Philip Kottler, the marketing guru of the 1960’s defined marketing as taking care of:
- Place (Distribution),
- Promotion (Advertising)
Under the heading product is included the quality of the product and also its appearance – i.e. packaging. It is the packaging that differentiate between brands. Mostly this also means that the physical nature of the product differs between brands.
With most companies this involves a significant cost in their production. Think about detergent manufacturers. For each brand they market they need to either have each own production line, or change the production process. Ideally they would have liked to just produce one type of detergent and sell this in brown paper bags.
The same is even more true for Philip Morris and BAT. They have to change the blends for different brands and even the way they add flavourants (menthol, etc.) to the mixture.
One can imagine how they envy the companies that market harder drugs like cocaine, heroin, marijuana etc. These products are not differentiated by packaging or even different production processes.
A traditional method of tobacco use throughout South Asia and parts of the Middle East, today beedies are popular and inexpensive in India. There, beedi consumption outpaces that of conventional cigarettes although these tobacco-filled leaves deliver more nicotine,carbon monoxide and tar and carry a greater risk of oral cancers.
Beedies accounted for 48% of Indian tobacco consumption in 2008.“
For more go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beedi
One can just imagine how the big tobacco wants beedi’d to be outlawed! More likely: they will be very keen to buy the beedi manufacturers! If you cannot beat them, join them.
However, because beedi’s are not made by a big company it is very difficult to buy a single company. therefor it is more likely that Big Tobacco will do everything it can to ban beedi’s by finfing good reasons for this.
Workers roll an average of 500-1000 beedies per day, handling 225-450 grams of tobacco flake, and inhaling tobacco dust and other volatile components present in the work environment. Studies have shown that cotinine levels in the bodily fluids of beedi workers are elevated even among those who do not use tobacco.
It is estimated that 325,000 children work rolling beedies despite beedi manufacture being classified by the India Child Labor Prohibition and Regulation Act as hazardous work.
For more go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beed
In the non-beedi smoking world Big Tobacco would be very happy if cigarette packaging can be reduced to something like the beedi packaging. A simple plastic bag with no branding – and who cares about whether there is just a health warning on the packet.
When they have achieved this they can close their whole marketing department – or what remains of it – and simply allocate this expense to the bottom line profits.
So, having saved the costs of promoting the brands and seeing how sucesful the hard drug companies have saved costs, they will hope that someone pressurises the governments to debrand cigarette packets.
Who is going to apply this pressure? Obviously the WHO and any fanatics that can be convinced to join the pressure groups.
Will this cost saving be used for health care or the benefit of anyone other than the shareholders of Big Tobacco?