Disrupting The Performance Wear Market | Ankita Riva and Ujjawal Asthana @ Zymrat

In India people were inclined to import performance wear brands. Zymrat is an innovation-led D2C performance wear brand with technology at its core with an extensive focus on superior raw materials. Tune in to know how this D2C platform became a game-changer for the activewear market in India!

What you must not miss!

  • Finding the product-market fit.
  • Initial hurdles.
  • Anticipating consumer trends.

Building The Bloomberg For Private Equity | Neha Singh and Abhishek Goyal @ Tracxn

The global company Bloomberg mines market data to help businesses make prudent decisions. In a similar vein, Tracxn helps private markets in their decision-making by providing curated profiles of startups and companies. Tune in to hear the story of two analysts building one of the world’s largest data intelligence platforms!

Know about:-

  • The private market landscape
  • Scaling up insider understanding of a sector
  • The revenue journey
  • Go-to-market strategy

The OG Tech Disruptor | Bhavin Turakia @ Zeta

This episode traces almost a three-decade evolution of India’s startup landscape. Bhavin Turakhia is a serial entrepreneur who has been honored as a 2011 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He has been ranked as the 95th richest person in India in 2016, according to Forbes. His largest venture is Zeta, a unicorn in the banking tech which is a next-gen credit card processing platform.

Know about:-

  • Select the right problem from the right space
  • Ideation of Zeta
  • Partnering with HDFC
  • Organization building

Building The Lending Stack For Bharat | Anil K Pinapala @ Vivifi

After a successful entrepreneurial stint in the US, Anil headed to India when he realized the bigger opportunity in digital lending lay here. Vivifi is built with the mission of offering formal credit to the millions of Indians outside the umbrella of institutionalized banking. He talks about his learnings, differences between Indian and American regulations. This conversation is a masterclass on building a lending business with a regulatory framework, something very few companies have managed to pull off.

Know about:-

  • Rocking the American dream
  • Synthetic fraud
  • Building the flagship product
  • Future expansion plans

Digital Strategies For Brands In Early Stages | Karan Amin @ 010 [S02, #9]

Don’t we all want to create iconic brands even as we launch a new brand? But when the brand is new, when one has just started out, there’s limited money, and one is using digital only for communication, then what should one do to have all the makings of an iconic brand? In this episode, Vani and Karan Amin discuss what it takes to build an iconic brand in the early stages using digital media.

Learn about:-

01: 41 – Know the elevator pitch

07 : 24 – Select the right mediums

09:33 – Identify your hero product

23:12 – Define the consumer persona

Read the complete transcript below:-

Vani 01:10

When brands are just starting out when the money is small, of course, every brand has a dream to want to become a strong brand. So at an early stage, a brand that is primarily existing on digital, primarily selling on digital E marketplaces. What does the brand do to prepare itself and to put the right ingredients in place in order to become or in order to hate towards becoming an iconic brand?

Karan Amin 01:41

Just like people watch, like a lot of people watch shark tank. In shark tank there is that guy, there’s a person who gets a chance to make an elevator pitch to those people. You need to know what your elevator pitch is. This is your live shark tank episode happening on a day to day basis and you are going to be talking to that consumer. What are you going to be telling that consumer? Therefore, you need to design and craft through your head, a very concise and clear elevator pitch. That’s the first thing the brand needs to have in place.

Second is, what is your target persona? Who are the people that are going to buy into your brand? What is their persona? What are their pain points? What are their desires? What are they looking for on the internet? What are they searching for? What are the platforms and sites they go to, what is the description of this persona? And therefore even the different personas that fall under that. So if you are targeting five different personas, then you need maybe a different messaging for those five different personas. And therefore the creation of this persona is very, very important. Also what brands have to therefore even define what are the problems being faced by this consumer that they are targeting. What are the primary problems this consumer is having? What are the secondary problems this consumer is having and therefore how your product is going to solve these problems for that consumer? And the most important thing is, what is the consumer feeling about these problems? When they go through these problems, what do they feel? Because if you can bring out that feeling in your communication, people will identify with it a lot better and say, hey, this is for me. You grab their attention because you have creatively visualized that feeling. 

Vani 03:36

Very nice. So you said first of all, have an elevator pitch. Then you said, you must have a very sharply defined target persona. Please understand who the person you are talking to is. What is her worldview like and how does she relate with the category? What is the problem she’s specifically facing? Make sure you understand the problem. How will you solve the problem and solve the problem from the lens of how she is feeling? You must be able to solve for how this consumer is feeling. Now two questions over here, Karan, number one, what are the components of an elevator pitch? What all should the elevator pitch necessarily have? That’s number one. And number two is this bit of feeling, too often I’ve seen that rhymes at a young stage, start talking the emotion language, let me do an emotional film because I must be able to evoke a feeling because now this whole emotional connection has become very fashionable to talk about. When you talk about, make sure you are able to connect with how the consumer is feeling. Do you think that sometimes this is misunderstood to be just emotion devoid of what the product is doing? 

Karan Amin 04:55

I think the very first step is that, because you as a brand, you have chosen digital. And when you have chosen digital, before you even get into making your content. Very first, you define what are the platforms you are going to use and why you are using those platforms? It’s not like I will know because I’m setting up a new brand. I’ll make Instagram also, I’ll make Facebook also, I’ll make YouTube also, I’ll make Twitter also. You do everything because everyone is doing everything. What is going to work for your brand is what is important because where does your audience lie and therefore, what are they doing on their platform? Now what happens if you discover that all your users are on something like a Tiktok, then doing something like a Facebook is of no use. And therefore, again, when you discover and you decide that, okay, these are going to be my platforms. Then you need to craft your storytelling and what is going to work on those platforms. What is the consumer feeling on Instagram? What are the consumers doing on Instagram? If you look at Instagram in general, Instagram itself also has a platform that pushes reels more than it pushes posts and stories. So if, as a brand, you put up a post it’ll organically get less engagement organically than it will get with reels and then if you look at reels as your brand, this thing, then what is happening on reels? What is the kind of content that is happening on reels? What is the kind of content that people are watching on reels? They’re watching fun, quirky stuff because that is grabbing your attention and it is far more shareable. Because if it is fun and engaging, there’s a higher chance it can get shared, higher chance it gets watched again, higher chance the people will engage with it. But if it is something which is largely your tear jerker, then you will watch it only once. And you may have a tear jerker moment, you may share it, but you’ll not watch it again because consumers don’t want to cry, they want to be happy. 

Vani 06:54

You’re saying that tear jerkers don’t work only because reels are meant to entertain and tear jerkers don’t entertain. Is that what you’re saying? 

Karan Amin 07:05

That’s not what I’m saying. I think tear jerkers can make the tear, but then what are you making the tear jerker for? What is your end objective? What do you want the consumer to do at the end of watching that film? You want him to be sharing this film. Do you want him to click on some link, buy something? How is that leading to some conversion or some brand affinity? 

Vani 07:24

Right. So what I’m saying is reels are equal to entertainment, but what you are saying is be sure about what platform you are picking. That platform has to be picked after you understand where your consumer is, because no consumer is unlikely to be equally on their own platform. So please, first of all, understand where your consumer is most hanging out at? Create for that platform, understand how that platform works because different things work for different platforms. The kind of content that works on an Instagram reel does not work on a LinkedIn, for example. Yeah. So make sure that you understand how that platform works, create for that platform.

Karan Amin 08:04 

As a brand, you want to say a lot to the consumer, you should not say too much like they are using content, especially digital. You do not say too much in your ads. If I take a generic life example, if I throw three balls at you, Vani, how many will you catch?

Vani 08:25 Maybe none.

Karan Amin 08:31 

Throw one thing at a time, pick on that one main message, again, back to the elevator pitch from your elevator pitch, all the things about your product, but what is one key thing which people are going to get excited by? You take that one key thing and you craft your creative storytelling around that and make it fun and engaging. So we have five features. You’d rather make five, 10 second videos each talking about an individual feature versus having one video with all five features in. 

Vani 09:02

Right. But at the same time, have a clear brand proposition. Which is what we talk about in the elevator pitch as well. Because you can’t be everything. So if you are a toothpaste, you can’t say A to Z, I make 50 films about the 50 different things that the toothpaste does

Karan Amin 09:26 

How much do you want the consumer to take out of it? The consumer wants one thing to take out of it.

Vani 09:33

Yeah, actually on this, I want to talk to you about a real discussion that I had very recently at a brand workshop. Okay. Now this brand has a huge portfolio of products. First of all, they must understand that there is a difference between what I advertise, the nature of advertising and content for a thematic ad versus the content that I create for my social media platforms, right? The thematic ad will be different. The film that I run on YouTube will be different from what I do, all the content that I create for social media platforms. Now coming to the thematic communication for the YouTube film. Okay. Very often I’ve been asked what is a hero product? I find that a lot of founders struggle with this concept. For example, if you remember Kurkure, when we worked together, we had over a hundred different SKUs. We had eight different product verticals in terms of the different kinds of snacks we had, but we did have equal JRP’s across all, in fact, out of the eight, it was mostly masala munch that we’ve put most of our JRP’s on that did the heavy lifting of taking the entire range through. And then when we had a new innovation, when we had come up with a new variant with which we wanted to create news, we advertised that. Similarly, let’s say, look at Apple, for example, Apple only advertises its top end phone or when you think of let’s say Mercedes, Mercedes will advertise its top end Mercedes. So tell me about this. How should one understand that even if one has a portfolio of 20, 30 different products, you can’t create a film for every product. And actually largely through, even for the social media content, even social media content, if I have 40 different products, I cannot create equal content for each of the 40 different products equally.

Karan Amin 11:39 

In fact, that’s a great point you are making, about making so many products, like give a classic example if you look at India in the ecommerce space and you have like, you look at, say, for example, you look at Nykaa, Nykaa fashion, while it’s called Nykaa fashion but under that, there is makeup also, beauty also, shampoo also, it’s not like you started with fashion, but then you got greedy. Look at other brands, then they are all doing similar stuff and you’re not able to find what that consumer has come into your page or your brand for? 

Vani 12:09

Exactly. It’s like Zivame, you knew that you went to Zivame to buy laundry. Then Zivame subsequently did sleepwear also. Then they said we do petticoats also, then I don’t know if Zivame went into jewelry also, they went into other things, but the primary reason why I still go to Zivame is if I have to sit at my desk and buy a bra, that’s where I think to open Zivame. Or if I have to sit at my desk and buy lipstick, then I’d think of Nykaa. But even within that, let’s say, even within laundry or within colour cosmetics, you can’t equally create content or advertising for each one of the products.

Karan Amin 12:54

Yes. But when you are talking about a brand who puts up a thematic film on YouTube, then the brand has to know beforehand, why are they investing in making that thematic film? Like in the old days you put it up on TV, it gave you that reach but today you are hoping for it to lead to some conversion or where a person clicks on something or ends up buying something or fills up a form, leaves his email address or his mobile number, some lead generation because that’s what digitally can do for you, so therefore, if you are just uploading a nice film on YouTube, where all it’s going to get is likes and views. 

Vani 13:40

But what’s wrong with that? Can I not use YouTube in the early stages? I don’t have much money. Let’s say excluding all of the retainers that I pay and excluding the production money. Let’s say the amount of money that I have to put on media only, on the YouTube channel only that says 20 lakhs. I’ve already made my film. I paid the retainer and whatever other creative piece to my various agencies. Now I have left 20 lakhs, which I will put per month on YouTube. 

Karan Amin 14:16

Promoting that, using that 20 lakhs to promote that video on YouTube.

Vani 14:20

I made a 20 second film and that 20 second film is about a great moisturizer. Okay. I’ve come out with this beautiful moisturizing cream. I put it up on YouTube and my objective is that I must build a reach with this film on YouTube because I need to tell people that I’ve launched this new moisturizing cream. Please remember me, please buy me. And you can buy me on Amazon, you can buy me on Nykaa, you can buy me on Flipkart. So tell me about something like this. Is this not a good enough objective to have that I want to build reach with YouTube? 

Karan Amin 14:58

Yeah, you could. But then that means you have those budgets to build, reach, and only get views. 

Vani 15:05

Yeah. So is that a bad thing? And so, let’s rewind a little bit. Let’s say I have 20 lakhs total to spend on any kind of digital media and I’m launching a new skincare brand. What would you recommend?

Karan Amin 15:20

See you’re launching a new brand. You want sales, you need numbers, you need conversion. You need people to buy your product and also put out content that, hey, check out, I use this cream and this cream transformed my face. All these things you’d rather spend on them than putting out a normal video on YouTube. A normal video on YouTube is just going to get you views or likes or comments. Nice ad. I like this. I might try out this product, but you never know, unless YouTube is running an ad campaign as well within that ad, like there’s a banner to click on to buy that thing and you go straight and buy. Then YouTube is giving you those metrics that so many people while watching this ad ended up with their micro site and you got that conversion. But if a start-up brand or an upcoming brand wants numbers, they want conversion. Then they are going to take all their video assets and you create video assets which will run on social and digital, which will be from a conversion perspective.

Vani 16:23

Okay. So let’s talk a little about this only. I am interested in talking to you about this because I am, in fact, working on a premium skincare brand, let’s say my budget is even smaller, not even 20 lakhs, I have only 10 lakhs to start with, to put on media. I come to you and I say, dear Karan, I’ve launched this cream and it’s a premium moisturizing cream. I’m expecting people to pay 700 rupees per jar for this cream. And I have all of 10 lakh Rupees and I’m launching it. I launched it only 20 days back, now tell me what can you do for me? What would you recommend both in terms of the creative as well as in terms of media? Talk to me about both from a digital standpoint. 

Karan Amin 17:09

So first, just like I said, we do the basic breakdown of the content architecture to define both the elevator page, the persona, all of that. Once all of that is in place. This audience is, hypothetically it’s on Instagram. Then Instagram is my lead platform and I’m going to get maximum leads, engagement, purchase, all of that, the clicks. I’m going to be putting the majority of media money on Instagram. What I’m going to use on Instagram to deliver? I’d like to use posts. What is there for my content strategy? How often am I posting and what am I posting? And therefore, what all is my content solving? Am I putting out content that is solving some problem? Am I putting out a content which is educating someone on moisturizing or I’m putting out content which is informing someone how this moisturizer is better than any other moisturizer that we’ve done, or I’m putting out a content, which is the only awareness based, which is grabbing someone attention where someone is feeling moisturized like they’ve never said before or I’m putting influencer content by influencers saying, oh my God, I discovered this cream, you can end up doing 8 or 9 different things which are solving eight or nine different pain points.

Vani 18:36

Perfect. Now tell me, you’ve been a digital guy for so long. In your digital world, which are the brands you think that are doing a great job. On any platform, I mean, can be platform specific you can say on this platform. I think this brand is doing a great job on this one.

Karan Amin 18:55

I think in India, there are, I mean, everybody loves Zomato and Swiggy and we see their content. In fact, I was doing content for one of my brands, which is an electric motorcycle brand and we did a piece for them for April fool’s day. And some users actually commented saying it is a Zomato level post. It was like their KPI was met. There’s a lot to learn also from Zomato as well as from Swiggy which their content is not telling you, go shop on Zomato today, go order on Zomato today. What is the core? The core is love for food and then they create content around love for food. And all those feelings and they capture those feelings, everything they were saying, pain points of people, feelings of shock and all these things that grab attention is what they do so beautifully in their content. Another brand that I really, really love that gets, I feel content really right and it’s quite shocking is, and they do it both on Twitter as well as Instagram is Mumbai police. Their content is really widely shared and they’re really having fun. Like they’re cracking jokes on things people get arrested for. Like last week they made a post in which a human body has 208 joints, but that’s why you don’t need to have even one. Otherwise we’ll come looking for you, like smoking a joint. So people are enjoying it because people vibe it and people get to it like a classic traditional advertising, if you are to write headlines for a brand and four headlines which had puns in them, your boss will probably sack you the next day, but in digital and social media, you write four puns the consumers are loving you because they’re writing five more puns in the comments. The content becomes that much more relatable. So I think Zomato and Swiggy do a great job on that. Another brand that I like that I’ve seen in the last few years is Whole Truth Foods. The way they’ve crafted their content, the way they craft their storytelling, as well as even the way they stuff like replying to consumers. There was a woman, they had a post on dark chocolate and some women had commented saying are you going to launch 80% dark chocolate? So they replied to her saying, oh my God, we don’t know that you have surrendered to the dark side. Now we have 70%, so you can enjoy that.

Vani 21:47

So easier with the new age brands, with the D2C brands, which are found because there are no 1000 departments.

Karan Amin 22:06

A lot of these brands, when you think of social media especially, you cannot be procrastinating so much on a social post. Like when I’m talking to many agencies and a single social post tends to make no changes. They spend three days breaking down on what that post is going to be, then that post goes live. And then consumer comments are the same. I liked it, nice and it’s of no use, right? You should have rather invested that time creating something else than breaking your head on just a social posting. You should take social for what it is, have fun. So I think that’s something that brands should definitely learn about is not to hug onto social media as if it’s such a big thing like, oh, like you have a social media post at the typo. It might work for you. 

Vani 23:12

Yeah. Typo is alright. That’s understandable. But like you said, don’t overthink the social. Yeah, the other side of it also, which is that a lot of time and I’ve seen this particularly with new brands and since this discussion is especially about how do you build towards becoming a strong brand at early stages. There’s also this risk, or for example, some of the brands that I’m working with, there’s this obsession, by the way, it’s, it’s a big thing to brag about to very quickly say, oh, I work performance, media performance marketing agency. I’ve got a social media agency; I’ve got a brand marketing agency; I’ve got an SEO agency, like I’m big, man. I have so many agencies working with me. Okay. And now all of these agencies have super smart men and women on the other side, who are all doing that respective stuff for the brand. And what happens in the process is everybody seems to be doing a lot of smart stuff, but it’s not all coming together as a brand. It’s not just about having a brand book. It’s also about, starting from the strategy to, how do you make sure that everything adds up together to feeling like a well-knit consistent brand and where in the quest for ultra-wit and humour.

For example, with Zomato, there is no confusion from day one there is no confusion about what the hell are these guys about, you knew it’s food, it’s food, you know that, I mean, they weren’t doing emotion led or feelings led. None of those posts actually. How many of that post would be devoid of food altogether, whether it is Zomato or Swiggy. That was the hero. Everything that they did was around that. So, that is another thing that I feel in the quest for creativity and particularly on social media this bit about making the product a hero misses the point that makes sure the consumer knows what you are selling.

Karan Amin 25:31

I think at an early stage, they definitely showed, like I said and I wanted to touch upon this thing of the budget. A lot of brands have like, just like you said, like, all of that is done now. I have 20 lakhs for media, in general, a lot of brands have digital media budgets, but they do not have a digital production budget or a digital content creation, scripting, ideation, budget. When you are in Kurkure, there is a big brand Kurkure is paying Pepsi an annual retainer, which is a big sum. And therefore in that there is ideation as you can get 20 scripts a month if you want. But for a start-up brand, they cannot afford it and therefore who are they going to call? Who’s going to write the script for them? And therefore they need to set aside what is their monthly budget for the kind of scripts they want based on the platform that they are going to use. Therefore, you’ve locked a certain budget from your marketing budget on how much you’re going to spend on say, ideation, therefore then how much you’re going to spend on production, because production is important, what is your content on your Instagram going to look like? What are your reels going to look like? What is your post going to look like?

Vani 26:49

A client can tell you, a digital film is not supposed to be expensive. Yeah. You can compare it to production, TV and digital. 

Karan Amin 26:58

It’s all digital now. So amazing stuff that works on digital looks aesthetically wow and can be achieved even with the mobile. So while you like, depending again, all the brands and the kind of budgets they have don’t have brands like Pepsi or sold with a mobile. For a startup brand, definitely show with a mobile, for instance, achieve the same or close to the similar quality.

Vani 27:19

No. So what you were saying is just because it’s digital, don’t compromise on how the film looks, make sure that it looks great. Even if it is shot on a mobile, when it can be intelligently shot on a mobile phone, it can be intelligently edited. And with a small amount of money, you can make a digital film also, that looks great, but it is natural to expect that the production monies of a digital thing will be a very, very, very small proportion of what TV production money is.

Karan Amin 27:48

I would say it is script dependent and idea dependent. You, like if a brand does not have big budgets, see they have only, like you said, five lakhs or ten lakhs in total, then, then somebody has to come up with a script keeping in mind there are gonna be five productions. Every, every client, every, every line is like an amazing idea, a budget to figure out where you write an amazing idea like I have two lakhs then why did I even ideate that script for you? So it’s good. To be honest, if upfront, if a brand is honest, he knows, I have only 10 legs. Then from that 10 lakhs they have two lakhs for scripting. I have only five lakhs, which will go for shooting. And then I have only three or four lakhs for media, for example, that break up the client that should do at the end, but they have to do that breakup. 

Vani 28:37 

So if I had 10 lakhs, I would say, look, I have two lakhs all in all for production. I need to put 8 lakhs on the media. 

Karan Amin 28:44

No, but that’s the thing, which is a lot of brands in the early stages, which were moving from TV to digital, but following the same TV, modern log, 80 12, but right. A beauty with digital is that because you. Not putting the same asset everywhere. You’re creating multiple different assets, therefore be different. It cannot be 80-20. Therefore, you have to then do production, keeping in mind those number of assets and therefore what the production thoughts are going to come to. Also, the way content is structured for digitalist content is structured very differently. It should keep other things in mind, like shooting vertically. Know, nine by 16 in mind versus 16 by nine in mind, when you shoot for vertical keeping vertical in mind, that video can be used in a lot more places than a 16 by nine. Every, every social media platform has stories. Almost every social media platform now is having a version of reels as well. Therefore, and even the scripting, the ideation is being done in vertical. And therefore, when you’re shooting this digital content also keeping in mind how I will then extract content, which will go say for example, as Facebook posts or as Instagram posts or as stories or as web banners on digital. So if it’s a brand which wants you to download something, maybe there’s a guy standing with the phone and saying, click on this. This is how you download it. Download now. So therefore from one single shoot, you’re also pulling out not just one film but 50 assets. In the case of a brand new brand, as in a brand that is just starting out, they need to figure out these things to assist that agency versus to think within that, so that X, Y, Z can be achieved better. 

Vani 30:36 

I’ve also seen that a lot of agencies or a lot of freelancers, traditionally, who don’t inherently think digital are not able to plan for how a particular creative can be conceived in a way that you can extract those 50 assets out.

Karan Amin 30:56

That’s why we’ll differ. Therefore, we brand as defined this persona and discovered that this persona is largely on this platform and therefore what they’re doing on this platform, therefore then you are crafting your storytelling literally based on that insight. So like, say for example, if the brand finds out that my consumer is only into memes, then you campaign, which is like a meme. The first three seconds is where the magic happens. You have to grab the consumer’s attention within the first three seconds because after the first ten seconds his attention starts dropping. The brand has to do three things, three things they have to achieve in this. What is that consumer feeling and how can you visualize that feeling in a video from or what the consumer’s doing like you have a shock expression, do you have a scared expression? Something which relates with someone that is watching it. So you make a connection. The second thing is you make a very bold statement. And by this bold statement, like I said, is from your elevator pitch, what is this main message that you want to deliver? The headline could be. I was fed up with all the moisturizing creams I ever had until I found this one. So you maybe, maybe going through that as well, they end up watching it before, and then the most important thing that you need to crack in the first five seconds is shock value. How attention for that person to watch a little more so that they can catch my message. So I should keep that in mind. What is the human connection? What is this bold statement that I’m making and in this bold statement, if you watch, a lot of the reels, all the stuff, the same thing that the person is saying also comes as a caption? Not even saying anything, just dancing to music because it is about using the next track. But the message is a nice caption and then that sticks in somebody’s head and three is shock. You need to have that shock value going. 

Vani 33:05

Very nice, but would these three roles apply across all kinds of categories across all kinds of products? What if I were a really serious product and Karan, you and I have both worked on this category, if I were a surgery brand, and let’s say the audience is all tier to audience and they are all on Josh or on Moj and we have to sell them, say a Varicose vein surgery. Then would this still apply?

Karan Amin 33:34 

I mean, of course it would apply because you are grabbing that consumer’s attention in an interesting way. You are leading with a human emotion, because like you said, 

Vani 33:45

I can’t pick a mockery of this object because this person, 

Karan Amin 33:50 

But that’s, like I said, you have to grab the person’s attention and you have to, so in this case your storytelling medium would change. You would do less of shock and awe and you would bring out that shock and awe with something which is informative or educative. That is the value that brand is adding. You are shocking someone with information like, so many women have varicose veins and it can be solved in just a day. And then you have another, like you imagine you have two people there and one person is saying this other sounds like, really, like, I didn’t know this, did you know this? See the very important thing, irrespective of what brand it is, you have to purely define what are the hooks. Grabbing and creating these hooks is what makes that much more impactful and that much more engaging. 

Vani 34:49

Yeah. Yeah. Very nice. So the other thing I wanna tell you is, for example, there was this financial management wealth investment platform that I was working on – so I’m a serious brand, I must have my investors trust me with their money that I will take the best decisions for you, in terms of where I invest your money at the same time, we also wanna appeal to the young happening millennials. Okay. And the short code, by the way, for all millennial advertising seems to be song and dance, song and dance. The point I’m making is there is this balance between creating for what inherently works for the platform versus what the brand is about, what the brand’s DNA is. So if the brand sees an informative need to educate, needs to win the consumers’ trust and is a very high involvement product while the platform is seemingly, the go-to for entertainment. How does one balance it?

Karan Amin 35:56

Very easy just because of what we defined earlier, what platforms are they on? Now your high networth individuals, they’re checking out other blogs or they’re checking out other websites, news websites, financial times, and all those are going to lure them. What is gonna lure that 21-year-old is a different story.

Vani 36:18

So when I’m talking to the CEO who has shitloads of money and is reading The Economic Times every day, that creative for Economic Times is gonna be very different from the creative that I do for the 30 year old who has just decided I’m gonna start SIPs. And this 30-year-old is hanging out on Instagram. So, the brand has to be talking to the 30-year-old, the brand is also talking to the CEO on Economics Times. Yeah. And at the same time, the brand can’t become a fractured identity because I can’t become someone I’m not.

Karan Amin 36:53

Yeah. The messaging changes, the DNA does not. In the old world, when you are making a television commercial, the same brand would make one television commercial. And assume that both the high-end individual, as well as this 21-year-old, I’m gonna watch the same television commercial and come to me. That’s not going to happen because both are not going to be honing out the same information from it. Yeah. You want different information given to the 21-year-old and different information given to the high net individual.

Vani 37:24

While retaining the brands’ DNA, you said, which means for the brands’ DNA, first of all, has to be clearly defined in the minds of the brand custodian. Well, I should be clear. Yeah. So for the person who’s actually giving the brief to the agency. Yeah. Then the agency has to understand that and be able to maintain that. Great. I think this is a fantastic discussion. Is there anything else you think we should be talking about?

Karan Amin 37:52

Something, which I love and I mean, it’s a marketing thing, a thing that was said probably 10 years ago also applied today is these folks from Seth Gordon, it says that marketing is no longer about talking about the stuff that you make. All your advertising efforts, all your marketing efforts, especially for a startup brand is all about, check out my product. Isme ye hain, isme ye hain, isme ye hain. Then you are not going to grow or become that iconic brand. You really wanna become that iconic brand, then you gotta make your advertising or your marketing efforts about telling stories. What story, how interestingly can I make the story? How engaging can I make the story? How can I even make the consumer a part of my storytelling? You just take the user generated content. Somebody is now sending you a new moisturising cream. How many users are ending up buying my cream and without me having a contest, she is happily sharing my product in her stories. How am I empowering the consumer to do that and, and do that when they know that brand is a relaxed brand that they can engage with. So therefore you need to tell interesting stories. The more interesting stories, which are more insightful with what’s happening, the consumer, what is the consumer feeling? What are they doing on platforms, what’s exciting them on platforms. And therefore, a very important thing is that brands should have, especially startup brands or upcoming brands should have a checklist on content creation. They should try and shoot vertically, like I said. Lot of start-ups don’t even have a production house. They just get a selfie stand, attach the camera and then stand in front of it and tell your story, just like, just do that. And also like, also in a lot of cases, like I said, design contents for mute, design content for mute storytelling. 

Vani 39:48

Oh, wow. Wow, fantastic. 

Karan Amin 39:52

While you are showcasing your product, showing something you don’t want people losing attention. So as much as you can, you should tell the story in mute. And just have nice captions, which highlight what happens. Very simple, very simple reel which is very effective is just there people dancing and they’ll just point a finger and say, these are the five things you should not do, these are the five things that you should do. It’s very easy to watch. It’s very easy to take the information out of it as well, as well as remember. 

Vani 40:22

I really like what you said about making sure that the content works on mute. Because very often I’ve seen, even for digital, a lot of the films that present a lot of the digital thinking are very, very heavily dialogue-based. And if you don’t, if you are not listening to that dialogue with a hundred percent attention, like literally processing it as though I have to write an exam after this to reproduce what I heard, it’s impossible to get the message. I think that irrespective whether it’s TV or digital, irrespective, now the audiences have moved on because there’s just so much clutter. I’ve become a huge believer in visual storytelling. If I were to switch it on mute, irrespective of TV or digital, I must be able to immediately acha ye bhola hai, acha ye proposition hain, ye product hain. There should be zero ambiguity on what the besting is, with just plain visuals.

Karan Amin 41:12

Important point for start-up brands is to know that, on digital, there is a lot you can do other than just making a video. Lot of brands, like digital video banate hain, like to just put up this video on YouTube. That’s what they end up doing. Majority of them are making this master video, which goes on YouTube and then you would have any budgets left for any of your other platforms. Using Shutter Stock and all other social media content, and all of that, you have not thought it through. And also, therefore your money is getting divided. You can actually end up investing your money and things which are a lot more effective than making a video. You may not even make a video, you could do, you could do so much more now with platforms like Instagram or TikTok even more. You can make filters, people engage, people use your filter, engage with your filter, that much higher engagement. People make memes, people can do all kinds of influencer tie-ups.You may not make a thing. I’m just a micro influencer. Yeah. Know a filter. Don’t wanna make a film. I want to find these 10 micro influencers, each of them will make a video for me.

This show is sponsored by CherryPeachPlum Growth Consultancy. 🍒CherryPeachPlum is a marketing-focused business consultancy that delivers business results. Get in touch via www.cherrypeachplum.in to get marketing solutions that work in the real world!

The B2B Edtech Platform | Arjun Gupta @ Courseplay

Courseplay is the scalable learning technology solution for enterprises to deliver delightful learning content, engage hard-working employees, automate tedious workflows, and accurately measure impact for employees using any device. Tune in to know how this B2B platform aims to meet changing industry demands as well as bolster personal growth!

What you must not miss!

  • How did Courseplay start?
  • Monetization strategy
  • Working model

Taking E-Pharmacy To The Masses | Vivek Jaiswal @ Saveo

Growing up in a small town, Vivek personally experienced the lack of adequate access to healthcare services, which motivated him to build a pharmacy e-commerce business that tackles the same. Saveo enables local pharmacies to serve customers better by providing them with easy access to a wide range of medicines as well as educating them with knowledge and best practices. If you want to build a sustainable startup, then this is a conversation you must not miss. 

Know about:-

  • The problem of prescription bounce
  • Fundraising and scaling up
  • Converting pharmacy to modern community centre
  • Future expansion plans

The Gen-Z Way Of Buying Two-Wheelers | Sumit Chhazed @ OTO Capital

Think of having the flexibility of eCommerce, home trial, home delivery of a bike, and being able to pay a monthly subscription rather than an outright purchase – this is what OTO Capital is enabling. Sumit is a serial entrepreneur who had previously scaled the used 2-wheeler platform CredR to its peak. Listen on for tips on identifying opportunities and expanding businesses.

Know about:-

  • Ideation phase
  • Zero to One journey
  • Solving the capital supply problem and scaling up 
  • Customer acquisition strategy

Decoding Digital | Shiv Shivakumar @ Aditya Birla Group [S02, #1]

Out with the old, in with the new- companies must pull their socks up if they want to succeed in a digitized world! In this episode, Vani speaks with Shiv Shivakumar who lays out his new theory on digital and shares golden insights on how companies can pivot to thrive.

Read the complete transcript below:-

Vani 01:17 

You’re a great fan of talking about the enormity of digital and its implications, but let’s start with just what the digital landscape is like. We’d love you to tell us in numbers or in your own ways what the digital landscape is?

Shiv Shivakumar 01:32

Yeah. So, Vani digital, everybody’s been talking about it for a decade. or so You know, ever since the Arab spring of 2011, when a number of governments in the Middle East collapsed, people have been talking about it. But very few people have done anything about it. If you just look at the sheer stats today, they’re just mind bottling. Today, we have 7.8 billion people globally. We have 12 billion connected devices, IOT, that will move to something like 30 billion in the next seven years by 2030. India will be the biggest phone market in the next two years in the world. The world today has 4 billion smartphones on a population of 7.8 billion. You remove the kids in the age band zero to six or zero to seven, you take about a billion, you’re talking of 4 on 6.5 or 6.6, which is staggering. Okay. Next, America is the only country which is the laptop first country, no other country in the world, either in Europe or in Asia, is a laptop first country. Every other country, except America, all the other 209 countries are mobile first countries. 70% of YouTube’s traffic is mobile. It’s not a laptop. Internet penetration will be more than 60% by 2025. Okay. Today we have 2.5 billion people shopping on e-commerce, believe it or not, 2.5 billion people. And that number will be 5 billion by 2025 and digital advertising today is more than 50% of all advertising globally. Okay. And the whole concept of how do you work in a platform system? How do you collaborate is absolutely critical? So that is what I would say is the sheer stats of digital. And it’s not that people don’t know, but you have to recognize this staggering impact of these numbers. 

Vani 03:23 

Absolutely. I don’t think anybody would’ve looked at the numbers in, capsule the way you’ve put it Shiv. Tell me what do all of these numbers mean then for organizations? 

Shiv Shivakumar 03:33

I’ll answer it in two, three sections, Vani, for you. The first is for about 15, 20 years, we’ve been mouthing for alphabets and words. VUCA Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous, I think that’s history. If somebody, if a CEO or a CXO is talking VUCA then he is living in the past. I would say you combine when VUCA was coined, there was no digitization. Remember that. Now you combine digital on top of it. I’ll use the same four alphabets and I’ll tell you what companies need to be in today’s world, in a digitized world. I think V stands for Versatility, they have to be versatile in physical, in digital, in omnichannel, that would be worth in this type of business models. Okay. U stands for being uncomfortable, companies need to be uncomfortable just as individuals need to be. There is no certainty in today’s world, so you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. So, you stand uncomfortable. C stands for collaboration because digital is a horizontal capability. You have to collaborate with platforms, you’ve to collaborate with ecosystems. You cannot get growth on your own, I’ve said this many times when we work together. And finally A is for Agility. Okay. You have to have speed in everything you do. So companies will need these four, which I repeat Versatile, Uncomfortable, Collaborative, and Agile. Now, if you look at the structure of an organization, the structure of an organization, as we know it, today comes from about 400 or 500 years ago, and that came from two sources. One is the army and two is the church. And both were hierarchy structures, vertical hierarchies, where information went up, decision came down. Today for the first time in any organization or any institution or in any country digital is a horizontal capability which cuts across all functions. So, what is required is immense collaboration handover from one function to the other. So silos have to be broken if you need to succeed in a digital world today. So how does simply one succeed? I think you need support from the top. The top must be committed to digital. Next is you need to break silos, as I mentioned, and three, you need to accept failure. And next, in terms of the way the companies look at their own portfolio, most times we’ve looked at company portfolios as products. In some cases, we’ve looked at it as a service. Today, companies need to think of education. If you’re selling a beauty brand, you are selling a health brand, you are selling an apparel brand, you need to educate people. You need to educate people what you need to do. Okay. Time is a huge monetization vehicle in a digital world. Time was not a monetization vehicle in the past. Location will become the next monetization vehicle for all brands. This combination is what I would call consumer experience, the totality of consumer experience. I think that’s what is going to matter for all companies.

Vani 06:29 

Wow. And Shiv, what other implications or what are the fallouts would all of this digitization have for organization? 

Shiv Shivakumar 06:36

I think there are many other forces which are coming along this digitization path, Vani. One is sustainability. I think sustainability will be a big theme this decade and digitization will actually help it. The reason being digitization or digital media will show where companies are fine, where companies are lacking. Okay. That’s I think irreversible. Second, I think all governments will bring in some form [00:07:00] of what I call reform or censorship or privacy or whatever it is, because I think this is just going too far, shaming other people and saying this or that, et cetera. I think you’ll need something different in terms of curtailing this kind of harmful comments or commentary or whatever you want to call it. So I think the world will be a very different place. Okay. If the government doesn’t intervene or the big companies themselves, don’t censor it. One last point I’d make on this section is that employees will want every company to be digitally or technically or technologically savvy. Employees do not join companies which are not fully digitized or do not have networks as part of their credo. They’ll say, look, this is an old age company. I do not want to join. So I think you have to be a tech first, a digital first company, even if you want to attract talent. That’s what I would say. 

Vani 07:55  That’s true and truly digitized organization is more than just having a, in fact, they’re very, very different. Most companies believe if I have a digital team, a team that’s managing my digital for brands is good. But digitization to be able to use data for across the organization, across all verticals, to be able to make, to be able to create value for the organization and for the consumer is a different ball game altogether, which I think most companies are not even touching the surface.

Shiv Shivakumar 08:26 Absolutely. As I mentioned to you, and you make a valid point, digitization is a horizontal capability. It is just not; it cannot be left to just a digital team. Every person in the chain needs to be digitally savvy. Next, most organizations think they’re digital because they have a website. That is not correct. Most organizations think that they’re digital just because they have some social handles. All of this is wrong. True digitization is end to end. Do you have end to end visibility from the source of your raw material to the order that you take and is that whole process linked? That is true digitization.

Vani 09:07 Fabulous. Fabulous.

This show is sponsored by CherryPeachPlum Growth Consultancy. 🍒CherryPeachPlum is a marketing-focused business consultancy that delivers business results. Get in touch via www.cherrypeachplum.in to get marketing solutions that work in the real world!

The B2B Manual For Winning Digital | Shiv Shivakumar @ Aditya Birla Group [S02, #2]

Go digital, get growth- the pandemic has changed rules for the B2B segment. How to better address pain points? Will branding become indispensable? In this episode, industry expert Shiv Shivakumar speaks about what it would take for B2Bs to make the cut!

Read the complete transcript below: –

Vani 01:11 

So Shiv, I wanna ask you since you’ve talked about digital a lot. In the B2B world, what is digital in the context of the B2B world?

Shiv Shivakumar 01:20 

Absolutely. Great question Vani. I think COVID has been an absolute defining moment for B2B because thanks to COVID, every B2B business had to go digital because they did not have face to face contact. If you actually look at the data, 70% of B2B companies are saying we have changed, we have got digital and we are getting growth as a result of this. And to me, if you look at the top industries in the world, let’s take the top 10 industries, but I’ll name five. Financial services is the number one industry in the world, $23 trillion. Construction is number two at 12 and a half trillion dollars. Commercial real estate is $9.6 trillion, eCommerce is 9.1, life and health insurance is 8.5. If you look at financial services in the past, it was completely controlled by central banks and the mode which everybody had was because of central bank policies. Today, that’s completely gone. So today, why do you see so much activity and digitization in financial services because it’s getting deregulated. So what was once a B2B2C business is now straight a B2C business. There are people who are willing to give loans, reaching out to you directly. You are not going to a bank anymore to apply for a loan, Vani. It’s over. Those days are over. Okay. There’s no guarantee or nothing, you and your record is the guarantee in itself. Let me give you a simple example of a B2B2C. I stayed at Crown Plaza on 19, February, 2021. Okay, look at what the Crowne Plaza laundry form says. Look as good as you do on social media. Can you believe this? 

Vani 03:00

Oh wow. How cool. Very, very nice. 

Shiv Shivakumar 03:04 

I thought I’ll bring this and show it to you and your viewers. This is what Crown Plaza is doing, saying, look, we recognize that you’re on social media. You need to turn out well, well laundered clothes will actually make you look good on social media. That’s the B2B2C business, right? 

Vani 03:18

Absolutely, a very smart kid is written 

Shiv Shivakumar 03:20

Obviously whoever it is, now you look at some of the digital businesses, a business called Aviata, which is a digital ecosystem of platforms for all aviation products and devices. Okay. Telenor in Germany integrates 1,600 bookstores and Kindle doesn’t sell in Germany. Okay. So everybody’s thinking about digital very, very differently, but in a B2B environment, personal contact, what did personal contact do? It ensured that there was a degree of opaqueness. There was no transparency, but today, thanks to digital. There’s complete transparency in the B2B market. You take chemicals, which is an 8 trillion industry, chemicals, 1.3 trillion dollars is traded on 65 platforms. Imagine selling chemicals, all the things on digital. So almost everything which goes digital is going digital. And the way I would think about it is B2B companies will actually become much more branded players in a future world. 

Vani 04:20 

Very well said, Shiv, which also means that in the B2B world now, like you said, with digital, there’s complete data transparency, there’s complete transparency on price points that in large way, one can access information like one could to do before, which means, like you said, branding is very, very important and the brand will also mean that relationships because a brand is eventually a receptacle of trust. It’s a calling card. Exactly. So if Vani and Shiv have to do business, Vani has to feel comfortable to pick up the phone on Shiv. It’s not just about the pricing. And everything else, which is probably parody and brands help build trust. That’s fantastic. It’s a great point you’ve made. And Shiv told me, after listening to all of this for B2B founders, if there were a couple of things that they had to start doing differently, starting tomorrow. 

Shiv Shivakumar 05:09

I would say, doing a website, doing a handle, all that is given. That’s not even par for the course, let’s say you need an FMCG brand with good packaging. Come on. That’s a given, right? So, I will not even discuss what I call the basics, but if I were to elevate beyond that, I would say, think about your consumer or customer needs and desires very carefully. Think about what the pain points are. In a B2B business, typically the pain points are to do with delivery. Okay. That’s one. Typically, the pain points are about opacity, I don’t know where my shipment is. You look at DHL, you look at FedEx, you look at Airlines. What have they done? Today, Vani, you don’t go and sit in the airport one hour before your mother comes. You punch it and see what time the flight lands, you say 10 minutes after that, I’ll be there. Why do airlines give you that comfort? Otherwise before there’d be 20,000 people hanging around for three, four hours not knowing what to do. So, I think real time information on delivery, on products, on everything is absolutely crucial. The other thing about B2B is that you need an ecosystem because you sell to somebody, that person transforms whatever you are selling to him, product, that person sells it to somebody else, et cetera. There’s a full chain. If somebody can connect that whole chain, I think that person will definitely win, or you need to be part of that chain in order to win. And I would also think that you need to think about as B2B players, what I call painless policies, how many of your policies can be made completely painless for your customer? If you can do that, I think you’ll win a lot more.

Vani 06:47 Fabulous. Fabulous.

This show is sponsored by CherryPeachPlum Growth Consultancy. 🍒CherryPeachPlum is a marketing-focused business consultancy that delivers business results. Get in touch via www.cherrypeachplum.in to get marketing solutions that work in the real world!