Published on August 31st, 2007 | by Atif Tahir191
Wateen’s Strategic Mistake in Product Launch
In this post we take a look at the role of advertising in building brand equity, using the case of Wateen’s recent product launch. Advertising is paid form of marketing promotion in which the sponsor is advertised and the message is controlled. Brand Equity refers to the value built-up in a brand. It is measured on a scale determining the extent of customer awareness. Besides awareness, brand equity is also directly related to the consumer’s experience with the brand itself. This experience finally decides the fate of product in terms of success and brand loyalty or failure within the potential target audience.
Within Marketing Mix i.e. Target market and 4P’s (Product, Price, Placement, Promotion), Product refers to the promise made to the customer or solution provided to the customer. Value is the perceived difference between the costs spent by the customer against achieved benefits. The lower the cost in relation to the benefits the lower is the value.
Hence, marketing communication or advertising during the product launch is a strategic decision and must be handled with care. Launching the product or service aggressively without practically placing it or making it available might bring critically negative impact on brand reputation. Such campaign destroys instead of building a brand. It is just like a promise made to the customer and then not being fulfilled. Such mistake at launch stage, specifically in case of a product like WiMax which still have to struggle a lot in getting mass awareness and with delivery issues, can severely disrupt the company’s and brand’s image within early adaptors of the product.
Wateen placed two ads in print media. One, related to product launch aggressively offered all the products in line with core focus on triple play. Wateen’s new website is also much better than the previous one and offers product & marketing information in detail. However on practically calling the Toll Free number on next day of advertisement, one finds a telemarketer with inadequate information on all the products and delivery time of 2 months. Prospects are being asked to register online and are being told that sales team will contact them in 6 to 8 weeks. However there is definitely some good news for DHA residents where finally some services are available. However, residents maintained that it is the Triple Play currently being offered and not the WiMax. Even in case of Triple Play services, Wateen is not actually offering FTTH, instead Co-axial cables are being routed from the OFC distribution boxes.
While doing advertisement during product launch, companies must behave strategically realistic when the market is competitive and buyers have become knowledgeable. Wateen does have some exciting projects and plans ahead and they are acting quite aggressively but enterprises like Wateen Telecom, must advertise product/service offering only when the product is ready to deliver instead of advertising plans on paper.
The second Ad from the campaign was a good advertising strategy. It was much focused on company’s corporate image leaving a feeling that there is a new entrant who will be offering state of the art value services in Telecom Sector. The services which are new for the customers in Pakistan. The Ad was not offering anything in particular and hence is the right Pre-Launch Ad before products are practically ready for delivery. Wateen also has successfully managed to bring certain corporate giants on board including Telenor, Bank of Punjab, Warid, Callmate etc and these names were illustrated on the advertisement, thus strengthening the company’s image as promising and trustworthy player.