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Masoom Gupte | Mumbai August 5, 2013 Last Updated at 00:17 IST

The 'rocketman' promo was a proactive sampling exercise: Narayan Sundararaman


Interview with, Category dire tor, beverages ! andy, onsumer insight and strategy, Monde"e# Internationa"
$hat has been the most interesting sa"es promotion you have engineered so %ar& We do use promotions to increase our market share or shore up the month's sales, but not as a core tenet to gro our business! "t the time o# the launch o# a ne product, #or e$ample, the strategic reason o# promotions is to dri%e trials! In the #ood categor& it is especiall& important as the model essentiall& orks along the lines o# high trials #ollo ed b& repeat bu&ing! The sooner the trials, the better &our purchase! "n interesting promotion #or us, then, has been #or our #ruit'based po dered drink brand, Tang! Tang is a #ast gro ing brand but still small #or us! The promotion as dubbed 'rocketman' and as carried out last summer! $ho did you primari"y target with it ' new or e(isting ustomers or both& Last &ear e introduced a thick, pulp& mango %ersion o# Tang, a #irst #or the brand in an& countr&! This summer e rolled out a et sampling initiati%e #or this %ariant! The nature o# the initiati%e ensured that the consumers targeted ere not categorised as e$isting or ne ! It orked across the board! With this promotion, our target customer as an&one ho alked into stores to purchase ' among other things ' cold re#reshment be%erages during the summer season! $hat )ind o% promotion was it& The product categor& in hich Tang operates is such that it is usuall& not particularl& on a shopper's grocer& list hen she enters a store! (ut hat e #ound is that an&one ho tries a glass o# Tang as more likel& to purchase it! The reason e called the promotion the 'rocketman promotion' as because the a& our representati%es ere dressed up #or the initiati%e! The& ere carr&ing on their backs #i%e'litre plastic canisters #illed ith pre'mi$ed, read&'to'drink Tang, read& to drink! This as the #irst time e undertook such a sampling e$ercise #or Tang in the countr&! $hy was it designed so& The idea behind this e$ercise as to gi%e consumers a )uick taste o# the drink rather than depend on them to prepare it a#ter getting hold o# a pack! The 'tanks' ga%e our representati%es mobilit&, rather than ha%e them depend on the consumer #inding her a& to some corner o# the store here the booth is set up! $hat were the ha""enges& We had to make sure that e had the right partnerships ith the trade outlets, especiall& the ke& modern trade pla&ers in order to get the ma$imum return #rom the e$ercise! "lso, as the be%erage had to be prepared inside the store, e had to ensure that #actors like right proportions, temperature, h&giene ere maintained!

$ho partnered you in it& *ur channel partners in modern trade ere retailers like (ig (a+aar, ,&per-it&, Walmart, Spencer's, Tesco and .eliance! The promotion as carried out across metros such as /umbai, 0une, 1elhi, 2olkata, (engaluru and -hennai! *ow e%%e tive was the e(er ise& We mostl& carried out this acti%ation on eekends hen the #oot#alls are higher! *ur partners actuall& came back sa&ing that there as a spike in their sales #or Tang and hence the& ould ask #or repeats o# the acti%ation! 3or 4015, e had set oursel%es a %er& aggressi%e target o# actuall& sampling #i%e lakh consumers and e e$ceeded this b& a long chalk! +on,t sa"es promotions in ur high "ong'term osts %or the ompany& /ore than the costs, as I said be#ore, promotions are no a& to gro a business in the long run! 6speciall& the #ood categor& here the purchase dri%ers are %er& di##erent! 7ou can't sustain gro th in the categor& on the back o# promotions! What &ou can do %ia promotions is increase consumption in the e$treme short'term! Let's take the e$ample o# another categor&, sa& toothpastes! I# &ou are doing a one plus one #ree o##er, &ou are loading the consumer up #or t ice the amount #or a certain period! Whereas she ould normall& takes that time to consume a single tube! What &ou are doing is blocking o## the competition #rom the second month's purchase! That is a great strateg& to take up market share! (ut it is not such a great strateg& #rom the monthl& sales perspecti%e as the sales ill sta& the same the #ollo ing month! I# &ou reall& ant to increase &our sales &ou should probabl& consider a&s o# telling the consumer h& she should brush more o#ten, thereb& increasing the )uantum o# her purchase or gi%e her %ariants o# the same product, sa& one #or regular use, another #or tooth hitening, a third #or sensiti%e teeth and so on! The cost o# a promotion depends on ho eak or strong &our brand o##ering is! I think the issue is that the cost o# a sales promotion can't be borne b& e%er& compan& and at all times o# the &ear! These things cost mone& and i# &ou do it on a continuous basis, then there isn't much le#t #or brand building! It's a trap that &ou can't #all into! -./M 0*1 */.21,2 M/30* 0ang ro )etman Aim 1ri%e trials at the time o# ne 0arget "n&one

launch

ho is in the market #or cold re#reshment be%erages during the summer

4"an The product categor& in hich Tang operates is such that it is usuall& not on a shopper's grocer& list hen she enters a store! We #ound that an&one ho tries a glass o# Tang is likel& to purchase it! So our representati%es ere to carr& on their backs #i%e'litre plastic canisters #illed ith pre'mi$ed, read&'to' drink Tang /ut ome

*ur partners itnessed huge spike in their Tang sales! 3or 4015, e had set oursel%es an aggressi%e target o# actuall& sampling #i%e lakh consumers and e e$ceeded this b& a long chalk