Ramdev’s the new Richard

Whether he knows it or not, Ramdev’s company Patanjali is following the Virgin’s “challenger” brand philosophy to disrupt India's consumer market.


December 14, 2016

To the awe of marketing nerds everywhere, yoga guru Ramdev is doing the impossible — building a brand as ubiquitous as Branson’s. That’s right, we just used the work ubiquitous.

Imitation is the greatest form of marketing

Whether he knows it or not, Ramdev’s company Patanjali is following the tenements of Virgin’s “challenger” brand philosophy, which has allowed them to walk in and disrupt pretty much any market.

Basically, they’ve gotten people to buy their values before ever selling them a product. As a result, they’ve turned the idea of “niche is riche” on its head, and developed “brand equity” and a reputation for quality across, whether they’re selling music or plane rides.

Compare this to, say, French’s, a mustard company who hasn’t even built up enough trust in the condiment space to get people to buy their ketchup (but really, who would buy that nonsense).

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What’s Ramdev doing to follow Branson’s lead?

What isn’t he doing? Seriously, the dude has launched over 500 product lines, from cleaning products to condiments (yes, including ketchup). And miraculously, his company hasn’t spread itself too thin.

Patanjali has grown by over 10x in the past 4 years, continues to expect over 250% growth (double the average growth for the rest of the consumer goods market). Thing is, it’s not that their products are that much better…

They’re better for you

Or that’s what Ramdev is claiming. He’s using his credibility as a yogi to position products as morally superior to competitors. In doing so, he’s tapped into consumers’ deep-seated need for self-improvement. Toothpaste that makes you a better person? We’ll take 20.

This means his company can (and probably will) sell anything… which makes it pretty hard to play defense since you have no idea where the attack is coming from.

We do have a tip on Punjali’s next move though — it’s looking like blue jeans. Watch your back, Levi’s, Ramdev’s comin for ya.

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