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Road Recipe for Brand Building


There are many ways of brand success. One sure way in INDIA, a land of over 5000 towns and six lakhs villages, is ROAD MARKETING. It is cost effective and suitable to Indian conditions.

I call marketing done to consumers while they are traveling on road as ROAD MARKETING. They could be traveling by foot or bicycle or two wheeler or car or taxi or by bus or any other vehicle including bullock carts and tractors in the rural areas.

I have broken up my recommendations of ROAD MARKETING into six parts. I have given them road friendly names, and I shall take you through them for successful brand building. The six parts are: 1. All senses road 2. Availability Path 3. Visibility Street 4. Outdoor way 5. Signage lane 6. Dabha rasta,

1. All senses road
In order to succeed in marketing all Silliness need to be appealed to. While traveling on the road, there are ample opportunities to let consumers experience "the brand benefits through sight, audio, touch and feel, smell and taste. The recent success of FM channels is a prime example of an audio opportunity of road marketing being used well by channels like RAOIO CITY, RADIO MIRCHI, WIN, RED, GO and many other channels on which virtually every conceivable category has chosen to advertise .The consumer on the road has been given regular advertising message in a very cost effective manner: similarly whether through sampling of food products to passers by through taste or through visual appeals or through the touch and feel of the roadside vendor's merchandise, all senses have to be directed to, in an integrated manner for effective road marketing. This is what I call the 'all senses road'.

2. Availability path
In any successful marketing effort there must be easy availability, whether of goods or services. When a consumer goes to the market to buy brands; he or she is motivated by the fact that he or she would get what one needs. That makes the consumer come on the 'road' to shop. If the consumer is not aware of where he or she would find whatever is needed, he would get lost and also irritated. This is where road marketing could help through the' availability path'. There could be directions provided as well maps and pamphlets distributed to the relevant prospective audience. Many a time the Consumer spends more time searching for the place to purchase a good or service rather than actually purchasing the good or service. Apart from the knowledge of the place, there should be widespread availability of the brand to easily facilitate the road consumer to browse and buy.

3. Visibility Street
While traveling oh the road there is a great opportunity to catch the consumers' eye through good visibility. Here I do not mean the outdoor conventional media. That I would tackle in the next point. I am referring to unconventional creative ways of gaining visibility on the road. There are times where on Mumbai's l"1arine Drive young boys and girls stand with innovative banners announcing a new launch. Or the old but now unused sandwich man walking visibility cuts the clutter. All this has to be done after taking the legal local authorities' permission and sanction. There are many exciting ways of creating local visibility and excitement which is what I call the' visibility street' to catch the attention of the consumers.

4. Outdoor way
This is a time-tested way of marketing to consumers in a location, which is out of home or out of office. The options of hoardings, billboards, bus panels, kiosks, are all various choices for the 'outdoor way' of road marketing. Unfortunately there are very few measures to check the effectiveness of various outdoor media. There have been attempts made by the advertising and marketing industry to evaluate the outdoor media but in spurts, not on a regular basis, unlike the constant, evaluation of media like TV. However, the outdoor way is extremely effective in road marketing specially for a new product launch or for the announcement of a promotion or for marketing a local brand or a national brand locally. In road marketing the outdoor way is the backbone of communicating to the road consumers and has been performing well in terms of reaching out to consumers.

5. Signage lane
The second last element of my Road Marketing strategy is to have important signage’s in vantage positions whether at shop locations or atop buildings or other unconventional locations like traffic islands or adopted parks. The significance of important signage's is very high .for the consumers. In fact the signage lane usage is an important gain for the marketeer.

6 Dabha rasta
Finally, the highways and motorways and the rural kuchha roads also provide opportunities for effective marketing. I call this Dabha rasta. Companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi have used the dabhas and wall paintings very effectively and so also have Hindustan Lever and ITC. India mainly lives in the villages and its roads lead to the minds and hearts of consumers.

Let us now take a look at the future keeping the above six elements in mind as well as some opportunities in road marketing. There could be biggest surface area of roads being used for angular signage's like on cricket fields, provided it is safe and legally okay. The revenue could be used for upkeep and upgradation of roads In India. There could be 'ribbon' signage's used by corporates for beautification of roads. Similarly there could be many more opportunities which could be looked at for road marketing.

Thus I would recommend the usage of my ROAD MARKETING strategy for a cost effective brand building exercise. Actually real marketing only begins when you go to the field on the road. Get out of your air-conditioned cabins and hit the road. I am sure you would succeed. This is one for the road!

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