Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Best Marketing Practice : Uncle John's iDrive

It feels good when a brand innovates on an idea that benefits not only the brand but also the community. One such innovation is the children's park which was created by Cochin ( Kerala) based ice-cream brand Uncle John. Uncle John is a famous local brand of ice-creams marketed by M/S Jojo Frozen Foods Pvt Ltd. The brand name is coined from the name of its founder MC John.
Uncle John's I-Drive is a small children's park located near the NH Byepass at Cochin. Cochin which is the business capital of Kerala only has two well maintained parks for the residents. Both these parks are located in the heart of the city which makes it difficult to reach thanks to the heavy traffic. The launch of this small park which is away from the traffic of the city has proved to be a big boon to Cochinites. The park is modeled as a traffic park for kids with cycles, battery operated cars etc and other standard outdoor plays like slides, see-saw etc.
Pic Courtesy : The Hindu

What is interesting is that the whole concept of the park is ideated and executed by the brand. According to reports, the park is the idea of Mr.Joseph Simon who is a Director at the company which owns the brand. Another interesting fact is that the park charges Rs 25 as the entry fee ( per person) and the users can purchase ice-creams for that amount. The park already is a big hit among the residents of Cochin.

This park  is a classic case of smart marketing practice where the brand takes an initiative to offer something that is useful for the community ( also the target market) at the same time benefiting itself in the process. The investment of the park is huge but it is going to benefit the brand in the long-term. The brand through this idea is able to attract the TG and also makes them experience the products and at the same time provides enjoyment to them. This is a classic case of experiential marketing. 

However, the brand despite being innovative in the concept somehow was not aggressive in promoting its itself  in the park. Except for a hoarding there is not much OOH media inside the park that enhances the brand's visibility. In a typical Sunday, around 700 families visit the park and that is an audience a brand will die for.  There is lot of scope for innovation for the brand inside the park.Hope that the brand is able to sustain the park and gain its true return in terms of brand equity. The brand could have done lot of things inside the park that will enhance the brand's awareness and equity like
  • Events
  • Memorabilia
  • Merchandise
  • Contests
In the long term factors like safety, new games/rides, courteous staff, parking facilities, support of the corporation authorities will play a critical role in the success of this unique idea.