Dalmia Bharat has unveiled its new Dalmia DSP TVC to reinstate its positioning as ‘The Dhalai Expert’. In a clear shift from the often repeated ‘strong construction’ proposition in the cement category communication, the TVC relates more to the inherent qualities of the brand through the robot Mr D becoming a part of people’s lives. BK Singh, Sr Executive Director and Group Head-Corporate Brand and Marketing, Dalmia Bharat Group, talks about the way forward for the brand and the industry as a whole
BY DIPALI BANKA
Q] What is the insight behind the TVC that you have launched and what is the objective of the campaign?
The home is an integral part of the family and is a silent but a very important observer of what goes on inside it. That is one insight that we picked up while talking to consumers and home-builders. Secondly, every member of the family has full confidence and trust that their house is safe and it will protect everyone for all times to come. Therefore, when it comes to building a house, a consumer wants nothing but the best - the best type of builder, product, building materials and people who work on it. These were a few consumer insights, based on which we worked on our communication for our new product.
Q] This new product that Dalmia Cements has come up with – how is it different from the earlier ones?
Yes, we came up with this product ‘Delta 25 Power’, a first of its kind. We have been marketing and selling to consumers for the last year or so - we have been communicating through the traditional channels which are Outdoor, PoP materials and Print, but the Television commercial we have started just now, to complete our 360-degree campaign. To explain the difference in the products, let me say that a house is made up of different elements in construction and different parts have special needs, and hence cement also has different applications within the house based on those needs. For example, there will be walls, pillars, load bearings, foundations, etc. Our new product is part of concreting, which takes care of the load-bearing in beams, columns and roofs, which we call ‘dhalai’. It is the most important part of a building, which gives durability and strength. Our effort is to communicate this to our consumers.
Q] Cement is otherwise a generic category and probably termed as a commodity. Does your target audience go out and ask for a particular brand or is it the contractors or builders who decide the brand? Whom do you target for your communication activities?
Most of our brand communication is targeted primary to the individual who builds his or her own house on their own plot. Our secondary target is the private builders, who make apartment buildings and their requirements may be of different types. In the cement industry today, majority of the sale comes from individual houseowners and only a small part of the entire pie is the builder’s segment. Our primary target is that segment.
Our research and understanding says that while they might take the help of specialists and influencers like contractors, engineers and masons, more than 90% of the time they are involved in the decision of which cement will work best. Therefore, their entire involvement in the process of buying a brand of cement is very high. This consumer lives in Tier II-Tier III cities or in the suburb of the metro cities, where people have their own plots and they can make houses.
Q] How do you target them? What media do you use to actually reach out to the Tier II-Tier III customers living in the suburbs?
There is a constant discussion with the media agency in terms of who our TG is and which are the best mediums to reach out. So far, Television commercials remain one of the most efficient ways of reaching out across the geographies including the Tier II and Tier III towns and suburbs. They consume this media very well. This, followed by Print, Outdoor and wall paintings. We also use other popular formats like Cricket, Badminton and FIFA wherever TV is the most important activity of a particular property. We try and select them and use them so that partners can be reached efficiently.
Q] Recently, Dalmia Cements also tied up with the Premier Badminton League (PBL). How did that work for your brand?
The Dalmia Bharat Group brand stands for associating and supporting anyone who would want to realize their potential. We associated ourselves with Mary Kom about five years back, before she won the Olympic medal. We are also associated with mountain biking and cricket, though our association with cricket is mostly from a brand awareness and visibility creation point of view. You can see our brand in the South Africa tour or any other home series. Our brand was also associated with FIFA U-17 World Cup. Badminton is an extension on those lines, with the association with PBL. Badminton is the next, most played game in India after cricket. And now when we have superstars in the country, the game has started getting the trends and people have started following it. PBL is one platform which supports and popularizes this game in India. We believe that at least for the next five to 10 years, we will have a lot of Indians as world champions or playing at the highest level of the game.
Q] There are many other big brands which come to mind when we think of cement as a category. How do you plan to create a space for Dalmia cements in this otherwise competitive and crowded category?
I would look at it as an opportunity rather than a challenge, because once you start having brands talking in any industry, the consumer awareness of the category increases and they start getting actively involved in purchasing. We also know that infrastructure as a whole, including housing, roads and highways, is going to be the pillar of growth in the country. So, there is enough room for the industry and all brands to grow. As a marketer, the challenge now only comes down to how you differentiate and position your brand with a clear message. Which I think is exciting and any marketer would want to do.
Q] How do you plan to differentiate and position your brand, going forward?
We have been working with two to three agendas. The Dalmia Bharat group is more than 75 years old. Our first plant came up in Tamil Nadu in 1939; so we are part of the India growth story. Not many other companies have the experience and wisdom of knowledge of cement and its application in various geographies and under different conditions, as we do. That is our USP. Also, the kind of product mix that we are bringing, the quality and innovation, is our second USP. We are category leaders in superspecialty cements used for oil wells, railway sleepers and air strips. The third one is that we have the greenest cement in the world today. Our carbon footprint is the lowest in the world. Sustainability is going to be one of the big differentiators for years to come in any industry and it is also in the interest of people and the environment. We use these three USPs to communicate to our consumers, stakeholders and associates in general.
Q] What is the next big challenge in the industry?
The challenge is to take the entire cement industry to the next level where consumers start looking at brands and understanding their applications and do not leave the decision totally to masons or specialists. It is how we lift the cement industry from a basic commodity to a branded industry.
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