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Tuesday, Nov 16, 2004

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Milton mulls foray into direct marketing

Purvita Chatterjee

Mumbai , Nov. 15

EXPLORING alternative ways of selling its brand, Milton Global is entering the direct marketing arena and floating a new division.

With intentions of involving housewives to sell the Milton brand, the company intends to take the route adopted by other women-oriented brands such as Tupperware.

Mr Sandip Sinha, Vice-President, Marketing & Business Development, Milton Global, told Business Line, "There would be certain products which would be developed to be sold exclusively through the direct marketing route.

However, we are still in the initial blueprint stages of getting into this business.''

Milton Global's business divisions presently comprise thermoware, glassware (Treo brand), Softline (soft thermoware), Household (non-insulated products) and a microwave range.

Its direct marketing operations would be an addition to the existing divisions.

Besides, Milton has also decided to embark upon a co-branding exercise with LG for its microwave range.

Having recently launched a new range of microwave-proof plastic ware, the company is negotiating with LG and possibly more Korean brands such as Samsung to offer its brand along with their microwaves as gift hampers.

Adds Mr Sinha: ``We would make these microwave manufacturers buy the products from us at a special price and there would a co-branding exercise with them.''

Besides this festival season, Milton has decided to rely on a host of below-the-line activities to promote its other sub-brands such as its premium Treo range of glassware.

In fact, more than employing the services of its existing advertising agency (Madison), Milton has decided to rely on non-conventional methods such as cookery shows with experts to promote its brand.

``We would not be using much of mainline advertising at least for a year. The purpose right now is to educate the consumer on our Treo and Milton range and we have assigned a budget of Rs 3 crore for the same,'' says Mr Sinha.

In fact, this budget of Rs 3 crore is more towards enhancing the retail presence of its brands for creating visibility and brand recall.

The company has decided to set up nearly 100 shop-in-shop counters for each of its Treo and Milton brands. These would be in addition to its 20,000 dedicated outlets.

The Rs 250-crore Milton Global expects to register a 20 per cent increase in retail presence this year.

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