Gone are the days when freebies and lucky draws were the norm during festival shopping. Instead, what consumer durables companies are offering this festive season is ‘real value’. This includes new product ranges, better customer service, and high quality.
With mega bucks pegged on the festive season, consumer durables companies look at nearly 60 per cent of their annual sales during the festival months.
exchange4media spoke with some consumer durables majors like LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Haier and Godrej regarding their plans and expectations from this festive season. Needless to say, all companies have gone on a marketing and promotion blitz to attract customers.
Sukhpreet Singh, General Manager - Marketing, Whirlpool India, said, “Whirlpool has always believed in offering ‘real’ value to consumers as against freebies and ‘hyped’ up offers and lucky prizes. We will continue in the same vein this season and offer really useful promotional offers to the consumer on buying Whirlpool products.”
Elaborating on the advertising and marketing spends for this year, Singh said, “We will be spending approximately Rs 70 crore on advertising, promotions and below the line activities this year. Around 20 per cent of this would be spent on marketing plans during various festivals. We will be also launching our festival promotion, which will be supported by in-shop communication as well as advertising to generate awareness. We are targeting sales of over Rs 400 crore during the Diwali period.”
“We will be introducing new products in the run up to Diwali. This includes a new 180 L refrigerator in our Fusion line-up, ‘Max’ microwave, and an 8 kg high capacity top loading washing machine in our ‘Whitemagic’ range,” Singh added.
Sharing LG Electronics India’s plans, its Director - Marketing & Sales, V Ramachandran, said, “We are planning new launches for the festive season. We truly believe that customers would not buy the products because of discounts or freebies, hence, we are not offering any discounts, rather our focus would be on premium customer service, quality, innovation and leadership. We have the biggest service network in the industry and with our 2.1.1 service campaign, we are committed to give our customers best service. Today, consumers want the best technology, and to address the same we are launching premium products in every category. AS part of this, we have launched our all new ‘Jazz’ full high definition LCD televisions in India.”
Elaborating on the customer service plans, Ramachandran said, “Under the LG 2.1.1 endeavour, the company is working towards making a call back to the consumer within two hours post establishing contact with the company through one of these ways – phone call, SMS, website and e-mail. Thus, 2.1.1 essentially means – call back to customer in two hours, appointment within one day in a promised one hour time slot.”
Ravinder Zutshi, Deputy MD, Samsung India, said, “This year, our efforts will be in the direction of creating excitement through new product launches in the LCD, camera and home theatre categories. We are targeting a 35-40 per cent increase in sales this festival season as against the corresponding period last year. The marketing spends will be commensurate with the sales increase planned. We will have a new advertising campaign for this festival season and are expecting 35 per cent of our full year sales to come from the festival period.”
Haier Appliances India has come out with a festive promotional package titled the ‘Haier 6000 guaranteed offer’. The offer period is for the entire month of October. During this period, on the purchase of any Haier product, the customer would be entitled to a scratch card and get an assured gift. Starting from cash back of Rs 6,000, other gifts include induction cookers, Apple iPods, holiday packages, and return domestic air tickets for two, among others.
RT Rajan, Director - Sales & Marketing, Haier Appliances India, said, “Haier’s focus this festival season will be on rewarding its customers and attracting new ones to the Haier family. We are confident of reinforcing our market position and are looking at a growth of 150-200 per cent over last season.”
Kamal Nandi, Vice President, Godrej Appliances, said, “The ad spend for Godrej for FY09 is Rs 100 crore, of which we will be spending 40 per cent during this festive season, which began from Onam and continues till the New Year. With assured gifts ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000 in value, we are expecting a growth of 40 per cent this festive season.”