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Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M Chief Consulting Editor's Desk
Rajita Chaudhuri
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Cheerleaders For Consumers
In Today’s Competitive World, The Marketer Certainly needs to Create The Right Mood in The Potential Buyer to Influence His Purchase
Issue Date - 02/06/2011
Badnaam Munni, the controversy surrounding the song, and the popularity of the song worked wonders for Emami owned Zandu Balm; sales doubled during July-September 2010 quarter. Then, the company decided to use Shiela Ki Jawani to sell Boroplus. And now, Emami is funding the entire cost of a Bhojpuri film song that will mention its Himani Navratna extra thanda hair oil. The idea behind all this: cut through the clutter, reach out to core consumers directly, uplift their mood, and make them buy the promoted brand. Also, media penetration being low in markets for these core consumers – rural UP and Bihar residents – the movie itself will act as a good medium to reach them. Finally, Emami has also entered into a co-branding pact with the movie Dum Maro Dum to promote its talcum powder brand Navratna Cool by using the grabs from the title track of the movie.

All voluntary purchases are dictated by our attitudinal disposition towards an item. So the job of a marketer is to create (when non-existent), enhance (when low), maintain (when sufficiently high), or even change (when negative) the right kind and quantum of attitude. Dabur has identified 30 villagers in Bihar & UP who will work along with Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan, as ‘immunity ambassador’ for promoting Dabur Chyawanprash. Indianisation of cricket in the form of IPL has meant a heady mixture of film personalities and sports, and a mela atmosphere at the matches. And with IPL setting the pace, hockey is now set to get a faster, truncated avatar with a 6, 8 or 9 members a side team, with matches of only 30 minutes duration, music on the field, and an increased pace of the entertaining game. There will be a new title as well – International Super Series. Reason: The marketers (whether Dabur or BCCI, or the World Hockey Federation) have a common aim, that of ensuring favourable altitude towards the marketed brand.

But when a customer is not interested or involved in processing marketer’s information at a deeper level, his mood itself can create the right kind of feeling towards the marketed brand. While not as intense as emotion, a mood is an affective state that is general and persuasive. A stimulus can create a positive or negative mood; this in turn can affect consumer’s reaction to any other stimulus he happens to evaluate. A person in good mood naturally likes something; the opposite is also true. Domino’s Pizzas sold about 30% more when the ICC Cricket World Cup was on recently. Mood can bias attitudes in a mood congruent direction. Consumers in a good mood tend to give more weight to positive information when evaluating a product. So Close Up toothpaste has designed an advergame Fire Freeze in which you are supposed to kiss your colleague, but without getting caught. Gaming combined with the wide reach of DTH TV is the ideal route to involve youth, the target audience and orient them positively towards the brand. HUL has online games for its deodorant brand AXE as well.

In restaurant business there is something called ‘menu engineering’. This refers to the design and strategic placement of dishes to increase consumer spend. Thus, when people are short of money during tough economic times, the menu should be short, with simple descriptions, and the prices printed right after the dish details and not in a column on the right hand side of the page since the latter practice leads to direct price comparison. Even the menu type size needs to be carefully chosen: in a dimly lit restaurant, unless the target diner is Gen Y, a large and clear format is required. Get the customer into ‘right’ mood for ordering. Not only the menu card, the overall ambience also puts the customer in a certain mood. Warm colours are more likely to draw customers to an outlet but can also create tension. Cool colours on the other hand are more relaxing, but are not so inviting. So when the goal is to stimulate quick purchase, warm colours are more appropriate (like in Café Coffee Day, McDonald’s), in health clubs, sports stadia, et al, where a high level of activity and energy is desirable. Cool colours are more suited when the goal is to have consumers feel calm or spend time deliberating (hospitals, fine dining restaurants). Apple’s stores, for instance, are decorated in white and shades of grey so as to provide a clean, uncluttered environment for showcasing high tech products.

Consumers may also like a brand better when they are put in a good mood through an advertisement or any other mode of communication. When ads for Huggies disposable diapers picture tender moments between babies and parents, they also generate positive feelings for the brand. Why do you think Johnson & Johnson is able to sell its ‘overpriced’ baby products to not-so-rich Indian mothers? – Through control on consumer/ buyers’ mind due to its highly liked and recalled commercials.

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