Madhuram’s Brand Architecture: Decluttering the Design

B P Ravindran

Madhuram has established itself as one of the fastest growing FMCG brands in the Indian market in just three years. It has undergone vast changes during its journey to become a 100-crore brand – an incredible milestone in a short time, and a first in WayCool history. Brands have traditionally used color, copy, and elements of its packaging design among other things to communicate its message and nutritional benefits, in the case of food products. A completely new look helped Madhuram stand out in the market as a brand and excite consumers’ interest.

Shifting consumers’ perceptions

Madhuram, which is largely a trade brand, did not have clear contours of its identity in the inception stage. Because of this, Madhuram was getting buried among the numerous local brands, unable to draw interest. In a cluttered rice market filled with multiple established local brands, Madhuram had to gradually build a strong footprint among consumers and retailers using clear positioning and brand communication. Like any modern yet traditionally rooted brand, Madhuram has had to understand its consumer to meet their expectations. In this case, it was the homemaker who largely depended on the retailer to recommend the right product to them. Madhuram took it upon itself to support the homemaker and revamped the packaging to help her make the right choice and got her to know what she was purchasing.

Under the Madhuram portfolio, there are over 35 products grouped in three product families – Everyday rice, Everyday Dals and Specialty Rice. These are clustered based on the role the product plays in the meal occasion – Everyday consumption product or a Special occasion product. This grouping simplified Madhuram’s pack architecture and helped the brand stand out clearly as a rice and dal brand. This changeover was done after detailed consumer understanding on how consumers looked at rice packs, what they looked for and how they understood visually what the variant was. This helped us create a simple yet effective color scheme, design and pack architecture for Madhuram’s range of products.

The revised brand architecture included three families:

  • Specialty rice
  • Everyday rice
  • Dals


Under the Specialty category, we have Idli rice, Idli rava, Basmati, and Jeeraga Samba rice. The varieties Sona Masoori, Rajabhogam, Ponni, HMT, Matta come under the Everyday rice category. The Everyday Dals range has Urad and Toor varieties. Each of these products have distinct identity and the base color refers to the family that the product is from.<

The Specialty rice comes in a blue pack with elements of the traditional Kolam design. The Everyday rice comes in a pack with a pinkish purple background and a different Kolam design. Dals are represented with turmeric orange inspired packaging. Each color was deliberately chosen with the intention of enabling the homemaker to distinguish among the three categories with ease.

The thought behind the revised packaging

South Indian rice is a fragmented category in the market, and this makes it difficult to get the homemaker to sit up and take notice of brands. With Madhuram’s new packaging design, we wanted the product to take the lead in capturing homemakers’ attention. The redesigned packaging showcases regional dishes on a traditional plate. For instance, the Sona Masoori variety of rice is largely consumed in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. So, we showcased a Telugu meal with pickles to bring a regional nuance for AP and Telangana. For Karnataka, a different product shot was used to show how an ideal Kannadiga meal would be plated.

On each pack, the product description is given in that specific regional language. The description on the pack for Ponni rice, which is predominantly consumed across Tamil Nadu, is given in Tamil text. The same was done for HMT in Telugu text and Kolam rice in Kannada. Dals and Basmati rice packs are exceptions where we have written pack text in English since they are consumed across all South states.

Madhuram’s logo is another example of how the brand recognized the need to change its image without losing its heritage. The original logo had too many elements that made it difficult for the consumer to retain it in their mind. The new logo has a running red ribbon with a grain mnemonic on the outline to communicate the aspect of rice, dal or agricultural produce.

The choice of colors and display of different kolam-inspired artwork on the packaging played an important role in helping Madhuram become a preferred brand, selling high-value products to customers across the southern states of India.

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