With the first financial quarter more than halfway through, all our teams have been busy running contests, on boarding strategic alliances, trade loyalty. programs and of course launching consumer promotions. We've launched a new product: ‘Day’s Out’, with a very ambitious product acquisition of over 200 venues in 30 cities PAN India. Other products in spotlight are highlighted below, which can be offered to your customers and are powered by instant gratification.
For our guest section in this newsletter edition, our special thanks to our guest, Mr. Deepansh Bhargava, Central, Future Retail, for being generous with his time and insights.
For our blog posts this quarter, with the cricket season kicking off, we were curious if other sports leagues get as much attention, and whether we should put a spotlight on a few other properties that could prove to be great opportunities to engage customers. Our second post talks about the ten commandments of running Trade and Channel Loyalty programs. Most of these gathered from a few real-life experiences we’ve had while running trade programs. Hope this edition provides you with ideas for the upcoming festive season and sporting events.
Ready, Set, Go!
Services in Spotlight
In Conversation With
Deepansh Bhargava, Central, Future Retail
Deepansh has been in the industry for nearly 14 years. He is currently the Assistant Vice President, Marketing Operations and Customer Service at Central, Future Lifestyles Fashion Limited at Bangalore, India.
1. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge for your sector in terms of engaging consumers in 2018?
The biggest art for any retailer, in my opinion, is to offer true fashion without discounting. At the end of the day, our core business is fashion. And if it’s our core business, it should be sold in its full glory. Selling fashion in its ‘full glory’ means that the customer pays the right price for quality merchandise. However, in the current scenario, people aren’t paying what the merchandise deserves. Therefore, we deliver new fashion to customers, stay on top of trends, and offer them a great experience and more value for money at stores, instead of direct discounts on merchandise. Thus making ‘fashion’ the real hero and not discounts followed by experience.
2. What is your opinion on showrooming in India? What are some things the retail sector could do to reverse showrooming?
Why do customers come to our stores? In one word – ‘experience’. We have good footfalls at any of our more than 42 stores in India – because customers love the experience we deliver. Look at all the brands we have and the latest trends. Customers come with families and friends, and get other people’s opinion, shop together, listen to music, perhaps enjoy some food or even a movie…Now if I tell you, none of this exists, please order online, everything you need will reach you in a package – where’s the ‘experience’ in that? If the retail stores can provide a great ‘experience’ to customers, then there’s always online retail to complement the ‘convenience’.
3. What would you consider as a weapon (your strength) when you're entering a campaign?
One of our major strengths is being able to relate to our diverse target audience during various occasions and turning these occasions into opportunities while giving our customers a festive experience at the right time. If we didn’t ‘dress up’ ourselves in this land of festivals, we wouldn’t be able to give that experience to our customers on special days. For instance, Ramzan is approaching, and if we don’t plan for this festive period, we cannot strike a chord with our customers who shop during Ramzan. So, the festive imagery, store communication, positioning and proposition – all send a message to our customers, which largely makes us the first choice.
4. Given your focus on customer experience, is that why you are focusing on experiential rewards as compared to other models like discounting to delight customers?
It’s not just about the ‘experiential reward’ but also the logic behind it that counts – which is what BigCity is all about. When BigCity gives me insights and information that backs a particular reward, I know what I am getting into. I know who is going to receive the reward and what is going to be its scalability. When rewards are backed by logic and data, I’m ready to offer it to my customers and invest in such a promotion.
5. Tell us about the program you ran with us. What were the challenge and the solution? What was the high point of this program in your opinion? How was your experience working with us?
I think everyone knows what BigCity stands for and I salute the team for helping us and the industry where discounts are not the talking point, and instead, experiences are the talking point. I appreciate the way you guys have driven this concept, because in today’s world what counts for me is the ‘experience’. Central as a brand always wants to stay ahead in the real sense, and to do so we launched our new collection with the idea of ‘After Shopping’. That is how BigCity was involved with us. That is how we decided on our mission, which was – we wanted to give the customers a journey after shopping. BigCity and Central worked together on it and it had some great reviews from customers. If you can have an ‘after party’ then why not an ‘after shopping’?
Given that MAX was launching their summer collection, the brand team wanted to offer consumers high perceived value on purchase, instead of discounts. Their target audience predominantly being families, we came up with an offer where, on purchase of Rs.2999, customers received an assured day out gift voucher for a family of four (two adults + two kids) which had a perceived value of Rs.2500+.
7Up Back to Cool
For the summer season 7up was all set to take consumers on a trip down the memory lane with its new campaign Back to Cool. Befitting the young target audience of around 20 years, we came up with an offer where on every purchase of a 7up bottle, customers received an assured downloadable 7up mobile wallpaper. Moreover, lucky customers won 7up FIDO merchandise that included Bluetooth speakers, T-shirts, notebooks, sippers and funky slap bands.
KitKat has always been a fun, young brand, where it talks to an audience which is willing to indulge in a chocolaty snack. Given that KitKat wanted to create a buzz and drive sales, we came up with an offer that would directly attract the younger crowd, wherein participants won a Rs.100 mobile recharge every minute, and for the grand prize – lucky customers won Rs.1 Lakh cash every day throughout the program.
Quaker Oats PSR Program
With the objective of incentivizing achievements of sales targets by retailers and Pepsi Sales Representatives of Quaker Oats PAN India, a sales incentive program was launched by Pepsi. With the given target audience in mind, we designed a tailor-made platform for Pepsi wherein PSR’s and retailers could redeem attractive rewards from across categories on accumulation of reward points.
The Ten Commandments of Trade Loyalty Programs
Although B2B and B2C models have certain practices in common, the main difference between the two is the target audience. In a consumer-centric environment where the consumer is considered the king, evolving times have compelled companies to consider their trade and channel partners, like retailers, wholesalers, electricians and so on, as crucial assets and thereby making a Trade Loyalty and Reward Program important... Read More
Acing consumer engagement with sports leagues
When it comes to sports in India, is it only cricket that reigns supreme? Or are sports other than cricket, getting to score a home run? Although cricket keeps leading on in the race, new leagues and associations in sports like football, hockey, kabaddi and so on, is changing the sports landscape. Players are getting a worldwide stage to showcase their ability and viewers are getting the chance to enjoy other sports of their choice... Read More
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