Promotions make brands tangible

NEW DELHI: Promotions make brands feel more tangible as they reduce the space between the brand and the consumer like it happens with Bacardi Blast parties and similar promotions, said McCann-Erickson, India, national creative director and executive vice-president Prasoon Joshi.

They can do wonders if companies are sure of their brand value. However, companies need to keep finding new ways to promote their product as people will always be waiting to copy what they do and it should be realised that promotions are a part of life, Joshi said at the fifth CII Marketing Summit, in capital yesterday.



Advertising can be surreal and transport you to a brand value space.

Promotions help you to touch the brand and make the brand promise


According to Joshi, there are three different types of brand promotion --- experiential (spend an evening with a film ftar), logical (Rs 2 off or Buy One, Get One Free) or appealing to man's animal instincts (Eat As Much As You Want). "Whatever the type, a promotional offer should be an extension of the brand value or else it will not work," he said.

Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd, director, Sabbas Joseph said there was a debate on the link between fidelity and promotions. Some feel promotions build fidelity while others say the opposite. "If you liken marketing to the Kamasutra, then its components are promiscuity, dance of seduction, performance anxiety, engagement, position play. Are we faking it and the fidelity factor," he observed.



Between advertising and promotion, what works? Half of all advertising works, but people do not know which half. Conventional media advertising reaches out and connects, but lacks the personal touch and feel of the experience and the use of wrong media turns off consumers, he said.

The strength of the promotion lies in how much and how strongly you engage with the customer. To engage, you must go to the customer as in high-footfall areas, in an eventful manner, and give him the experience of the real thing. "You must engage when he is listening and least expects us to be there," said Joseph.

According to Joseph, promotions will be more streamlined, interactive and focused in future. The segmentation of the target audience will enhance the customization of promotions in different markets, seasons and places. "Promotions will be based more on experience and less on price. Constant mapping of consumer behaviour will be important and promotions will move with the consumers and short-term fixes will not work. More money will be

spent on research and testing promotion ideas will be important," he added.

Connaught Plaza Restaurants (P) Ltd (McDonald's North India), MD, Vikram Bakshi said simplicity draws the consumer and, therefore, it is important to keep the business organisation and the thought process simple.

Promotions help when starting a brand for trials and bring freshness and retrials to the product. They help fight competition but cannot help build a brand. "However, price cuts and discounts make regular customers feel cheated and you can loose existing customers," he said, pointing out that there are three simple principles in promotions - lasting value, enduring delight and tangible rewards.

Lasting value is what stays, that is everyday great price and a great value offering that can last. This means giving the best product at the affordable prices and in a convenient manner. Promotions are great to build short-term gains, while loyalty is a more sustained gain, Bakshi concluded.

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