Thursday, October 21, 2010

Marketing Strategy : Celebrating the WoW Moments

Seldom does brands hit upon wonderful ideas that capture the attention of the consumers. During the last IPL season, Vodafone hit upon such a wonderful advertising idea – The ZooZoo. Those white cute characters quickly captured the imagination of India. ZooZoos were all around the media with rave reviews, blogs and viral videos. The entire marketing community was watching how the brand will handle the unprecedented success of the ZooZoos.

Vodafone themselves was surprised at the success of ZooZoo and it took a while for the company to wake up to the idea of capitalizing the success of ZooZoo by launching merchandises, games, contests and social media engagement. To take the popularity to ZooZoo to the next level, the brand also launched a campaign asking the public to contribute to the advertising campaigns by suggesting ideas.

It is important for the brands to capitalize every such wow factors to the maximum. The big ideas can come in the form of a tagline, a celebrity, a brand mascot, a product feature or an advertising idea. Once that big idea becomes highly accepted by the consumers, it is important for the brand to take it to the next level of engagement.

Take the example of the MRF‘s association with Sachin Tendulkar and cricket. The association started off as a brand endorsement. MRF’s logo on Sachin’s bat got the brand so much visibility that cricket fans began to ask for MRF bats at sports shops. MRF later launched its cricket kits to cash on the popularity. To celebrate the brand’s association with cricket, MRF also ventured into launching MRF pace foundation which has become a vital talent school for pace bowlers. All these engagements involved investments that could not be recovered on a short-term. MRF also involved seriously into racing sports which had a direct connection with the brand’s offering. MRF began to celebrate its involvement in rallies thereby reinforcing the brand’s credibility as a modern, tough tire brand. In all these activities, the brand involved 100% and the investments was not blinded by a quest for short-term sales spurts.

It was a wow- moment for Nike when it chose the tagline “Just Do It”. Customers loved the tagline and Nike did not waste a moment in celebrating the tagline. The tagline became an integral factor in the success of Nike brand. In the Indian context, Idea Cellular Ltd hit upon a hit tagline “ An Idea can Change Your Life ”. The brand also signed up Abhishek Bachchan as the brand ambassador. The brand celebrated these two big ideas together with huge success.

Marketers should look for signs of success of their big and small ideas. There is a huge potential for celebration when consumers start talking about those WoW moments. When consumer starts talking about the brand, marketers should take the cue and take the engagement to the next level.

Have a plan to celebrate.

In this highly competitive world, time is a precious resource. The brand should celebrate its ideas before the euphoria dies down. More time the marketer spent contemplating on the planning phase, the less effective the engagement. There has to be a plan to systematically enhance the engagement with the consumers in the event of such a wow-moment.

Celebrating the brand’s wow moments can have lot of positive rub-offs. It can create an engagement with the consumers. Take the case of ZooZoo. These characters created lot of engagement with the brand and the public (consumers and non-consumers of Vodafone). The ZooZoo fan page in Facebook has more than 3.30 lakh fans. Through these, the brand is able to connect with a larger base of existing and potential consumers who hold a positive frame of mind towards the brand or its campaigns.

Use all the marketing opportunities.

We are living in a highly networked world that offers many opportunities to engage with the consumers. Indian marketers are slow in adapting to newer ways of connecting to the consumers. Once Vodafone figured out the celebrating ZooZoo, it went on an overdrive using all the media opportunities. Vodafone is now using social media like Facebook, Orkut etc to create more engagement with the consumers. It also sells ZooZoo merchandise through select outlets. There are also contests and games which consumers can play in the social media that created lot of consumer engagement.

Celebration is an investment.

In an era of spreadsheets,ROIs and quarterly reports it is difficult for marketers to quickly quantify the returns for such a celebration. Hence it would be prudent for marketers should consider such marketing activities as a long-term investment. Although there may not be an immediate spike in the sales, one should be able to see the long-term equity that such a celebration can deliver to the brand.

Link the celebration to the brand.

While there are a lot of advantages in celebrating the wow- moments, marketers should have clarity in linking the celebration to the brand’s big picture. Brand needs to benefit from the celebration either in terms of better visibility, market share, loyalty or engagement with the consumers. Periodic reviews and assessment will help marketers to justify further investments in celebrating brand’s small and big successes.

Originally Published here in Adclubbombay.com