New festivals of impulse purchase

Festive season, traditionally, has been the time for brands to loosen their purse strings to tempt the consumer in many different ways. For high ticket items it continues to be so. However, for FMCG, specially impulse purchase category, new vistas have opened up in form of multiple ‘Days’ being celebrated. Perhaps Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are the most emotionally charged and hence can be leveraged to the maximum, however, Friendship and Father’s Day too are holding their own.

Interestingly, these days are not just a big city phenomenon anymore.  High decibel marketing communication and digital expanse have made sure that youth in smaller cities too are in sync.
Santosh Padhi, Co-founder and CCO, Taproot opines, “60 percent of India’s population is below 30. Hence, it forces brands to look at this big community in a different way. When they are celebrating something like Friendship Day, brands have to celebrate those days by default. Every youth brand likes to make its presence felt on such occasions. In my view, there are many more brands looking at the prospect of riding on these days.”

As the consumer gets savvier, shelf space gets more cluttered and middle class continues to bloom, brands make every attempt to connect with the consumer at an emotional level. Emotionally charged environment of these ‘Days’ makes it a perfect opportunity to connect.
Balakrishna P.M, COO, Allied Media says, “Brands are looking at multiple touchpoints to connect with their customers. Beside the normal marketing window of festive occasions, multiple innovative touchpoints are being explored.” He draws attention to world becoming smaller by the day, “Brands coming with international experience see a similar trend emerging here as well. Consumerism overall has seen a change where it is no longer traditional. Other trends are emerging which are being clearly indicated by data analysis. Consumers are resonating to innovative thoughts and brands are capitalising on it.”
Harish Bijoor, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, adds a new dimension to it. He believes that almost every day of the year provides a marketing opportunity and soon we would see marketing tactics built around many of them. He states, “When the big days get cluttered by marketer and brand participation, brands look for smaller days. Literally every day of the year presents a potential here. Brands need to choose days to promote basis their fit to the brand proposition statement at hand. A brand of beer can pick the International Beer Day, as a good fit for instance.”

With digital media gaining roots, these ‘Days’ are getting entrenched deeply.  A single message by someone in online friend circle has the ability to influence many others – and it is a perfect opportunity for marketers to reach a consumer who is already engaged.  To quote Bijoor, “Digital provides a terrific potential to position the unique day cleverly. Marry digital with Big Data and you have a killer proposition in this space.”

Add to it the power of customised communication and the opportunity of high ROI increases even further. It would be interesting to find out how many beyond the age of 30 did witness Friendship Day communication by brands in their online space.
Balakrishna says, “It goes without saying that today digital communication can be completely customised in terms of target audience and messaging. Digital is a large space, and if your target audience is there, it becomes a pertinent touchpoint. As it has a large youth base and penetration of digital and mobile is increasing, it is emerging as a very strong platform for certain product categories.”

Padhi, meanwhile, admonishes that brands do not adopt one size fits all strategy. He states, “Wherever it is relevant, of course, it is important. More than 50% youth are on digital and it makes sense to connect them there on a Friendship Day or Valentine’s Day. If you are talking about Senior Citizenship Day in a hypothetical way, digital would not be the platform of choice because those 60-70 plus won’t be on digital medium.”

While on traditional media, communicating two different messages at the same time creates confusion, it is quite easy on digital media. While brands offer a monsoon discount to 35+ people, they can communicate to youth in their own language.  As for the ‘Days’, as long as they provide a window to the marketers, we would continue to see a spike in marketing spends there.  What impressed a lot this year is limited edition flavour launch by Cadbury Dairy Milk. A marketing gimmick or a sampling/test marketing drive at its best!


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