‘Innovation’ & ‘Purpose-Led’ Primary In Brand Building, Says Brilloca

Hindware’s recent brand initiative ‘Thoughtful is Beautiful’ is an attempt to re-define the category conversation from aesthetics to high performance, innovative & smart bathware, says Brilloca’s Vice President & Head of Marketing for Bath Products, Charu Malhotra Bhatia

Bathware brand Hindware began 2021 with a marketing push around ‘Thoughtful is Beautiful’. The brand initiative, dubbed as a “first-of-its-kind” in the category by the bathware brand, aims to showcase how performance-led product solutions offer convenience to consumers. And that this is where true beauty lies. Conceptualised by MagicCircle Communications, the creative messaging aims to treat beauty as table stakes while initiating a conversation to reinforce the brand’s strength of “innovations through technology”.

In an interaction with BW Marketing World, Charu Malhotra Bhatia, Vice President & Head of Marketing, Bath Products, Brilloca talks about the new initiative, the evolved consumer behaviour, the brand’s marketing strategies and more. Excerpts:

As we begin a new year, how is the bathware category placed in India? What have been some of your strategies given the recent market changes?

The bathroom category is low involvement. It is primarily discretionary unless it is about building a new home or repairs that cannot be postponed. When it comes to brick-and-mortar, consumers like to touch and feel the products before buying. However, now more than ever, the digital interface became the first point of preliminary search for consumers before walking to a retail store.

Marketing strategies have shifted with this change to stay relevant.

During ‘isolation’, it was crucial to stay connected and keep the brand relevant. Our foremost concern was regarding our trade partners, and how to take them through their digital transformation. For example, we went aggressive in online lead generation module where leads generated virtually were transferred to dealers for closure.

On the other hand, we ensured we were there to support consumers in difficult times and be available at the click of a button via virtual assistance tools on the website. The focus on content shifted towards helping consumers. For example, we released a series of videos - DIY videos of fixing the tap etc. that would be helpful during lockdown.

We focussed on only meaningful and purpose-driven marketing which appeases the consumer in the brand’s favour. Now that consumers have evolved to have easier access to content, we adapted our communication accordingly. We introduced smart and relevant products in the market such as touchless faucets. We installed contactless handwashing systems at various locations in Delhi NCR, Karnataka and Kerala, once the lockdown was lifted.

Consumer behaviour did change significantly and speedily in the last year. How did these learnings translate into action?

Consumers have a renewed focus on health and safety, which means they are ready to invest in technologically advanced products, which aids in safety and cleaning practices. The current situation is clearly accelerating the adoption of touchless and contactless products. This is particularly important in bathrooms both at home and outside. This is why consumers are shifting towards touch-free bathware products in this new normal.

Last year consumer habits changed. As consumers grow more discerning and can access information whenever and wherever, their expectations are higher than before.

There is now an urgent need to go digital from localised stores. hyperlocal activities will rule. Primary search is happening online, so it’s imperative to have digital basics in the game as shoppers use a mix of digital touchpoints across the buying journey. Consumers will get enticed by the narrative of goodwill, purpose-led and consumer-driven products. Peer reviews, hence user-generated content, will be key to driving brand conversations as it will impact consumer intent and purchase.

To grow brand engagement and equity, Hindware will accelerate digital channel adoptions and personalised communication with a more integrated approach. There will also be renewed focus on digital and brick & mortar brand experience, in addition to digitising trade partner’s business, and on e-commerce on faucet category as well.

Tell us more about ‘Thought is Beautiful’…

We undertook rigorous research using traditional and new-age tools to understand the ‘white space’ in the market and consumer needs to arrive at this innovative new positioning ‘Thoughtful is Beautiful’. Hindware and Hindware Italian Collection products have been designed keeping contemporary India in mind. This is why ‘Thoughtful is Beautiful’ is an apt positioning. The idea was brought to life through a series of films. We have redefined category conversation which was only around aesthetics to now not just about beauty but also high performance, or innovative and smart bathware.

The campaign will run across TV, radio, digital, online and social media channels. We have created a multilingual TV and digital platform across languages such as English, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali and Malayalam to reach a wide set of audiences in the country. We understand the rise of OTT as a medium of entertainment and to reach out to the TG, our campaign will air on OTT platforms such as Disney Hotstar+  and SonyLiv. In addition to it, we are also undertaking a retail drive and hyperlocal activities. To strengthen the campaign more, we are leveraging social media tools such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to create buzz and excitement around the brand.

What are the key tenets of your marketing plans in the year ahead?

  • Focus on brand building will be high. Envision to emerge as the preferred choice amongst consumers & influencers.
  • Bullish on marketing and media mix, will be a mix of traditional and non-conventional to drive consumer’s preference.
  • Campaign will be amplified across TV and other mediums.
  • Trade support activities will be key – hyperlocal marketing
  • Distribution network will be strengthened.

What is your brand vision for the next three years?

We have channelised our efforts and investments to maximise growth and profitability. In the changed normal, while design and tech innovation encouraging minimal contact has influenced consumer choices, digitisation has emerged as one of the primary enablers of Business Continuity for companies alike. We are increasingly investing in digital endeavors to reach out to consumers in every possible manner. This is driven by a mix of traditional and digital media mix. Purpose-driven marketing and customer-centricity will propel brands. This will further be substantiated with deep data analysis to deliver value to prospects. 

For the near future, we envision the brand to build a lighthouse identity and acquire thought leadership that drives trends and innovations led by consumer behaviour, and if required trigger changes in consumer behaviour and patterns to ease their way of living.