ICC World Cup association will strengthen Signify's connect with consumers: Sukanto Aich

Signify India CMO, on how the brand will benefit from the partnership with Star Sports as the title sponsor of the Cricket Live Show and more

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Jun 27, 2019 8:04 AM

Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, has partnered with Star Sports to sponsor the Cricket Live segment for the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup. As part of the deal, the segment has been branded Philips Hue Cricket Live.


Sukanto Aich, CMO, Signify India, spoke to exchange4media on the brand’s association with the World Cup, the ROI they’re expecting and how Signify is leading awareness in rural areas for consumers to switch to LED lights.



On what basis will you leverage the association with the ICC Cricket World Cup?

We have partnered with Star Sports as the title sponsor of the Cricket Live Show for the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup. The Cricket Live segment is branded as Philips Hue Cricket Live and is the exclusive branded property for the tournament.

Indian brands have always been interested in brand sponsorships for global cricketing tournaments, owing to the significant viewership these tournaments attract. Cricket is the lifeline of our country and a tournament like the World Cup, viewed by more than 700 million people in various platforms, is a great branding opportunity for any consumer brand. We have also launched a new television ad campaign around our Philips Hue product range that is currently running across various TV channels.


What kind of ROI is the brand expecting from the World Cup association? On what mediums will the brand spend the most?

We expect the ROI of this brand association to be significantly high. Philips Hue Cricket Live is an integral part of every World Cup match, with cricketing experts discussing the day’s match and team performances. We are confident that our association will help us build more brand awareness and create a strong connect with our target consumers, over the course of the tournament. It extends across both TV (Star Sports) and the digital platform (with Hotstar).


Which is the major marketing medium at Signify and how are you exploring the digital space? 

We invest significantly in A & P every year, especially during the Diwali festive season across print, outdoor, TV and digital mediums. This year we have invested in media buying around the Cricket World Cup.


People in rural areas are still not ready to accept LEDs in their lives because of high costs. What are you doing to bring down the cost of your products?

The market penetration of LED’s has increased substantially in the past three - four years owing to its reduced prices and enhanced awareness amongst consumers, especially about its advantages, such as high durability and lower power consumption..

Rural households still use conventional lighting in a big way; we are witnessing a steady and growing demand for LED’s from rural areas. Owing to government electrification schemes like ‘Saubhagya’. We have created an exclusive LED range of products called Philips Ujjwal to cater to this demand. It offers a better price value to rural customers. These products have been specially designed keeping in mind their requirements and preferences.


The Indian lighting market has cutthroat competition from global and local brands. How is Signify keeping itself ahead?

We have been the global market leader in lighting since our company’s inception, 127 years ago. Enabled by our strong R&D expertise and local-for-local strategy, we have managed to retain this leadership position in every country we operate in. In India as well, we have led the Indian lighting industry with local innovations since the past 90 years. We continue to invest in our people, products and technology and will continue our innovation legacy in the years ahead as well.

In terms of distribution, we are by far the largest distributed lighting brand in the country with every third consumer in India using a Philips lighting product. We always study consumer insights closely to design new products and services that suit our customers’ requirements.

We have already installed 47 million connected light points worldwide till March 2019 and plan for every new LED product we produce to be connectable by 2020.


What are your expansion plans for the Indian market? 

India is amongst the top 5 markets for Signify globally and is growing at a significant rate. We have a strong retail presence across India to capitalize on this growth with over 1,200 channel partners, 8,500 Priority Outlets, 1,50,000 retail shops and 180+ exclusive Philips Smart Light Hubs. India is also our global hub for Solar lighting products, wherein we develop and manufacture solar products for the world.

This year we will focus on further expanding the reach of our new LED innovations – Philips Tbulb and Philips Ceiling Secure down lighters. We will also focus on expanding our presence in the rural channel with our customized offerings.

We are also investing significantly to grow our smart home lighting business in both offline and online channels, through our exclusive Philips Smart Light Hubs and with our presence on all major e-commerce portals.

We also tied up with smart home assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, to offer connected lighting to customers via voice command. By the end of the year, we expect to double our retail presence for smart lighting in the country with new Philips Smart Light Hubs opening across various cities.



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