Going all out with marketing

| Updated on: Mar 30, 2011
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A substantial increase in investment in online marketing is being witnessed, says Sharma. A Facebook campaign is encouraging people to try out new looks, even as Philips has garnered over two lakh followers on Facebook in a year. The agencies at work for Philips India are DDB Mudra (creative), Carat (media) and Isobar (online).

“We have also upped our engagement with B2B stakeholders through reputation enhancement programmes. Be it people in healthcare, architects or industry bodies, we are working with them on thought leadership programmes. All the programmes that we have embarked on are long-term,” adds Sharma.

Philips has entered categories that will require it to play the evangelist's role. The approach to doing that would also be different for B2B products and consumer offerings.

“We have to play the category evangelist's role in many categories — LEDs, consumer home decorative lighting which is a fragmented and unstructured industry now, male grooming, and even in women's hair dryers and straighteners. Similarly, in cutting edge solutions such as HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound, in healthcare), we are creating new markets. The brand will make substantial investment in consumer and customer education programmes,” adds Sharma.

A fifth touchpoint in which Philips claims to have invested ‘heavily' last year is customer care, in both healthcare and customer lifestyle. Investments have gone into new CRM software programmes, call centre modules, skill enhancement programmes for call centre staff, and refurbishing customer care centres.

“The proportion of budgets has increased for online and B2B programmes substantially, and that's a thrust,” notes Sharma.

Brand Premium

Given the ‘substantial' investments, what has been the impact on the brand? Sharma uses consumer response to validate his answer. He says, “Our consumer and B2B data indicates that they are seeing a resurgence in brand Philips. Our brand equity is improving and our brand preference scores are improving. People are associating Philips with more youth categories, home cinema systems and domestic appliances. They are also able to relate us to upcoming categories such as LED as well.”

“In terms of image, Philips is now perceived to be a more young, aspirational and dynamic brand. Those shifts have happened in the last two years,” adds Sharma.

Market leadership in several categories is a challenge with price warriors ruling the roost. Will Philips' brand equity ensure the premium it seeks to command?

“We are competitive. Each category is unique and one will have to adapt to each unique competitive situation. But, consumers are willing to pay a premium in certain categories because they see value in that. Philips doesn't play on price. We play on enriched features and the value they bring to our customers and consumers. We are an innovation-driven company with a rich tradition in patents and innovation, and hence are able to provide the innovations that consumers pay a price for,” says Sharma.

Published on March 30, 2011

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