Tasty Marketing Titbits Empower Regional Agro BrandsAugust 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Articles and Opinions
One of India’s post-independence, awe-inspiring brand successes has been the Amul OOH campaign.
The Amul girl, Amul’s 50-year old brand mascot that dons a red polka dotted dress and bow, has been amongIndia’s foremost social commentators. By embracing this evergreen and witty mode of advertising, Amul has enabled this mascot to remain relevant to all age groups for years. It has played a significant role in establishing Amul, amongIndia’s most successful cooperatives and most-recalled products in the dairy category. Today, several agro companies are trying their hands at forms of marketing that enable them to carve their own niches in consumers’ minds. We explore some regional agro brand with humble beginning and enormous prospects.
Lonavala Chikki Cluster
Up until the Mumbai-Pune Expressway or the NH4 was constructed, the old ghat-composed roads passing through the hill-station Lonavala served as a vital connection between the two major cities. By virtue of that road, Lonavala was considered not only an important pit-stop for leisure travellers looking to get away from both cities, but also for commerce. These factors enabled chikki, a ubiquitous produce of this small town which contains sugar, tiland nuts
among other ingredients, a favourite among consumers in the entire region. In the pre-Expressway days, local chikki-makers, would advertise their wares through an array of OOH media including store advertising, wall paintings and hoardings. However, after the construction of the NH4 when sales fell around 20%, retailers were forced to employ innovative tactics to sustain sales, including the sale of additional items like fudges, jams and jellies, among others.
Transit Advertising, Word of Mouth and Supply Chain
Local retailers believe that Mumbai consumes between 70-90% of the town’s chikki produce, making travellers from the city a critical target market for the chikki cluster. To deal with the reduced effectiveness of transit advertising since an increasing number of travellers are choosing to use NH4, these retailers are delivering their produce to consumers in Mumbai, albeit at a price. Delivery costs vary from about Rs 100 in all, to Rs 15 per kilo. Some retailers even courier the goods, with cost to be borne by the buyer.
In addition, sugar-free or diet chikki is being promoted as a staple in weddings. Although the share of diet products is small, it displays a responsive and smart move on the part of retailers to understand and promote their produce to customers. Today, chikki advertising functions purely through word-of-mouth, to the extent that almost everyone travelling through the region is sure to pick up some of the town’s sweet delights. In this way, using a variety of low/no-cost marketing and distribution tactics, these producers have made inspiring and indelible growth, while enriching their local economy. It is hoped that their stories inspire more cottage concerns, cooperatives and clusters to follow suit in their success.