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The holidays are over. School has just begun and students are getting physically and mentally prepared to go back to their classes. This period of time- a week before and a week after the beginning of school, is a very lucrative marketing segment. While some countries are going BACK TO BASICS, some Indian markets have successfully gone BACK TO SCHOOL.

There are so many product categories which get affected during this period of time. Let’s begin at the beginning. For every kid joining school for the first time or going to the next class, it is important to have a new school uniform. Readymade garment manufacturers and departmental stores seem to have made the task of student’s parents easier. All that one has to do is to go to a store selling readymade garments and give the name of the school and presto ! The whole uniform set is ready to be picked up by sizes. No longer do you need to buy basic clothes and get it tailored. In fact, some schools have different coloured uniforms from different classes in the primary section for easy identification. Thus, you can ask the store keeper for the uniform of that class and he would give you the appropriate coloured uniform along with the respective division already mentioned on the dress.

The next is the footwear. Coupled with the resumption of school is the start of rains. Footwear manufacturers are busy selling ordinary and monsoon footwear of various colours, styles and sizes to students. Separate shoes are also needed for sports events. Further, different coloured socks as well as ties are also needed by the students as part of the uniform.

Going further, school bags are another important category that parents have to indulge their children in. Gone are the days of ordinary tin bags or even canvas green or beige or brown bags. Over the last few years, school bags have become fancier. Mickey Mouse or Goofy, He-Man or WWF, Pokemon or Harry Potter characters- the choice is wide. Fluorescent colours are in.Manufacturers like Pidilite, Navneet, Premsons, Camlin , Samsonite also have this time as an important selling season. Pencils, pens, pencil boxes are all replenished by parents for their children. Tiffin boxes, with colourful designs and various compartments are also purchased. Water bottles, displaying different colours or messages of various popular consumer brands are sold by the dozen , as safe drinking water is important to both, the parents and students.

Today there is a facility available to have bags which work like a stroller as well as the facility of exchanging your old bags for new ones. In fact, the World Environment Day which just passed had manufacturers offering eco-friendly notebooks and also manufacturers conducting workshops creatively with communication through SMS messages. Here, Navneet and Pidilite take the lead through their various brands including ‘Eco Buddy My Note Books” from Navneet and Acron Rangeela art material and Fevicryl Hobby Ideas from Pidilite.

Having bought the school bags, next is the purchase of books- text books and note books- which are sold by various manufacturers under their brand name. The list is already provided by the school as brand decisions on the text books and work books have already been taken by the school authorities from amongst various brands.

Another segment which automatically opens up is the coaching segment. Coaching classes start their teaching courses having already advertised and admitted students earlier. For the tenth standard, study books also get marketed by resourceful publications.Thus, we see that, going to school is not ‘just another activity’. It gets many marketers ‘back into action!’.

Copyright © 2005, All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor – Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
No part of this document may be modified, reproduced, stored, deleted or introduced in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (Electronic, Mechanical, Photocopying, Recording or Otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner of the document.

The author is Jagdeep Kapoor, Brand Guru and Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy.
Tel: (022) 28477700/7701 (022) 28470214/15
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E-mail : jkapoor@samsika.com