Sales promotion – different approaches for different products


In this article we consider it appropriate to give some current practical examples of market leading companies and the promotion strategies adopted by them. For the purpose we are projecting the case of the conglomerate ‘Reliance’.

Reliance employed different promotional approaches for different product lines. Similarly, it also applied different promotional approaches for the different regional markets. The company had correctly assessed that in textile preferences, India could not be treated as a single unified market. There are distinct regional preferences in respect of dress combinations, texture, design and color.

What holds well in the South does not hold good in the North. Even in the same region, different sections of people have varying preferences. Keeping this dimension in focus, Reliance promoted its products among different geographical areas and groups of customers with distinct promotional approaches. In what follows, we will elaborate how Reliance formulated and implemented its product-specific and region-specific promotional approaches.

Strategy for suiting

Reliance promoted its suiting as something precious, something of long-term value, almost a consumer durable! The ads tried to show the technology employed by Reliance in yarn development and fabric production. The technological superiority of Reliance and the resultant superior quality and looks of Vimal suiting was communicated through powerful and imaginative copy.

In order to facilitate target specific promotion, Reliance divided its target market for suiting into two sub-segments, namely (i) the business people/executive community and (ii) the middleclass gentlemen who go by retailers’ recommendations in the choice of suiting. Reliance also found out that in the same market/city, both types of consumers were present in large numbers. As such, Reliance developed distinctive campaigns aimed at the two distinction segments and carried out both types of campaigns simultaneously at a given location so as to ensure total coverage in the location.

Campaign Objectives

The objectives of campaign “A� were:

1. To enhance the general image of Vimal and thereby promote Vimal suiting as ideal for the executive class.
2. To break the Raymonds stranglehold on the upper segment by projecting Vimal as a brand that is deeply concerned about the well-being of executives.
3. To talk to this segment on a man-to-man level about matters that concerned them.
4. To advise the segment that dress alone does not make a man and dress has to be complemented with a well developed personality and tips on personality were offered accordingly.

Strategy for Saris:

For saris, Reliance employed a promotion strategy that was quite different from the one used for suiting. The customers in this case being women, and the product a piece of tradition, Reliance rightly opted for traditional themes, messages, images and copy for the promotion of saris. The famous theme ‘A Woman Expresses Herself in Many Languages, Vimal Is One Of Them’, is the most eloquent sample of this strategy. With this theme, Reliance created different copy each depicting a different ‘mudra’. Each ‘mudra’ was an expression conveying a certain mood by itself; and all the ‘mudras’ were traditional. The ads showed the vast spectrum in the personality of a woman through her different expressions of joy, happiness, gentleness and adornment. Even the shade and the design of the saris used in the ad were in keeping with the definite mood that was sought to be conveyed. An attempt was made to create a rapport between Vimal and the buyer and appeal to her emotionally. All the themes chosen were traditional, since the sari was a product ingrained in tradition.

Strategy for Dress materials:

The promotion of dress materials was treated quite differently. Here the thrust was on portraying Western fashions. The initial campaigns featured modern kinds of dresses in color, superimposed on sepia/black and white backgrounds. The objective was to present Vimal as creating a very new and trendy fashion fabric. Since Reliance had consciously earmarked the fashion-loving youth in the metros as the target market for this product, the promotion strategy suited the target audience very well. Here too, two distinct campaigns were created. The first one was a regional campaign; different ads were released in different regions. Each of these ads featured models that portrayed the particular style of dress that is most popular in that region and the favorite shades and designs of that region. The second campaign was a national campaign which was carried which was carried out using out using nationally popular magazines. The ads not only portrayed the latest Western fashions but also provided personality tips useful to young women.