Bosch India has launched a new campaign titled ‘Indian Kitchen ka Dishwasher’ to educate consumers and bust common myths about dishwasher usage. Neeraj Bahl, MD & CEO, BSH Home Appliances talks about the brand’s latest campaign, expectations from the festive season and the impact of the lockdown on the consumer durables industry
Q] Tell us about the brand’s dishwasher campaign - ‘Indian Kitchen Ka Dishwasher’. What was the insight behind it?
Indian consumers have a huge block when it comes to automated dish cleaning. Hence, we had to push them to change this mindset. One of the biggest assumptions in the consumer’s mind is that dishwashers are not fit for Indian kitchens, utensils and cooking habits. Thus, this campaign is aimed to address and mitigate myths and assumptions regarding dishwashers and how the product is suited for Indian kitchens and vessels too.
Q] The campaign is already live across digital platforms and social media channels. What consumer reactions have you received so far?
Its early stages in the campaign, as the paid media has just started. But the reaction is overwhelming, the reaction from the audience is good and we can see the demand grow.
Q] Since the campaign is to go live on OTT platforms as well in September, what was the thought behind launching it first on social media and Google Display Network and waiting for the OTT launch till September?
We wanted to utilise owned media first and then get into paid media. Plus we are targeting some OTT content which is pegged to launch in September.
ABOUT THE BRAND
BSH Hausgeräte GmbH is a manufacturer of home appliances in Europe. BSH operates in about 42 factories in 13 countries in Europe, USA, Latin America and Asia. Together with a global network of sales and customer service firms, the BSH family is made up of about 70 companies in 46 countries, with a total workforce of nearly 61,000 people. It had a turnover of 13.4 billion Euros in 2018. With a portfolio of 13 brands, BSH covers a wide range of consumer needs. Alongside the global brands Bosch and Siemens as well as Gaggenau and Neff, the portfolio comprises local brands such as Thermador, Balay, Coldex, Constructa, Pitsos, Profilo. BSH is a company of The Bosch Group.
Creative Agency: MissMalini Entertainment
PR Agency: Genesis BCW
Q] Since this is a relatively new product category in Indian market, how do you intend to build confidence among consumers about the durability of the product?
German engineering and its robust built quality has been able to instil confidence in consumers. In addition, the appliance comes with a two-year manufacturing warranty.
Q] How has the ongoing pandemic and the lockdown affected the home appliances category? With domestic help no longer an option for many households during the pandemic, have you seen an increase in demand for home appliances?
With the COVID-19 outbreak, things were not as we planned them to be for the year 2020. It has been tough times for the consumer durables industry. For us, the sale season begins in the month of July and we are optimistic about the same for our washing machines and dishwashers. We had already been receiving pre- orders for these products. However, from a refrigerator sales and manufacturing standpoint, we have been impacted. We were expecting a healthy double-digit growth for the year. Since the lockdown, we have witnessed a surge in the demand for dishwashers and we expect to continue seeing this surge. In fact, we have already started receiving a lot of enquiries and bookings for dishwashers.
Q] Though the restrictions have been eased out, the pandemic is still at its peak, especially in the metros. What measures has the company been undertaking to ensure the safety of its consumers as well as employees amidst the ongoing pandemic?
We have been following the WFH policy for all our employees, and we have a robust crisis management team, which has made doctors and isolation centres on call for all the employees. For consumers, as our appliances are completely installed by our technicians, we make sure low contact installation is followed at consumer homes. Our technicians use PPE kits and take additional care during installation.
Q] Looking at the current scenario, what change do you anticipate from consumers during the festive season this year? How do you think consumers will look at festivities during the health crisis?
The overall mood will be uplifting and positive. People want to step out but at the same time be cautious and sure about what they are getting into.
Q] How do you think the pandemic has changed the marketing approach for businesses?
Customers will naturally shift to e-commerce now keeping in mind safety and will avoid going to markets physically. BSH will service the required e-commerce channels as per consumer need/wherever the customer is present.
Q] How would you define the brand’s journey in India over the years?
It has been a good launch and learning phase for us here in India. We are less than a decade old in India and have learnt a lot over this decade from our consumers, trade partners and suppliers/vendors. These are very important learnings and will help us to get stronger in our growing up phase.
Q] What is that one USP which sets you apart from the other players in the market?
Germans are known for their strong technical know-how and our brand is known for that the world over.
Q] Which medium do you plan on investing in the most, going forward?
Going forward, Digital will be a very pivotal medium to run campaigns and engage with consumers. But traditional media has got its own relevance. So, we will be using both, traditional and Digital as and when required.
Neeraj Bahl is the Managing Director & CEO at BSH Household Appliances. Prior to joining BSH, he was the Group Chief Sales for retail and online at Panasonic India Pvt. Ltd. In his role as the Business Head for Consumer Electronics at Panasonic, he was responsible for increasing sales of TV panels from 3% to over 10% market share within a span of six-seven years. He contributed in expanding the company’s sales network from 5000 to more than 15000. Bahl specialises in establishing new business ventures, cracking big corporate deals and also has the expertise in handling modern trade and organized retail. With over 25 years of experience, Bahl has also worked with leading global organizations including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Electrolux India.
Learning more and more about consumers will always be helpful from a marketing point of view, hence one should always be in an investigative mode and hear them carefully.