Understanding marketing, The SanDisk Way!

Date:   Tuesday , May 01, 2012

SanDisk, a NASDAQ listed U.S. based company is a pioneer in the flash memory technology which has more than 2800 patents in the flash memory domain. Virtually, every flash memory product is either invented or co-invented by SanDisk. For example, the micro SD card that is present in all the mobile phones is an invention of SanDisk. These major inventions made, puts the company in a very unique position because they are always trying to define the standards of the portable memory and flash memory. Mansiha Sood, Conutry Manager, Sandisk India talks about the latest consumer trends, new products and market strategies.

The consumer has really evolved with technology in India. All the digital devices in the country today, whether it is a mobile phone, digital camera, smartphone, laptops, Tablets, MP3 players cannot be complete without the use of flash memory products. Flash memory has the capability in the non-volatile memory and consumes very less power, it does not have mechanical parts and there is no problem if we drop it by mistake. It is becoming a very important part of the life of consumers in India. Earlier, storage was done either in a computer or a Laptop but now it is mostly done in a flash memory. There are 150 million handsets being sold in the country when compared to a PC/Laptop which are about 10 million units. Keeping that in mind, the mobile phone storage is becoming the most important type of preferred storage in the country. Most of the mobile phone companies talk about applications which are memory hungry. Few of the applications and software need high memory to work. Phones which cost about five or six thousand rupees can actually record a whole wedding with the help of a 32GB memory and a decent camera in it.

Keeping all these in mind, SanDisk is evolving as brand in the country. In order to get complete awareness of our consumers, we did a lot of activities in India to ensure that our consumers are aware of SanDisk as a brand. We are there at the retail counter where we have merchandise outlets and also recently a TV campaign. That is the first time in the history of SanDisk, we went on TV worldwide. And this TV ad was done for India and produced in India.

Why the need? The product has now become a mass product and sells in more than 20,000 retail outlets in the country. Since the phone penetration in the country is also present in tier2, tier3 and tier4 towns as well, it was very important for us to go into a media which has that big a reach and mass related. The TV campaign basically talks about how an average consumer in his or her daily life is actually using a SanDisk product. The next campaign is called the "Memory Yatra".

This year the Yatra is being flagged off at Jaipur, where the local people will be encouraged to celebrate and capture their city during the colorful and lively festival of Holi! Winners of the contest stand a chance to win a high end camera along with wonderful SanDisk merchandise. Following this, every major city in few of the states in India will also witness the same activity where we celebrate the festival with our customers.

On the sidelines of Memory Yatra this new initiative is being launched 'Photograph Your City’ contest is themed on ‘Your city during festivals’. Best entries will be adjudged by a panel of judges based on the interpretation of the theme, the accompanying description and photo quality.

The mobile Memory Van has three dedicated sections themed on Capture, Share and Preserve enabling consumers to get a complete perspective of the entire product range of SanDisk. Also to engage with the local audience SanDisk is hosting lot of interesting on spot games. a very unique campaign in which we are actually trying to explain to our consumers what memory devices are really capable of. How they can empower and do more with their SanDisk memory product.

We have been doing a lot of programs for our channel partners from the beginning. There is an incentive program we launch for our channel partners and also conduct training for them. Now we have launched a program for the channel partners called the SanDisk Premier Loyalty Program which will commence in March, 2012.

Though being numero uno in the market, we still face competition. However, being a pioneer in the industry, we are leading the category as our products are uniquely catered. For example, if we take the camera segment, we offer four different types of cards for cameras. We have variants for point & shoot cameras and a different card for the professional one’s that needs a high speed card for its extreme resolution. These extreme cards are really useful for the photographers where they can be used in any extreme temperatures from -20 to 85 degrees of heat. These would also be shock proof. Also in the mobile phone category, from the basic card we have now launched an ultra SanDisk mobile card which is available from 4GB to 64GB, also has an adaptor and a faster memory card.

Our future vision is to stay in our iconic position in the market and keep delivering excellent products which cater to even more consumers across all corners of the world.

(As told to Vishwas Nair)