It's buy-buy time of the year, where the India consumer comes all out to splurge on gadgets, gifts and good times. And it's that time of the year where shops look extra bright, stocked to the hilt with wares to attract the pocket-heavy customers.
The category that perhaps sees most sales is consumer durables, especially white goods, as the festival season is considered to an auspicious occasion to adorn one's home with new products. And the buying process becomes all the more lucrative with the mindboggling number of freebies, schemes, prizes. The consumers are indeed spoilt for choices.
Spoilt for choices
Consumer durable major Whirlpool has launched the 'Chance Loge ya Whirlpool' promotional campaign. The buyer gets not one but two assured gifts that range from a Cygnus diamond pendant to an Addidas drum bag, together with a two-days-three-nights holiday package for a couple to a choice of 75 locations across India.
Whirlpool has also joined hands with publications across regions to organise daylong consumer events in 15 towns across India.
"We have been consistently enriching our consumers' lives with a range of Whirlpool products, and this festive season our homemaker not only buys into the promise of Whirlpool, but also ushers in prosperity through a storehouse of gifts and fun," said Shantanu Dasgupta, VP-Marketing, Whirlpool India.
Haier is also running a scheme for the festive season called "Lucky, Luckier, Luckiest" offer, which is on from September 15 to November 15. This offer gives the customer three chances to get 'fantastic' gifts. The promotion entails assured gifts on every purchase of a Haier product.
Not to be left behind, LG has the 'Mangal Hi Mangal Offer' focussing on super premium offerings for key markets. The super premium offerings from LG will entail a hi-tech product portfolio of flagship products from key categories like Tromm front loading washing machines, Whisen Artcool AC's, DIOS refrigerators, New Gen Karaoke systems, X-Note laptops, and other Internet enabled products. The offer promises assured gifts on every purchase of an LG product, along with extended warranty on select products.
Samsung's 'Pehla Kamaal Doosra Dhamaal' consumer promotion is a scratch based promotion. As part of this promotion, any customer buying a Samsung home appliance product gets two chances to win exciting gifts. The first scratch or the 'Pehla Kamaal' reveals to the customer the sure shot or the assured gift he/she has won. The second scratch or the 'Doosra Dhamaal' reveals the bumper gift that a lucky customer can win. Purchases above Rs 50,000 will entitle the Samsung customers to two scratch cards, so that they win two assured gifts and get two chances to win the bumper prize. Gifts worth Rs 20 crore are being given away during the promotion.
Spending to spread the message
The festival season is also the time when companies use a sizeable part of their advertisement spendings. Anup Jain, General Manager Marketing Services, Whirlpool said that the ad spend this year would be around Rs 8-9 crore.
For Haier, the ad spend during the season this year is around Rs 25 crore. "Last year also we had spent roughly around Rs 25 crore," informed Pranay Dhabhai, Whole-time Director, Haier Appliances.
LG is spending the highest amount on advertisements. "The marketing spend this year is Rs 60 crore for the festive season," said Girish Baappat, VP, Marketing, LG. He also added that the company was looking at a turnover of Rs 1,600 crore.
Ravinder Zutshi, Deputy Managing Director, Samsung Electronics India. said, "This year, we are spending Rs 30 crore for the consumer promotion .Of this, Rs 30 crore, Rs 20 crore worth of gifts are being given away as part of the promotion."
Why this festival period
When asked about the reason why the festival season has gained so much importance in the planning of white goods companies, Whirlpool's Jain said, " This period is considered very auspicious by most Indian consumers who do their major household buying during this festival period. Therefore, it is the best time to come up with offers and schemes. All the players focus on the same so the competition to offer the best products at best prices increase and advertising plays a major role in it."
Baappat of LG felt that though the concept of consumer finance had come in, most customers prefered to buy durables during the festive season as it was considered the most auspicious period. Also, both company and individuals give gifts to friends, relatives and employees, which drive growth for white goods companies. This is the reason why such companies undertake additional expenditure in an effort to catch the consumer's attention.
Whirlpool's marketing strategy this year is around three significant pillars .The three pillars are the two top of the line branded gifts with every purchase. Drive brand connect via on ground events for the homemaker and her family in alliance with leading publications and exciting offer in alliance with a leading bank if the consumer uses her debit/ credit card over and above our base offer.
"We have learnt from previous years that consumers discount 'chance-led' offers where they understand they have a very low chance of winning something aspirational," Jain informed.
Haier plans to expand its network throughout the country with its range of home appliances and consumer electronic products. The company is planning to come up with more 'India-centric' products and consolidate its position in all the product segments.
The marketing strategy for this festive season is to do a well-planned mix of brand and product communication. "We want to now highlight the easy usability, superior technology, benefits to consumers and unique features of our products also along with talking about the Haier brand," said Dhabhai.
LG focuses on the premium product offerings and consumer offer that would double up its marketing offer for the festive season. "We have not only launched a slew of premium products building up to the festive season, this is also an effort towards giving the customers technologically high end products and a fantastic festive offer 'Mangal Hi Mangal'.
Samsung has launched several new products for the festive season this year. This year's marketing efforts include a considerably strengthened product lineup coupled with attractive consumer offers .We will have 'Team Samsung' members, that is, our team of celebrity cricketers, featuring in the advertising campaign for the Promotion.
On the mediums the companies will use, everybody bets on print and electronic mediums. Whirlpool says, "We will be advertising mostly, in the print medium. Yes, we will be present on the Net."
Besides advertising with the print and the electronic media, Haier will use hoardings, gates, buntings, danglers, posters etc are used to advertise in towns and other cities besides the metros.
LG will be advertising across all media categories. "Apart from this we have a specific e-Portal LgezBuy.com were we would be advertising this festive campaign 'Mangal Hi Mangal' offer," said Baappat.
Samsung will also use both print and electronic media for the advertising campaign for the festive season.