For every business, its identity is a key factor in its success and growth. This is why building a brand is ever so important for a business, irrespective of industry. When it comes to the D2C space, brand building is all about trying to break through the clutter and convey a unique value proposition to customers that is often category creating – and might not exist in the market.


In Episode 4 of the Learn with Simpl Series, we have Aditya Khanna, Co-Founder, Assembly Luggage, Rashi Narang, Founder, Heads Up for Tails, Jatan Bawa, Founder, Perfora who will be moderated by Nitya Sharma, CEO, Simpl as they discuss how brand building is an important catalyst for growth. They’ll also cover some tactics and philosophies on how to build brands as well.



Their origin stories


Heads Up For Tails was founded back in 2008 – Rashi says that she was inspired by her dog, Sarah, to create and curate innovative products and services that can add joy to pets and their families. This idea came out of wanting to find good quality products for Sarah and they’ve come a long way from being a tiny, homegrown business to one with over 70 stores and a thriving online business, serving as many as 1000 customers every month.


Rashi also adds that although they’re an online business, 60% of their revenue comes from offline channels which is exactly what they had in mind for Heads Up For Tails, although we’re in the digital age. This is because, when they were creating the category, there was no one searching for the kind of products they were selling and that’s why an offline channel was necessary for people to come and experience it first-hand.


For Jatan and Perfora, he and his co-founder have been very active new age customers from brands that have disrupted different categories, all the way from coffee to lifestyle products. That’s when they realised that there’s something everyone monotonously does day in and day out that no one has really paid attention to as a category. Why wasn’t anyone talking about better oral care?


They began to talk to their target customers, asking questions about their oral care and also whether they pay attention to the way their oral care products are packaged. This was an opportunity to impact millions of Indians and make them more aware of good dental care – and that’s what gave birth to Perfora.


Assembly Luggage has been on the block for around two and a half years, founded by Aditya and his co-founder, Mohit. Aditya says that for people who travel infrequently, the luggage they carry doesn’t really matter much because it’s just a commodity they use to get their stuff from A to B but for a frequent traveller, it’s a whole different story.


Traditionally, there have been only 3-4 big players in the luggage space and Assembly wanted to test out the category with shoppers who are now willing to experiment with innovative products from both a functional and aesthetic perspective. And as a brand, they wanted to be able to connect to their customers’ aspirations when it comes to travelling.



Building a Brand With the Right Communication


Brand and brand building is a function of communicating the right things to a customer. Whether your brand is marketplace first or D2C first, you have your advantages and setbacks.


Indians are now increasingly becoming pet parents and really taking care of their pets, as they would take care of their family. But that was not always the case – when Heads Up for Tails started out, dogs were mostly tied up to gates and brought into homes for security purposes. However, in the last 15 years, people have evolved to a stage where dogs share even beds with their pet parents. 


Rashi says that they had to believe that pets were family long before it became a trend. They had to turn pet owners into pet parents through a lot of education and awareness in an almost non-existent market. At the end of the day, it all comes down to honest, transparent communication of your vision and your brand to people.


For Perfora, trust is a key factor as well because when you think of oral care, brands like Colgate obviously come to mind first. So how does Perfora solve this positioning dilemma? This again boils down to trust because when one thinks of buying toothpaste, they think of buying colgate. Jatan and his co-founders tried solving this problem by putting themselves out on social media to bridge the gap between the brand and the customer instead of bringing in popular faces to do the same.


Another thing that Jatan finds extremely important is customer support – ensuring that even if you buy a toothpaste or toothbrush or anything else for that matter and you don’t like it, you can claim a no questions asked refund. This will instil trust that the brand is not going away, especially if the brand can easily be reached on WhatsApp, Instagram or other channels. 


Travel, as a category, has also become aspirational over the past 10 years. People are now taking their travel experiences to social media and for Assembly on the other hand, trust again is a superpower. Unique design is crucial because for a product like backpacks that people carry around on a daily basis, it is crucial to catch the eye of the people around.


Especially when they’re selling more and more products, they get more visibility in places like metros, airports, etc, which leads to a compounding impact. However, unlike Perfora and Heads Up For Tails, Assembly is more of a traditional business, built on their manufacturing capability. 



Wrapping Up


The session ended with a deeper dive into some more tactics around building trust and engaging customers, followed by Aditya, Jatan and Rashi taking up some Q&As on personalization, retention, etc. 


For more insights around Effective D2C Brand Building, watch the webinar recording now!


Friday, December 09th, 2022

11:00 AM Onwards

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