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AdStand: When sale is a strategy

Now sale is the dominant consumer strategy. And if a brand is not on sale, it might have a deal being offered by some deal app

Delhi | July 25, 2016

Adstand by Naresh Gupta

There is a lot happening in the consumer space. More brands are on sale than ever. Homes are on sale, cars are on sale, phones are on sale, even brands are on sale. If you are a consumer, then this is the time to go shopping.

Conventional marketing theories have been about building strong pull for the brand by building on core values. Brands should demand a price premium and consumers should seek them out. Price offs are tactical ways to expand the franchise and bring more people in. Marketing managers in the past have spared no effort to study the impact of price drop on overall profitability of the brand.

All this is now history. Now sale is the dominant consumer strategy. And if a brand is not on sale, it might have a deal being offered by some deal app.

With the opening of e-commerce brands and the race to acquire customers, the money they spend on sale far exceeds the money they spend on brand building. Today Amazon is on sale, Myntra is on sale, Jabong is on sale (and is up for sale).

Meanwhile, a brand in the US has just introduced drinkable Marijuana Tonics.

Myntra is on sale


It’s not just a sale, it’s India’s largest fashion sale. Heck, they even have Hrithik Roshan getting ready to shop on Myntra. Asking people to create a wish list is simple, that's what people do before a sale. Myntra even created a behind-the-scene video of how they are getting ready for the increased demand. There is nothing unusual about the video, just a brand telling its own story.

The big take away from the campaign is simple, you need a big superstar to build traction for sale, that will last two days.

Amazon is on sale

Amazon’s latest fashion campaign has a bus and a few youngsters who are on a road trip. While on the trip, they showcase fashion styles from global ramps. Interestingly, there is another brand that was doing the same a year ago. A bus, a road trip, a bunch of youngsters celebrating life, but not from Amazon, from Jabong.

They called this the Citizen of Fashion campaign, and did a sale extension of the same campaign. Even before Citizen of Fashion could be established, the brand moved on to sale. Clearly offering fashion cheaper is more important than offering fashion.

Clearly, price is a strategy and not a tactic.

Jabong is on sale

Jabong created a completely different persona for the brand. They went younger and rebellious. This was Jabong’s way of building its credential as a high fashion brand. They too are on sale. The big brand sale has a number of people jumping all over the screen to create a high-energy impact.

Jabong too has used the sale strategically. It’s not a build on the brand tonality they had. They even dropped the brand signature. For the e-com brand, sale is the strategy.

Sale is the dominant tactic

For most e-com brands, and not just the three fashion brands, sale has become the dominant strategy. Sale has been topped by cashbacks, deals and more tactics that tell consumers ‘we are cheap’. Brands today spend a huge marketing money to ‘announce’ price deals. This is not the conventional branding logic. There are two issues at play here.

One, the e-com brands are actually retailers who leverage the brands they sell. Are they harming the brands by being on sale?

Two, will the consumer go back to these ‘brands’ if they stopped the discounts?

Meanwhile there is a store in the US that has launched a brand called Legal. Here’s the video


Now this may be really differentiated brand thinking!

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