Ajay Seth
Head Channel Operations,
Panasonic India

Message – Brand to Retail

The Indian festive season marks the commencement of celebrations that begin with Onam in Kerala in September, continues through Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra and Durga Puja in West Bengal, Diwali in October and continue through Christmas till January, jacking up the propensity of customers to spend. To cash in on the demand spike, manufacturers have been upping the ante through introduction of promotional campaigns (through discounts, freebies, and offers, among others) and extending the sale season too.

The festival season offers a great opportunity for businesses to reconnect with current and prospective clients and customers. Additionally, it allows companies to launch new products, increase brand penetration, and make their products more accessible in the market. Also known as the sale period, it is an exciting time for corporates where brands across industries, product categories and price points offer exciting deals and discounts on their services and products.

Customs and traditions related to gifting are also on the rise as the increased spending capacity of India’s consumers grows, leading to high sales across all categories of consumer products during the festive season. The corporate culture in India sees organizations extending monetary bonuses during this period. Most sales and discount offers are made around this time to maximize sales and revenue.

Traditionally, the period witnesses a spike in advertising and sales as brands go on discount and the same is communicated to the consumer through advertisements. With the advent of social media, the markets have evolved and so have the consumer preferences on how they chose to consume, making it imperative for brands to be visible on these platforms. Some companies are also doing 360-degree campaign, which involves creating value-driven mechanisms of television commercials, radio and print, on-ground activations, retail presence, and merchandising mechanisms. The following trends help in increasing the sales of the products. The exclusive brand websites are another attraction to lure more customers during this season.    

A flooded and competitive marketplace presents a win-win situation for the end consumer. But does that directly result in an increase in sales? The answer is no. A major reason for this that identifying the right target audience, the platform they consumer information on and the manner in which they like consuming the information is changing at a dynamic pace. It is imperative for brands to find the sweet spot.

Brands are increasingly acknowledging the need for innovative advertising techniques involving clear call out for the end-consumer. While some brands focus on the celebrations, some focus on aspirations and need. Be it advertising, brand integrations, influencer outreach or media launches, brands are going the extra mile and trying innovative ways to connect with their audiences.

There is a direct relation between impactful campaigns and its result on the sales. These are especially important during the festive season. Furthermore, the rise in disposal income of the consumers, growing consumer aspirations and easy availability of credit has triggered strong growth in the sales of high-value consumer durables, such as panel TVs, split air conditioners, frost-free refrigerators, and fully automatic washing machines in recent years. Of the innumerable options available for financing, interest- free schemes are the most popular. Financing schemes enable customers, especially those with lower income levels, to use future income streams to buy consumer products upfront and pay in installments over a period. Consumer durables finance schemes are generally available at the dealer location or the showroom. The beneficiaries are not only customers, but also lenders, manufacturers and retailers.

2018 has been a year of innovation across product categories and how the communication around these categories is created. The market is flooded with brands offering similar products across different price points. Attention spans have come down drastically, making it all the more important for brands to communicate with their audiences in an explicit manner.

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