Philips high on marketing; turnover target Rs 12 billion

MUMBAI: For the consumer electronics division of Phillips Electronics India the going has been pretty strong. The company states that it expects its turnover from the consumer electronics division to reach Rs 12 billion this year. This is double what was achieved a couple of years ago.



Speaking at a media briefing this afternoon Phillips Electronics India executive director and sernior VP consumer electronics D Shivakumar said,"This year we celebrate 75 years of existence. As far as colour television sets are concerned we are number five. Previously we were at number eight. What is peculiar here is that prices have been dropping every year. The challenge therefore is to build up in scale in order to achieve success. In fact, the value of the overall colour television set market in India has fallen by six per cent. So far this year growth has been flat. However, the market for flat colour TV sets has grown. We have experienced growth of over 100 per cent here in the past year."



DVDs, home theatre are emerging markets: In this scenario it is imperative that new products are found to create new markets. Phillips has done exactly that. Shivakumar points out that through innovative price points i.e. for less than Rs 4,000 one can buy a Phillips DVD player. Last year the company sold 500,000 DVD players. This year it expects to sell 800,000 players.

"What has worked in our favour is the fact that theatre ticket prices have risen steadily. For the family the DVD is a more economical option. Now an important market that we are seeking to grow is the home theatre market. That and the DVD mean that you do not have to keep visiting the cinema to have the big screen experience. This I would like to point out was non existent a couple of years ago. While 17,000 home theatre units were sold last year this year we expect to sell 60,000 units."

Marketing budget nearly doubles to Rs 600 million: Speaking to Phillips Electronics marketing director Suresh Sukmaran points that the allocation of the company towards marketing activities is up to Rs 600 million this year from around Rs 350 million last year. This year Phillips underwent a change in its global marketing strategy. Earlier the tagline was Let's Make Things Better. Now the tagline is Sense And Simplicity. The aim is to convey the message that the company's are easy to use and are also built keeping the requirements of the consumer in mind. The earlier tagline put more emphasis on new technologies that were coming out.

In India the first phase of marketing was conducted in June and July. Basically it used the television and outdoors. The widescreen plasma TV sets and LCD sets which are priced from Rs 40,000 to Rs 300,000 were pushed. The communication spoke about the widescreen aspect of the sets. After all most movies are shot in the widescreen format and on a conventional TV set you have black bars appearing on the top and bottom of the screen. However, the company states that it has no plans to hire a brand ambassador. The second phase of marketing kicks off later this month.

In the coming months, a key marketing activity for Phillips not just in India but globally will revolve around next year's soccer World Cup in Germany. Phillips is one of the sponsors which gives it exclusivity to the event. In India it has already started activity in Kerala, which is one of the states that is passionate about the sport. It has started now to coincide with the Onam Festival. Basically the promotion offers trade partners and consumers the chance to win tickets to the semi final and final games. However Sukumaran states that cricket is too expensive a property for the company to be associated with.

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