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Pitch CMO Summit 2010 : Case Study – Micromax

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Prateek Seal

Brand: Micromax

Case Study: Bring ‘wow’ factor in a  cluttered category

Presented by: Prateek Seal, Marketing Head, Micromax

 

 

 

The challenge
Wrestling with the biggies
The challenge for Micromax was to establish a new Indian handset brand in a cluttered market, which was dominated by international biggies. At the same time differentiate with a bunch of home-grown handset players.

The initiative
The Spotlight on Youth
Micromax decided to take on this challenge by sharply defining its target group (TG) and then offering products catering to their specific  needs. The brand put the spotlight on the youth.  The reason behind this is the fact that the youth constitutes the largest chunk of Indian demographics, hence, they are also the largest group of consumers. Sample this: approximately 55 crore people in India are below the age of 30. That is equivalent to the population of Western Europe and the USA put together. That surely isn’t a huge number to ignore. Hence, the marketing squad at Micromax decided to focus on the youth as the core target audience.  The brand communication was focused on luring the consumers within the age group of 15-24 years. Micromax further categorised this target group into two broad categories: Volume Target Group and Value Target Group. The Volume Target Group comprised of the first time phone buyers while the Value Target Group comprised of the second time  buyers either as a replacement or as an upgrade. The idea behind this segmentation was to cater better to the varied needs of these two set of consumers.

Strategy
The ‘wow’ factor
The two fold  strategy that the marketing honchos applied was:  a) To bring the ‘wow’ factor by offering  innovative products  at an affordable price; b) Position Micromax as a youthful brand that speaks to its consumers in their lingo.

Implementation
It’s all about cricket & movies
To bring the ‘wow’ element, the marketing team at Micromax ensured that prices were never used as a selling proposition. The whole idea was to let features be the magnet to draw consumers to the store and keep price as the last mile delight. That’s the reason Micromax chose to keep price factor away from its  advertising campaigns. For instance, an ad for  Q55 Bling (which is a handset specifically targeted at women) talks about its sleek style, the joystick with Swarovski  crystal, the back mirror etc. but doesn’t mention the price.

To catch the eye of the fickle youth, Micromax planned to choose the two biggest religion of the country: cricket and movies. Again, the challenge before the company was that they were not the only marketers interested in these hot selling media properties. There is a hoard of marketers sponsoring numerous cricketing events. In such a scenario, a consumer hardly remembers which brand sponsored which event. So the major challenge for the marketing team of Micromax was to come up with a solution that breaks the clutter and ensures significant brand recall for the cricketing events. And the solution they came up with was a cricket roadblock. They decided to sponsor all the cricketing events happening during the summer season of 2010.  Events like Asia Cup, the India-Sri Lanka Test series, the India–New Zealand-Sri Lanka tri-series etc. are the few events for which Micromax was the Title sponsor, during this period.

As far as movies are concerned, Micromax became the title sponsor of IIFA. To strengthen its association with IIFA, Micromax launched a special IIFA edition of its most selling phone Q55 Bling. Also, an entire campaign ‘Want to get treated like a Star’ was launched to capitalise on the popularity of the awards.

Apart from these initiatives, social media has been used very extensively by Micromax to catch the young eyeballs. Its official Facebook fan-page has over 4,000 fans and Orkut has over 1,700. Since there was a huge fan base engaging with the brand online, it made sense to use online as a feedback forum. There are at least two engagement programmes running online in a month. In fact, the idea to open an online store since the prices of the products vary at different outlets, was suggested by a consumer only.

The results
Numbers tell the story
Clearly, the company’s strategy worked for it and the results surely surpassed everybody’s expectations. In just two years of its operations, Micromax has been able to corner a significant market share of 10 per cent. Not just that, the monthly sales of the brand too have jumped from a couple of lakh (in the early months of its launch) to 12 lakh handsets currently. (Market leader Nokia sells close to 50 lakh handsets per month).
On the brand awareness meter too, Micromax has seen a huge upsurge.  It has shot up by 50 per cent over the last one year. Also, it is the third most searched brand on Google, in the country.

About the author / 

Neeta Nair

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