Haldiram: Marketing Mix Part-4by Udit Jain on June 14, 2007
Haldiram’s product promotion had been low key until competition intensified in the snack foods market. The company tied with ‘Profile Advertising’ for promoting its products. Consequently, attractive posters, brochures and mailers were designed to enhance the visibility of the Haldiram’s brand. Different varieties of posters were designed to appeal to the masses.
The punch line for Haldiram’s products was, ‘Always in good taste.’ Advertisements depicting the entire range of Haldiram’s sweets and namkeens were published in the print media (magazines and newspapers). These advertisements had captions such as ‘millions of tongues can’t go wrong,’ ‘What are you waiting for, Diwali?’ and ‘Keeping your taste buds on their toes.
‘To increase the visibility of the Haldiram’s brand, the company placed its hoardings in high traffic areas such as train stations and bus stations. Posters were designed for display on public transport vehicles such as buses, and hoardings, focused on individual products were developed. Captions such as ‘yeh corn hain’ (this is corn), ‘chota samosa – big mazaa’ (small samosa – big entertainment), ‘yeh Kashmiri mix khoob jamega’ (this namkeen item will gel well) and ‘oozing with taste’ (for Rasgoolas) promoted individual products. For those customers who wanted to know more about Haldiram’s products, special brochures were designed which described the products and gave information about the ingredients used to make it. Mailers were also sent to loyal customers and important corporate clients as a token of appreciation for their patronage.
Packaging was an important aspect of Haldiram’s product promotion. Since namkeens were impulse purchase items, attractive packaging in different colors influenced purchases. Haldiram’s used the latest technology (food items were packed in nitrogen filled pouches) to increase the shelf life of its products. While the normal shelf life of similar products was under a week, the shelf life of Haldiram’s products was about six months. The company projected the shelf life of its products as its unique selling proposition. Posters highlighting the shelf life of its products carried the caption ‘six months on the shelf and six seconds in your mouth.’ During festival season, Haldiram’s products were sold in attractive looking special gift packs.
The showrooms and retail outlets of Haldiram’s gave importance to point of purchase (POP) displays. Haldiram’s snacks were displayed on special racks, usually outside retail outlets. The showrooms had sign boards displaying mouth-watering delicacies with captions such as ‘Chinese Delight,’ Simply South,’ ‘The King of all Chats'. Posters containing a brief account of the history of Haldiram’s, along with pictures of its products, were also on display at these showrooms.
Haldiram’s also diversified into the restaurant business to cash in on its brand image. The company established restaurants in Nagpur and Delhi. The restaurant at Nagpur devised an innovative strategy to increase its business: It facilitated people who were traveling by train through Nagpur station to order food from places where stockists of Haldiram’s Nagpur unit were located. The customers could order for lunch/dinner by sending a demand draft (DD) or cheque to the Nagpur unit or giving the same to specified local distributors belonging to the Nagpur unit. Along with the DD/cheque, customers had to provide information such as the name of the train, its likely time of arrival at Nagpur, their names and coach and seat numbers.
Haldiram’s restaurants in Delhi also used innovative ways to attract customers. The restaurant located at Mathura road had special play area for children. To cater to NRI’s and foreign tourists, who hesitated to consume snack foods sold by the roadside vendors since it was not prepared in a hygienic manner, the Haldiram’s restaurant located in South Delhi used specially purified water to make snack foods including pani puri and chat papri . These promotional strategies helped Haldiram’s to compete effectively with local restaurant chains such as Nathus, Bikanerwala and Agarwals and with western fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Pizza Hut.