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A New Course

BY Imran Fazal

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Q] What was the idea behind Dunzo’s mascot campaign during the IPL?
We created our mascots in 2015 at a time when we were building the delivery category. The three pillars of our brand that exist today are our users, our partners and merchants. We were facing difficulties in communicating with our partners and merchants, and in differentiating between them. This led to the creation of mascots, providing a tangible experience. Three mascots were created for the three pillars of our brand, and we noticed an increase in relatability. The mascots helped humanize the brand. During IPL, there is a lot of clutter in the market as brands try to grab everybody’s attention, be it on TV or Digital. We used our mascots to stand out from the rest.

Q] Traditional and legacy brands like McDonald’s, Amul, and Air India had much to gain from the use of mascots. What does a new-age brand aim to achieve from such a strategy?
The core nature of humans continues to remain the same, even though we have evolved. Today, most of our content on all platforms, including print advertisements, drives nostalgia. With the use of mascots, it gives us a tangible extension to our brand. The core ethics and value of the brand still remains the same, but love for the mascot will continue to evolve. The family of this mascot, which we call ‘Duniverse,’ and the use of hashtags for various forms of content, stand out for the brand.

Q] Dunzo was the first brand to launch queer mascots- Careline, Ringaraj and Jusmeet. Why didn’t you capitalise on them?
It was a lag on our end, and we realized a little late that this community can extend to our queer community as well. We wanted to have some strong base and ethics, and change at a company policy level, while at the same time build the queer community mascot. We launched a full-fledged video last year, which was called ‘Why It Has to End.’ The campaign meant that every brand becomes very vocal about the queer community only during the month of June. We wanted to send out a message that we should have this conversation throughout the year.

Q] Over time, do you think that the focus of Dunzo’s messages and strategy has leaned more towards B2B and less towards B2C? Is the brand trying to pivot completely towards a B2B model now?
Both B2B and B2C will run in parallel. When we started in 2015-16, we were considered a brand that is a pioneer in the pick-up and drop service. So, even in 2021, people knew Dunzo as a pick-up and drop service.

In 2021, we launched our own dark stores and started Dunzo Daily where we deliver freshest groceries in 19 minutes. 2021 onwards, our communication has always been about groceries. But consumers still relate with us as a pick-up and drop service. From a brand perspective, we have a strong B2B business segment, and pick-up and drop service as well. It is self-sustained and runs its own race. From a brand marketing perspective, our focus is only to communicate and talk about our B2C segment of Dunzo Daily.

Q] Which mediums do you use to execute your marketing campaigns?
We use performance marketing strategies throughout the year because it generates business. The major chunk of our marketing dollars is spent on performance. At the same time, we generate content and use our social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to drive online conversations and engagement. But brand campaigns generally happen twice a year, during the IPL and during Diwali.

Q] Lately, we have seen a rise in sales and change in consumption patterns in tier II, III and IV cities. Why haven’t you entered these cities yet? Are you planning to expand in these areas?
The focus for us is to reach a sustainable model for tier I cities. Sustainable in the sense that we are aiming to create a profitable model, and penetrate deeper into the existing cities. At the same time, we are also evaluating how tier II and III towns may pan out for us. The cities where we currently operate have a lot to offer. As soon as we can focus on growing a profitable model for the metro cities, we will start looking at tier II cities. At Dunzo, the research is ongoing, and we are trying to understand consumer mindsets, their purchasing behaviour, etc.

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