When developing a new product concept, think about the occasion in which you expect the product to be consumed. Today marketers risk failure when segmenting consumers on demographics alone. It’s long been understood that consumers eat and buy based on occasions, not by demographics or psychographics. It’s also clear certain products or services are appropriate to a particular situation or occasion. When it comes to marketing food brands, Occasions Based Marketing, or OBM, has been in full swing for years. Think about such iconic brand exponents of OBM: Kellogg’s (breakfast), Kit Kat (have a break) & Miller Lite (Miller time).
Identifying marketing occasions and the situations of these occasions provides vital insight into the who, what, when, where and why your product is purchased and consumed, and the consumer’s lifestyle.
For big brands, creating different products, pack sizes or formats to fit multiple occasions can be an effective way of massaging sales. For start-ups or small brands, occasion-specific targeting can offer even more—possibly the best way to find their customers, their market niche and their unique voice.
While attempting to gain a deeper understanding of the use occasions for new products can seem at first to be challenging, it will make all the difference in your marketing efforts. Thinking about the needs and behaviours of “the consumer/shopper in an occasion” brings an additional, richer perspective than thinking about “the consumer”.
· Where—the place of consumption
· When—the circumstances or time period
· What—the activities, consumption rituals and behaviours taking place during the occasion
· Why—the social, emotional and functional needs
· Whom—the company involved
By asking when a product will be used or consumed, and by linking a product to that occasion, you’ll find ways to strengthen the concept by making a two-way connection to the occasion—using the occasion to enhance the concept and vice versa.
You don’t have to be a giant. Using occasion marketing effectively it’s even possible to take on global leaders. Take Coca–Cola. The biggest soda brand worldwide, but not in Indonesia. A local brand Teh botol Sosro (TBS) outsells Coke by 2:1. TBS is not even a soda; but a RTD tea. Yet it’s become the Indonesians’ #1 beverage, in less than 10 years—thanks to occasion marketing.
The TBS tagline is “Whatever the meal is, Teh botol Sosro is the drink” (“Apapun makanannya minumnya Teh botol Sosro”).
Indonesians consume 3 good meals a day and also take in 3-4 snacks. The country also has a strong tea culture. Like everyone the people like to drink something while they eat.
Simple, direct, occasion marketing. The brand responded to the challenge Coke presented by tailoring their offering to the person, place and time.
So let’s have a look at how you can make the paradigm shift and move towards occasion-based thinking.