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Samsonite to spend Rs 10 crore annually on digital marketing

Luggage brand Samsonite has gradually started ditching conventional advertising platforms for digital and plans to spend around 50% of its ad budget on the medium to reach out to the globetrotting millennial through its campaigns

Anushree Tainwala

India is becoming one of the fastest growing outbound travel markets in the world and likely to have 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. And banking on the exponential growth of India's domestic and outbound tourism industry, luggage brand Samsonite hopes for an annual hike of 15-20% in its revenue.

The company is focusing on globetrotting millennials as the key growth segment and keeping in mind its target group, Samsonite is putting all its energies in digital marketing and advertising. The brand has earmarked 50% of its total advertising budget of Rs 20 crore a year for digital.

“For the brand Samsonite, at least 50% of our spends are on digital today and our annual marketing budget would be in the range of Rs 15 to 20 crore,” said Anushree Tainwala, Executive Director, Marketing, Samsonite South Asia.

Samsonite has products available across mid premium to premium categories. The organised luggage industry in India is around Rs 4000 crore and Samsonite holds a little less than 5% share in it.

While the brand has been very active on YouTube with its video initiatives, it has not experimented much with the largest mass-medium, TV, in a long run. It finds its consumers using social media more today.

“We don’t look at doing TV as a media; we haven’t done it in the past few years. We feel that our consumers are very niche and premium, not necessarily someone who is consuming as much traditional content. Plus, because you are talking to such a niche consumer group, the spill is too high to invest that kind of money behind it. We keep it limited to the media where we can talk better to our premium customer segment and the focus has become more digital over time,” said Tainwala.

Recently, Samsonite launched its campaign #KeralaIsOpen to revive tourism in the flood-hit state. Over-performing the team’s expectations, the campaign, put out a week ago, has already received 1.6 million views on YouTube and organic shares on WhatsApp.

“We didn’t think that it is going to be this ‘big-splashy-campaign’. We were excited about the idea as it was something different. We didn’t really expect it to become as big as it did. It was limited to digital media and some small in-store promotions. The big surprise for us was how fast it has been spread on WhatsApp and that was not something that we had done from the brand side. It is just organically gotten there,” she said.

While there is an increase in the demand for travelling among millennials, luggage is not on the top of the list. However, the brand aims to twist it around by constantly reminding its consumers.

“Luggage not something that people feel very passionately about. A trip or a holiday is really popular now but luggage is pretty much at the bottom of the list; that has always been a big challenge for us. So, how do you remain relevant and increase your mindshare in the travel category itself? That’s why campaign like these work so well for us because it reminds people that we are also a part of their travel journey,” said Tainwala.

She also said that instead of going for campaigns the brand prefers shorter burst outs during the specific seasons which also includes the wedding season.

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