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By Mudar Patherya
Communications Consultant

If you feel that contemporary marketing is all about the product, product and product, then think again.

There is a new word gaining currency. Experience. How well were you marketed?

How pleasurable was the marketing experience? How creatively was the product or the proposition presented? Anyone wishing to experience a wow of an understated marketing experience would do well to visit the experience centre of Aurus, the premium residential lifestyle offering of the PS Group.

I posed as an intending buyer. I said I needed a 4 BHK residential facility.

This is what I discovered when I dropped in on a February Sunday at the location behind ITC Sonar:

One, a confidently warm welcome by Vishnu and Debjani. Well turned out, well-informed, well-spoken. For someone who has been exposed to sales people turning out a mechanically memorised script without bothering to look me in the face, I was pleasantly surprised at Aurus. Questions were answered with detail. Questions were answered with ‘This is what we have’ (without at any stage desk-thumpingly implying this is the best in the world). Questions were answered with anecdotes that linked to how I would use the facility (application more than passive product). So even as I kept whispering an intermittent ‘wow’ as I wove through the experience centre, the one point that kept coming back to me was ‘I am beginning to like the vibes of this person attending to me’.

Two, the first moments were defining. A liveried steward presenting a tray – Jeeves style – with a cold towel and a welcome drink. Ah, the feeling of refrigerated moisture on the face!

Three, the audio-visual centre (now that my face is tingling fresh after the cold towel). For years, I have been marketed real estate products on paper – a brochure really. Where someone sits beside me and flips page after page and reads to me as if reading to a seven-year-old. There is no one reading anything to me at Aurus. But someone is surely leading me to an audio-visual room (surprisingly the first thing I notice is that the ceiling is about 20 feet quite like a multiplex cinema hall) where I sink into a Quest multiplex platinum ticket-like seat and watch the screen in front. It’s the kind of feeling where even though the sun may be 32 degree C, inside is like a photographer’s dark room (with the perks).

Four, the hall maahaul. Normally I engross myself with the spaciousness, access, view. But at Aurus, surprisingly, the eyes are not drawn horizontally but vertically. I keep looking at the 22 ft ceiling (more than twice the height of conventional modern-day residential offerings). I wonder what such a height does for people who stay within. You may call it waste (‘Nobody really needs more than 12 feet’) but fancy looking high up day in and day out without that influencing your thinking.

Five, Debjani asks if I would like to have lunch. Lunch? My first all-knowing reaction: ‘Oh, Swiggy.’ Until I discover that the lunch will come from within; the captive kitchen will cook and customise based on the preference of the visitor (me in this case). I mumble a ‘Wife is waiting at home…’ but I realise what it means to be served on the dining table of the hall of this experience centre and looking ceiling wards every seventh minute and telling yourself: ‘Jagah to badhiyo hai.’

Six. I must have mentioned something favourable about another tony residential offering within veranda view. I half-expected Vishnu to pounce and talk ill of it (most competing marketing executives so). Surprisingly, what I heard was praise as well. And for some strange reason that made me hang around and listen to Vishnu ten minutes longer. It’s amazing how the mind works.

PS. One of these days, I intend to take the wife there after sundown…

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