Thomson TV: How the European giant reclaimed leadership, in the Indian online market

Europe’s consumer appliance giant Technicolur SA owned -Thomson marked its re-entry into the Indian market last April. Witnessing a consistent surge in demand from across the country, the brand has created a phenomenal brand recall, amongst its discreet and price-conscious consumers in just one year.

From its very beginning the brand nailed its communication and marketing head on with - ‘Make in India’ initiative, lower price-points and exclusive online selling propositions. Riding high on its heritage stretching back to more than 120 years, Thomson made a well-timed entry, as India’s Tv segment is pegged to be a burgeoning $9 billion market.

With the launch of both smart and non-smart Tv’s, Thomson head started to capture the market with its 43 UHD 4K, 40 Smart and 32 units. In less than 45 days of its India operations, the exclusive brand licensee (Super Plantronics Pvt. Ltd. –SPPL), recorded a sale of 30,000 Thomson Tv units; that were sold through its exclusive online partner Flipkart.

Thomson has been a part of world’s greatest technological revolutions with an unwavering dedication of making innovation accessible to all. Keeping in line with this and its global positioning of “friendly technology”, the brand has successfully launched over 10 SKU’s at affordable prices in the year gone by. Growing at an average of 35 per cent quarter-on-quarter, the brand is bullish about India and is eyeing revenues of about ₹500 crore in the next 2-3 years span. Having set an ambitious target of capturing 6-7 percent market share by 2020, the brand continues to bank heavily on e-commerce as its key driver of marketing, sale & distribution, which is sure to strengthen its foothold.

World leader in CRT TVs in the 80’s, Thomson has developed its business with partners worldwide and is one of the top selling TV brands specially in France, its home country. Keeping this French connect in the backdrop, the brand’s PR & Communication team designed the brand launch in association with Business France- the trade section of the Embassy of France in India. This served the brand right in seeping its legacy in consumer & media’s mind space.

Manufactured and sold by the exclusive brand licensee Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd. (SPPL) in India. Thomson has deliberately stayed away from conventional channels of marketing & promotion instead, it has adhered to a more creative and off beaten route to market, sell and promote itself. This has immensely benefitted the brand in making an effective & direct reach with its consumers, from across the nook and corner of the country. From the day one of its launch the brand has been available in more than 14000 pin codes of India, giving it a leverage over some of the leading retail brands.

The PR efforts of the brand has been very sustained and strategic, helping it create a positive buzz and recall. Thomson Tv’s, timely activated lead articles and stories on each of its key milestones achieved, with leading business and online publications, consistently helped it build a ‘top of mind’ in the category. Thereby, making Thomson claim Top 3rd position in the online TV market space in just under 9 months, giving a stiff competition to its arch rivals like Xiaomi, TCL, Vu, Diawa etc.

Having used its biggest disadvantage, of not going on-the shelf through retail distribution due to arm-twisting by the biggies like Samsung, LG and Sony. The brand completely turned around the market, making its exclusive online sale with Flipkart play up to its biggest advantage!

Speaking on the great success of the campaign, Mr. Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO SPPL, Exclusive Brand Licensee of THOMSON in India, said “4K content has always been limited, therefore this TV comes with the latest specs where consumers can access their favourite 4K Youtube content. Hence, we went ahead with the idea of non-existence of such television made us go forward with the idea of #WOW404".

He further added, "One of the biggest selling points of the Flipkart only brand is the low price of the television. The opening day itself gave us huge sales volumes. So much so, we had to pause the campaign for a day to replenish the stocks."

Rajat Arora, Business Head of Mixed Route Juice, agency behind the campaign said, “The idea of 404 was simple play of words with 40-inch 4K, from which the entire campaign was born. Since no television like that existed before, we knew who our audience was”.

Speaking about the online success of the brand, Mamta Dhingra, Founder lateral sutra (PR partner of Thomson Tvs) added “Working on Thomson has been a great learning experience for us. Being a global leader for years, it was a different level of challenge since the brand had to reclaim its lost spot in the Indian market, that too in an online space. However, with our single-minded focus on keeping communication and our stories on the brand sustained, engaging and creative, we ensured a positive dent in the mind of consumer and media alike. Together with this, the brand’s commitment to reinvent itself and offer a product that is at par with global standards of quality, innovation and elegance at a competitive price point, worked magically. And we are delighted to be a part of this success!”

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