Namah Chawla
Advertising

“Furniture industry has been dominated by the unorganised space”: Sumeet Bhojani, Godrej Interio

A chat with the head of marketing communications at Godrej Interio on a campaign that targets Diwali shoppers.

It is that time of the year again when most Indians are looking to renovate their homes. It is the festive season and time to welcome guests to your home.

While it may not be possible to renovate the entire home, which is a tedious task, most people tend to opt for renovating certain portions. They may go in for the latest interior design, or upgrade their furniture.

It is also that time of the year when many brands in the home decor and furniture space roll out their festive season campaigns. The latest campaign by leading premium furniture brand Godrej Interio highlights how the time is ripe to buy home furniture and upgrade to modular kitchens.

Conceptualised by digital agency SoCheers, the campaign is targeted at the residential segment, with a focus on furniture and modular kitchen offerings. The short video ad starts with a familiar Indian setup.

Two families are planning the wedding of their daughter and son respectively, but with a twist. The soon to be married couple then visit the nearest Godrej Interio store. The wedding date may be some time away, but for the couple, “this is the right time to buy furniture.”

Speaking to afaqs! about the campaign, Sumeet Bhojani, head of marketing communications, Godrej Interio, says that the campaign’s objective was to communicate the festive season offer/sale to the consumers. The brief given to SoCheers was to connect with the consumers through a relatable situation during the festive season.

“Normally, we witness a strong upswing in the festive season demand. This year, the demand is more than what it was prior to the second (COVID) wave. We want to take the demand back to the pre-pandemic levels,” says Bhojani.

Sumeet Bhojani, Godrej Interio
Sumeet Bhojani, Godrej Interio

Prior to Godrej Interio, Bhojani had a 13-year-long stint with Asian Paints. He was responsible for brand building and driving growth of Asian Paints’ flagship emulsion brands like Royale, Apcolite, Tractor, Nilaya wallpapers, Royale Play textured finishes, etc.

Commenting on the campaign, Mehul Gupta, co-founder and CEO, SoCheers, adds, “The ad film has nuanced storytelling, and is based on a situation which is relatable to every Indian household, but with a twist. We believe that when stories create a positive impact on people, the brand message can be weaved in a very streamlined manner. With this campaign, we have been able to do that successfully, that too in a short video format in line with the brand ethos…”

To keep pace with the changing consumer habits, the media landscape is also continuously changing. With this campaign, Godrej Interio has taken a digital-first approach, keeping in mind the media consumption habits.

The media mix includes social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and various OTT platforms, together with regional television.

The ad will be aired in South India, and has been dubbed in Tamil and Telugu languages to cater to the regional audiences. “This has been done keeping in view the kind of market share that the brand has in South India,” shares Bhojani.

The brand is also leveraging print as a part of its media mix to complement the digital media.

In the last year-and-a-half, our homes have also become our offices, as COVID has forced us to stay indoors and work from home. As per Bhojani, the pandemic gave a new dimension to consumer behaviour. People started working from home, which led to an increase in the demand for office furniture.

He states, “As lifestyles are evolving and disposable incomes rise, the spends on not just home interior, but also other categories will increase and people will go for premium offerings.”

The ad spends have gone up across categories. Godrej Interio enjoys a considerable market share and plans to keep up its ad spends, especially during the festive period. The brand faces competition from not just the organised sector, but also the unorganised segment.

Bhojani mentions, “The furniture industry faces competition from both organised as well as unorganised sectors. It has been dominated by the unorganised space for a very long time.”

And while this is gradually changing, Bhojani says that the furniture category is still not as mature as some other categories, where the organised players occupy the maximum chunk of the market.

In such a scenario, Bhojani says, the brands can address the core needs of the category. They can also provide an added ingredient of transparency and a proven track record for innovation.

“This will lead to the shift from unorganised to organised sector. The innovation can be in terms of quality, design, customer experience, value-added services, etc. The brands that will be able to bring this full suite of experiences to their customers, are likely to stay ahead of the curve,” he signs off.

Expert opinion

According to Ramanuj Shastry, co-founder & director, Infectious Advertising, purchasing furniture is need and occasion based and the festive season has little bearing on it. He adds, “It is a year round thing. So there won’t likely be massive surge in spends for just the festive period.”

Ramanuj Shastry, Infectious Advertising
Ramanuj Shastry, Infectious Advertising

He points out that barely twenty percent of the one lakh crore category of furniture can be called organised and online is just a fraction of that. “The category is many miles from a unified digital marketplace. But clearly more and more millennials and digital natives are comfortable buying furniture online.”