Shouvik Roy, chief of brand marketing, G.O.A.T Brand Labs, shares how the company segregates acquired D2C brands on the basis of scale and adopts different marketing strategy
To say that the Indian D2C space expanded in a dramatic fashion during the COVID pandemic, would be an understatement. A July 2022 Google report revealed that the interest in D2C brands in India, rose by a massive 533% in 2021. The report clearly points out to the fact that the D2C space provides immense opportunity.
Entrepreneurs Rishi Vasudev and Rameshwar Misra entered the D2C space to develop a strong presence for the brands that they acquire. G.O.A.T. Brand Labs was set up by the duo in 2021 and has, since then, acquired 16 brands, which it plans on growing via marketing and branding efforts. The venture has garnered backing from notable international investors, including Tiger Global.
The company has an in-house advertising and marketing team that helps it come up with a long-term branding strategy. Since its inception, Vasudev and Misra have figured out a few indices that help them to finalise on their brand investment strategy.
“It is easier to work with people who are heavily involved in cultivating a position for their brand and come in with a lot of brand-building experience. They sow the seeds of the brand very early, and that's one of the signs that we look at during the time of acquisition,” says Roy.
“Before we bought brands like trueBrowns or The Label Life, they already had their respective websites and were selling products through it. There were organic searches and people were looking for them already,” he mentions, adding that an already well known name gives people at G.O.A.T. a sort of an advantage.
Roy says that G.O.A.T. mainly focuses on building salience for the brand and as well as developing its long-term image. This process requires GOAT to segregate brands into different categories based on the degree of establishment that they have achieved before the acquisition. Based on this, G.O.A.T. puts immediate focus on the brands that are growing faster than others.
Other brands are simultaneously built up to a size and scale. Talking about the smaller brands that they have in their portfolio, Roy says, “There are brands that we acquire, where we need to first unify all their identity elements, like name, what they stand for, the color palette, packaging, etc. This is basically to make them more unique and distinctive. We need to do this for the majority of the smaller brands that come to us. Once this happens, we start building the legs of the story because every brand needs to have a story to tell - who they are, what they do, etc.”
Developing a brand’s story is something the brand heavily emphasises on. In the case of NutriGlow, G.O.A.T. did heavy R&D to come up with a few points on exactly what a customer needs. Since it is easy to get customer feedback for an e-commerce brand, G.O.A.T. started reaching out to a list of customers to get their feedback on the brand.
Roy shares that the process is more participative and fairly quick. “We figured out that while we know who's buying, in terms of demographics, but in terms of psychographics, we were looking at a much younger mindset.” This observation helped us develop the NutriGlow campaign. “We looked at the youth sentiment and how it can be captured, in terms of storytelling. That led us to the selection of the brand ambassador, as well as the design of the whole ad,” he observes.
G.O.A.T. focuses more on digital as its main communication medium. Roy shares that though the medium is lucrative, it is still highly cluttered with content and so, one needs to be cautious. The right partnerships, with influencers, storytellers, etc., are essential. G.O.A.T.’s primary role is to accelerate a brand’s identity.
“We work with gig workers and keep marketing internal and work with many small agencies. Also we dont have an advertising or creative team at all. Its a core brand marketing team. Everything is gig workers and external agencies, the point was not big agencies...but smaller, faster more nimble ones," Roy shares.
G.O.A.T.’s vision is to put Indian D2C brands on the global map. It has expanded its portfolio to 16 companies in a year and is planning to take these brands along with new acquisitions to a global level.