Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
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.
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.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
Marketers are now faced with intense competition at one hand and a media clutter on the other hand. These issues are going to aggravate in the years to come. Differentiation will become difficult and if at all brands can create differentiation, communicating the uniqueness will become even more difficult.
It is in this scenario that experiential marketing becomes relevant. According to Professor Kevin Lane Keller, Experiential marketing promotes product by not only communicating a product’s features and benefits but also connecting it with unique and interesting experiences.
Traditionally, experiential marketing was appealing to those products and services that have high experience attributes. Experience attributes are those attributes which cannot be evaluated by consumers before purchase. Consumers have to experience those attributes inorder to evaluate or form opinion about it. For example, resorts, holiday packages, Spas etc are products that have high experience attributes. Marketers have to market those products/services by taking the customer through the product experience. Communicating experience attributes is one of the most difficult tasks in marketing communication.
As the consumers are moving towards an experience eco-system, marketers of all kinds of products and services should be willing to embrace the concept of experiential marketing. There are many forces that are driving this experience economy. Consumers are now exposed to a wide range of products and services. This exposure has enabled them to see beyond the marketing communication originated from the brand.
Another factor that is driving the trend towards experience is the clutter. When the product features remains the same, consumers tend to bias their purchase decisions towards those products that offer them a better experience.
Experience can happen at different levels. According to Bernd Schmitt of Columbia University, how the brands sense, feel, think, act and relate have a strong impact on the way the brands are perceived by the consumers (Journal of Marketing Management, 1999). Marketers can think about engaging with the consumers only if they are able to connect with the consumers across these five critical experience points.
In order to create an effective customer experience, marketers need to think beyond product categories. Categories are increasingly becoming irrelevant as far as consumers are concerned. Technological innovations are enabling firms to create products that transcends beyond boundaries. The focus is on the consumer’s needs and wants rather than creating a new product within a specified category.
Most of the product marketers are confused about building an experience around the physical product. How is it possible to create an experience when the consumers purchase products from retail outlets and consumes it at their own convenience?
In such a scenario, one method is to create a consumption experience in the mind of the consumer that will compliment the real consumption experience. For example, Cadbury Dairy Milk is a brand which successfully created a consumption experience in the mind of the consumer. From the product – chocolate, the brand has moved from the physical characteristics of taste and quality to a joyful experience of consuming chocolate. The recent campaign for Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk is a classic case of creating experience in the mind of the consumer.
Another method is the engage the consumers in different platforms. HUL which is India’s largest FMCG Company recently launched a website called Be Beautiful (bebeautiful.in) as a platform to communicate with its consumers. “Be Beautiful”, unlike other brand website , is a platform for all of HUL’s personal care brands like Pond’s, Lakme, Sunsilk, Vaseline and Dove to connect with the consumer. While the consumer experiences the actual products at her home, these brands try to engage consumers and shape their experience with the brand through the website. The website offers a platform for the brand to interact directly with the consumers thus create an opportunity for experiential marketing.
While marketers think too much about using the social media for advertising and promoting their products, they miss out the opportunity to engage with the consumers and create an experience in them about the brand.
Events are also a smart way of creating brand experience and to relate to the customer. Brands like Colgate uses events like “Dental Check Up Camps” to relate to the consumer. These events not only reinforce the positioning but also give a sense of relatedness to the consumers.
The cornerstone of experiential marketing is that the entire organization should be integrated to deliver the desired experience of the consumer. Philip Kotler defines Holistic Marketing as that which is based on the development design and implementation of marketing programs, processes and activities that recognizes their breadth and interdependencies. When endeavouring into experiential marketing, the entire organization should be thinking alike, be it the operations, sales, finance or HR. Brand websites which are seldom updated, complaints not attended to properly, rude sales people, unethical corporate practices can severely undermine the experiential marketing endeavour.