Marketing the promise, not the product

November 19, 2014
writeclick

Google, Nestle, Kissan, and now, Kalyan Jewelers. The jewelry brand from Kerala is the latest to take the story telling route in its recently launched TV commercial. The advertisement features Amitabh Bachchan as the busy doctor who goes the extra mile to keep a promise made. The story is anchored in the brand’s key promise: trust.

While the Google ad featuring two friends from across the India-Pakistan border neatly stitched in the product’s advantages into the story’s fabric, the Kalyan Jewelers ad surprisingly avoids showcasing the product. This merits further thought.

  • Let’s look at the context of the brand’s operations – the Indian jewelry market. It’s fairly crowded. There are innumerable local players – family-owned establishments that have served a city, town or a village for decades. Some have been marketing their pedigree, acquiring the status of a popular local or regional brand, such as Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ) in Mumbai, or Ganjam in Bangalore. In the last few years, branded retail chains such as Tanishq from the house of the TATAs and Reliance Jewels too have entered the fray. Almost all the players showcase their jewelry in their advertisements. After all, that’s what the buyer needs to see, right?

This is where the Kalyan jewelry ad stands out. It markets the brand’s promise and not the product. It reiterates the message of trust and reliability, which have been at the heart of its marketing communication. The focus is not on wedding jewelry or work-wear trinkets. It’s on the ethos behind the business.

  • Traditionally, Indian families have bought jewelry from their trusted goldsmiths. Many families have had a loyal relationship with a goldsmith or his family, which has remained intact over generations. These relationships have been cemented by a need to ensure purity/ quality in the gold and silver purchased.

Kalyan Jewelers addresses the same sentiments in its marketing communication. It uses the key pegs of reliability and relationships in this TV commercial.

Don’t most brands, particularly those in the jewelry segment, talk about relationships? True, they do. But it’s in the context of buying and wearing jewelry. It’s about celebrating an occasion or an event, where the glitter of gold adds to the joy. The Kalyan ad gets our vote for breaking the context barrier and celebrating everyday life.

  • Another point merits attention – the timing of the ad. The brand has been expanding its presence, opening new stores as well as customer service centers across India. The initial advertisements, in tandem with this move, have showcased the jewelry and in the context of a celebration. Remember Aishwarya Rai helping the girls with their shopping? Or dressed as a princess? The print ads still portray the former Miss World decked up in gold. Thus, the brand has already made efforts to cement its association with the product – jewelry.

With this association safely established in the audience’s mind, Kalyan can now focus on marketing its brand stories. It can tell simple, heartwarming tales that remind you of the promise and not just the product.

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