In the context of the e-commerce boom, our client was a late entrant. Amid a plethora of retail sites and apps, our client was faced with the prospect of being lost in the din created by giants with massive marketing budgets.
The app, however, had a clear differentiator: Its currency was the time spent by users on it rather than the money spent through it (the app was an aggregator, not a retailer itself). It was at the time the only app with a feature that allowed you to share with your friends and family products you had discovered on the app.
Also, the app showcased niche products that are not necessarily available online – from artisan work to high-end products.
Strategy and execution
- Step 1: In-depth engagement with the founders to understand the story behind the app as well as their own
- Step 2: Drew up a messaging house for the firm, identifying metrics like time spent on the app on which it significantly outperformed even established global players such as Amazon and Flipkart
- Step 3: Intensive media and message-delivery training of the founders, who were also the spokespersons
- Step 4: Identified and appointed an agency.
- Step 5: Drew up a communications plan.
- Step 6: Ensured rollout of the plan through the agency. This included strong lifestyle stories, authored articles, media reviews, product placements, interviews and participation in industry stories.
- Step 7: Established partnerships with leading lifestyle media to ensure discovery and downloads.
- Clear positioning of the app as a ‘shopping’ destination rather than a ‘purchasing’ one
- Identification in the media and among customers as an app that adds value to their product discovery process
- Chat feature – the app’s greatest distinguishing characteristic – becoming a hit with users
- Founders positioned as thought leaders
- Media identifying them as go-to people for views and analysis. This included columns in prestigious publications such as the ‘Marketing Whitebook 2015-16’ brought out by ‘Business World’ and Nielsen