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Inbox : This Fortnight

Special Columns
Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M Chief Consulting Editor's Desk
Rajita Chaudhuri
K.K.Srivastava Guest Column
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Inbox: This Fortnight

Cadillac gets affordable, as General motors gets experimental

Cadillac, one of the upmarket premium luxury car brands, just got a lot more affordable and attainable. The launch of itís entry level ATS sedan in Detroit on Sunday was a part of General Motorís efforts to revive the century old luxury brand that has been seeing tough days. Once it rolls out from the GM plant at Lansing, Michigan, it would become the lightest and the smallest Cadillac to see the light of day. Placed in the compact luxury segment, it shall compete with the likes of Audi A4, BMW 3 series and Mercedes C-class, thus considerably heating up the segment. While it is understandable why GM would so despairingly want to enter this category taking into view its depleting sales and mounting debt; what is also worth considering is, how successful this latest effort by GM to save itís once admirable but now sagging luxury brand will be. Though a lot cheaper now, can it sell these vehicles only on brand appeal? Also, once the brand becomes so much more approachable, will it not lose itís sheen? After all, for the luxury car owners, one of the most important elements before purchasing a car is its exclusivity. If that goes, what stays?

A night out at the ikea store

Trying a product is one thing, using it as oneís own before buying it is another. And doing this (enjoying the latter privilege) on the marketerís insistence is something that was previously unheard off, especially when the product in consideration happens to be home furniture. But this was what ensued when Ikeaís marketing head decided to innovate its customer carrots in a bid to increase brand presence, both digitally and otherwise. Ikea invited itís customers from all over England to come and spend a night at their store. A Facebook page aptly called Ė ďI wanna have a sleepover in IkeaĒ was set up and duly liked by nearly 1 lakh people, out of which a lucky 100 participants were chosen to come & experience this unique opportunity. There were only two rules for the night Ė you have to be above 25 and you have to be in your pyjamas. The campaign effectively captured the customerís attention and successfully fulfilled the marketerís agenda of acquainting the customer with its products. It also well exemplifies the advantages of innovative marketing tactics and the growing trend of hosting ambient campaigns. India, while trying to stand up to MNCs in terms of revenues, still falters miserably in this area.

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