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In-depth: Home décor brands are sparing no expense for sale season

Home Décor brands have lined up their marketing blitzkrieg to push sales during Diwali. Brands such as Pepperfry have increased their marketing budgets by at least 50%-70% as they are looking to net anywhere between 20-30% of their annual sales from these four to five months

Like many sectors and categories, Home Décor brands too are expecting to net big business during the festive season months spanning September to January. The festive months are expected to account for anywhere between 20-30% of the overall sales for home décor brands.

The home décor space in India got a shot in the arm with the entry of Swedish furniture and kitchen appliances brand IKEA. But all major home décor brands are expecting this festive season to be better than the previous one and are spending a substantial amount of their marketing monies on promoting their products and sales in these months.

“A high degree of seasonality is observed in the furniture market for example, H2 (Jul-Dec):H1 (Jan-Jun) sales are in the 2:1 ratio. Within H2, the Diwali month generates almost a third of the sales,” said Kashyap Vadapalli, Chief Marketing officer, Pepperfry.

IKEA too has understood the importance of the festive season for home décor brands in the country through some in-dept market research.

“We have a vision to create a better and brighter everyday life for the many people in India and to understand what matters the most to Indians, we did 1000s of home visits in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru. While we got many insights around life at home, we also figured that festivals are very important for Indians. It’s a time where you want to welcome a lot of people at home and showcase a home that talks well about you. It is about showing your home to people, investing in expensive things and doing it up for people visiting your home; that’s why the living room is a focus area for festive makeovers,” said Ulf Smedberg, Country Marketing Manager, IKEA India.

“At IKEA, we approach it differently as we offer everyday low prices and launch new products through the year and not restrict them to the festive season but during festivals we will share great home furnishing inspirations with new products and solutions for our customers,” added Smedberg.

Smedberg also mentioned that lighting, cooking, decoration, textiles, outdoor, living room and dining are some of the categories that people tend to invest in more during the festive season.

Marketing wise, every brand is putting their best foot forward not just because these months are crucial for business but also because there is the fear of being overshadowed by the other brands.

“All the big brands and retailers are capitalising on the shifting consumer behaviour and orienting the second half of the year to drive maximum business. In fact, this season has become so crucial, that brands who miss out on promotions, lose out on a major chunk of the business. It's now hygiene to promote your brand during this season,” said Nishant Gupta, VP Marketing, Urban Ladder.

Gupta also mentioned that just relying on the festive season and offering massive discounts and sales is probably not a sustainable business plan.

For Urban Ladder, their marketing during the festive season involves both highlighting their product portfolio and also their sale ‘Full House Sale’ (FHS).

“From a sustainability standpoint, brands that do well in non-sale periods will continue to perform during sale periods. For brands banking on irrational discounting and promotions, they might experience a spike in consumer spends but it's not the most sustainable form of growth. For Urban Ladder, fortunately, buying has been season agnostic and mostly dependent on the need and value proposition for the customer. But given the landscape, we do initiate two big levers - our annual Full House Sale and our new ranges of festive decor and products. Combined, they give us the right blend of traffic to our online and offline channels,” said Gupta.

According to Gupta, compared to FHS’17, first-day sale revenues have grown by more than 200% in 2018.

“We’ve touched gross revenues of almost 12 Cr on furniture and witnessed 3X traffic of any season past,” added Gupta.

Pepperfry on the other hand has launched a 360-degree marketing campaign called ‘Diwali toh sab ke liye hai’. Vadapalli also mentioned that the brand’s marketing budget has also gone up by 70% when compared to the same period last year.

“We have curated a 360-degree campaign for the festive season themed “Diwali toh sab ke liye hai” wherein we are reaching out to consumers via not just a national television commercial aired across channels but, also radio and cinema in the top six cities. We are also indulging in outdoor campaigning across Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad. We are also accelerating our digital presence by partnering with content houses like TVF, Miss Malini and Dice Media,” said Vadapalli.

The newest entrant to the race, IKEA, is mainly leveraging the digital medium for marketing their products. Aside from digital, the brand is also using a mix of TV and OOH campaigns during this festive season.

“A new campaign which we have just launched on TV channels in Hyderabad is ‘Talking Products’, which is a series of short films in which we let some iconic IKEA products speak and express their personality, in a fun and engaging way. The response to this campaign has been good so far and we hope to establish an emotional connect with our customers through such campaigns,” said Smedberg.

Home Centre, the home furnishing retail stores chain from Landmark Group, is trying to the leverage the “gifting” proposition this festive season.

“Festive season calls for high visibility marketing campaigns. We have recently launched the festive media campaign with an objective of reaching out to new customers and reinforcing brand recall for the existing base. A multimedia integrated campaign has been launched in the market with ad films, newspaper ads, radio, hoardings, bloggers activation at stores, social media contests and so on. Our festive season proposition for Home Centre is that we are the destination for perfect gifting for the season, many initiatives at the store – branding, display of merchandise, among others further reinforce our marketing proposition. Home Centre is known for festive collection and best gifting ideas. Hence, our campaigns are all about “great for gifting and great for keeping”,” said Sitaram Kumar, Senior Vice President, Home Centre.

The brand, according to Kumar, adds anywhere between 10% of new customer base during this period because of our merchandise, marketing campaigns and so on.

HomeTown, the furniture, décor and home appliances brand from Future Enterprises, is taking the offers and discounts tack to raise awareness about their brand and products this festive season.

“At HomeTown, we have launched our festive promotion with new collection at the stores and attractive offers. Our homeware collection is planned around four key themes – (Botanique - inspired by nature and fresh green outdoors; Palace Life - inspired by the palaces of Rajasthan;  Moderne - Inspired by minimalism and geometry; and Classique -inspired by the heritage prints, fabrics and colours of India) and an sales offer for our customers. The offers at the stores is as follows – Upto 50% off on furniture and assured gifts on Homeware shopping. The mega offer is Free Recliner on homeware purchase of Rs. 50,000 and above,” said Medha Tawde, Chief Marketing Officer, HomeTown

Pepperfry is expecting a 100% growth in sales during the month festive period as compared to the previous quarter. Last year, says Vadapalli, the brand a 50-60% increase in sales vis-à-vis the previous quarter, during the festive season.

Home Centre is expecting to grow anywhere between 15% to 20% this season and Kumar mentioned that the brand has been seeing a growth of CAGR of 20% for the last three years during the said season.

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