Godrej Interio transforms homes

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | August 16, 2013
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The company expects to increase the business from the home furniture by an extra 10 per cent, in addition to the regular 12-15 per cent.

Remember the augmented reality at the Lakme Fashion Week wherein the models walked down the ramp amidst the virtual furniture, about a year ago? Godrej Interio, the brand behind the campaign, launched aggressive promotions of its home furniture range with the association. Although it was not very visible in the media earlier, the company has been offering home furniture for quite a few years, while its institution furniture business has been operational for more than eight decades.

The houses that were transformed in the pilot campaign

The houses that were transformed in the pilot campaign

Bedraj Tripathy

At the Lakme Fashion Week 2012, the brand launched its positioning of style and designer furniture. Bedraj Tripathy, senior general manager, marketing, Godrej Interior, says, "We wanted to shed off the fuddy-duddy image of ours. Since we were a little late in marketing, we wanted to come out with a bang."

Now, the company is coming up with another impactful campaign and expects to increase the business from its home furniture range by an extra 10 per cent, in addition to the regular 12-15 per cent. The campaign offers to makeover a part of the consumers' homes with Godrej furniture and other interiors.

Considering its spend in both the furniture category and FMCG, the company suggests that this is one of the biggest campaigns in the industry. The campaign requires the consumers to send a picture of any part of the house and a brief on how one wants to transform it. The company will shortlist 50 entries which have realistic briefs for transformation, and execute the briefs.

The company recently ended its pilot campaign 'Upload and Transform' in July, which transformed five houses in India, free of cost. During the pilot campaign, the company transformed one house each in cities such as Mumbai, Chandigarh, Shimla, Noida and Delhi.

Now, Godrej Interio has launched the full-fledged campaign with the same name which calls for entries till October, 31. The shortlisting is done by a panel of architects and designers who decide on the how relevant and realistic the briefs are, given the space shown in the photograph.

There are different ways of transformations, as suggested by the company. These include comfort transformation, colour therapy transformation, functional transformation and aesthetic transformation.

The campaign targets younger, mostly married couples in the age group of 25-44 years, SEC A+, A and B+. In the pilot phase, Bedraj Tripathy, marketing head suggests that the five transformed houses led to 112 extra sales from Godrej Interio. The videos made after the transformations in the pilot phase are being promoted on the YouTube and Facebook platforms.

Tripathy explains how important the pilot campaign was. "Pilot was crucial for us also to understand how the things will go. We are not into home interiors, we deal in furniture. Now, the main issue was that the interior cost should not be more than the furniture cost. Then, we kept 10 per cent as the target. This means that the interior costing should not be more than 10 per cent of the total cost of the furniture."

One of the important insights behind the campaign is that a sofa (or a dining table or any other furniture) which looks very beautiful in the showroom, might not look the same in the house, largely because of the placement.

For a vertical like furniture, the relationship with the customer starts 10 days after the product has been bought. Tripathy explains, "When you are investing money in building an engagement programme for a customer who's going to buy only once in about eight years, it becomes a very long drawn process and showing RoI is also very tough."

For the current campaign, public relation is one of the important tools that the company is using. There are press conferences arranged in over 17 Tier 2 and 3 cities across the country. It also uses the digital platform, spending about Rs 6 lakh for footprints on Twitter, Facebook and its own website.

Tripathy says that the website has about 90,000 visitors every day, of which close to 35,000 are unique visitors. These are mostly the people who come on the internet for research purposes in terms of availability, dealers and designs.

The company has not put any ads on Facebook; however, it has invested in Google SEM (search engine marketing. As for investment on transformations, the company plans to spend not more than Rs 1,20,000 per house on an average. It is pertinent to note that these transformations will start right amidst the festive season.

Why not a mass media campaign? Tripathy laughs and adds, "I would rather spend that money on transforming another house."

The company has already received about 240 entries and expects about 1300 entries in all.

The home business contributed to about 25 per cent of the total business of Godrej Interio till the first quarter of 2012 (pre-Lakme Fashion Week campaign). Now, it's increased to 40 per cent contribution. While the institution business has been the strongest pillar of the company, Tripathy suggests that the home business has a very high potential in terms of margins and growth.

The company is positive about growth since it has its own manufacturing units and designers, unlike many of its competitors who have to import objects.

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