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Creativity: Key To Entice The Customers

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The marketing world today is centered on getting consumers more involved in the brand, which ultimately leads to engagement. Well, even if it doesn't guarantee long-term loyalty, it does help in getting a fair share of the market pie.

Advertising agencies have ideated and executed several creative and successful ideas to garner maximum response. However, there has always been a challenge in communicating about and engaging people in low-involvement category products. These are the products in which the level of involvement of the consumer, the interest and information searched for, is lower.

Usually, products in low-involvement category will include goods where the buying is based on the consumer's automatic/habitual buying behavior. The consumer does not feel the need of communication from the brand as he does not seek information on the product. Also, brands in low involvement category can be easily replaced by one another, as the consumer is not conscious about the brand in that category. Such categories would include water heaters, switch gears, electric wires/cables, paints and the likes.

High-involvement product categories, on the other hand, receive much attention from consumers. This category would include cars, houses, white goods, mobile phones, etc. where the consumer want the communication to give the information of the product in detail. The focus of advertising in such cases is typically on product differentiation.

In case of low involvement category products, it is important to capture the initial attention span of the consumer. Once it is done, subtle cues can be provided to communicate product details, applications and benefits. Unlike high involvement categories, the challenge is to search for relevant emotional hook while creating low involvement category campaigns.

For example, everyone remembers the P&G 'Thank You Mom' campaign designed during Olympics, which was an emotional connect for consumers, portraying the significant role played by a mother in her child's sporting endeavour. Another example which still resonates in the minds of consumer is the 'Daag Achche Hain' campaign by Surf Excel, giving confidence to stand for what is right.

These campaigns have been fantastic in creative thought, albeit when it comes to low-involvement category portraying such creativity forms a challenge! It is not only about grasping and retaining the attention of consumers, but also to build the brand.  Lately, we have witnessed brands operating in these categories come up with excellent, insight based, advertising creating an emotional connect rather than focusing on the information (functional/technical) regarding the category/brand.

One classic example of high involvement by low category brand is 'Fevicol'. From kids to elders, everyone remembers 'Fevicol ka mazboot jod hai, tutega nahi'. The involvement of consumers is so much so that the brand has become a generic for adhesives.

Role Of Advertising Agencies
Product differentiation has been the hook of advertising agencies while creating a brand campaign. However, in low-involvement category, where there is hardly any differentiation, agencies have to explore unique communication points to develop an effective campaign

The objective of a creative agency should be to establish the relevance of the category, increase consumer interest and then own the relevance as the brand's unique proposition. One of the effective ways to achieve this owning an 'emotional connect' to win the consideration and interest of consumers, which can then be elevated with 'reason to believe' highlighting functional features through surrounding communication points such as activations, point of sale, product brochures, door-to-door sales and similar activities.

If you look at the advertising 10 years ago, most of the brands communicated the functional reason to opt for them. They invariably communicated about tangible benefits on choosing their product/brand. Lately, all the brands are trying to connect emotionally. With the new generation being more conscious about the 'greater good', agencies are trying to build the connect through emotional as well as social campaigns.

Another interesting industry we can think of is the insurance industry. While the insurance seeker looks at a lot of detail while finalizing the plan, initially it is important for the competing brands to occupy the share of mind and heart. Hence you will see many excellent slice of life ads garnering for consumer attention. For example: "Sar utha ke jiyo" by HDFC, "Bande Acchhe hain"  by ICICI Prudential, "Your Partner for Life" by Max Life Insurance, "Live life to the fullest" by SBI Life insurance. These brands have clearly focused on emotional planks and have succeeded in establishing a bond with the consumers. Similar to this we can also look at water heaters industry where typically most brands talk about the functional feature led benefits, however a strong emotional connect is needed to differentiate and take the brand to the next level.

It is inevitable for such brands to define their identity in the life of the consumer. The technicalities involved in the details and explanation of 'functional benefits' of these products is not very attractive to hold attention of the consumers. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid its communication around these benefits. Instead, identifying and banking upon a relevant emotional connect with the consumer; can prove to be successfully beneficial for the brands. Brands have applied this resulting in achievement of incremental volumes for brands, ultimately creating a valuable bond with the consumers.  However, this has to be done in sync with increasing the understanding, awareness and engagement level of the consumers.

Client Agency Relationship

One of the most significant aspects of building an extraordinary campaign is the relationship between client and agency. It is essential in connecting with consumers. Clients should engage creative agencies in consumer-based research studies such as consumption, market preference, application, attitudes and preferences, brand health etc. On the other hand, agencies should proactively get themselves involved in understanding all the processes, from manufacturing to distribution.

As agencies are involved in gathering information on varied industries, by nature of their job, they would add value to the advertiser's brands helping them connect the dots regarding consumer behavior across different industries. This enriches a marketer with a broader perspective on consumer preferences and buying behavior, local as well as global.

It is the combined efforts of advertisers and agencies that even low-involvement category products can weave a convincing package and strike a chord with the consumers.

This helps to break the clutter and build an everlasting impact. Indian advertising agencies are not only helping to build a brand but to sustain the momentum through an insightful journey. 
Mutual understanding, knowledge and insight sharing have proved successful and can pave way for great results.