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Brands upbeat about sales uptick in the festive season

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Brands from the jewellery, apparel and the puja segment reveal how they are gearing up for Diwali, connecting with consumers and focusing on value and customer convenience

As customers gear up for Dhanteras and Diwali, three key categories – gold, apparel and puja products – are expected to see a significant uptick in sales during this auspicious period. However, a dampener this year has been gold price, which has risen steadily.

Keeping the consumer interest in mind, Malabar Gold & Diamonds – the flagship company of Malabar Group – recently launched the ‘One India One Gold Rate’ – an initiative offering uniform gold rate across India for 100% BIS hallmarked and responsibly sourced gold without compromising on the quality and purity of gold.

As in some cases, the price difference between the states with the highest gold rates and lowest rates is as high as Rs. 400 per gram. Malabar Gold & Diamonds says the company believes in customer centricity and value their sentiments significantly and this initiative will be implemented across its 120 showrooms in the country.

He adds, “Also, the response from the customers has been remarkable since the buyers are now being aware that they are paying up to Rs. 400 per gram of gold more than their counterparts in other states even though the gold is BIS hallmarked quality. Consequently, we are seeing steady footfalls in our stores and sales have picked up significantly compared to the pre-campaign levels.”

An affordable price point is also what Mia by Tanishq –a jewellery brand in 14 Karat gold jewellery segment –believes will help garner consumers. Says Shyamala Ramanan, Business Head, Mia: “With festive season bringing a lot of positivity to the people after spending many months at home, they are looking for the celebrations. As celebrations are still remaining minimal and gold jewellery being the ultimate gift, we see a lot of traction generated. Mia being rightly positioned with the versatile designs at a sweet price point provides a great product offering for gifting and self-indulgence.”

The festive season also corresponds with the wedding season and for silks and family apparel retail brand. RmKV Silks, the combined festivities has been driving consumers to its retail stores. Shankar Kumarswamy, Director, RmKV Silks says, “Consumer sentiment is gradually picking up as we are getting closer to the festive season. This could be due to combined effect of wedding as well as festive purchases.”

Another category that sees a big demand during the festive season is the puja segment. Catering to consumer demand, Cycle Pure Agarbathi has introduced new products.

According to Arjun Ranga, Managing Director, Cycle Pure Agarbathi, “We have been in the market for over 70 years now, we understand the needs of our consumers well, during these difficult times as well we have been able to cater to their expectations and requirements. We have introduced a series of comprehensive puja packs for all the festivals, which has helped consumers to shop easily and quickly. We have also strengthened our omnichannel presence and launched an easy-to-use mobile app ‘PurePrayer’ for the convenience of our customers.”

He adds, “The traction has been fairly decent so far, all our fast-moving products and doing well. We are a value-driven brand hence, consumers do relate to us easily. Also, we as a brand, have stringent safety and purity protocols in place, which makes it easier for consumers to place their trust in us.”

Shining Light On the Consumer

Malabar Gold & Diamonds is strategically looking at options available across all platforms be it digital, print, or TVC. Ahammed says, “In this new normal scenario, digital has the potential of driving more spends considering we all are staying at home due to pandemic. We have come up with two digital films this season. We are also spending on celebrity marketing as Anil Kapoor is our brand ambassador. We are looking at our social media messaging, which has become sharper and more platform-specific. This festive season has seen a digital push like never before. Separately from a high decibel TV and print campaign, we have concentrated more on digital medium this time. In India, buying gold is auspicious and we do not expect any change in this season’s consumer trends and shopping behaviours. Hence, we are confident there will be a surge in footfalls in our stores and online purchases this festival.”

Digital has also been the driver for Mia by Tanishq and it’s interesting to note the brand spends on IPL this year.  “We have focused on digital-led campaigns due to consumer sentiment transition during recent times. The brand feels that high-affinity customers for the category have started developing a taste for digital media consumption over conventional mediums, and we would like to leverage it with a greater portion of spends on digital platforms and social media. We have consciously taken a decision to spend on Hotstar during IPL, the only live event of the year, which has created a significant amount of traction for the brand,” says Ramanan.

For a brand that is dependent on TV, Cycle Pure Agarbathi is now looking at Digital. Ranga explains, “We typically concentrate on GEC (General Entertainment Channels), we are also moving towards active digital mediums. However, we are heavily based on television specially GEC and News-genre. Since we are heavily dependent on Television, the majority of our budgets are allocated towards televisions, followed with print. This time we have planned interesting digital campaigns, which we are excited about. We are fairly new on the digital front and are designing our full-fledged campaigns. We are not sure of how much % we will dedicate to it because we are still testing digital. We are also pursuing influencer marketing for communicating with our target consumers.”

An Eye on Ad Spends

What adds to the festive cheer is that brands are spending on-par YoY or upping their ad spends this year. Ahammed says, “We are expecting our ad-spends to be more, compared to last year and we are anticipating a healthy growth in revenues during this festive season. We are quite confident looking at the start of the season. All in all, we are anticipating significant growth in demand.”

Adds Ranga, “The media spend this year will be at the same level as last year’s. We haven’t upped our ad-spends, we have maintained it at the same level. We have been concentrating on giving experience to our consumers with our various offerings and have been actively appealing to the consumers to pray-from-home within the safety of their own bio bubble. We are also connecting with people digitally more and harnessing the power of social media along with TV.”

Heading into the festive season Mia by Tanishq launched its festive campaign- ‘Celebrate the light within you’ featuring brand ambassador: Mithila Palkar. Adds Ramanan, “As an organization, we have always believed in investing in our brands as it is with a long-term vision. We will continue to invest in creating the desirability for our brand and products. Our onboarding a brand ambassador and running a full-fledged digital-led campaign is indication enough of the spends and belief in our category. Q3 is definitely on a larger scale than Q2 was.”

On a final note, RmKV Silks’ Kumarswamy says, “We are looking at around a quarter of our last year media investments. However, compared to Q2, it is almost double of what we have invested. Direct mail and Digital are two key components of this year’s investments.”

 

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Simran Sabherwal

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