star cement : - 45%
2) top-cem : - 23%
3) ambuja : - 17%

the last emperor:

taj cement was literally the johnny-come-lately contender to the throne after the cement dust had all but settled among the local and national brands. the top brands fiercely guarded their turf with heavy advertising while the score of small brands nibbled away with promotions and price offers. taj didn’t want to join the price warriors but didn’t have the resources to take on the giants.

taj on a shoe-string:

to fight the swords with a knife you got to sharpen the blade and lengthen the handle. cut the crap worked out a simple brand promise that could be understood across the region that speaks in several languages and numerous dialects. permanent went well beyond the promise of strength that every brand was making.

then we did the following:
  • • we created our own medium-with-a-message: the under-construction buildings. over hundred such buildings were identified and draped with the message: ‘something permanent is under construction. taj cement. permanent.’
  • • we used radio too as a medium-cum-message. half-hourly time announcements across channels were sponsored with the signifier ‘time changes. taj does not.’
  • • we gave an unusual colour to the taj cement bag – purple. it stood out like the thumb amongst fingers.
taj wasn’t built in a day:

direct consumer purchase accounts for close to 40% of retail sales in the north-east. also, homes account for over 70% of the builder segment. after the launch phase we used the same one-word brand promise to bond with the customer.
your home is your taj was campaign 2.

proof of the brand is in the market:

the market share of taj cement at the end of 2010 and 2011:

  • • year 1:- 10.7%
  • • year 2:- 16.3%

and the ad spends over the 2 years as a % of top-spending brand: 12.7%

the taj of cements had arrived.


we owe it to mr. kunal mittal, the young man at the helm of affairs at taj cement. for simply believing in us.