At the recent e4m Influencer Marketing Conference, Mathew Chandy, Managing Director, Duroflex Pvt Ltd spoke to Nawal Ahuja, Co-Founder and Director exchange4media on how Duroflex has built its product line through the power of Influencers.
Speaking about Duroflex’s big shift towards influencer marketing, Chandy said that the Covid-19 pandemic forced them to look beyond the traditional marketing channels.
“Pre-pandemic we were a little traditional with the way we did brand marketing. However, in this pandemic, we had to take risks as no one was watching TV and there were no film releases; we could not do any brand ambassador campaigns either. I would say we were forced to try influencers but I think it was one of the best things to have happened to us”, said Chandy.
“Rather than sell mattresses, we went to digital channels and spoke about sleep and how sleep is free and one of the best immunity boosters. Fortunately, we found some great partners to carry this story for us. It is not just that marketing became more interesting and interactive, but it had a positive impact on the business too. Once we tasted how interesting influencer marketing was, there was no going back”, he added.
Chandy shared that one of his favourite influencer campaigns was with Luke Coutinho, the globally renowned Holistic Lifestyle Coach. “While we always believed a good mattress was crucial for sleep, this pandemic gave us a chance to talk about it and we found people were listening and receptive to this message much more than they ever did.”
“One of my favourite campaigns was ‘Sounds of Sleep’, a unique digital music series aimed to revive, celebrate, and recreate India’s rich tradition of regional lullabies with the aim of fostering a healthy pre-sleep routine. We chose regional influencers for this campaign and that was an amazing experience”, said Chandy.
When asked about other areas of focus as far as marketing efforts were concerned, Chandy stated that the brand has decided to stay with influencer marketing for the moment.
“Video, vernacular and voice are here to stay and it has worked very well for us. Our sales from smaller towns have grown considerably because of the power of local influencers and local campaigns.”
Speaking about roping in Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt and how she fits in the brand philosophy when digital influencers are doing effective campaigns at a lower cost, Chandy said, “We felt we needed a national face and we wanted a young, dynamic, fearless person to carry that message nationally. Alia Bhatt has all of these qualities and represents new India, which is what we want to be. Also, both have their rightful place in the brand philosophy. One gives you a wider audience and the other gives you a deeper connection with the audience and I think marketers need to use both at the right time.”
Chandy also spoke about Duroflex’s online brand Sleepyhead, which has introduced the concept of “mattress in a box” in India. As per Chandy, it was a digital-native brand and had grown phenomenally over the last couple of years.
“It’s a younger quirky brand which has no rules. It is for a younger audience between 18 to 35, who’s just coming into the workforce.”
Sharing his key learnings as far as influencer marketing was involved, Chandy highlighted two aspects; one — “not to avoid making mistakes, because the mistakes are not that costly”, and second– “to put efforts in choosing the right influencers who resonate with your brand.”
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