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10-12% of our efforts is invested in the digital space: Sandeep Shukla, Head of Marketing & Communications, Jaquar Group

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10-12% of our efforts is invested in the digital space: Sandeep Shukla, Head of Marketing & Communications, Jaquar Group

From the acquisition of Euro Ceramics to making strong inroads into lighting, the Jaquar Group seems to be taking its legacy forward and building on customer trust. As the brand taps the booming market for LEDs, the lighting segment might well leverage the brand value of Jaquar. In an exclusive interview with exchange4media, Sandeep Shukla, Head of Marketing & Communications, Jaquar Group spilled the beans on the marketing strategies, marketing spends and how the new segment could create a niche for itself.
Edited excerpts below:

With the acquisition of Euro Ceramics, what is Jaquar's growth plan in India?
We have been in the bathroom solutions and sanitaryware sphere for quite some time now. This acquisition is a part of the expansion plan. Our capacity pre-acquisition was approximately 1.2 million pieces which we want to take up to 2 million pieces. We want to ensure that our numbers get larger for both domestic and international demands as we are already present across 40 countries as a complete bathroom solutions player.

Jaquar has diversified into Lighting, and we saw Deepika Padukone as the face of the brand earlier this year. Why the foray into Lighting and how will this segment leverage the brand value of Jaquar?
The core idea behind this was that both lighting and water play an integral role in bathroom ware solutions because of the way they get used. From there we thought of foraying into the entire vertical of lighting. Today, Jaquar has a unique portfolio which is unheard of in this category. Right from decorative to commercial, the comprehensive range we have makes lighting a very enviable portfolio. In my all my recent researches, I have observed that trust plays a very important factor with respect to our brand as people really trust Jaquar. Taking the legacy forward, we wanted to get lighting also going. We also wanted to establish a strong foothold for Jaquar lighting and connect with the youth of India. Thinking about a global icon who is stylish and still rooted in Indian values we believe Deepika is the perfect match. Today, we are in 40 countries and if I draw analogies, Deepika is doing well in so many different countries of the world. So we wanted to capture that.

What is your marketing strategy for the Lighting segment? How easy or difficult is it to launch a new segment and build it under the umbrella brand?
It is no cakewalk but the only advantage we enjoy is that Jaquar is not a new brand in the consumer psyche. We are already in the top three brands in India. As far as the strategy part goes, we have a very robust model both for trade and B2B segment. In the retail segment, my communication will help me penetrate with the help of our recent TVC with Deepika in it. As I speak to you, more than 10,000 stores are selling Jaquar products and this figure is likely to reach 18,000-19,000 by the end of the year. There is a large game plan to make sure that on one end I get a large retail space wherein my commercial and regular bathroom products are sold. For the builder’s segment, we already have a huge penetration by the virtue of having a 60% market share in bathrooms. With the help of Jaquar brand equity, 360-degree brand communication in lighting, BTL and ATL help us build confidence among our consumers and also grow.

How does the collaboration with the Pro Wrestling League fit into your overall marketing strategy?
Wrestling as a sport is very rustic and rooted in India. We thought that our positioning for Essco which is a completely home-grown and value-for-money brand would go with the ethos of wrestling. From Sultan to Dangal, a number of recent Bollywood movies have been filmed on the sport. Wrestling is one sport which is to reckon with today and so we thought it’s time to ride on the wave and get Essco its due popularity.

How are your marketing spends reflecting the digital transformation of the industry?
The customer, we realized, is really searching on websites and apps, so digital is definitely the way forward. Per cent wise, even though the number looks small but 10-12% of our efforts are going in the digital space from the point of view of promotions. I generate more than 5 lakh footfalls, on a monthly basis on the Jaquar website. So we have gone the whole hog in the digital space. I would say that the future is digital as we create a lot of product films too for the medium that guide consumers. Digital is really helping us to reaching to the end customer in a quick way. Geo-targeting has proved to be beneficial to us in big ways.

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