"Oriflame acquired more fans than Coca-Cola on social this year"

Sharmili Rajput, National Mktg Dir, Oriflame India talks about the brand's focussed digital push, being present on print & OOH media, and why TV advtg doesn't make sense for Oriflame in India

e4m by Priyanka Mehra
Updated: Oct 24, 2013 7:46 AM
"Oriflame acquired more fans than Coca-Cola on social this year"

In an exclusive chat with exchange4media, Sharmili Rajput, National Marketing Director, Oriflame India, talks about the importance of print advertising for the brand, the growing direct selling category in the skin care market and more ...

Rajput has to her credit creation and management of various marketing activities for brand promotion, increase in sales and volumes of businesses and strategic positioning of brands and sub-brands. Under her leadership, Oriflame has established itself as a brand that resonates with women in India. Rajput leverages 16 years of marketing and brand building experience in the industry at Oriflame, and claims to have 20-30 per cent share of the cosmetics direct selling industry.

Excerpts:

Are there any plans of getting more into the commercial advertising space from the direct selling space?

We have been doing some commercial advertising in the last two years. There has been a definite increase in the advertising we are doing today. A lot on the print medium; this year we also ventured into radio advertising and outdoor in regions such as the North East. Yes, we are not on television yet, but have a presence on other media.

Do you have plans of getting into the television space anytime soon?
At this point in time, it is not a very effective medium for us because it is really fragmented. With print, we feel we are able to target our audience in a far more effective manner.

Oriflame is very active on social media. As a brand, it was number one globally, ahead of Coca-Cola, for the number of fans it acquired this year.

In fact, in a recent study done by Google on the most searched skin care brand, Oriflame was featured as number one. It was a cross category study in skin care. There is a lot of awareness that is developing about the brand. We have specific focus on social media, OOH and print.

We need to have a baseline of the number of consultants before we get into very large scale advertising. To give you an example, in Ukraine and Russia, the ratio of Oriflame consultants is one to ten; that is, if there are ten women standing, one of them is going to be an Oriflame consultant. Here, television advertising is justified. 

As a customer, you see TV advertising, which of course would generate a lot of awareness, but you will not know who to contact in India. Whereas, in the print medium, we are building brand awareness, and the contact details are mentioned in the advertising itself. Key really is increasing the number of consultants.

How has Sonali Bendre helped the brand as its ambassador?
Getting Sonali Bendre on board last year as our brand ambassador has helped us establish a relationship with our target audience. It has put a face to the brand you could associate and relate to.

How much does India contribute to Oriflame globally?
India is one of the fastest growing countries for Oriflame. It is an extremely important market, and because of its contribution, is amongst the top ten countries for the brand.

Besides advertising, what are the other promotional activities undertaken by the brand?
We try to create excitement around accessories. Recently, we launched brand associations with Ritu Kumar and Rohit Bal only for Oriflame consultants. Our consultants are our brand evangelists and we keep trying to create joy for them.

Given the current economic scenario, what is the kind of growth you see in the skin care segment in the direct selling space?
The beauty and skincare market is growing from seven to ten per cent; the whole market is a huge base and the direct selling industry within this base is growing at 20 per cent.

In the FMCG category, there is a very basic level of penetration in India. Skin care category will show growth because it is still an under penetrated category.

We are far from saturation even in urban centres when it comes to direct selling. Given the current economic slowdown scenario, direct selling is also an alternate means for income. Women supplement their income through this business model.

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