Pavangopal A, Head of Marketing & E-commerce, Nandu’s shares five principles that helped the meat retail brand convert challenges into advantages
Covid-19 brought the world to a standstill. Businesses were caught off guard and many hit the pause button on marketing. Slowly, with global economies opening up and people learning to live with the not-so-new ‘normal’, industries are looking for opportunities to rise in this pandemic.
The world is changing and so is business. The success of business transformation will depend considerably on marketing. As companies deliberate on ways to be more efficient with marketing budgets, I would like to share five principles that have helped Nandu’s convert challenges into advantages:
From panic buying to the online shopping boom, the pandemic has shifted consumer behaviours and preferences in ways that will have long-term effects. Brands that were quick to respond are reaping the rewards. But how does one strike the balance between retaining authenticity and responding to change?
At Nandu’s, we pride ourselves on being a hyperlocal and omni-channel brand with fully-integrated and farm-to-fork operations. During the pandemic, we have been super agile in our functioning and engagement with customers, without changing our proposition to customers. Marketing played a critical role in helping us communicate with customers and assuring them that we will continue to supply fresh and hygienic products every day and thereby empowering us to rise up to the challenge and cater to our customers – via our retail stores, the online and e-commerce space, as well as our own call centres.
The last few months have been tough for everybody. We all need each other to lean on and emerge stronger from this crisis. Brands that have a positive impact on people and manage to foster meaningful customer relationships that extend beyond sales will not just survive, but thrive.
Innovative marketing strategies and strong communications roadmap are the need of the hour. At Nandu’s, we launched an evocative campaign called Family First celebrating the familial bonds that give us the courage and strength to endure adversity. With people increasingly looking at home-cooked food for comfort, we have been able to strengthen our connection with consumers. Our customer conversations have become deeper and we are constantly seeing an uptick in new clientele.
Health, safety and hygiene have taken centre stage in our lives. Consumers today are asking pertinent questions about the sourcing and delivery of food. Trust and transparency rank high in the new world order.
In recent times, we are seeing an increasing number of consumers shift from local butchery shops to trusted meat brands. Nandu’s digital marketing efforts during the pandemic had a simple and clear messaging: We offer meat free from hormones, steroids, antibiotics, or any form of growth promoters. Since we own our hatcheries, feed mills, breeding farms, processing centre, food factory, cold chain infrastructure and retail stores, we can vouch for the health, hygiene and safety of all our products right through the supply chain. It’s important to be consistent in demonstrating transparency and building trust.
People have lost lives and livelihoods, businesses have shut shop, economies worldwide are reeling under the burden of Covid-19. Yet, some brands like Nandu’s have managed to grow during the pandemic. That calls for gratitude – towards consumers as well as employees and associates who have shown faith in you.
Traditionally, the meat buying experience is one of the most underserved retail experiences across categories. At Nandu’s, we conduct mystery audits – the first meat retail brand in India to do so – in order to gain valuable insights into our customer experience. Based on the data, we then launched a unique customer loyalty program offering repeat buyers a host of rewards and benefits, usually reserved for other retail categories. Marketing efforts must look at ways to incentivise and thank repeat customers.
When all the rules are being dramatically rewritten, what do businesses hold on to? The company vision, that’s the guiding spirit. Go back to the basics before designing marketing strategies that are adaptable and resilient for the future.
When Nandu’s started operations in 2016, the vision was to become India’s fastest growing and largest omni-channel meat brand. And today, we are determined more than ever before to make that vision a reality. With changing customer preferences and shifting market dynamics, organised meat retail in India is set for remarkable growth. The vision is at the core of every marketing strategy.
Last But Not Least
These are uncertain times and it is prudent not to plan too far in advance. Agility, powered by data, is the key to the right marketing strategy. The current crisis presents an opportunity to reset and broaden our brand reach. Perhaps, even come up with sustainable solutions for the post-pandemic world.