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Urban Company’s #WearASmile campaign will add missing human element of smile: Tarun Menon

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Neeraj Kakkar, CEO and Co-founder, Hector Beverages

On the launch of its #WearASmile campaign, Urban Company’s Director-Marketing Tarun Menon shares insights on the campaign, the inspiration behind it, and more

 Masks have become an indispensable part of our lives for almost a year now. Ever since pandemic-related restrictions were imposed in India in March, people are wearing masks to safeguard themselves and people around them. Although masks help people stay safe, they also make them inconspicuous. The warmest human element, a smile, is no longer easily visible. Consequently, human interactions seem devoid of warmth.

To reintroduce this currently missing human element, Urban Company is launching #WearASmile campaign which aims to enliven interactions between consumers and professionals by adding a smile to the face mask. The company has also launched a digital film on YouTube communicating the initiative’s core idea.

Tarun Menon, Director- Marketing, Urban Company, spoke to e4m about the campaign, the inspiration behind it, and host of other topics like festive season spending, bolstering digital, changed consumer sentiments.

Talking about protecting its partner base, Menon mentioned about interest-free business advances, provision of Covid health insurance and income protection and reimbursements of credits. “Reimbursements of credits that partners had with the Urban Company was up to Rs 2 crore,” he added.

Putting the spotlight on #WearASmile campaign, the Director-Marketing said, “Urban Company’s new campaign, #WearASmile aims to add the human element and behavioural warmth, whereby all service professionals of Urban Company will be wearing face masks with a smile on it for the entire month.”

“While most people are spending the pandemic safely quarantined at homes, service professionals are putting their lives at risk in ensuring that others are living and working comfortably from home. Therefore, the company is adding a smile onto the 1 million-plus masks worn by its service professionals – honouring their commitment in managing the new normal. All service professionals of the company have been wearing these face masks with a smile from December 1, 2020, for the rest of the month.”

“We are also collaborating with other companies to thank the partners and users who helped us sail through a difficult year,” added Menon.

Moving forward, talking about this year’s festive season performance of Urban Company, Menon remarked, “Urban Company’s men’s grooming section grew 6X since February during the Oct-Nov quarter, that is during the festive season.” Explaining further, he added that categories like men’s grooming, cleaning, beauty & salon services saw organic growth in demand during the festive and wedding months.

A threefold approach was used by the Urban Company to leverage high demands during the festive season. “We bifurcated the number of projects according to their types and distributed professionals across these categories. Secondly, with our product team, we created a waitlist feature that allowed users to jump and book slots ahead of time which helped us plan working with our service partners to make sure that all of this demand is fulfilled,” informed Menon.

Speaking about numbers, he said, “We are now 100% of our pre-Covid volumes in terms of a number of jobs delivered on the platform and we are now at about 140% of our pre-Covid revenues as well. So, recovery has been steady.”

Being a digital-first brand, Menon stressed on digital being the larger lever to optimistically drive business goals. He said that the brand does advertise on television but the rest of growth is primarily driven by digital channels. It is a mix of YouTube, Instagram, largely Facebook, depending on the nature category and the user, he added.

According to Menon, customers have accepted the new normal where safety, hygiene and role of expertise have taken precedence. So, entire marketing interventions have been around customer safety and trust-building as customers are willing to move out now.

Talking about influencer marketing, he said, “We have been using influencer marketing for four years now. In our category, influencer marketing helps in visualization of services which adds more credibility. Depending on the category and marketing objective, influencers are chosen according to their relevance, authority and reach.”

To conclude, he put the focus on technology being the next driver of business advancements and key disruption across sectors. “Technology is being used to scale up efficiency and engagement with the customer base, and Urban Company too is committed to continuously upgrade with changing times and technology.”

 

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