Tiger Balm

Our Case Study for Tiger Balm


Elder Pharmaceuticals was a growing pharmaceutical company engaged in marketing over-the-counter (OTC) products through their consumer division.

Tiger Balm is arguably the world’s leading analgesic remedy that has been trusted by generations to provide care, healing and comfort for nearly 100 years.

With its unique formulation derived from herbal ingredients, Tiger Balm’s healing properties sooth and relieve bodily aches and pains to restore balance to hectic lifestyles, and give a sense of wellness to the body and mind.

Suitable for the young and the old, Tiger Balm is available in more than 100 countries across the globe.

A Singapore Company “Haw Par” owned tiger Balm. Brand and exclusive rights to market and distribute the product were given to Elder Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Mumbai.

Tiger Balm was in the Indian market for five years prior to 2003-04.

The Problem:

The brand was not going anywhere, as competition such as Zandu and Moov had positioned them strongly in Indian consumer mind.

The brand was being distributed by the sales team of Elder Pharmaceuticals in India.
The repeat buying was less than 25 %, whereas in international markets the conversion rate was 80 % (consumers who used it ones, 80 % of them repeated the brand)

It was a strong balm, and whenever consumers used it on their forehead, they experienced burning sensation. Most of the Indian consumers were using balms for headaches.

There was no clear positioning owned by Tiger Balm, and consumers using the product for headaches found the product very strong.

The sales were declining.

The Challenge:

Reposition the brand to attract the user segment and create awareness regarding the usage of the product.

Our Solution:

As the head of marketing department with Elder Pharmaceuticals, Hemant was responsible to re-position the brand to make it stand against the tough competition. The product was considered to be strong and hence consumers found burning sensation when it was applied to the forehead.

With the help of parent company Haw Par, the positioning of the brand was changed to “backache specialist” from existing general pain reliever balm.
New television commercials were made, where strong product attributes were highlighted for back pain relief.

The campaign was supported at ground level by the sales team, which explained the benefits of strong balm to trade and visibility of the brand, was achieved through marketing collaterals and retail promotions.


  • Through focused positioning and strong on-ground marketing initiatives, Consumer and trade perception about the brand started changing. The brand started moving from the shelf, which resulted is growing sales volumes.
  • Today the brand has an all India presence.
  • Today, CavinKare markets the product in India, and Tiger Balm is available in all medical outlets as well as in mom and pop stores across India.


(Hemant Mishrra, Founder and Principal Consultant with Neeti Brand Accelerator, was Vice President (Sales & Marketing) with Elder Pharmaceuticals Ltd. during 2004-07, when “Tiger Balm” Salt was launched in Indian markets)

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