A New Thrust in furniture and ambience marketing
BY JAGDEEP KAPOOR
MARKETERS try to understand their own market via varied analysis. They try to find out contribution of sales from various towns, regionality, as well as seasonality for the relevant product category. Just as summer is an extremely potential season for product categories like soft drinks and ice-creams and winter is an excellent season for sweaters and other warm cloth offerings, the rainy season, the monsoon provides an exciting opportunity to some marketing people.
Certain product categories look up to the rains for their gains.
If we try to understand this slice of the year as a segment to be marketed to, we must also first understand what segmentation means. A market segment consists of buyers who seek (occasionally or often) the same offering. The concept of a market as a set and a segment as a subset is the basis on which the process of segmentation is carried out. But relationship of a segment to a market is also one of means to goals and this has two implications. First, since means for accomplishing goals can be varied, different segments of a market may demand radically different offerings, with buyers in one segment not regarding what is being offered in another segment as being an adequate substitute. For example, an umbrella for a rain- coat. Secondly, since people choose within the context of what is available, they are not satisfied with what they buy. A possibility always remains of designing an offering better suited to the segment.
If we continue the example of umbrellas for raincoats, one sees a drastic change in the form and styling of umbrellas. Earlier, all umbrellas were black, but today you get branded, colourful and easily portable folding ones. Similarly, in the case of raincoats, the shapes and designs and colours now cater to modern, contemporary tastes. Marketers start planning their ‘Rain Campaign’, quite early. Since the clear benefit provided to the consumers is one of protection from rain, shoes also fall in the same category. Other product categories who look forward to rains, are a mixed lot.
On the industrial product side, major contractors would be awarded road contracts filling pot holes on the roads, while creating holes in the tax payers pockets. Further, the cement industry also does get a share in the works, specially during and after the rains have done their damage to the roads.
On the consumer durable front, cars and two wheelers need to be geared up to meet the onslaught of the monsoons. In cars, wipers start making their re-appearance. Since, the major illness are caused due to problems with the quality of water, water purifiers, water filters and safe water offerings, have a certain appeal to the customer.
On the pharmaceutical side, this is an important season for some companies. In fact, though it sounds sadistic problems with health and hygiene occur during the rains and pharmaceutical companies are ready with their brand offerings to provide solutions and relief to the potential and existing patients. A related category, in the field of medicine, is the universe of doctors. Their practice, in some quarters, does show an upward trend.
Cough and cold remedies, start advertising rather heavily during this season, though a lot of other categories like air- conditioners and soft drinks find this a relatively lean season. The entire range of cough and cold remedies, whether in the form of balms, rubs, lozenges or syrups, start aggressive marketing and sales exercise, with brands competing fiercely with each other.
The industry which has really created a market in the rains, is the service sector. Let us take the example of hotel chains. Their marketing, specially in Goa, reigns during the rains. ‘Goa in the Rains’ or ‘Monsoon Package’ have been so well positioned and developed, that they have been able to attract consumers to their hotels, at lower prices and improve their occupancy.
Without this splendid monsoon marketing exercise some of the hotels would have landed up closing down for a three month period during monsoon. It definitely is an illustration of using positioning to create a perception of a beautiful ‘Goa Experience’ in the rains and making it a much to be desired location and time. The hidden motivation, is of course, the lower package prices. However, the brilliance lies in the fact the consumers experience Goa at a lower cost and yet camouflage their need for lower prices, by, projecting a linking for a ‘Goa in the Rains’ experience.
The other area of activity during the rains involves sales promotion. A branded umbrella free, along with every purchase of some consumer durables, also uses the rains effectively to their advantages.
Thus, we see that whether through the route of relieving pains or exciting campaigns there exist gains during the rains, for some marketing companies.
Copyright © 2005, All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor – Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
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The author is Jagdeep Kapoor, Brand Guru and Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy.
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