If there is an event that unites every household in Kerala, it is the Onam harvest festival. With the onset of Onam, every brand starts throttling with their marketing initiatives to reach out to the people in Kerala. Many brands in Kerala has upped their marketing spends by 25-30 per cent along with various offers, discounts and product campaigns.
Panasonic India is targeting a sales turnover of Rs 150 crore from Kerala, whereas consumer electronics major Sony India, said that it is targeting a sales of Rs. 200 crore during Onam (July to September, 14) which means a growth of 48 per cent over corresponding period last year.
Whirlpool is targeting 10-12 per cent growth and a turnover of Rs 3,700 crore for this fiscal. While for Kerala market, they are targeting a growth of 20 per cent and turnover of Rs 180 crore during Onam. Haier is looking for a 50 per cent sales taking place during the festive season.
Raju Pullan, Director, Samsung Mobile recently announced in Kochi, "We will be more aggressive across segments and are looking at an ambitious growth of 40 per cent this year."
Brand promotion and offers
To cater to a large number of consumers, marketers usually launch promotional schemes or offers to induce people to spend more money. To simplify payments EMIs, zero finance and cash back facilities are widely made available at almost all the outlets. Brands such as Sony, Whirlpool, Samsung and Haier are splurging on ad spends to notch up a 30-40 per cent spurt in sales growth in Kerala.
Whirlpool India has launched new range of products across categories for its customers in Kerala. They have also rolled offers where every person who purchases a whirlpool appliance, will get an Arrow or Revlon gift hamper or a Yera Bowl set as assured gift as well as an opportunity to enter a unique contest.
Shantanu Das Gupta, Vice President – Corporate Affairs & Strategy, Whirlpool India, said, “At every Onam, Whirlpool tries to give its customers in Kerala a special reason to cherish the festival. This year we have created a platform for couples to share how they make Onam memorable; what is that special touch they add, what is the style in which they celebrate, to make an age-old tradition enjoyable and meaningful. The 10 best stories will be publicised in Grihalakshmi, along with pictures of the winning couples.”
Sony India has an interesting mix of consumer offers for Onam, across its range of TVs, smartphones, cameras, home theaters and other product categories. As part of the offer, they are providing exciting assured gifts like the Blu-ray player, cross foldable headphone, SmartBand, portable charger, pen-drive and premium case among many others, with the purchase of Sony products. For Onam, Sony India has increased its marketing budget for Kerala to Rs. 8 crore towards ATL and BTL activities such as print, outdoor, shop-front and events. Sony also plans to ramp up its distribution throughout this fiscal year from 475 to 650 outlets.
Sunil Nayyar, Head, Sales, Sony India said, “We have witnessed strong response to Onam offers in the past. The sales garnered during Onam festival contribute as much as 40% to our total sales in Kerala. This year too, we expect a stronger response to the promotion. We have exclusive offers as well.”
Samsung Electronics announced Onam extravaganza with its ‘Samsung Phonasadya’ consumer promotion in Kerala. Consumers who purchased a Samsung Smartphone or tablet during the promotion period stand a chance to win daily and weekly prizes and will get an opportunity to participate and win a mega bumper prize.
Speaking about the promotion, Raju Pullan, Director, Samsung Mobile, said, “The festival of Onam brings with it a lot of excitement and Onasadya or the Onam feast is an integral part of the festivities. To add greater joy to the celebrations, we have launched the ‘Samsung Phonasadya’ marketing campaign which includes exciting promotional offers and gifts. Our customer-centric approach has always helped us create products and services that offer more value to our customers and reward them as well. Kerala is one of the key regions for our growth and we are confident of boosting our festive season sales in the region.”
Samsung has also associated with Radio Mango to launch Kerala’s biggest RJ Hunt, a consumer engagement initiative across the state. The RJ hunt activity includes road shows across 80 colleges in Kerala, supported by consumer connect programmes in Samsung Mobile Cafes. This is followed by Voice Trials, Zonal Selections and the Grand Finale in September 2014. The final winner gets a chance to be a Radio Jockey at Radio Mango.
Haier too has come with offers, deals and promotions. The company is offering gifts worth upto Rs 4000, free installation on water heaters, extended warranty and EMI finance on many of its products for the Kerala market.
Haier has also introduced their unique ‘i-age’ line of products inspired by the Internet age.
Talking about this initiative, Eric Braganza, President, Haier India said, “Onam is a festival that gives us ample reason to celebrate with our much cherished customers in Kerala as they welcome the tradition and rich heritage that constitutes our culture. Over the years Southern India as a region has always been one of the top contributors to our growth and we expect to grow by increasing magnitudes in times to come through our consumers’ support. We are delighted to build a relation with every home and family as we continue to innovate and expect Onam sales to grow by 50 per cent this year.”
Marketers are positive about the growth this year and due to the change in the government, expect it to rise above expectation. One still needs to wait and watch how brands fare during Onam.