Mar 25, 2021

A Brand Health Study on the Body Wash Market in Malaysia

Vodus surveyed approximately 20,000+ Malaysians between October and December 2020 to understand the market profile, competitive landscape, brand health, brand association and user satisfaction of the shower gel and body wash category. Post-stratification data treatment process is implemented to ensure that the data accurately represents the population.

Category Incidence

About 1 in 4 Malaysians are users of shower gel and shower cream followed by Bar Soap. It is observed that females are more likely to use shower cream/gel as compared to males. Malays and Chinese also use the same category more than other ethnicities. Similarly, the younger age group is more likely to use shower gel/ cream and 65 years old and beyond age group respondents are very less likely to use it and prefer bar soap and other items. However, no significant differences were found in the data among the different geographical regions in Malaysia.

Brand Awareness

None of the brands enjoy a high brand awareness; the top brands only have 1/3rd of all category users being aware of them. Lifebuoy and Dettol are the most popular brands in Malaysia with the highest brand awareness among the category users followed by Shokubutsu, Antabax and Lux. The awareness of Johnson’s, Safi and Palmolive is low as compared to the top-tier brands.

Overall, the brand awareness is driven by Females, Malay, and Chinese ethnicities and by the 25 to 54 years age group. The awareness levels are quite low among the 65 years and beyond age group. No major difference is seen among different regions in terms of brand awareness.


Antabax, Shokubutsu, Dettol and Lifebuoy have the strongest brand funnel. The Consideration to Preference conversion ratio for Antabax and Shokubutsu is better than Lifebuoy and Dettol despite having lower awareness and consideration. Shokubutsu and Antabax are able to generate an equal percentage of brand loyalty as Dettol and Lifebuoy despite having lower awareness and consideration. Overall, the market is fragmented, and no brand is in a dominating position. There is still a lot of room for improvement on all parameters of the brand funnel for all brands.

Brand Satisfaction - Net Promotor Score (NPS)

Most brands in the shower gel landscape still need to strive for an overall positive user experience as they have more detractors as compared to promoters. The NPS score is positive only for Dettol and Lifebuoy as compared to most other established brands such as Shokubutsu, Antabax, Safi and Lux who have a significantly higher number of detractors as compared to promoters. This shows that user experience needs a lot of improvement to generate better satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Brand Association

Lifebuoy has a very strong brand image as compared to other brands and leads most of the brand imagery attributes closely followed by Dettol. Lifebuoy is perceived to be effective, moisturizing, suitable for sensitive skin, prevent acne, affordable and good value for money and considered safe to use. Safi and Lux have low imagery scores while Antabax seems to be an average performer.


Overall, the market seems to be fragmented with no brand having a high awareness score, high consideration and a high preference. A lot of room for improvement on all parameters of the brand funnel exists even for those who seem to be the market leaders.

The current data shows that there is still an opportunity in the market to drive high brand satisfaction and capture a large user base.

Growth opportunities in this space will depend on strengthening the adoption funnel, creating a unique product positioning on the parameters that drive brand choice and creating a favorable user experience to increase brand recommendation.

To increase market share, a brand must create stronger brand equity than its competitors in this landscape through studying the target market thoroughly and understanding what are the important parameters that drive brand choice and how the consumers perceive a brand on these parameters.

Focusing on the important parameters will drive brand image strengthening the brand equity. This can be attained with a brand health tracker to measure how consumers perceive a brand relative to competitors, identify the problems with the brand image and construct an ideal branding strategy to address them. This will ensure brand awareness is successfully converted to brand consideration, preference, sales and ultimately recommendation to friends and family.

To create a more favorable customer experience, a stronger understanding of consumer behavior and attitude is required that can be addressed with U&A and segmentation studies to identify the right segments to target and the key traits that these segments are looking for. It will help to understand the pain points and develop a strategy to address them. With these insights, an ideal marketing strategy that targets the right audience and sends the right marketing message ultimately maximizing user satisfaction can be constructed.

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