We want to be the one-stop destination for everything for home: Naveen Murali, Pepperfry

The Head of Marketing at Pepperfry shares insights on the new festive campaign, strengthening the brand’s positioning, marketing strategies, online vs offline sales and more

by Ritika Raj
Published - October 19, 2022
6 minutes To Read
We want to be the one-stop destination for everything for home: Naveen Murali, Pepperfry

It’s that time of the year when brands put their best foot forward with festive campaigns. However, giving the usual route a spin, furniture e-commerce player Pepperfry has made brand ambassadors Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan into memes for their Diwali campaign.

In a conversation with exchange4media, Naveen Murali, Head of Marketing, Pepperfry, shares insights into the memefied campaign and how it is relevant for the core TG of the brand. He also speaks about building an aspirational brand, the marketing strategies, and online vs offline sales among other things. 

What was the insight behind your Diwali campaign with Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan? 

I’ll break this into three parts. First - our core TG happens to be in the 25-40 year-old group who are social media savvy. When we started the campaign, we asked ourselves what the brand wanted to communicate and how? The idea was whether we could use this entire social media savvy format - the idea of using memes as a format of communication. We picked up means as a mode of communication as it becomes an ideal way to reach the TG for the brand. Secondly, with this campaign, we were communicating something different. We want to be the one stop destination for everything for home. For everybody who's looking to shop online, we offer one lakh plus options, and that’s the core reason the TG goes online to shop. The second important reason why we do great online is that we also have about 200+ studios in 100+ cities for everyone who wants to have a touch and feel experience once. As a brand, we wanted to communicate these two things fundamentally. Thirdly, we wanted to stand out among the clutter of Diwali communication, which is why for the two mediums that we have chosen, we felt that memes and superstars with memes would be very different. 

How is Pepperfry positioning itself? How are you communicating to the consumer keeping in line with your agenda to build an aspirational brand? 

Our core TG, as mentioned, is 25 to 40-year-olds and out of that as well the core TG remains from the NCCSA segment. When we talk to this TG, we try to understand what they seek - be it from the product side, the communication side, the journey, touch points, all of that. So, to place an experience as ‘premium’ for these consumers - all of these experiences have been handpicked. The products in the Pepperfry store are the kinds of products this TG aspires to have in their home. Right from products to as simple things as the colors that we use as a brand on our website, across the product offerings, the communication to the tonality everywhere we maintain this language, that's how we aspire to continue that place in their minds as we have acquired over the years. It's not an action of one particular dimension, it’s at every touchpoint that the consumer interfaces with us. 

How is Pepperfry leveraging conversational commerce to stand out in the consumer's eyes? 

There are two parts of conversation in commerce. One is the part where we communicate and inform consumers on what is there and how they could react to that. The second part of conversational commerce is a lot predictive and reactionary. Which means that a consumer came to my website, added a product to the cart and then beyond that it’s about that one person, it's not about a large team, it’s about what could make that person purchase. Today, we do both kinds of communication and both kinds of nudges, curating that feed of what is actually communicated to the consumer. Secondly, a large part of our business communication also happens end-to-end through SMS, Email and notifications. We do both of these communications with consumers. It's super important as it's going to get more and more relevant. When we can give the consumer exactly what they want rather than what the entire community wants, there's going to be a one-to-one mapping that way. 

How is hyperlocal innovation helping Pepperfry communicate to consumers, especially in Tier 2 and 3 cities & towns? 

The luxury of either digital or mediums like outdoor is that I can relay to the geo-targeted location that the consumer is at. For example, if I have a studio in Juhu and somebody is gonna pass by that area, I can use Outdoor as a medium to communicate exactly what I want to say to that person there. We use a lot of the traditional medium also to specifically communicate to people in different geographies that we want to communicate with, which is one of the reasons why for the current campaign we've also picked our top 10 cities where we really want to action this. 

There is also a lot of intervention depending upon clusters - where either our studios are present, or clusters where maximum number of online orders come into us or clusters where we know that are the furniture market. We've been through all of these and used outdoor as a medium to target hyperlocal communication. The second thing is that on digital we've been able to map which cities give us best conversions for which campaigns and best values all of those metrics. Hence when we do our digital spend today, we are very clear on what campaigns to run at what city level and which gives us the best runway, best business and business returns. We run both of these exceptionally well to our advantage to drive maximum business from the cities or towns or clusters that we look to operate. 

What is your store number breakdown in terms of ownership and franchise mode? Are you looking at expanding? 

Currently we have 200+ stores across the country, out of which 141 are FOFO and 59 are COCO. On the store expansion front, this is a journey that we are very consciously committed to. We have continuously been on this journey, because India is a collection of very many cities and very many stores. We will be providing access to consumers, both online and offline, both of which we are extremely committed to separately and in combined. 

What per cent of your sales come from offline vs online channels? How has it evolved through the course of the pandemic? 

Our omnichannel business contributes to 45% of our sales and  25-30% of our business comes from smaller towns. Our studio opening approach has been to reach the maximum of those towns where people want to access touch and feel. Because when we started this journey, the idea was also to understand what are the inhibitors for maybe an online journey, which is what the Studio Journey comes to take away. In the studio, what we provide is exactly that, if there is a consumer who wants to touch and feel, who wants somebody to consult and advise if a piece wouldn't be right for their home, that's the journey we provide in the studio. Iin short, the contribution of studios to sales have been really doing very well over the years. That's why we continuously invest in that journey.