Cracking the Marketing Strategy of Reliance
In this case study, we would go through the marketing strategies of one of the most successful companies of India and it’s none other than Reliance Industries Limited.
In 1960, Dhirubhai Ambani formed Reliance Industries Limited in Mumbai, Maharashtra with a dream of making it the largest company in India. Since then, the organisation has grown and diversified itself across different industries and sectors over all these years.
As of 2020, it is India’s largest private sector company and is ranked #96 on the list of Fortune 500 companies.
This case study focuses on Reliance Industries, Jio and its Retail business, along with their marketing mix, competitors analysis, marketing strategies and campaigns undertaken by them.
Let’s now get into the details by learning more about the company.
About Reliance Industries Limited
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is one of India’s largest conglomerates, currently headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra is run under the guidance of Mukesh Ambani, who is currently the Chairman and Managing Director (MD) of the company.
It has its presence in a variety of sectors such as Oil Refinery, Telecommunications, Textiles, Retail, Media & Entertainment, Financial Services and the Software sector. Given that it has a presence in various sectors, it has about 94 subsidiaries in total.
It is one of India’s most profitable companies and is known for its stints into exploring and expanding into new ventures. Reliance’s business culture can be summed up with its tagline “Growth is Life”.
It is also one of the companies that constantly work on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to empower the lives of millions of people in India. In March 2012, the American Chemistry Council accredited Reliance Industries as a ‘Responsible Care Company’.
Reliance Industries Limited is slated as one of the key driving engines that will help India reach its GDP projections in the years to come.
Now that you know about the company, let’s start understanding its marketing efforts by first knowing its target audience.
Target Audience of Reliance
Reliance Industries Limited caters to a wide range of consumers with its diverse range of goods and services ranging from oil-to-telecom, and even more with its retail division serving another dynamic set of customers.
Let us just take an example of Reliance Retail itself, retail goods such as apparels and groceries are a basic necessity so here it attracts all kinds of customers.
In the case of Reliance Jio, The segment that Jio has concentrated upon are people with smartphones looking for high-speed internet and good mobile services.
So Instead of asking ‘Who is the target audience of RIL?’, the question should be ‘Who isn’t, the audience of RIL?’.
So, Reliance Industries Limited has a wide target audience to serve. So let us understand how the company serves its offerings using the Marketing Mix Model.
Reliance’s Marketing Mix
Marketing Mix is a model that helps us understand a company based on its Product, Price, Place, Promotion. This model helps us in knowing what the company has to offer at what price, where it is going to sell and the steps taken to promote the products.
In Reliance Industries Limited’s case, it has launched a wide range of products, from petrochemicals to retail to healthcare, etc. but we will understand its main businesses in this model that are,
- Reliance O2C
- Reliance Jio
- Reliance Retail
Product Strategy of Reliance
A product is nothing but a value-adding object or innovation or service which a company sells.
1. Oil to Chemical (O2C)
Talking about the Oil to Chemical business, it includes oil refining, oil marketing and petrochemical products and services.
Simplifying things further,
- Its Oil-Refining products include Refined Crude Oil
- Oil-Marketing includes Petroleum Products
- Petrochemicals include Polymers and Polyester Product Chains
2. Reliance Jio
Reliance Jio section offers Digital and Telecommunication services. It offers services Jio 4G Sim Cards, Jio Gigafiber, Jio Setup Box and various other value-added services.
- The Value-Added Services (VAS) include Jio Cloud, Jio Security, Jio Play, Jio Cinema, Jio TV etc.
- Jio also offers affordable 4G mobile phones.
The below picture showcases Reliance Jio’s portfolio,
3. Reliance Retail
Reliance Retail is the largest retailer in India and it has spread its outlets all across India.
- The retail industry comprises Reliance New, Reliance Mart, Reliance Digital, Reliance Home Kitchen, Reliance Home Kitchen, Reliance iStore, and many more
- These outlets offer various products from Groceries to Electronics to Fashion.
The below picture showcases Reliance Retail’s portfolio,
Price Strategy of Reliance
Price here means the price it charges for the products and services it offers.
1. Oil to Chemical (O2C)
- In the O2C business, the pricing is as per the industry standards in most of the cases as it’s a Business to Business (B2B) selling.
- The pricing is largely dependent upon the prices of crude oil as well as it is a key raw material in this business
- The Prices are also set or agreed upon based on contractual agreements which are different from the industry pricings.
2. Reliance Jio
In the telecommunication sector, Reliance Jio implements a cost-based pricing strategy. Cost-based pricing refers to offering affordable prices so that every individual can use its offerings
- Jio being the telecom sector leader it forces its competitors to charge as per their data tariffs.
- It has various 4G Data Packs which helps the customer buy as per their convenience
- Jio’s Giga fibres and setup box are charged as per the industry charges
- Jio’s 4G Phone is priced as low as Rs. 3,000.
3. Reliance Retail
- The retail division charges extremely competitive pricing.
- In the groceries division, the pricing is extremely competitive but also gives out offers and discounts especially on JioMart
- The pricing in the electronic division depends on the products of various companies and RIL has very little price influence on it
- In the Apparel Division, prices are set as on the lines of middle-class demographics and also give out discounts and offer time to time
Place & Distribution Strategy of Reliance
Place here refers to the place the actual selling of the products and services takes. The place where the customer can buy the products.
1. Oil to Chemical (O2C)
- RIL’s O2C is a completely Business to Business (B2B) entity, the place parameter is not necessarily of full importance as most of the orders and consignments are done based on their previous works
- Moreover, Reliance Industries Limited has been in the business for close to 50 years now and being the largest private sector company, everyone in the O2C business knows about its work.
2. Reliance Jio
- Reliance Jio has about 1700+ stores all over the country under the name of Jio Digital Stores
- It also has numerous sub-partners who help customers with recharges, new sims and other services.
- It is constantly working on increasing its stores all over India to increase the customer experience
- It also takes online orders of the above services and provides home deliveries of the same
3. Reliance Retail
- Reliance Retail operates about 12,201 stores across 7,000+ cities across India
- It also takes online orders through Jio Mart and Ajio apps to provide home delivery of the products and thus making the life of customers easier
Promotion Strategy of Reliance
Promotion refers to the measures taken by the company to increase its product’s visibility and awareness so that customers can know about the products.
1. Oil to Chemical (O2C)
- RIL’s O2C business doesn’t focus much on the promotion aspect as it’s a B2B entity
- However, its work speaks for itself and thus facilitates healthy word of mouth promotion
- Although, RIL focuses a lot on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities every year
- It also recently announced that the company will bear all the vaccination costs of its employees
2. Reliance Jio
- Reliance Jio has been active in promoting itself regularly through various mediums.
- It has a strong social media presence and is present on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Youtube
- On the offline part, it uses Newspaper and TV as the primary medium of promotions
- Currently, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh are its brand ambassadors
- Previously, notable figures such as Amitabh Bachhan, Shah Rukh Khan have been a part of this journey
- It also has a tie-up with Hotstar Disney+ which helps them in promoting themselves even better
3. Reliance Retail
- Reliance Retail uses an aggressive marketing policy as it’s in a highly competitive sector.
- Reliance Retail’s brands such as Ajio, Fresh, Footprints etc. have their own social media presence and are present on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and Youtube
- It also uses Newspaper and Television as a primary offline medium of promotion and also has brand ambassadors like Vicky Kaushal, Janvi Kapoor and Keerthy Suresh
Now that you have an overall understanding of Reliance Industries Limited, what it offers to the customers, let’s take a look at what their competitors are up to in the next section.
Competitors Analysis of Reliance
To give your mind an idea of who Reliance’s competitors are, look at the image below.
Yes, Reliance Industries is into so many categories that it is competing with Google with Jio Pay, Dmart with Reliance Retail, Embibe with Byju’s and many other players.
Reliance Industries is now almost in every major sector but narrowing the competition study to Reliance Industries Limited’s current prospects which are Reliance O2C, Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail will help us understand this analysis better
Let’s start with Reliance O2C’s competitive analysis
1. Reliance O2C & Its Competitors
As we know the base of Reliance Industries Limited, on which it stands, is its O2C business as also most of the current revenue comes from here. it faces its competition with the below-mentioned companies.
- Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)
- Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)
- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
So Reliance O2C ranges itself in categories such as Petrochemicals, Oil Refining and Oil exploration and Petroleum products it competes against a group of government entities like ONGC, BPCL and IOCL.
But what sets Reliance O2C apart is that it constantly reinvests its profit in making the process better whereas the Government being a majority holder of the companies like ONGC, BPCL and IOCL, takes out a hefty profit in its account as dividend every year. So this has created a wide gap between Reliance O2C and its competitors.
Reliance O2C kind of has a partial monopoly in the offerings it provides.
2. Reliance Jio & Its Competitors
Reliance Jio is the fast-growing subsidiary of the conglomerate and has gained a good market share since it first launched back in 2016 by offering 4G services free of cost for a year.
- Since that day, it has been unstoppable in adding new customers every year compared to its competitors like Vodafone Idea, Airtel and BSNL.
- But now, things are kind of slowing down for Jio as Airtel has been working hard and has also been successful in adding more customers than Jio since the Covid-19 pandemic
- However, the other competitors that are Vodafone Idea and BSNL have lost more customers than ever due to their poor quality of customer service and experience.
So to conclude, Reliance Jio still has a healthy market share but Airtel has now emerged as an equally competitive candidate in terms of services and the experience offered.
3. Reliance Retail & Its Competitors
Reliance Industries Limited has been focusing on the retail business for years now but in the last two to three years it has increased its focus on this segment. It has acquired a lot of retail companies and startups in the last two to three years and thus making its intentions clear of establishing itself as “The Retail Leader” just like it had done with Jio a few years ago.
The retail arm of Reliance has been working on conquering both the online and offline mode of retail by acquiring the Future Group and launching Jio Mart
Its primary competitors are Dmart, Amazon and Flipkart. However, all its competitors are working along the same lines of increasing their presence both online and offline either through acquisitions or through building things from scratch.
The Future Group which is acquired by Reliance Retail is under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court and the acquisition has been halted temporarily as Amazon has accused Future Group of violating an agreement previously agreed upon.
As it is an industry that is yet to establish thoroughly, only time will tell us whose efforts were appreciated by the customers.
Now with this, you have an idea about how the competition is folding out in the industry in general, let’s now understand the strategy that Reliance Industries Limited is implementing to place itself ahead of its competitors in the next section.
Marketing Strategy of Reliance
Marketing strategy helps companies achieve business objectives. There are several marketing strategies like product/service innovation, marketing investment, customer experience, etc. which have helped a brand grow and place itself better in the market.
Reliance Industries’ marketing strategy focuses on implementing aggressive marketing tactics for its telecom subsidiary, Reliance Jio and retail subsidiary, Reliance Retail as they are Business to Consumer (B2C) businesses.
So starting with Reliance Jio,
1. Marketing Strategies of Reliance Jio
Jio advertises aggressively during prime time events such as IPL in India.
- Their “Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan” campaign is one of the most successful campaigns of all time.
- It was launched during IPL 2017 edition and is still in the running since then.
Jio has launched a new online portal called Jio Mart for home delivery of its products in collaboration with its sister company Reliance Retail.
2. Marketing Strategies of Reliance Retail
Reliance Retail has recently started working aggressively to increase its presence in India. The company has launched Jio Mart that offers home delivery of products and services to its customers.
- Jio Mart does not charge any delivery fee as of now whereas its competitors like Amazon and Flipkart charge a mandatory delivery fee irrespective of the size of the order. This distinguishes Jio Mart from its customers.
It is also currently working in onboarding Local Kirana Stores and Petty shops from all the regions of India and help them with home delivery services for their products and offerings
So this is how Reliance Industries’ marketing strategy is placed so that it can be one step ahead of its competitors. Let’s now go through the marketing campaigns undertaken by them in the next section.
Marketing Campaigns of Reliance
Marketing campaigns are implemented to create a brand’s presence in the minds of customers and to build trust which directly results in better goodwill of the company and further word of mouth promotions of the company.
1. Reliance Jio
Jio uses Social Media, Television Ads, Print Media and an OTT (Over The Top) platform called Hotstar to advertise their campaigns. Of the famous campaigns, Reliance Jio had launched a long term campaign named Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan back in 2017. The campaign is still running as it’s a long term campaign that is updated year on year based on the new products and service launches of the company.
This campaign primarily focuses on targeting the youths and cricket fans of the country as they run this campaign around the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which is India’s premier domestic cricket competition.
Popular celebrities such as Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachhan, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh are roped in as brand ambassadors for these campaigns. Jio has also partnered with a lot of IPL Teams and that also helps them use cricket players as their brand ambassadors.
Reliance Jio’s recent advertisement featuring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.
2. Reliance Retail
Reliance Retail has increased its advertising volumes to capture the audience’s attention since the pandemic has begun. It is yet to unveil a proper long term marketing campaign just like its sister company Jio’s “Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan” campaign.
However, it releases topical and event-based advertisements during the festivals to create its presence in the minds of the consumers.
So to expand its retail business with full potential, Reliance Retail should come up with a long term campaign just like its sister company Reliance Jio has done. Maybe, the long term campaign is in the works or it might be halted for a moment temporarily until the Future group deal is cleared which only the time would tell us.
3. Reliance Digital
For its marketing campaigns, Reliance Digital usually focuses on showcasing the latest technology products, features, and services that are available at its stores.
The recent video ad campaign launched by Reliance Digital, named “Technology se Rishta Jodo” (meaning, “Connect your relationship with technology”), aims to educate and empower people who may be hesitant or fearful of using technology. The ad features relatable scenarios of individuals of different ages and backgrounds who are shown overcoming their fear of technology with the help of Reliance Digital’s products and services.
The campaign aims to resonate with a broad audience, as it acknowledges that there are many people who may feel left behind in this rapidly changing digital world. By highlighting Reliance Digital’s role in bridging the gap between people and technology, the campaign encourages viewers to connect with technology and use it to improve their lives.
The campaign has been successful so far, with over 9 million views on YouTube and positive feedback from viewers. Through this campaign, Reliance Digital has effectively communicated its brand values and positioned itself as a trusted partner for people looking to embrace technology.
With this, we have come to the end of this case study. So let’s go through the quick conclusion of the same.
In all its market sectors, Reliance Industries Limited enjoys global leadership in its O2C business. With Jio being its fastest-growing business, it has all the proper marketing campaigns and strategies in place. However, Incase of Reliance Retail, it is yet to work out its marketing campaigns and strategies to ensure it operates on its maximum potential and thrives in offering customers a better experience with its products and services.
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