Parachute Oil- How did Parachute become one of India’s favourite hair oil brands? Ask The Rats!

In 1971, the oil business, the mainstay of Bombay Oil, was a commodity business with low margins. Parachute was sold in bulk, in tins of 15 litres to wholesalers.
  • Parachute oil was seen by the traders and consumers as a superior product. But the wholesalers of Nagpur and Vidarbha knew the power of the Parachute brand. They pushed smaller packs of the coconut oil and sold it to their customers.
  • Seeing this potential, the company started to appoint distributors and gave them retail packs of Parachute oil to sell. The brand identity chosen for Parachute was built around four values- Purity, Clarity, Aroma and Tradition—chosen for their universal appeal. 
  • Parachute wanted to be a premium brand and wanted the packaging to reflect it by changing it to plastic bottles because it was cheaper than tins and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Traders did not like the plastic packaging. The reason was found to be rats. The earlier bottles were square in shape. The solution was round bottles made of superior leak-proof plastic. The rats would not be able to get a grip on the bottles, and therefore, would not be able to sink their teeth into the plastic.
  • The team conducted an experiment where they put eight to ten bottles of Parachute in a cage, along with some rats. They left the cage locked for two days and the bottles came out unscathed. This experiment was recorded on camera and the sales teams were told to use this evidence as part of their objection-handling.
Slowly, the word spread and the plastic bottles of Parachute were on every shelf, and within a few years, the brand became the market leader.

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