As part of our new series, ‘Marketers Playbook for 2020 Post Covid-19′, Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Co-founder & Director, Wakefit.co tells us that the company’s latest initiative, Wakefit Postbox is an attempt to bring people closer during the pandemic
Every company claims to be customer centric – some only through lip service and PR announcements, and some working hard at it every day. We at Wakefit.co have always thought of our customers in everything we do, for a very simple reason – the only reason a relatively new company like ours has been able to disrupt a decades-old industry and live to tell the tale is because we listen to our customers. Closely. We observe their online behaviour, we go to the bottom of their positive as well as negative reviews, we speak to thousands of them every day, and we obsess over what they want and how to deliver it to them quickly, reliably and affordably.
All this changed when the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world. From obsessing over what they may want from our products and our services, we started to ask ourselves:
“During these times, what do our customers and community members want from Wakefit, the company?”
Around the same time, we did a “Work from Home” survey with over 1,500 respondents from across the country. In addition, we had possibly India’s largest data set on sleep patterns (~100,000 respondents) to compare against. The results were stunning. There was a 40% increase in people who went to sleep after midnight, once the lockdown started. 36% of people are getting five hours or less sleep in a night since March 21, 2020. 49% of all people were losing sleep because of the pandemic – worries about job safety, salary cuts and potential infection of a loved one.
We humans are social beings, wanting to communicate, touch, and share ideas and experiences with others. Daily interactions with family, friends, colleagues, and strangers make for rich experiences and help us push our thoughts forward. Even for the more introverted among us, the outdoors represents the arena to walk, contemplate and observe life all around us. The pandemic has disrupted all of this, forcing us to rewire our brains to fundamentally live differently. We realized that people were stuck in the confines of their homes, sometimes scared, sometimes frustrated, and at other times just craving for the ability to share a passing thought with their loved one. Many were stranded in a different city from their loved ones. Many lived alone, with no one to talk to all day long, except may be the unwanted tele-caller trying to sell something.
Our introspection, along with what the data showed, was the genesis of the “Wakefit Postbox.” Anyone wanting to share their thoughts or feelings or even a fear with their loved one, could share it with us and we would make sure to publish and share it with others too who may be in a similar situation and able to derive solace from a kind of kinship with a kindred spirit. It was our way of bringing people closer, our way of telling everyone that we could all come out of this together, into the sunshine of normal life, if we can just be there for each other.
We realized that people were worried about their job losses and wanted to share it with their bosses, but were worried about being seen as insecure. There were those who were worried for the safety of their domestic help, who lived in a chawl somewhere with inadequate protection. There were doctors worried about being evicted out of their homes even while working tirelessly on the front lines to save lives. Even hilarious letters on how foodies are missing the giant menu of a restaurant or an outdoorsy person struggling with a crippling case of cabin fever.
This kind of openness in sharing their deepest, most secret worries with us was truly humbling. Today, our mission of making India sleep better took on a whole new meaning. And for that, we are deeply touched. We are here, and we are listening.