Consumer durable brands amp up marketing as customers switch on festive shopping mode
Companies are expecting 25-30% hike in sales and are going to be quite active on digital platforms for marketing. But television and print will continue to dominate marketing spends, say experts
The gloom of the pandemic seems to be passing from the heads of Indian customers, 91% of whom are planning to shop during the festive season, as per a survey conducted by adtech firm The Trade Desk and YouGov. Consumer durables are one of the top categories that people are willing to spend on and this has given the much-needed push to the brands in the category to amp up their marketing spends. For the category, the pent-up demand was witnessed back in June-July and is expected to continue through the festive season. Most of these players are quite positive about the festive season for the industry and are expecting up to 25-30% hike in sales, and are going to spend almost similar portion of their marketing budgets during the festive season.
exchange4media explores how festive season is going to be for the consumer durables and how it is going to reflect in their marketing activities.
Consumer is desiring functionality
As per industry insiders, need-based functional products like dishwashers, air purifiers, food processors are going to see a spike in sales during the festive season along with the established categories like refrigerators and microwave ovens etc. That’s why the industry players are amping up their presence via some festive offers and new product launches.
Voltas Limited Vice President and Head of Marketing, Deba Ghoshal shares, “During this festive season, we are optimistic about the functional white goods space. Entering the auspicious part of the year, amidst the social distancing restrictions, we at Voltas recently announced our Onam celebration offer for our customers in Kerala, and also Independence Day and Ganesh Chaturthi festival offers. As a part of the offers, consumers had the opportunity to win many benefits on the purchase of Voltas and Voltas Beko products. The offer value depended on various criteria, depending upon the product and the model. As a part of these offers, Voltas presented a combination of cashback offers, extended comprehensive warranty, and easy EMI schemes, to make the buying process attractive for the customers. With an endeavour to increase access to all its products, the brand has introduced multiple finance offers which include cashback up to 15% on select credit cards, and easy EMI finance offer through NBFCs. Similar consumer offers are planned for Dussehra, Durga Puja and Diwali, to spike consumer interest at a pan-India level.”
Usha International President-Appliances Saurabh Baishakhia further highlights, “We have already launched new products including trienergy plus mixer grinder, colossal DLX wet grinder, rice cooker, and calypso OTG with the advent of the festive season. Additionally, we will also be announcing compelling combo offers as well as easy finance options for consumers this festive season. We will also have various initiatives to engage with our consumers.”
Panasonic India Head- Brand & Marketing Communications Shirish Agarwal notes, “We are introducing 'Grand Delights' festive offers for our consumers from September 20, 2021 to make purchases accessible and affordable for the consumers. With this campaign, we have introduced a range of promotional offers, extended warranties, bundled schemes and attractive consumer finance offers across our product categories such as televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air-conditioners, microwaves, beauty, and lifestyle products - to meet the needs of our digital-savvy customers.
“Additionally, keeping digital at the core of our efforts, we have plans to collaborate with lifestyle influencers and KOLs to showcase the comfort and connectivity of our end-to-end home automation solution – Miraie. We are hopeful that this festive season will restore people's high spirits, resulting in increased spending, driven by a confluence of improving vaccination rates and an optimistic prognosis for economic recovery than last year.”
Amped up marketing spends, focus on digital
Given the heightened consumer interest in the space, brands are amping up their marketing spends, after cautiously spending it for the past few quarters. Most of the brands have kept aside 25-30% of their marketing budgets for the festive season and are planning to spend significantly more than their festive spends last year.
Baishakhia shares, “Almost 30-35 % of our annual sales happens in the festive months starting from Onam and right through Diwali and beyond, and we expect this year to be no different. We have allocated close to 5-6% of our marketing budgets for the festival season amounting to around Rs 20-25 crores. The marketing strategy is to reach the customers at all touch-points of their purchase journey, offering them a seamless online and offline experience. Ease and convenience of purchase, availability of various options, and easy finance options are going to be the main growth drivers this festival season.”
Talking about his approach on the media mix, he further adds, “Since last year, advertising has primarily been driven by our omni-channel approach to leverage both offline and online opportunities. At Voltas, we have always kept a share of the media mix for TV, while strengthening our hold in the online space. There are multiple ways in which we are trying to innovate and re-look at marketing in the post-Covid 19 era, which is primarily driven by digital, but with a strategic share for other important genres like television, radio and print.”
A.O. Smith India Managing Director Parag Kulkarni highlights that the brand is trying to meet the consumer at all possible touch-points with their festive season marketing this year. “We believe, brands need to understand customer sentiments more now than ever and communication has to be very focused. Our marketing approach will have a 360-degree influence on our consumers, reaching out across touch-points to address the complete consumer journey. We are focused more on digital platforms and have plans to use print as a multiplier medium. With respect to messaging, we will continue to emphasize the health and hygiene aspect for both our water heater and purifier categories, which has helped us to connect effectively with consumers.”
He continues, “From a channel perspective, there is a significant impetus on maximizing our impact within traditional channels- general trade and modern retail. With more people feeling comfortable shopping in traditional retail stores, we are addressing the rising demand from this channel, while also leveraging e-commerce to maximize sales. We are one of the most active brands in our e-commerce categories, and we are strengthening our online presence this year through dedicated product offerings and differentiated marketing activities. These focused mediums of promotion, combined with our successful product launches and improving channel demand, have us feeling positive about the festive period!”
Agarwal also shared some details about Panasonic’s marketing plans, “Keeping digital at the core of our efforts, we have plans to collaborate with lifestyle influencers and KOLs to showcase the comfort and connectivity of our end-to-end home automation solution – Miraie. We are hopeful that this festive season will restore people's high spirits, resulting in increased spending, driven by a confluence of improving vaccination rates and an optimistic prognosis for economic recovery than last year.”
All in all, the category is expecting a robust hike in its sales during the festive season, of which 10-15% is said to be coming from digital mediums. The brands are therefore going to be quite active on digital platforms for marketing. But, like every year, television and print will continue to dominate the marketing spends.
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