Rajesh Sarada, Vice President (National Head) - Marketing, Reliance Cement
CSR plays a very important role in building the corporate image building and right to do business. says Rajesh Sarada, Vice President (National Head) - Marketing, Reliance Cement. Excerpts from the interview.
What has been the perceptible shift in the concept of creating a ´brand´, and how it is applicable in your case?
Cement is a commodity and brand plays a very important role in positioning of the product in consumers mind. Cement is correlated to strength and many companies position their product around strength or durability. Very few companies have positioned their product away from strength. We at Reliance Cement have tried to break the clutter by taking the position of ¨Perfection¨. Reliance Cement is perfect in all areas be it quality, durability, strength or after sales services. We are also developing perfect partnership with our channel partners and other stakeholders.
Which feature / characteristic / USP of the product are you trying to highlight through your advertisement and why?
Reliance as a brand is well established and therefore it does not need any introduction. Our only challenge was to communicate to the customers that Reliance has also entered into cement sector and offering a better product and services to its consumers. Our main focus is to create consumer awareness through strong presence on point of purchase i.e. retail counters with support of print, radio and outdoor media. We do exist strongly with on-ground activities like participating in melas, haats, etc.
Reliance Cement comes in a innovative packaging which is weather proof and temper proof. We guarantee our consumers that the cement they purchase is fresh and unadulterated. Our another USP is the UPSD technology which ensures higher strength and optimum setting time.
What segment of market you cater to?
Our focus is primarily on trade segment. We sell around 80 per cent of our production in trade market i.e. IHB segment and about 20 per cent in institutional segment. Our customer service team helps the IHB segment on designs, lay outs, budget, planning and other related issues of home building. Our packaging for both trade and institutional segment is different to avoid any infiltration. Institutional segment is primarily concerned on the delivery schedule and on properties of the product. Branding does not influence the buying decision of this segment.
How do you rate your brand positioning / tag lines in terms of differentiating a product and creating value?
Like I mentioned earlier, we have positioned our cement as ¨Ek Perfect Cement¨ i.e. perfect in terms of quality, strength, durability, and after sales services. Perfect cement builds a Perfect home. Our value proposition to customers is fresh and unadulterated cement which come in tamper proof and weather proof packaging, fast setting time for faster construction, and on-site mobile testing van and expert services to ensure construction quality and good construction practices.
How do you plan your product promotion?
We look at 360 degree approach for product promoting. Mass media like print, radio and outdoor are broadly used to promote our brand. We also carryout BTL activities like participation in local melas and haats which attracts lot of footfalls. However, our major focus is on point of sales i.e. Retail counters to enhance our visibility at the outlet thru dealer boards, in-shop branding, POPs, etc. Our other major focus is on the influencers segment like masons, contactors, engineers and architects. We conduct various meets with the masons and contractors to improve their skills and impart them with best construction practices. Also we conduct conferences and seminars for engineers and architects at all our locations to keep them updated with latest in industry like sustainability and green initiatives.
To what extent does CSR impact branding? How?
CSR plays a very important role in building the corporate image building and right to do business. We carryout lot of activities around our cement plants in terms of education, health services, water conservation, promote self help groups for livelihood/employment generation, etc. The programs are done by our own team and in few cases in collaboration with recognised NGOs.