On Feb 28, 2012 a full page ad in The Hindustan Times announced the launch of Milkmaid Creations Dessert Mixes. The headline contextualized the brand and said ‘For all your little celebrations, introducting Milkmaid Creations Dessert Mixes’. The the top portion of the body showed five besan laddus as delectable golden delights topped with slivers of almonds. And the botton of the ad pictured five packets arranged horizontally to display the range. The message at the bottom suggests ‘happiness is waiting to be celebrated in every moment of life…Simple 3 step recipes that serve mouth watering desserts at home’.
Milkmaid brand has come a long way since 1912. The brand drew its name from two words, milk (the object) and the maid (woman who milks the cow). The product that the brand sold was ‘condensed goodness of milk’ (milk being prized for its nurtition) and therefore good for anybody looking for nutrition especially babies. A tin of condensed milk separted milk from cows and hence portability (cow in a tin minus the mess of farm). Now goodness of milk can be accessed anytime, anywhere (imagine how useful it would be in a world wihtout bottled/ packaged milk and refrigeration). The brand found instant takers in military installations. The brand created its equity by radically altering the paradigm associated with milk production and consumption.
Later the developments in dairy technology, packaging, transporation and consumer tastes began to dent the brand equity. These forces began to shift the brand out of relevance spectrum. Why would one need condensed milk if fresh milk can be had anywhere anytime? In order to reenergize the brand sales, the brand took recipe route to increase usage. Keeping the product in its present form (condensed milk) the brand reached out to customers and suggested its potential applications. It followed a recipe route to find ways into homes which saw no relevance of the brand. The suggestions included cake, kheer, gajar ka halwa, laddu and kulfi. Now the brand shifted its focus to households targeting the homemaker and positioned the brand as provider of sensory delight to family. Besides the apparent contentment that a women experiences upon creating happy family moments, the brand also gave them opportunities to experience excitement and stimulation associated with ‘creation’. The brand turned mundane kitchen into a space of creativity, stimulation and control.
Milkmaid in its present avatar as ‘Creations’ is again is given to creating alignment with contemporary realities. The product form is now changed into dessert mixes which can be transformed into a variety of desserts by performing three simple steps. The brand leverages upon the inner desires of modern women to create something for her family therefore her role is not completely done way (three steps). This appeals to the ‘traditional’ self, the master of the kitchen and nourishement. Simultaneously the the brand allows her to negotiate effectively on the most important currency of the modern existence, the time. The creative element associted with the earler strategy (recipe) now has shifted from customer to the company (the mix is ready). This function shift can be psychologically dissatisfying for the customer, therefore to compensate the brand name itself is extended to include the word ‘creation’ in its identity.