Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tryvertising and more....
By Harish Bijoor
Q: What is branding and what is advertising? Is there a difference between the two?
S Venkat, Trichy
A: Venkat, the key big paradigm of Marketing has been the confusion between branding and advertising. This is a perennial issue that bogs down marketing understanding. Branding has been linked a bit too close with the function of advertising. What needs to be remembered is that branding is about strategy and advertising is about the physical execution of that strategy through the use of the tools and devices and allure of advertising.
It is important to understand that branding comes first and advertising later. Branding is insight-led and advertising is all about taking that brand-insight and getting the creative-throw that is necessary for that base brand thought.
I do believe that this distinction needs to be in public limelight.
Q: Is India back on the tracks of fast growth? Do we get to see prosperity and progress now? Does advertising as an industry gain from it?
Swapnil Mehta, Mumbai
A: Swapnil, not yet. But give it another 18 months and we will be back on track. My personal estimate of the advertising pie for the year 2010 is INR 17,200 Crores. This is disappointing.
Corporates are tightening their belts even now and Consultants are busy advising caution even today. Media at large will underplay the down-turn, but the reality is that there is urban down-turn in India.
In India the silver lining is the fact that 60% of the economy is reasonably insulated due to the rural consumption being intact. Rural contributes to 60% of the GDP today. Urban centers have seen shrinkages in contribution to buying and consuming. This signifies a real recession in urban buying.
At a larger level, when 60% of the economy is booming and 40% of the urban economy is on a slump, overall, the picture is still a positive one. One that justifies the prognosis of a 5.3% GDP growth rate overall.
We will see prosperity around in marketing terms. But be patient.
Q: What are the dynamics of the luxury market? How does it work in India?
-Sachin Mandre, Mumbai
A: Sachin, luxury is essentially a mindset. Every segment of society, whether it is the Upper Income Group, the Middle Income Group, or the Lower Income Group, has its own definition of luxury. To someone who is in the UIG, Luxury is all about the experiential dinner at the on a yacht moored out in the Arabian Sea with 7-star service. To someone in the middle income group, it might as well be a gourmet dinner at a Taj or an Oberoi. To someone in the lower income group, luxury is all about a family dinner at a local restaurant or even a fast-food joint like McDonald’s where the prices are low but the ambience is electric!
Luxury is therefore a mindset. To each their own. As many consumers as there are in the market, that many different ‘avatars’ of what is luxury and what is not.
The current market perception of typical luxury therefore varies across the HIG, MIG and LIG.
Luxury is really anything that is out of reach, relatively expensive, high on image and high on cost affordability as well. Luxury is also about the image-driven value that one derives in the usage of the luxury product or service.
Q: How does the new concept of ‘tryvertising’ work? Is this just a Western fad?
Sabeena Khan, New Delhi
A: Sabeena, ‘Tryvertising’ is very simply the new and aggressive mode of using the trial of a product or a service as the ultimate form of persuasive advertising.
The fact is simple. If people try a product or a service, they are more likely to be persuaded to buy and use rather than depending on advertising alone, which is considered remote and distant and on the television. Far away. Out of reach.
India is yet to adopt it with vigor.
In many ways however, the lowest common denominator use of ‘tryvertising’ is when a brand places itself for a free-pick up at a super-market, or through in-home free samples or even through magazines which send subscriber lists whole big cakes of soap and shampoo alike. Free sampling is the lowest common denominator avatar of ‘tryvertising’.
Higher end forms are yet to hit India in a big way.
Hotels offering a free stay, resorts offering 2 nights free altogether to a select mailing list, car companies offering free drives with a "keep the car" for a week and try kind of offer are all possibilities.
The concept is really economical for brands which have a high price tag.
What is important to understand is the number of days of trial or occasions of trial that is necessary for the product or service to be just right for adoption by the consumer. Once that is understood, the economy of the activity can be worked out.
For instance, for a coffee brand to be adopted in home, a total of a minimum 3 months of trail daily is necessary. This means that a competing brand should be able to work this right only if it is able to provide that deep a placement of its free stock. A simple Rs.5 sachet free does not work.
This space of ‘tryvertising’ is reasonably empirical in its offering. Different categories of products and services have a differing degree of ‘tryvertising’ need.
This is not a fad. Can be a good new marketing property to use.
Harish Bijoor is a business strategy specialist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.