In conversation with Campaign India, Shanta Roy Sanjeev, head - marketing, Haier India, opens up on the brand's journey in India, its new campaign, market share and media mix.
What is the objective of the new communication?
Haier is globally No.1 in the major appliances segment as per the latest EuroMonitor survey. As a brand our biggest strength is our range of products. So the objective was to highlight the strength of the brand and the company through this campaign. And also build an emotional connect with our target audience using a nice, emotionally bonded family. The basic objective was showcasing normal family life through our products.
What was the brief given to the creative agency?
The brief was primarily on the brand’s positioning and also highlighting some of our star products through consumer interaction to show how it adds value to their daily lives. The campaign targets upper middle class and higher section of the society, SEC A+, A and B segments. We wanted to focus on our premium models that use innovative technology and are available in the market today. Thus, the brief was that we wanted to highlight how our products bring convenience in your life and also make the communication something that people can relate with.
What is the market share of Haier India? What targets have been set for 2013?
Currently, Haier India would cumulatively have a market share of 7 per cent. However, there are some product categories where we have a higher market share while there are some where we yet have to build a significant market share. In the commercial refrigerator product category, our market share would be 13 to 14 per cent, while in the refrigerator category it would be 4 to 5 per cent. Hence, it fluctuates from category to category. The biggest contribution in our revenue comes from the refrigerator category which accounts for nearly 35 per cent of our overall business.
How has the journey in India been?
Haier was launched in 2004 in India and in the last eight to nine years, the company has grown drastically. The turning point happened in 2010 when we grew by 135 per cent over 2009. At that time we had the ‘Jhukna mat’ campaign for refrigeration. We also launched very innovative products that were ahead of time and we invested greatly in the market. So, year-on-year the graph went up and we see great growth which is very encouraging. For the calendar year 2013, we are looking for a 43 per cent growth over 2012. Thus, keeping this in mind we are expanding our Haier Experience Centres that showcase all our products under one roof across the country. As of now, we have around 165 such centres and zones (bigger format showrooms where we have taken up space and made it look like shop-in-shop).
Could you share the marketing budget of the brand? Has there been an increase in the same? Comment on the media mix.
We had a marketing budget of around Rs 55 crores for 2012. This year we have increased the budget and the amount allocated for marketing is now around Rs 80 crores.
The media mix generally comprises of TV, online, local print ads and radio. This year the strategy was to go on TV with the new brand campaign. Hence, we focus on television a lot. Looking at the way digital media is gaining importance, we are also focusing on it. There is a contest that we have launched around the ongoing IPL matches. Digital media spends account for nearly 5 per cent of our marketing budget.
Could you comment on the timing of the campaign and the seasonal push of different categories?
Fortunately, we are present in categories that have a seasonal skew but they also sell round the year. That’s why the whole year holds a lot of importance for us but looking at the industry trend the season can be broadly classified into three seasons. The first season would be from March to May which is the season for compressor products. Then we move on to the southern states like Kerala where sales are spiked to the festival of Onam in August, so a burst of advertising takes place. Finally, the peak season is the Diwali festival that will take place in October- November.
For product categories, the monsoon season sees sales of washing machines increase, the onset of winter sees the increase in sales of water heaters, and LED TV sales increase at times of festivals and sporting events like IPL.