From creating experiential apps to over two lakh fans on Facebook, Digital is where the children are and they certainly have more discretionary power than parents in their time did says Saumitra Prasad, CMO, Kokuyo Camlin
Q] How has brand Camlin evolved post Kokuyo’s 51% stake?
Post the joint venture Kokuyo Camlin has evolved into a global organization with superior systems and processes especially in terms of marketing of the brand. The identity of the 80 year brand Camlin has been clearly defined and the brand is being built on its philosophy of ‘making learning fun’. There has been a major exercise to integrate the huge portfolio of Camlin products with this identity in the form of new packaging and communication. The joint venture has also brought to the company the global brand, Kokuyo, which brings innovation in stationery.
Q] What is the objective and insight behind Kokuyo Camlin’s campaigns?
Kokuyo Camlin’s campaigns are well conceptualized keeping in mind what it is they ought to achieve. Our campaigns are engaging and set to bring about a change. To give an example, Camlin has been the leader in the mechanical pencil segment. Mechanical pencils were mostly being used by children from class five onwards wherein they used a pen for writing and a mechanical pencil for technical drawing. We found that the consumption of this category is not much as compared to wooden pencils which are used for daily writing by children below class five. Hence the category of mechanical pencils is only 10% of wooden pencils. We developed a strategy and redefined the target users as those children who use wooden pencils and upgrade them to using mechanical pencils. When we were trying to understand the need gaps of these children, we found that the biggest weakness for those who use wooden pencils daily for writing is that it requires regular sharpening due to lead breakage. This is a big hindrance when it comes to speed writing. Therefore the mechanical pencil campaign was developed using this product insight of a pencil that offers non-stop writing.
Q] Do you target your communication at parents, children or both?
Camlin commands a lot of loyalty amongst parents and teachers as they have grown up with the brand. However, today’s children have been exposed to many brands. They are more discerning and exercise far more discerning power than parents in their time. This is where we see more threats and opportunities as well. Therefore we choose to speak to our consumers, the children, directly through our marketing communication.
Q] What is Kokuyo Camlin’s media mix?
Camlin uses Television heavily followed by Social Media. We also give a lot of importance to Digital which we realized has two advantages. One is that it is more targeted as compared to TV, and offers interactivity. 30% of our current media spends have been diverted to Digital. We realized that where we can have two strong TV ads, we can also have eight very popular viral ads on Digital which are either product-oriented or topical.
Q] Apart from traditional media, what are some of the BTL activations carried out by Kokuyo Camlin?
Apart from traditional media, Camlin has been using activations to connect with the school children, which includes Camel Art Contest. It is the world’s largest art contest, as per the Guinness Book of Records. Camlin’s school activation team conducts promotions in schools throughout the year.
Q] How do you leverage Digital media for your marketing?
Our experiments with social media have met with a lot of success. Within a year of developing our Facebook page, we had 2 lakh fans. Most of the activities on Facebook have been successful and achieved their objectives. We realized that children today are spending more and more time on computers and smart phones, hence we developed an app called Camlin Experience app which makes it possible for children to experience different art products with almost real life experiences. We saw that after using Colours on the experiential app, the children have moved on to actual colour products.
Q] How has Kokuyo Camlin adapted itself to e-commerce?
While e-commerce has become very sizeable for many categories, it’s not yet that big for stationery products. However that will change soon with consumers getting habituated to buy almost everything online.
Q] What is Kokuyo Camlin’s current market share?
Our products fall under the three major product categories of Office, Artist and School-related stationery. We have market leadership in the categories of mechanical pencil, crayons, markers, geometry boxes, school water colours and poster colours, and fine arts products.
Q] What sets Kokuyo Camlin apart from other players in the category?
Camlin’s endeavor is not only to provide the best stationery products but make the earning and education process more fun for children. It promotes art in a significant way as it is important for the overall development of children. Camlin also tried to bring best practices of education during occasions such as Children’s Day, Teacher’s Day and Principal’s Day.
Q] How much does the brand invest in marketing? How important is marketing to an iconic brand such as Kokuyo Camlin?
For the last many years since its existence, brand Camlin was built by providing outstanding products to its consumers and connecting with children through properties such as Camel Art Contest. In today’s competitive age, Camlin is using modern technology to communicate to the discerning children of today by giving them the same promise of outstanding products and making their learning in school more fun. There is certainly an enhanced investment in TV, Digital and every evolving format which helps in connecting with today’s children.
Q] Which markets contribute to the maximum growth of the brand?
Though Camlin has loyalty and equity across the country, it is especially strong in Maharashtra, West Bengal and South markets. However we have strengthened our promotions and new product offerings which have a pan India appeal and we are also in the process of strengthening our relatively weaker markets.
ABOUT THE BRAND
Kokuyo Camlin Limited (formerly known as Camlin Limited) is in the business of manufacture and selling of art materials and stationery products under flagship brands ‘Camel’ and ‘Camlin’ which have been in existence for more than 80 years. The company offers a wide range of products such as artistic materials, hobby colours, scholastic colours, scholastic stationery, office products, drawing instruments, writing instruments, office stationery, adhesives, notebooks, office supplies and writing instruments. In 2011, Kokuyo S&T Ltd, a Japanese corporation engaged in the business of stationery, acquired majority stake in the Camlin.
Saumitra Prasad’s key responsibility at Kokuyo Camlin Ltd is to strengthen the brand identity, develop the long term product portfolio strategy and make the brand appealing to children. He is also involved in the enhancement of marketing systems and processes as the organization makes a transition into a strong global presence. Prasad has experience of over 17 years in the FMCG sector and partly in consumer durables. Prior to Kokuyo Camlin, he was with CavinKare for 10 years. As Head Sales & Marketing with John Keells Foods India Pvt Ltd, Prasad made it a well known brand in its first year of launch. His other stints include LML, VLCC, and Sansui.