Read the case study given below and answer the
questions at the end of the case.
Brand ambassador : employing real customers
to get the word around.
People love talking about things that make
them happy - including their favorite products
and brands. For example, if you really like an
airline - they fly with flair and get you there at a
reasonable price or you just love your recently
acquired Sony camera - it is too good to keep the
knowledge of the experience to yourself. In the
old days, you would have chatted up these brands
with a few friends and family members, but these
days technology allows you to spread the word
about products and brands experiences to
thousands of ...view middle of the document...
Consumers hear about products and brand
experiences from others just like
themselves - people they trust - rather than from
commercial marketing sources.
Sony used brand ambassadors to jumpstart
the launch of its new GPS camera, a high tech
device that draws on satellite tracking technology
to let you record the exact location of every
picture you take and later map them out using
Google maps. Sony selected customer
ambassadors who like to travel, take pictures and
MS-61 4 P.T.O.
use online communications. "this is a product
with emerging technology and we really need to
let consumers see people using it' says Sony's
director of digital imaging.
Out of 2000 or more online applicants, Sony
picked only 25 brand ambassadors. The
ambassadors were given a free camera and other
equipment along with lessons on how to use them.
They were encouraged to show the camera to
friends, associates, and anyone else who asked;
handout discount coupons and blog weekly about
their travel and picture taking adventures on a
dedicated Sony micro site.
College campuses are traditional fertile
ground for ambassadors. Marketing companies
identify and manage college student ambassadors
for diverse products and services.
The brand ambassador approach has its
critics. For example, some view the practice as
underhanded or deceptive, most firms advise their
ambassadors to openly reveal that they are
representatives. Others worry that brand
ambassadors may be perceived as pressure agents
who promote products because they get
free stuff - or worse, as annoying interfering
people best avoided.
The best ambassadors, however, it has been
found, are people who are seen as friendly,
everyday brand loyalists for love to talk to people
about their own experiences.
MS-61 5 P.T.O.
(a) Based on your own understanding of
reference groups, how effective would
brand ambassadors be as reference groups
for relatively expensive, infrequently bought
products and services ? How would your
answer change if the product in question
was detergent or cooking oil ?
(b) In your view, in the Indian marketing
context, is the concept of brand ambassadors
likely to succeed ? Justify your answer.
(c) Comment upon Sony's strategy of using
brand ambassadors to launch its cameras.
What can be the possible dangers of using
this approach ?
Read the case given below and answer the questions given at the end of the case :
A PRODUCT FAILURE AT SATURN
Saturn has always attempted to create committed customers. Saturn a division of General Motors, advertises around the theme :
A different kind of company
A different kind of car.
Though Saturn cars costs only 10 to 14 thousand USD (Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 7 lakhs), the firm attempts to provide its customers the same level of service and consideration typically associated with expensive luxury cars. Its stated
objective is to be “the friendliest,...