Harish Bijoor

Get creative

Harish Bijoor | Updated on June 05, 2014 Published on June 05, 2014

Get creative! Marketers need to think of better promotions than just doling out freebies

Freebies tend to be a tumbler on a packet of tea and a comb on a packet of sugar. Is there any one promotion you have found more exciting than all this inane stuff?


Joel, I am as tired of these inane promotions as you are. Promotions are meant to create a positive blip for sale volume. Here is one from the mother market of them all, the US.

The American consumer is a typical fifth-generation marketed-to consumer. Totally tired of marketing. Totally tired of advertising. And totally tired of every consumer promotion there is.

Milwaukee saw an exciting re-invention of the consumer promotion. A company that manufactures an insect repellent and insect-killer in spray form had a marketing problem. Sales were down. The times were tough.

The promotion the company thought of was an exciting one. Five healthy American cockroaches were caught and stunned. Their bellies were bar-coded. When these healthy American cockroaches regained consciousness, they were let loose into the drainage system of Milwaukee.

The next morning saw an ad in the paper announcing a $50,000 reward for anyone who brought in one of the bar-coded cockroaches dead or alive. The next day saw a run on the shops. Everyone wanted an insect killer spray. Stocks of every company selling one were knocked off the shelves.

Milwaukee saw a kind of Great American Gold Rush. Kids went about with canisters to kill. Office-goers carried a spray in their jackets and went hunting for $50,000 in their office loos.

A killer promotion, for sure!

How has luxury retail been evolving in India? Is there a fair bit of traction in this space?


Sinha da, luxury-retail space in the country was initially spurred into action by the space offered by five-star properties in India. This meant that luxury brands could afford a presence in some 6-10 luxury hotel lobbies and shopping galleries in some six big cities. This restricted presence. Anyone with a desire to partake of the offering of these brand labels made a beeline for these properties. Therefore, you had consumers from as far as Hoshiarpur and Bhatinda going all the way to Delhi to buy their Swarovski crystals.

At best, the most popular luxury brands had access to some 20-odd stores in India. Not anymore. And that’s evolution for sure.

Today, this paradigm is broken. The emergence of the mall has led the way. Brands have even ventured out on to the high street, braving very undifferentiated segments of shoppers, many of them who walk by in by the awe of the brand, and many who walk in and get frightened by the price tags altogether.

Today, a luxury brand has a wider presence across channels. Across the trade channel of the five-star hotel property, the premium mall, the popular mall, the high street and the online store. The niche is widening its marketing wedge. There is plenty of traction in this space as India affords more and more, luxury retail grows.

(Harish Bijoor is a business strategy specialist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. Mail your questions to >cat.a.lyst@thehindu.co.in )

Published on June 05, 2014

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