The Indian marketplace is evolving at a ferocious pace. And one of its impacts is visible in increasing use of marketing concepts in unconventional sectors like books, hair and beauty salons, e-commerce and even new food categories like oats.
The success of brands like Hair Xpreso from Jawed Habib, Quaker Oats, Flipkart. com and Books by Amish Tripathi are a few examples that show that if applied rightly, marketing principles can work wonders for the under-marketed categories too.
Take for instance Jawed Habib’s Hair Xpreso – India’s first affordable designer hair-styling brand. Habib has rightly tapped into the consumer insight of Indian masses getting conscious about brands, but at a reasonable price. Thus, he created his nofrills dry hair-styling unisex salons that offer a big brand label (Habib) at affordable price points. This has made Hair Xpreso a rage among the masses. Habib says, “People are hungry to come to Jawed Habib, a name which has in the last 20 years earned a place of respect and even greater brand value. But most of these mass consumers are scared of high prices, Hair Xpreso is the answer. So they can get a branded haircut for mere Rs 99 and walk out with pride.” This has resulted in huge brand building for brand Habib, so much so that the kiosks have monthly walkins of 35,000 customers. That’s the largest walk-in for any single hair or beauty salon.
Also, distribution which is an important part of marketing, has also played a key role in the success of this salon. Hair Xpreso salons are largely situated in malls and other high footfall markets, capitalizing on the modern retail phenomenon. With this idea, Habib has once again rewritten the script in the hair-styling space and is challenging not just other branded salons but also the local beauty salon market.
At Pitch CMO Summit, Habib will reveal how he has scripted the success of HairXpreso.
Another case in point is Flipkart.com, which has registered itself among India’s top e-commerce websites. Flipkart.com rightly understood the Indian consumer’s inhibitions about online buying and went for mass media advertising addressing these fears. Ravi Vora, VP (Marketing), Flipkart, explains, “While most consumers in our core target group understand the benefits of online shopping, i.e., selection, price and convenience, many are held back by apprehensions associated with online purchase of physical goods. We wanted to address these concerns and bring those shopping offline into the online space. Our latest campaign brings to the fore some of our unique initiatives, for which we have got very encouraging response from our customers.”
In less than four years since its inception, Flipkart has clocked a registered user base of 1 million across the country. The company is fast gaining dominance in product categories like music, video, computers, electronics, mobile phones, healthcare and personal product categories. Currently, it sells around 18,000 items every day across categories, clocking revenues of Rs 1.3 crore per day. The ‘Cash on Delivery’ option has surely helped the brand address the biggest issue of Indian consumers while shopping online: Trust.
At the Pitch CMO Summit, Vora will divulge more about the buying behaviour of Indian consumers in the digital marketplace.
Another interesting example of marketing a product category which was non-existent in the country is oats. PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats, with appropriate marketing strategies, has very successfully made Quaker Oats a successful product and at the same time a popular category. Vidur Vyas, Director Marketing, PepsiCo India (Foods) has stewarded the New Business and Health & Wellness Category, where he played an instrumental role in launching the Quaker brand in India.
At the Pitch CMO Summit, Vyas will share his secret marketing recipe that has led Quaker Oats along the success path.
The most interesting example of marketing driving the success in an unusual category is the success of bestsellers ‘The Immortals of Meluah’ and ‘The Secret of the Nagas’ written by Amish Tripathi. Tripathi, an IM graduate and an ex-banker, put to use some unconventional marketing like videotrailers describing the books (both on web and in-store), events, etc. His unconventional marketing (apart from his excellent writing skills) has made him an overnight publishing phenomenon. Released in March 2010, Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy (of which two books, The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas have been published) has over 350,000 copies in print. As Tripathi rightly puts it, “Books need to be both written well and marketed well. Doing just one will not do.” Tripathi will share his learnings from ‘Marketing the Undermarketed’ at the Pitch CMO Summit.
We realised that if these marketing mantras can work wonders in such unusual categories, perhaps, a microscopic look at these case studies will drive learnings for the mainstream sectors too. Hence, we have invited these marketing kings of the unusual space to share their learnings with the rest of the marketing fraternity at the Pitch CMO Summit.