Namah Chawla

Rising inflation will force marketers to get creative, analytical and decisive: Anuja Mishra, Mamaearth

Having worked with Nestle, PepsiCo and GCPL earlier, Mishra now oversees marketing for Honasa Consumer group brands – Mamaearth, The Derma Co. and BBlunt.

Mamaearth was launched in 2016 by the husband-wife duo of Ghazal and Varun Alagh, who recognised the absence of toxin-free and safe baby care products in the Indian market then. Over the last six years, the unicorn brand has diversified its products across categories like beauty, skincare, hair care, cosmetics, and offers products for men too.

Elaborating on how the brand managed to diversify across these categories, while maintaining its core essence of being safe and toxin-free, Anuja Mishra, CMO, Honasa Consumer (the parent company of Mamaearth), gives the credit to the two co-founders.

“We are strongly committed to ensuring that the products are toxin-free and made of natural ingredients. These are absolutely non-negotiable for the brand,” adds Mishra.

Mamaearth has had celebrities like Shilpa Shetty and, more recently, Sara Ali Khan and Samantha Ruth Prabhu appearing in its ads.

Sharing insights about how the brand narrows down on a particular celebrity, Mishra mentions that the value match, in terms of what the celebs stand for and what they bring to the brand, should be in sync. “If you look at any of our celeb or influencer associations, it depends on understanding the association of these individuals in relation to our TG, which is the millennials.”

Be it the #PlantGoodness initiative, being plastic positive or reducing paper wastage within its office premises, the brand has been vocal about many social initiatives.

Mishra believes that consumers, especially the millennials, want to associate with brands beyond just the product attributes they offer, but what they means to the larger community.

“That is from where the purpose statement of each of our brands is created. The tree plantation or the plastic positivity and the recycling initiatives are because Mamaearth is a brand that stands for being natural, honest and trustworthy. This should reflect in not just our products, but also how we go about doing business every day.”

Recently, Mamaearth has been on an acquisition spree. It acquired Godrej’s hair colour brand BBlunt, a dermatologist-formulated skincare brand Dr Sheth’s and an online platform for mothers called Momspresso.

Speaking about its strategy and the importance of adding more products to its portfolio, Mishra shares that it all emanates from the changing consumer landscape.

“The same consumer is looking for different kinds of products through the day. This makes it very crucial for any organisation to assess the landscape and plot their brands to address various consumer needs.”

The brand follows the philosophy of being present wherever the consumers are. It started as a D2C brand, expanded to e-commerce platforms and is now also growing its offline channels. It is available on modern trade outlets and sells through exclusive Mamaearth retail stores as well.

Mamaearth has been betting big on, and investing in, its influencer marketing strategy since its inception. For its core target audience, the millennials, the word of mouth and following the experiences of people they trust are important trial sources, informs Mishra.

“The brand has tried and tested many models of influencer marketing, and seen that it is an extension of marketing to the millennials. Influencer marketing works very well for us and the brand ensures that it adequately invest in this channel.”

While influencer marketing is an effective medium to connect with the millennials, it can be quite expensive too. With funding crunch impacting brands across categories, how does Mamaearth maintain its marketing spends?

Mishra explains that it is important for marketing (team) to determine what will actually get the consumers to try the product. They need to understand the triggers, the potential barriers and ensure that the brand is investing in the right levers behind those triggers.

“The rising inflation and other such constraints will only force marketers to get more creative, analytical and decisive about the choices they make.”

Sharing some of her learnings from her prior stints across conglomerates like Nestle, PepsiCo and Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL), Mishra says that it is critical for any marketer to spend time with the consumers and trade channels. This is because some of the best insights are drawn during these interactions.

“Additionally, it is important for marketers to not just look at their own marketing spends, but also have a good understanding of the company’s P&L. This helps to analyse how their decisions impacts the entire value chain.”

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