MUMBAI: In an era when marketing isn’t just showing advertisements on television or putting on newspapers, brands are finding ways to reach out to its customers.
Every now and then, a brand engages in customer engagement initiatives to get audiences to notice it. The same was done by Coca Cola in Denmark, a couple of weeks back but with a twist. The exercise, this time, embarrassed the customers.
In a cheeky manner, the cola giant along with its creative agency Saatchi Denmark helped encourage moviegoers to keep quiet by showing their noisy antics in a mock film trailer.
In India too, brands are leaving behind even global brands when it comes to engagement especially on the social media. The reason behind engagements is really simple: brands are no longer just about building awareness; they also need to bring themselves to the forefront of consumers’ consciousness by engaging with them. Engagement now is about clutter breaking and loyalty creating.
For example, in 2013, Coca Cola had installed high-tech vending machines in the malls of Lahore (Pakistan) and New Delhi (India) – two cities separated by only 325 miles, but seemingly world apart due to decades of political tension. The brand then invited shoppers to set aside their differences and share a simple moment over a Coke.
Japanese two-wheeler maker Yamaha saw a rise in its sales in the month of February, thanks to customer engagement programmes. New product launch along with innovative ongoing customer-centric activities boosted the volumes to an all new level, the company had said, then.
Such stunts are increasingly used by brands to gain traction globally. Irrespective of where the stunt or activation was held (in this case, Copenhagen), chances of it going viral globally are high if the central idea and execution is great.
However, with Indians being too touchy, Coke’s Slurp won’t work in India. Unless the audiences can laugh at itself, such initiatives can be harmful.
To think of brands which would use similar engagement programs is for telecom service providers. With most of the Indians lacking phone etiquettes, the telcos can think of coming up with something different. Hope Airtel or Vodafone are listening.