Happy marriage for Samsonite

28 Sep,2011



By Tuhina Anand

“The client-agency relationship is like a marriage where one has to work on it to make it successful. It won’t last long if the client and the agency are on two sides of the table. The key is to have trust and transperancy in this relationship to make it work,” says Dr Ramesh Tainwala, President of Samsonite, Asia-Pacific and Middle East.


“Also, one must be ready to part ways if the relationship doesn’t work,” he adds. Wise words from Dr Tainwala, who has just received the Advertiser of the Year at Spikes Asia 2011 for Samsonite, the global travel luggage brand. The award honours a brand that has set itself apart through the quality of its creative campaigns while also encouraging and nurturing innovative marketing techniques produced by their agencies across the Asia Pacific region.


In fact, Samsonite had won awards at Cannes and even in other categories at Spikes Asia, but this award is special as it recognizes the advertiser, going beyond the creative. Talking of advertising in this category which in India is often led by brand ambassadors, Tainwala said, “I think it’s a shortcut method to ride on a brand ambassador’s popularity especially in India where most celebrities too don’t follow any discretion when signing on a brand, and are hence ready to endorse anything from banians to paan masala, creating confusion in a consumer’s mind. We have used Richard Branson a few years ago but the difference is that internationally celebrities are choosy when lending their name to a brand, thus succeeding in creating a brand connect.”


In India, the company has earmarked US$19.2 million (close to Rs 100 crore) on its marketing budget for the current financial year. The company, which works with JWT, spends almost 10 per cent of its revenue on marketing and advertising every year. In India, its campaign is mostly TV led and outdoors including airports and railway stations and some print in smaller towns.


Globally the company follows the policy of fixed remuneration for a year linked with incentives for its agency. They also follow a core creative idea which then is localized as per the need of market it is addressing.


Samsonite has two of its brands, Samsonite and American Tourister, in India, and looks at this market as being among its key ones. It has seen a growth of over 52 percent over the last year, which definitely speaks volumes about the company being satisfied with their performance in the country considering that the market in this category has been growing at the rate of 15 percent.


Talking about their plans in India, Dr Tainwala said, “We are currently in about 60 cities in India and mostly in Tier I and II towns but our focus is to increase this number to 300 and we will also look at Tier III and upcoming Tier IV cities too. This expansion will be a step-by-step process in the next three years’ time.” Samsonite also is looking at opening close to 100 retail doors every year in both existing and new cities to expand their footprint.

Photograph: Facebook.com/SamsoniteIndia

Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.