Transition to new name was smooth: HUL

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai, July 31 | Updated: Aug 1 2007, 07:00am hrs
Whats in a name Apparently a lot. Recently, India's largest FMCG company changed its name from Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) to Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL). How was the transition from HLL to HUL Ask Harish Manwani, chairman of HUL, and he says: "It was a very smooth transition for us. In fact, we did not have any issues at all." Along with the name change, HUL now sports a new corporate identity and office stationery.

Incidentally, HUL has also revamped its communication strategy by morphing its old logo( a leaf) into the new international logo in all its television ad campaigns-from soaps to detergents.But what's the impact of the name change in the Indian market place Alok Nanda, managing director of Alok Nanda & Company asserts that HUL's the name change will not have any impact on the company's stakeholders and consumers." It's a corporate name change that will not affect the company's dealers, stockists and consumers.I do not see any issues here," he said.

According to Manwani, HUL retains the company's continued commitment towards its local roots while leveraging the global scale and reputation of Unilever with its consumers and stakeholders.

Yet another FMCG major Cadbury India had changed its name thrice in the last few years, according to industry analysts." From Cadbury Fry, it became Hindustan Coca Products Ltd and now Cadbury India. In fact, consumers get used to name changes as they are only familiar with brand names," added analysts.

In sharp contrast to above views, a Mumbai-based brand consultant said HLL's name change will have a negative impact on rural folks where consumers are familiar with HLL's leaf logo." HUL will have a tough time in changing the mindsets of rural stockists, dealers and consumers," he said.