Dunzo, which began as a pick up and drop service, is out to reposition itself as an e-grocery platform. A chat with its marketing head on the team's first TVC.
Previously, grocery delivery was a waiting game. People had to ensure that they added all the items to their carts and then book delivery slots. With the Coronavirus pandemic, many people stopped stepping out of their homes. The home delivery of essential groceries that kept the household running, saw a new era of relevance.
In March 2021, Dunzo announced the launch of Dunzo Daily in Bengaluru. It is a quick commerce delivery service in which fresh groceries are delivered to people in 19 minutes. A blog post mentions that Dunzo Daily attempts to act as an online supermarket for everything, i.e., fruits, vegetables, meat, pet supplies, and other daily needs.
The company claims that all the items go through a two-stage quality screening process. The quick delivery time ensures that the produce delivered is as fresh as possible. To make the quick deliveries possible, Dunzo leverages mini-warehouses strategically located in each neighbourhood across the city. It is able to match supply and demand to ensure fast delivery.
A press release claims that even before the launch of the campaign, Dunzo Daily grew 25 per cent week on week since its launch.
To advertise for the service, Dunzo has conceptualised and created a 360 degree campaign, complete with a series of films, print ads, online and offline marketing activities. The campaign’s objective is to educate people on the benefits of ordering groceries on Dunzo Daily. Other films in this campaign will feature prominent movie stars having overly dramatic reactions to daily grocery problems.
Dunzo’s first TVC – targeted at Bengaluru citizens, has just been released. The film, featuring Bollywood actor Sunny Deol, is a recreation of his iconic ‘Tareekh pe Tareekh’ dialogue (from the movie Damini) reimagined in the context of ordering groceries home.
Over a Zoom call, Sai Ganesh, the lead and brand marketing head at Dunzo, tells us that it was an in-house effort and the team worked with Basta Films for the production part.
With Dunzo Daily, Ganesh emphasises on the fact that the company is trying to strike a balance between speed and offering people a selection of products to choose from.
“We wanted the campaign to communicate about the delivery speed – which is important in a city like Bengaluru. Nobody wants to deal with traffic, when it comes to groceries. People don’t like to go to two or three different stores to buy products – cleaning supplies, meat and fruits, etc. The convenience aspect of accessing multiple items in one place also has a safety angle to it now. In that sense, speed is an important value proposition for us.”
Speed is a value proposition that other quick commerce companies are also emphasising on. In early August, Swiggy took out front page ads in The Times of India’s Sunday edition to advertise for Swiggy Instamart – which offers grocery delivery in 15-30 minutes. This ad also takes a dig at 'slots' that became ubiquitous with several e-grocers last year. Grofers also offers 15-minute grocery delivery service in select cities.
Ganesh predicts that going forward, the online grocery segment will see more adoption and many users, who had never used the service before, will begin to do so.
“A large part of the campaign has been about education, but we also wanted to emphasise on the fact that our customers trust us. Dunzo is known for being a pick up and drop sort of delivery service. But we want to reposition the brand as a grocery delivery service.”
"Dunzo is known for being a pick up and drop sort of delivery service. But we want to reposition the brand as a grocery delivery service."Sai Ganesh, Dunzo
He adds that the brand’s repositioning is going to be a big challenge, given that this perception of the brand as a pick up and drop delivery service has existed for a while in the past – especially in Bengaluru.
Talking about the city, he mentions that Bengaluru has a wide variety of stores in different areas. Each neighbourhood presents a unique set of challenges.
“The biggest challenge will be maintaining the consistency of the delivery experience, in terms of delivery speed across the city.” He adds that some of these challenges are infrastructural ones, related to things like road blocks, bad weather, detours, and so on.
"The biggest challenge will be maintaining the consistency of the delivery experience, in terms of delivery speed across the city."
When asked about the consumer research that went into creating the campaign, Ganesh replies that the campaign was primarily launched for Bengaluru. There are multiple types of residents in the city.
“There are migrant families, people who have moved to the city for work and then there are settler families, who have been living there for a slightly longer period of time. There are also unmarried people, who live with roommates or flatmates and work in the city.”
Even within user cohorts, it was found that most people find the process of planning and buying groceries a chore or a task.
"These days, the consumers have less time on hand, which is why they’re looking for things to be delivered on demand – as and when they need it."
“You have to plan what you need, wait for a slot to be available, etc. These days, the consumers have less time on hand, which is why they’re looking for things to be delivered on demand – as and when they need it. Less delivery time also helps with categories, like fruits and vegetables – where the freshness of the produce matters a lot,” Ganesh mentions.
"Less delivery time also helps with categories, like fruits and vegetables – where the freshness of the produce matters a lot."
“In fact, with families, who live together, bachelors, spinsters, etc., this planning aspect actually gives rise to conflict about whose turn it is to do the task. This was the insight our campaign was based on. We decided to use Bollywood as a backdrop to illustrate that conflict.”
Ganesh tells us that there are many topics of interest that connect people from different age groups, such as cricket, but cinema is the medium that connects many people.
“Humour drives content shared on WhatsApp and we wanted that to reflect in our film. People also have a strong sense of nostalgia for the 1990s. While researching, we found that the ‘Tareekh pe Tareekh’ dialogue was an iconic one that struck a chord with people. Many people made humorous memes of it too, hence, we decided to recreate it.”
The threat of the third COVID wave is looming large and we asked Ganesh about his plans for the year ahead. He tells us that typically, whenever a city goes under lockdown, Dunzo observe a rise in demand for its services.
“Demand, typically, goes up and people, who had tried us during the lockdown, continue to be stay with us as our customers even after the lockdown lifts. The challenge we anticipate is that the delivery partners have to be available across all geographies at all times,” he concludes.
How viable is the effort?
Nisha Sampath, a brand marketing consultant with 20-plus years of experience (also managing partner at Bright Angles Consulting – a consumer insight led consultancy firm), opines that Dunzo’s move does not feel like a rebranding exercise as much as the launch of a new service offering.
"I think that the consumers already use Dunzo for on-demand deliveries and this feels like a very natural extension."
She thinks that the use of ‘Tareekh pe Tareekh’ dialogue is clever. It will resonate with many people, who have faced delays, both judicial and bureaucratic – similar to the one in getting a COVID vaccine.
Talking about the competition, Sampath says that grocery apps had this problem with slots during the peak of the pandemic, when they were under-prepared to service the demand.
"Unfortunately, a service brand is only as good as its last experience. If you fail to deliver, customers take it personally. Even the memory of this failure in a time of need, will linger in people’s minds. Dunzo has very cleverly tapped into this angst."
She adds that across categories, from medicines to food delivery to groceries, there has been a shift to speed as the USP – to the extent that it will soon stop being a point of differentiation.
"The underlying USP here is that this is the these brands are working with a hyperlocal model. India has always been a hyperlocal market. There is always a neighbourhood store that we turn to. We have always been used to calling up the nearest medical store, grocer or even a stationary shop, and getting things delivered at our door within a short time span."
Sampath concludes that this expectation, is what the brands are cashing in on. "In that sense, the real competition is not with grocery apps as much as it is with the neighbourhood store."