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Encouraging Real Conversations – Nykaa Network

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Nykaa, founded in 2012 by Indian entrepreneur Falguni Nayar today offers over 1000 + brands and 1,00,000 + products on its website, app and stores. It has recently launched the Nykaa Network, an interactive beauty forum where subscribers can chat with other beauty buffs, ask and answer beauty related questions, give and seek advice, discover trends and join beauty-centric conversations on topics of their interest.

The platform that launched a few months ago currently gets 1.5 lakh monthly visits, and has close to 250,000 subscribers with about 13,000 new members signing up every week. The Network has been designed in a way that subscribers can join groups to discover content tailored to their interests, upload photos and chat with like-minded people.  Additionally, they can also get video advice from India’s leading makeup, skin, hair and wellness experts.

We spoke to Nykaa’s Chief Officer-Content, Madhavi Irani about the platform:

Q- The platform is great but what if the conversations are all in favour of one particular brand? Wouldn’t that affect the positioning of the other brands on your platform?

MI– Nykaa. Com is a completely transactional e- commerce site which has over 1000 brands. From the start, we have believed in making Nykaaa brand agnostic platform. We have held that we would not propagate or advocate any one brand. Any recommendations or conversations about a brand that takes place on the network is done and led by users, and Nykaa at no point has tried to influence those conversations. Therefore, if the conversations are about a particular brand then so be it.

We have not used any influencers because I believe that paid bloggers will speak well about any brand they are paid by. Nykaa is essentially about real people giving real advice on real issues that concern them. We were looking for real girl influencers for the platform. People whom you and I have never heard of have suddenly become leading influencers on the network. We have about a 100 super users. We see them engage everyday on the platform to give advice to the other people. This is completely without any monetary benefit. It is something that they enjoy and love doing.

Q- How do you engage with your consumers and which tool have you found to be most effective?

MI– For this platform, we started off with an ‘answer to win contest’. We would say that for the next two days people who answer the most questions will get a gift. The gift would be something as little as a lipstick but we would send it along with a note saying thank you for being a part of the network. We still run it once a month. We wanted this to be organically driven and grown and have seen an exponential increase in the number of people writing answers.

We also introduced a selfie contest. For instance, a few days back one of our team members recreated the look of a Bollywood actress and asked others to join in and send their images portraying their favourite actresses, or their favourite makeup look of the day.

The best part about such contests is that people write back to us when they get a little hamper from us thanking us for the hamper. People today just want to be heard and seen and want to feel that they are an important part of the conversation.

Clearly, brands benefit as this is user driven brand advocacy. It’s helping people make more informed product choices instead of going and just buying the first thing that looks attractive. They are asking each other about the products, it is amazing to see such engagement.

Q- What are you planning next for the platform?

MI– Nykaa has always prided itself on having a very strong expert portfolio. Going forward, we want to create something where users can have a light interaction with the experts on the platform. To me, it is so powerful that someone sitting in Bareilly can have a question on her acne problem answered by one of India’s leading dermatologist sitting in Bombay. I believe that knowledge is empowering and it is our job to not only sell a product but also empower people with the best information that we can.

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