labels: marketing - general
Amtrex, Hitachi & Samsung: no less aggressivenews
Mohini Bhatnagar
29 March 2000

If LG spent Rs 8 crore on product advertising during the World Cup Cricket in 1999, Samsung spent Rs 9 crore. Samsung India received a shot in the arm late last year when theairconditioner.jpg (3506 bytes) government permitted it to continue with the imports of white goods as well as continue with plans to manufacture the products in India over the next three years. The company is targeting a sales growth of 70 per cent and a turnover of Rs 1,500 crore by 2001, mainly on the strength of increased white goods component in its product portfolio.

With ACs, Samsung's marketing strategy is to highlight the technological features of its products that ensure that the ambient air is "healthy and pure". It recently launched its Insta Chill range of window and split ACs.

Its entire range of room ACs is being marketed under the proposition of "Health Air Systems".

Samsung introduced new models of ACs last year, which incorporate the latest 5-step heat exchanger technology. Its expansion strategy includes setting up of an R&D centre. According to K.S. Kim, managing director, Samsung India, the company has invested $5 million in the new R&D facility, which will support designing requirements for Indian as well neighbouring markets.

Earlier this year, Samsung launched its new 2000 Home Appliances range,comprising ACs, bio-ceramic microwave ovens, bio-fresh refrigerators and semi-automatic washing machines.

Amtrex, after tying up with Hitachi of Japan, is following a dual brand strategy. Hitachi is positioned as a technically superior, high-end brand while Amtrex is for the mass-market.

With its stated policy of product innovation and rapid introduction of new products, Amtrex has grown at a compound rate of 90 per cent in the last four years, against an industry average of 35 per cent. It feels that the introduction of new products is its key to greater customer satisfaction. In fact, 95 per cent of its sales were of products introduced in the last four years.

When in-house research conducted by the company revealed that in Indian homes, ACs are mainly used during the night to get a comfortable sleep, it introduced, for the first time, intelligent room ACs that are compact and silent. Christened Nidra, meaning sleep, the product incorporates a logic temperature control system that helps to keep room temperature at comfort levels as the ambient temperature drops. Amtrex claims that the product uses 20 per cent less electricity than ordinary ACs.

Amtrex's marketing strategy has been to focus on the product features of its ACs by giving them a distinctive identity through it's "Power of silence" series of ad campaigns.

As for Hitachi, the latest advertising positions it "For those who seek perfection". The TV ad campaign takes amusing slants, fitted into slice-of-life situations. Like the ad that has this man sitting at a hairdressing saloon, asking for a little snip here and a snip there, while day turns to night outside. Or our same man in the kitchen with his family, trying to get a perfectly round chapatti done, to the extent of doing the fine trims with a pair of scissors, as the wife, son and daughter offer their expert comments.

As India steps into its summer of 2000, no doubt our television sets will beam a lot more of attention-grabbing advertising on AC brands. And product features and propositions will certainly get more sophisticated.

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Amtrex, Hitachi & Samsung: no less aggressive