Caught In the Act!

Earlier people celebrated Christmas, Diwali, Holi and Independence Day and today they are celebrating everyday. From Father’s day to mother’s day to your pet day, all this just makes you wonder are these actually genuine days and do they have meaning or are they concoctions of marketers sitting in plush offices. It is a well known fact that Coca Cola popularized Santa in his jolly avatar. Even though Santa was known to wear shades of green, red and white before Coke came into the picture…Coke came in and standardized it world over.

One cannot think but wonder if these special days are just tactics by marketer’s to provide a boost to sales. Restaurants suddenly loosen their purse strings and give heavy discounts. Every retail store in the country goes on a discount trip and card shops have long lines queuing up outside the door.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. There is a day for you. But maybe there is meaning to these days. It’s a way of telling people you love that you care about them. It’s a way of celebrating their contribution to your life. It’s a chance to reach out to people and tell them that they are important to you.

And marketers are just riding on the phenomenon. Christmas calls for people to buy gifts for everyone that is special in their lives. And all of a sudden a month before Christmas you will start getting e-mails, sms’s, direct mailers and you will be bombarded with subliminal messages even. Marketers bask in the glory of festivals. If they can make a day and create some hoopla around it successfully they can guarantee a spike in sales.

Whatever said and done, in some small way it is beneficial for the consumer. Huge discounts at the gym on women’s day? Now who is going to mind that? Exploiting people’s pockets and providing consumers with some benefit is not entirely bad idea now is it? Recently I walked into a supermarket on women’s day. You won’t believe it but three different people came up to me at different aisles and asked me if I wanted to apply henna on my hands. Now how weird is that.

Well, marketers look at making people feel special on these occasions, but the ideas they come up with can be a little annoying. If marketers want to make the most of the season they should first focus on not annoying the daylights of customers. And they need to be good to customers all year round even to say the least. Crappy salespeople and restless tellers are not a great sign any time of the year. A focus on customer service as opposed to pampering on Christmas would indeed go a long way in creating a lovemark.

Father’s day was celebrated with much fanfare all over the world. Kids and even adults with ageing fathers shopped online and stood in line to buy the best scotch or a designer tie for their favorite dad. Even television channels didn’t lose out on the buzz and had special features with Dad’s and their duties emphasized.

So I am not really sure if every ‘day’ that is celebrated is a concoction by marketers but it sure is a way to exploit the green that resides in customer’s pockets. And if it works for the customers, I say, why not?

Sunaina Wadhwa

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