For almost 40 years, McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys have kept children and some enthusiastic adults hooked. Every day it contributes to millions of Happy Meals being sold worldwide. Making Happy Meals one of the most successful consumer Sales Promotions of all time. Another great example, The Pillsbury Bake-Off started in USA in 1949, is now an organization in its own right. It invites homemakers to share their treasured recipes and participate in a bake-off contest.
Sales promotion is defined as “a direct inducement that offers an extra value or incentive for the product to the sales force, distributors, or the ultimate consumer with the primary objective of creating an immediate sale.” This incentive is usually the key element in a sales promotion. It is a discount, the opportunity to enter a contest or sweepstakes, an experiential reward or merchandise.
But it’s not just about the incentive
McDonald’s and Pillsbury got it right because they married the incentive with their brand message. This means it extended the life of these sales promotions and are still landmark cases in the marketing world.
A sales promotion targets consumers or trade channel and is called Consumer Sales Promotions or Trade Sales Promotions respectively. A perfect blend of incentive, alignment with brand messaging and execution gives us another McDonald’s or Pillsbury success story. In this blog, we’ll explore cases from India where occasions were leveraged to deliver a perfect sales promotion. And ‘when’ brands try to hit the bullseye using sales promotions as a tool.
Paris is always a good idea!
What could be a better gift than a free trip to Paris on Valentine’s Day for a young couple? Philips, an iconic brand that targets young adults, ran a sales promotion on Valentine’s Day. In addition to rewards like a flower delivery and couple’s day out, a lucky couple won a trip to Paris. Philips successfully managed to grab their TG’s attention at the ‘perfect time’ by creating an association with this occasion.
Festivals and occasions like Valentine’s make for a perfect opportunity for brands to run sales promotions. Why? Because different consumers celebrate different festivals and occasions. If your brand targets families, festivals like Diwali, Onam or Eid are great opportunities to run a sales promotion. Valentine’s, Friendship Day or Halloween can be used to engage a younger TG of millennials or Gen Z. Similarly, if you want to target a specific region, festivals like Chathh, Karva Chauth, Pongal or Baisakhi are perfect.
Turning spectators into players…
A consumer promotion planned strategically during sporting events proves to be a great opportunity for brands. This could not only increase sales but also engage consumers in a more interesting way. Recently we executed a campaign with Kingfisher keeping the cricket season in mind, where we gamified the sales promotion. Customers could play one ball on every bottle purchased and score runs, like in a real game. Customers received an instant recharge based on runs scored where 1 run = Rs.10 mobile recharge. After 6 balls (6 beers), customers played a ‘free hit’ and stood a chance to win exclusive merchandise.
Sports fans are already on the field in their heads. With increasing popularity of sports leagues like IPL, Pro Kabaddi and Hockey League there’s always an audience for a sport. With their team jerseys, discussions and predictions, why not make it more exciting for sports fans.
Let’s meet customers halfway
A major hurdle for nuovo brands is how to educate the diverse Indian consumer demographic to use the product correctly. This is especially during the post-launch phase, where product offtakes are critical. When Harpic was launched in India, it was facing stiff competition and was being perceived as expensive. Consumers were unsure how to use it. They were accustomed to using phenyl, acids, and detergents. Harpic, therefore, wanted to run a sales promotion that would induce offtakes and educate customers. To satisfy these objectives, a free Toilet Makeover was offered on every purchase of Harpic. A professional visited customers and demonstrated how to use Harpic in the comfort of their homes.
Meeting a consumer half-way is the key to a successful sales promotion. Offering an incentive that ‘complements’ the product enhances customer experience and increases awareness, sales, and consumer delight.
A gift that keeps on giving
A perfect sales promotion is the gift that keeps on giving to the brand like Happy Meals or Pillsbury Bake-Off. These are exemplary sales promotions running for almost 40 and 70 years respectively. Right opportunities are aplenty in this land of festivals. Putting together the right mix of messaging, rewards and execution gives us that perfect sales promotion.
Are you looking to hit a bullseye with that perfect sales promotion? – work with our experts. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org