Marketing review

16 Aug 2007


The repositioning of MTV
Music Television (MTV) has finally decided to move slightly away from what its name stands for - Music.

In a repositioning exercise after 10 years, the channel''s slogan ''Music Masti — Enjoy!'' will now make way for ''My MTV'' - a more personalised, ''cool'' channel that spills over onto other platforms.

According to Ashish Patil, vice president, creative and content, there has been a substantial and fundamental consumer shift, with research on redefining ''cool'' having thrown up three key insights.

First, says Patil, a huge Bollywood fan himself, is the shift best described by who he calls a "very influential philosopher" — Abhishek Bachchan — who once said, "It''s Bunty and Bubbly''s jugadoo philosophy; they can''t wait for the next TV episode of Prison Break or Lost, they''ll download it."

The second insight is: Rebellion or sticking out is no longer cool. The need to belong drives MTV''s consumers to communities like Facebook and Orkut.

And finally, says Patil, once again referring to Bollywood, "It''s not about loving your family but loving yourself."

MTV is also making itself present on other platforms, to take music beyond television. The plans now cover three screens - the computer, the mobile and the TV. The channel is reasserting youth connect, which comprises a fickle and painful to please audience of young people. The immediate challenge for MTV is to get back its audience, which is potentially spending more time in front of the computer rather than watching MTV. To do that, music will now have to make room for programmes on careers, dating, gaming and gadgets.

My MTV will be a lot more personalised, reflecting the consumer''s need for individualisation.

Pizza Hut focuses on developing restaurant outlets
New Delhi: Pizza Hut, the flagship brand of quick service restaurant (QSR) company Yum! Restaurant International, has announced that its restaurant outlets will be the focus area, which will drive growth in India, as this is an area where competition is starting to heat up.

According to Niren Chaudhary, managing director, Indian subcontinent, Yum! Restaurants International, "Our strategy for Pizza Hut is to make it a ''treat you can''t beat''".

To achieve that, Pizza Hut aims to position itself as a brand that not only provides tasty food, but also an exceptional entertaining experience at its outlets. This strategy is likely to form the USP for the company''s forthcoming brands as well.

Goodyear India rolls out new marketing campaign
Mumbai: Goodyear India has embarked on a new marketing campaign, which focuses primarily on the customer. The company has plans to set up 250 international format shop-in-shop outlets by the end of next year, which would be air-conditioned outlets having an international look-and-feel and attractive range-based display. These would use computerised software for easy access to tyre information, and carry striking branding.

The size of the store-in-store format will vary between 400-900 square feet, and will be standalone Goodyear retail outlets aimed sustaining and building strong customer loyalty.

The company has also set up a 24-hour call centre to manage complaints, queries, suggestions and feedback on tyres, under the name "Goodyear Wheel Assist". This phone line will provide customers with information on dealer contacts, tyre range and prices and current schemes.

Initiating an educational drive for women with valid driving licences, the company aims to offer free tyre check-ups, tips on balancing, alignment and guidance on tyre maintenance in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Chandigarh.

Goodyear is also about to set up a Goodyear online club called ''Goodyear My Turf'', aimed at catering to elite Goodyear customers, and comprising blogs and interactive content to build the Goodyear brand.

This slew of marketing initiatives by the company forms part of the ''Take the winning turn'' marketing campaign.

Vimal gets a makeover
Ahmedabad: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is reportedly planning a countrywide re-launch of its textile brand Vimal, this festive season beginning September-October. Including fabric and home furnishings, the company is also reportedly keen on the option of launching readymade garments via outsourcing as part of the bouquet.

According to sources, RIL began preparations for the Vimal re-launch in January 2007, and is reportedly pumping in about Rs20-25 crore into an aggressive brand-building exercise, designed to bring back into reckoning what was once one of country''s well-known fabric brands.

The Vimal brand began with sarees in the ''70s, and grew to include men''s suitings in the ''80s, followed by home furnishings under the Harmony brand thereafter. The re-launch is expected to infuse new life into the textile unit that has been virtually dormant for over five years largely on account of the company''s focus on other businesses.

Given its entry into modern retail formats, Reliance sees great potential in reviving Vimal to leverage synergies between its oldest and newest businesses. The existing 20-odd exclusive Vimal outlets across the country would also get a fresh look as part of the re-launch, and new outlets could possibly be embedded into the Reliance Mart format.

Archies to tap corporate gifts business
Bangalore: Gifts and greeting cards company Archies Ltd is strengthening its corporate gifts business to cater to high-end customers in the segment.

Launching Giftworks, Archies plans to tap the corporate gifting business, which is largely unorganised in the country, within the next few months. The company recently launched a separate division for the business, and is expecting three per cent of its turnover to come from the corporate gifts business.

Giftworks aims to serve the high quality, niche gifts business in the country, offering over 100 products sourced from across the world. The price ranges between Rs200 and Rs12,000 per product, with the product line covering golf-related products, wine sets, bottle holders and candle lights, which are the most popular gift items presently.

5-star Weddings: Hyderabad Marriott promotes ''one-stop wedding'' solution
The Hyderabad Marriott is planning an aggressive promotion of the concept of ''one-stop wedding'' solutions.

Apparently, the concept has been well received, and received an overwhelming response from people and the local business community in Hyderabad. The hotel now plans to conduct wedding expos, similar to the Hyderabad Wedding Expo 2007, during all weddings seasons of the year. The objective of the expo was to provide an opportunity to people to evaluate their various needs pertaining to marriages.

According to the hotel, around 65 business houses have approached it to be part of the wedding expo. The Marriott is also offering wedding planners.

The hotel id reported to have fixed a charge of Rs965 per head for wedding parties, including accommodation, and the hotel chain is also looking at the possibility of similar exhibitions by Marriott in other cities in India sometime in the future.

Leading local business houses put up stalls for pearls, jewellery, saris, wedding trousseaus, mehendi, bridal make-up, DJ and innovations. Also seen at the venue were good numbers of pundits.

A fashion show displayed designer collections in bridal wear from Brisah and Mebaz. The response to this largely unparalleled event was in excess of 5,000 visitors.

SBI Cards expands its presence to 150 cities
New Delhi:
SBI Cards, the joint venture between SBI and GE Money, plans to increase its geographical presence to 150 cities by end-March 2008, according to chief executive, Roopam Asthana.

Already present in 110 cities and plans to add another 40 by the end of the current financial year. SBI Cards had recently entered Siliguri in the North-East, and is now looking at expanding into Gangtok. Non-metro south and west have proved to be good in terms of business.

SBI''s recent announcement to enter into merchant acquisition business is also seen as a positive move, as less number of terminals for card acceptance has been a challenge for the credit card industry.

SBI Cards is also seeking tie-ups with players in organised retailing and health care industries, as card spends are likely to rise.

Tata Tea plans Russian JV, keen on US market
Tata Tea Ltd plans to set up a joint venture company in Russia, and is keen to expand its share of the US beverage market.

The world''s second-largest branded tea company, Tata Tea has seen an expansion of its overseas presence, by buying herbal and fruit tea brands in the United States and Eastern Europe, recently securing 70 per cent in a joint venture in China for tea.

R K Krishna Kumar, vice chairman, Tata Tea, told reporters after the annual shareholders meeting, "We are planning to set up a joint venture in Russia, which will look at opportunities in both tea and coffee, for Russia and adjoining areas. We are talking to a few companies, and hope to set up the joint venture by the end of the current fiscal (March)," he said.

Tata Tea owns the Tetley tea brand. It is keen to increase its portfolio of non-tea beverages. The company recently bought a stake in India''s Mount Everest Mineral Water Ltd. after selling its 30-per cent holding in Energy Brands Inc. to the Coca-Cola Co. (See: Tata Tea to get $1.2 billion as Coke acquires Glaceau)

Reportedly, Tata Tea was evaluating Cadbury Schweppes Plc''s North American beverages unit, and could possibly make a $2-billion offer for the US-based AriZona Beverages.

Now, slum-based organised retail
New Delhi:
Kishore Biyani''s Future Group that changed the country''s retail landscape is now set to take his customer acquisition strategy a step further with another pioneering concept — exploring retail possibilities in urban slums.

With its neighbourhood new format stores named KB''s Fair Price shops almost in place, the group is now reportedly toying with the idea of taking retailing to the bottom of the pyramid in urban areas.

According to sources, the group has recently undertaken a study of Mumbai''s slum dwellers detailing their lifestyle, earning, spending and spending patterns and attitude toward shopping destinations and brands.

With eight million out of Mumbai''s 12 million population living in slums, the potential of retailing in those areas appears huge.

If the company does decide to open stores in slums, it will be yet another first from the Future Group, which has changed the rules of retailing with throwaway prices at its Big Bazaar chain of outlets.

The group''s fair price stores plan to sell leading brands of around 300 essential items, at prices than the MRP by almost 10 per cent, and plans on pricing local brands lower by up to 20 per cent.

The Future Group''s study of Mumbai slums focused on migrants, working as milk sellers, car washers, watchmen, maidservants and vegetable vendors.

Migrants workers constitute about 60 per cent of the population that provide all the services in the city. According to the findings of the study, the slum respondents considered most shopping destinations to be far off, requiring a full day''s preparation.

They also have a mental block of being charged extra for all "the drama". The cost of travelling, the feeling of being among strangers, and the apprehension of children''s reactive demands emerged as deterrents to their patronising the modern retail format stores.

Brands selling in sachets and small packets were found to be the most successful in slums, the study revealed.

Men emerge as new market segment for cosmetic products
New Delhi:
An increasing number of men are thronging salons for beauty treatments ranging from manicures and pedicures to facials among other beauty treatments. Cosmetic companies are now targeting this largely ''untapped'' market for their products.

The Emami Group, which was the first to launch an exclusive fairness cream for men, was amongst the first to realise the potential of the segment.

According to Mohan Goenka, director, Emami Group, "We started out because as per our research, there was indeed a great demand for male fairness cream. The market share of our cream is about 20 per cent. Since, the overall fairness cream market is about Rs275 crore, it means that a large amount of men are still using the fairness cream meant for girls. The market for men cosmetics is growing in India. The company is set to launch 18 new products in the time span of a year, of which nearly eight would be products meant exclusively for men.

The company has signed up Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan to endorse its fairness cream. Men''s buying is not limited to just the fairness creams, but a growing segment of men are buying the entire product range from body lotions to wrinkle free creams.

Says Rajat Banerji of Amway, a direct marketing FMCG company, "Amway''s cosmetic products are positioned in a way that both sexes can use them. Earlier men comprised only 20 per cent of our cosmetic clients but now they have grown to 35 per cent. Men are now increasingly conscious of looks, and hence have turned out to be a huge market for FMCG companies like us." Amway''s fairness and age defying products range between Rs1,899 to Rs9,999 are popular among men.

British Airways rolls out special fares for Independence Day
New Delhi:
To commemorate India''s 60th Independence anniversary, British Airways (BA) has launched a special fare scheme under which it is offering premier economy cabin return trip tickets to the UK, starting at Rs36,000.

Passengers flying BA between 15 August and 30 September would benefit from the promotional fares, marketed under the ''World Traveller Plus'' name.

World Traveller Plus is a premier economy cabin aimed at catering to the cost-conscious business traveller.

India is a focus area for British Airways, with the airline constantly looking to provide innovative schemes to Indian travellers. The British airline has been operating in the country for the past 78 years, and currently operates 43 flights a week to five Indian cities.

India''s largest hypermarket is in Ahmedabad, courtesy Reliance Retail
Reliance Retail opened its first hypermarket, with plans to launch 30 more similar superstores across India, spanning an investment of over Rs375 crore, by end 2007.

The Ahmedabad hypermarket, at over 165,000 sq ft, is arguably the largest retail facility under a single roof, selling over 95,000 products ranging from a full line of groceries to garments, consumer durables and garden equipment.

"The company will open 30 hypermarkets by this year end of 40,000-60,000 sq ft each," according to Reliance Hypermarket CEO K Radhakrishnan.

Ostensibly, it would cost the company Rs2,500- Rs3,000 to develop each sq ft of retail space.

Radhakrishnan said six malls under the Reliance Mart brand would spring up in the national capital, five each in Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, three in Gujarat and two in Bangalore. Over 500 superstores are planned by 2010.

Reliance Retail last year unveiled its fresh food format store Reliance Fresh, which was followed by consumer electronics store Reliance Digital.

IPTV set to boom with 30-city roll out by March 2009
With broadband penetration gaining momentum, IPTV is set to boom in India, and is widely expected to be rolled out in around 30 cities within the next 18-20 months.

Currently commercially available in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata, IPTV is now showing signs of traction in the Indian market.

Mumbai-based IPTV content provider IOL Broadband Ltd plans to deploy the triple-play service - telephone, high speed internet and cable television - across 28 cities by March 2009, with seven cities in 2007-08, and 21 cities in 2008-09.

BSNL also launched the services in Kolkata. IOL Broadband has an agreement with BSNL for 59 cities, and will prioritise launch basis broadband penetration and demand for the service. As per the agreement, IOL provides content and markets the service, while BSNL provides broadband access to customers.

BSNL currently has a broadband subscriber base of 10 lakh, and plans to add 6 million broadband connections a year for the next two to three years."

The initial bouquet of IPTV services launched in Bangalore comprises 60-plus major channels, including most of the top-rated ones. Tariff per month for IPTV services is Rs150.

Kerala Tourism seeks to enter new markets
Having emerged a forerunner in foreign tourist arrivals, Kerala has now set its eyes on the "emerging and possible" markets, covering Japan, Australia, the Far-East and Russia.

Domestically in India, the state is targeting major metros, facilitating meetings between tour operators from both sides to discuss packages. Other than that, Kerala Tourism is also holding talks with corporates to bait the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) offerings, which are largely corporate events, in the state.

In Andhra Pradesh, about 120 corporates were invited to a road show, where the government officials and tour operators showcased special packages for Kerala Tourism.

Addressing a press conference, Dr V Venu, secretary, Kerala Tourism, announced that international arrivals had grown by over 100 per cent from 2.08 lakh in 2001 to 4.28 lakh in 2006, with domestic arrivals growing from 62.71 lakh from 52.39 lakh during the same period.

Kerala State tourism, which has been marketing the state as "God''s Own Country" for a decade, has made the state''s destinations and products popular world-over, having recognised the importance of benchmarking various tourist and hospitality services.

Pioneering home stays, Kerala had begun standardising and certifying registered home-stay operators who now number 5,000. The state tourism expects the number to double this year. Offerings in ayurveda and houseboat segments too were being standardised and certified by the government.

It is also re-branding and developing new products, such as the dream season, which converts the traditional off-season (April-September) into a season, and the ''Wake Up Malabar'' product, promoting destinations in the northern part of the state.

To make it easier for foreign travellers to research holiday options in the state, the official website of Kerala Tourism is now available to visitions with language options in French, German, Italian, and Spanish, in addition to English.

Big 92.7 FM optimistic on "radio seeding"
Adlabs Films radio venture Big 92.7 FM is optimistic about expanding its listener base on the back of "radio seeding" as part of its long-term strategy. It is reportedly in talks with retailers to play out its station at retail outlets.

Radio seeding is the term used to best describe ''captive'' locations where a particular station plays - and typically covers restaurants, malls, food courts, shops and retail outlets, petrol stations, departmental stores, hyper marts, taxis, and any other place where the radio station can sign up an agreement for ''exclusive'' airing of its content.

Presently, Big 92.7 FM has an agreement with the Future Group to air the station live at Big Bazaar outlets, as well with local pan shops and restaurants. Via these formats, based on locations with high footfalls, Big 92.7 FM apparently reaches about a million listeners.

The company hopes to double this in a year, with Autorickshaws having been fitted with single frequency radio sets in order to create a captive audience for the station.

To boost its brand equity, Big 92.7 FM has lined up below-the-line promotional activities, and plans to release a television commercial as well.

Leveraging the national cricket mania, Big 92.7 FM plans to use the run-up to the 20/20 cricket tournament in South Africa by organising on-ground air activities like celebrities versus listeners cricket matches, and on-air shows involving celebrities such as Shekar Suman. Talks are also with popular cricket commentators for match analysis and insights.

A discount promo is also on the cards for the Diwali season, under which the station will run the ''Sabse Sasti Diwali'' campaign offering its listeners discounts that range from 9.27 per cent to 92.7 per cent on products categories like consumer durables, garments and accessories. This is planned with the aide of m-coupons (mobile coupons). By year end, the station will announce another promo, the ''Ek Saal Free Maal'' campaign that will have Big 92.7 FM pay the lucky winners'' daily bills for an entire year.

Brand ambassador Abhishek Bachchan is to appear in a new ad campaign in Delhi to promote a new international radio format that will play top 100 chartbusters of today. Big 92.7 FM is still experimenting with this format, which began airing last Monday in Delhi.

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