LKS is one of the leading Gold retailers who have been in the sector for close to 100 years in India and other parts of the world. Sarfaraz Syed Ahamed, Managing Partner, LKS Gold Haven represents the fourth generation from the family business.
Speaking to MediaNews4U, on the ways the COVID-19 has impacted the jewelry business he says, “The major impact is the dwindling walk-ins. This is understandable, as I myself have not stepped out of my home unless it is absolutely necessary. Lower walk-ins translate to lower top line and bottom line. I opine that this will continue until the pandemic comes under control and people feel safe to move around.”
Speaking on the ‘sentiments’ associated with Gold purchase in a store, he says that Gold jewellery purchase is, was, and will always be seen as an investment. “Gold jewellery is the only asset that appreciates with time and usage. During the lockdown period gold prices have gone up by 20%.”, he says and further said many are in worry that this price increase may stop people from buying gold jewellery but he firmly believes consumers will stop buying gold jewellery if gold prices do not surge, as it does not add the value of an investment against inflation.
Radio The Key Differentiator:
According to Sarfaraz, every marketing campaign requires a certain number of complementary mediums to garner the desired reach. The challenge is to get maximum reach within the budget. “In my experience, in ATL media, Radio is a highly cost-effective medium. It gives good traction that translates to sales. Newspapers are good from a branding standpoint. BTL activities are the best cost-effective marketing mediums. Reaching a particular customer with personalized CTA trumps every other medium in terms of the walk-in.” He also says that to do this, a well oiled CRM and Social Media Optimisation, SMO, are required.
He says he has to work with two types of agencies – Creative and Media Planner. LKS internally has a team called ICE- Ideation, Creation and Execution – and it is primal for all three to be on the same page. Speaking about the key expectations from the agencies, he said, “The key thing I look for in my agencies is their buy-in to my vision. If the buy-in is not there then there will be incongruences that will affect the outcome. The next key factor is a win-win mindset.”
Campaign plans for this year:
Usually, Sarfaraz plans four campaigns a year. “While I am interacting with you [medianews4u.com], I had canceled all my regular campaigns. My team is back at the drawing board revisiting and revising our marketing plan for the year. The external situation is very fluid at the moment. I am taking a very cautious approach with marketing this year.” he said further concluding “I believe, very certainly, that communicating with my customers is the key to my survival and growth. Things will settle and sentiments will change.”