Traditionally, Indians used indigenous methods to wash their hair using byproducts from plants such as Acacia concinna and Sapindus (Soapnut tree). With liberalization, MNCs introduced shampoos, which were sold in bottles and made available only in urban customers. The products were available only in the big stores in cities. Shampoos sold in big bottles were expensive to rural customers and “mom & pop” stores never stocked them because it didn’t cater to their target segment.
Innovative Packaging Strategy in Marketing
However, a revolutionary packaging strategy adopted by a little-known shampoo brand in South India way back in 1980s changed the whole scenario. Today, the success of the innovative packaging concept by Chik Shampoo is widely used as a case study in management schools across the world. So, what did Mr. Chinni Krishnan of CavinKare, manufacturer of Chik Shampoo, do differently?
Mr. Chinnikrishnan revolutionized the concept of packaging, by selling shampoo sachets in rural areas for an affordable one rupee. He altered the traditional habits of washing hair by introducing a more convenient and affordable option. Shampoo sachets were so successful and soon leading MNCs started emulating the practice by introducing their own version of shampoo sachets. This innovative concept of packaging has been adapted even by other product manufacturers .
Need for Innovative Packaging in Training
Today, this idea can be implemented even in the learning context. A report by Towards Maturity states that 50% of the organizations surveyed were unable to implement learning initiatives in time to match up to the business needs. The reason could be that the organizations have not changed the packaging of their training program to suit the changing business needs.
If training is conducted in classrooms, in the traditional format, where individuals have to dedicate a couple of days of their busy schedule, it may not be viable in the fast pace world of business today – much like the shampoo that could not find inroads to the length and breadth of rural India.
Just in Time and Just at the Time of Need
Therefore, organizations need to bring training closer to their mobile workforce giving them flexibility to log on to the training – just in time and just at the time of need. The shampoo sachets,
1. Enabled individuals to get the product conveniently when they need from a neighborhood store.
2. Did not demand a huge share of their monthly savings and was affordable.
Similarly, eLearning and mLearning training packages will
1. Enable mobile workforce to get access to learning just when they need through their laptops or mobile devices.
2. Not demand a huge share of their time, logistics and expense for travelling to a central location for the purpose of training.
And just as the shampoo bottles have not been displaced by the sachets, eLearning and mLearning methods are not going to make classroom training obsolete. Classroom training still will have its place but by moving into online methods of training, organizations are only diversifying their training portfolio just as FMCG organizations have diversified their product portfolio. Don’t you agree?