Experiential Marketing Drives Brand Loyalty: Anika Agarwal, Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer, Orient Electric

She discusses how the brand prioritises experiential marketing and incorporates technology to build awareness and conversion for its products

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In a recent interview with BW Applause and Everything Experiential, the Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer of Orient Electric shared insights on how they use experiential marketing to connect with customers and build brand loyalty. Orient Electric, known for its appliances, fans, lighting and Switchgear prioritises experiential marketing for its lead product, Cloud 3. She also discussed the role of technology in their marketing campaigns and the challenges and opportunities they face as a brand. Here are the edited excerpts from the interview. 

How Orient fans use Experiential marketing to connect with customers and build brand loyalty.   

Orient Electric's category of ECD is experiencing some notable changes from the perspective of consumers. While the functional effects of products and appliances are still important, they are now viewed as lifestyle statements. As a result, customers are looking to experience and interact with products firsthand before making a purchase decision. To cater to this shift, Orient Electric is placing a significant emphasis on displaying the right products and planograms at retail counters. This allows customers to see and feel the product they intend to purchase, which can be a crucial factor in their decision-making process when they visit a retail outlet.

We prioritise experiential marketing for our lead product, Cloud 3. We showcase it in opinion stores where customers can physically interact with the product, and sometimes with a demonstrator to show them how it benefits their lives. Additionally, we aim to create touchpoints in high-traffic areas such as malls and airports to showcase our premium products. Finally, in today's digital age, it's crucial to have a strong online presence and market our products effectively on marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart as well as our own website to enhance our experiential marketing strategy.

What role does Experiential marketing play in your overall marketing strategy?

In any marketing strategy, there are two essential components: awareness and conversion. The former involves communicating your brand and offerings to customers, typically through above-the-line media like TV and digital channels. At Orient, we heavily invest in building awareness. However, conversion is equally important, and we rely on experiential marketing for this purpose, especially on physical shop fronts. Conversion can also occur on online marketplaces like Amazon, but experiential marketing is particularly effective in creating high-frequency touchpoints that build awareness. Overall, our focus on experiential marketing at Orient is mainly on conversion.

Can you share some of the successful marketing campaigns you have done in the past? 

While fans are a major product category for Orient, we have also conducted notable campaigns for our lighting range. Our brand ambassador, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has been involved in several innovative campaigns for our Aero series of fans, which are designed for a modern lifestyle. We also have our Love series for lights, where we highlight the importance of buying flicker-free lights for a better experience. At Orient, we always link a consumer benefit to a product feature and present it in an engaging format to our customers. This approach has been a consistent part of our advertising strategy.

How Orient Electric incorporates technology into its marketing campaigns to enhance the customer experience?

Regarding technology in our marketing strategy, there are various use cases that we focus on. While metaverse tools are a distant but promising possibility, we currently prioritise simple and effective applications. For instance, we leverage technology on our website to demonstrate products and their features through intuitive UI/UX and QR codes. We also explore the use of AR/VR to showcase how our products function in home environments. Overall, we constantly work on integrating technology to enhance the customer experience and present our products in innovative ways.

Before preparing any marketing strategy you people do a lot of market research and study the feedback on products and all, but today tools like ChatGPT can easily suggest to you a marketing strategy in a few seconds. How do you see it? A challenge or opportunity? 

Marketing is both an art and a science, and technology can offer both a challenge and an opportunity in this field. For instance, if we consider the volume of work that marketing professionals have to manage, technology can be used to assist in handling this volume efficiently. For instance, imagine having to write product descriptions for 500 products or create a large number of collateral creatives. Here, a tool like ChatGPT can help in managing the workload. However, it's important to note that even with the help of technology, the art and science of marketing still require human input. In other words, tools like ChatGPT can offer suggestions, but it's up to the marketing professional to choose the best ones for the job. Therefore, I believe that such tools can aid in the creative process and improve efficiency, but they cannot replace the human mind.

Previously you were associated with Nokia Corporation and now you are a CMO of orient Electric. What is the difference while making a marketing strategy for mobile and fan companies? 

Despite changes in technology and market trends, the fundamental process of marketing remains the same. It involves identifying consumer insights, understanding customer needs, determining the appropriate channels and distribution methods, and creating a marketing plan tailored to the specific category. However, each category requires a unique approach. For instance, when I worked in the mobile phone industry in the Northeast, we were the leading company, but faced competition from Desire. In contrast, when I worked in the insurance industry, there was a 56% penetration rate, and the need for insurance was not always obvious. In such categories, the marketing strategy may involve broadcasting a message to the customer. The key is to communicate with customers in a way that is appropriate for the category and design the marketing strategy accordingly.

looking ahead what are some biggest marketing challenges and opportunities that you see for Orient Electric in the near future?

In our cluttered categories with multiple brands, our priorities for marketing are threefold. Firstly, we aim to create a distinct position and identity for Orient in the customer's mind by leveraging our 60-year-old brand strength and inherent trust, while continuing to innovate and offer market-leading products. Secondly, we are investing in new distribution channels such as digital and modern retail, while maintaining our traditional distribution setups. Finally, we strive to stay relevant to the younger generation by offering newer products with lifestyle and aesthetic appeal, and communicating in their language through an evolving tone of voice on digital media. Our goal is to create an emotional connection with our customers.



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