HIGH HOPES

Abstract:

After a dismal last year, consumer durable companies are betting on positive sentiments to drive sales in the ongoing festive season.

Main Article:

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Consumer durable manufacturers expect up to 35 per cent growth in the ongoing festive season. Major companies, such as Sony, LG, Panasonic and Whirlpool, are pulling out all the stops as the sector eyes a rebound from a prolonged slump.

Consumer durable companies are offering freebies, like hard disk drive, DVD players, carrying case and accessories, to attract buyers. Discounts, cash-back and extended-warranty schemes are also being employed to boost the festive demand. Companies are also adding new products in their line-up and offering an interesting mix of promotional offers on their flagship products.

Sony’s push

Sony, which expects sales of Rs 5,100 crore during the August-November period, has earmarked Rs 250 crore for its marketing budget to push sales. “Coupled with the boost in the customer sentiment, we are expecting to close the festive season with sales of Rs 5,100 crore with growth of 25 per cent over the corresponding period last year,” discloses Sunil Nayyar, who heads sales at Sony India.

“This festive season, we would be aggressively targeting our customers with a thrilling line-up, adding joy to the celebrations,” stresses Mr Nayyar He also adds that Sony is introducing promotional offers on Bravia TV and Alpha range of cameras and is also offering assured gifts.

"We are expecting to close the festive season with sales of Rs 5,100 crore with growth of 25 per cent over the correspond-ing period last year.
SUNIL NAYYAR
Sony India"

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Sony will be running special campaigns, including ATL and BTL activities, such as print, outdoor, shopfront and events, in order to push sales. “For the festive season this year, we have a dedicated marketing budget of Rs 250 crore, and we are confi dent that it will help us in achieving a strong response to our festive promotional offers,” notes Mr Nayyar.

LG’s splash

South Korean durables-maker LG, which sees a 35 per cent jump in turnover during the festive sales, is spending 50 per cent more than last year for marketing and branding. “We are witnessing a boost in consumers’ confidence on the hope of an economic recovery. Consumer sentiment is picking up, and we are very upbeat,” notes LG India Vice-President (Sales) Sanjeev Agarwal.

LG is also looking at social media and digital platforms as an important mode for its campaign during the festive period. “Digital medium will be an important platform for festive campaigns.

We always try our best to engage consumers through innovative digital campaigns,” reveals Sanjay Chitkara, LG India’s head of corporate marketing.

LG is offering sound bar and DVD player with select high-end televisions and magic-motion remote controller with selected smart TV models. It is launching its first-ever 360-degree brand campaign, highlighting its product portfolio.

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“The festive season is the most important season for LG. With the objective of maximising customer satisfaction and considering the changing lifestyle and robust economic growth, LG is lining up exciting offers,” reveals Mr Agarwal.

Panasonic’s offers

“We believe that the new government has resulted in a higher consumer confidence and stable rupee, which will definitely lead to an upsurge in sales this season,” opines Panasonic India Managing Director Manish Sharma.

"A significant part of our marketing budget for the festive offer is spent on digital promotion
MANISH SHARMA
Panasonic, India"

The Japanese consumer durables maker, which expects 25 per cent growth in sales as compared with sales during the same period last year, is spending Rs 85 crore for marketing initiatives and has run special campaign during the festive season on its Viera range of TV, microwaves, refrigerators and washing machines.

“Panasonic is making optimum use of all the available mediums to promote the festive offers, and social media is an essential part of it. A significant part of our marketing budget for the festive offer is spent on digital promotion,” adds Mr Sharma.

Panasonic has unveiled My Celebrations, My Choices campaign during the festival season and is providing special offers. “The campaign has been created keeping in mind the flavour and zest of the Indian festive season.

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Under this campaign, consumers can avail themselves of special offers on the purchase of Viera range of microwaves, refrigerators and washing machines,” adds Mr Sharma.

Whirlpool’s launches

Whirlpool of India Vice-President (Corporate Affairs and Strategy-Asia South) Shantanu Dasgupta is of the opinion that there is optimism in consumer sentiment, but it would not be as good as 2009 and 2010, when industry had posted 30 to 40 per cent growth. “We see a certain sense of optimism in consumer sentiment. The reality, however, is that cost of living has gone up, food inflation is high and interest rates have not come down,” he adds.

Whirlpool of India expects 20 per cent growth in volumes during the ongoing festive season and would spend Rs 12 crore on media cam campaigns.

“We will be launching a television campaign, specially created for the ongoing festive season. We will also support the promotion in print, radio and digital media,” reveals Mr Dasgupta, adding that it will target women in the age bracket of 25 to 44.

"We see a certain sense of optimism in consumer sentiment
SHANTANU DASGUPTA
Whirlpool of India"

The company is also leveraging the digital platform though its main focus would be on TV and print. “Our new TV campaign will be uploaded on YouTube and Facebook and our promotional details will also be communicated through the social media.

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However, our main communication medium will be TV and print because of their reach,” adds Mr Dasgupta. Whirlpool of India will be introducing a new washing machine and a range of high-end microwave ovens in its Indian product line-up, imported from its European factory.

Festive mood

After facing one of the worst festive seasons last year, consumer durable companies are bullish on the upcoming festive season and targeting strong, double-digit growth. Industry executives feel that the new government has ushered in a sense of greater stability in consumers.

Consumer durable companies are going beyond traditional routes of marketing campaigns by logging on to social media platforms, like Facebook and YouTube, to tap young consumers. Apart from running special campaigns of ATL and BTL activities, such as print, outdoor, shop front and events, the companies are also targeting the 20 to 40 age bracket through various social media platforms.

With extension of Excise Duty sops to consumer durable companies until the end of December, prices of many products have also been largely stable, and companies have not been taking any steep hikes in the recent past. They are now hoping that high footfalls during the festive season translate into tangible revenue.


BUDDING MANAGERS

NOVEMBER 2014 ISSUE


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Author:  buddingmanagers
Posted On:  Wednesday, 26 November, 2014 - 17:18

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