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Innovation through woman's intuition

india Updated: Nov 22, 2007 20:20 IST
Highlight Story

This brand's got aggressive plans for growth in India. According to IMRB, Whirlpool already enjoys the status of the largest refrigerator brand and second largest washing machine brand in India. Whirlpool intends to consolidate and grow on these and aggressively address the airconditioners and high-end cooking appliances categories.

Shantanu Das Gupta, VP marketing, Whirlpool of India, says confidently, "We are already a leading player in our key categories and will take the leadership status further in 2008-09. We will consolidate ACs and cooking appliances through major consumer-oriented product launches, along with strong brand building measures."

The company has already launched domestic water purifiers in select markets and will expand their reach in 2008. "We have also launched our range of 'Built In' appliances – high-end hobs, hoods and ovens that can be built into designer/modular kitchens." Whirpool's the world leader in this super premium segment.

This festive season has also seen Whirlpool launch its high-end "professional" refrigerators, priced between Rs 31,200 and Rs 38,100, and its Magicook microwave ovens, priced at Rs 4,000-9,250. The new launches have been supported by low-key advertising but high decibel Diwali promos and retail initiatives.

The much-publicised "Magic Chalao, Dream Home Sajao" promotion, Das Gupta claims, delivered on the company's objective of upping sales by 20 per cent during the festive season. "We should be meeting this target quite comfortably in the last quarter of the year." The promotion offer involved 30 home makeovers in consultation with reputed interior designers and architects, and vouchers worth Rs 1.5 lakh/two assured gifts to contest winners, on the purchase of Whirlpool products in the month preceding Diwali.

Whirlpool sells through 11,000 outlets and has just initiated a breakthrough retail visibility campaign for its professional refrigerators. It is using modular displays "designed to be adapted across a variety of store formats – big, small, modern, traditional – and still provide consistent imagery with clutter-breaking visibility and relevant consumer information. Information tools range from scroll up screens to touch-screen displays," says Das Gupta. Other visibility tools include a 'Pookalam' cutout during Onam in Kerela, which is partly spread on the floor.

The company earmarked Rs 70 crore as the marketing and advertising spend for the current year, of which Rs 20 crore has been spent for the festive season. Ajay and Kajol Devgan seem set to continue as brand ambassadors since.

Innovation will continue to lead Whirlpool's ambitions. It positions itself as a 'specialist' home appliance brand that understands consumer needs better than anyone else. "Whirlpool uses this understanding to provide the most innovative products and features. This is manifested in the 6th Sense property of our appliances, which is 'woman's intuition captured by technology'," says Das Gupta.