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Indulging In Innovative Ideas

The author suggests how homegrown brands are deploying ingenious marketing techniques on social media platforms to better connect with audiences

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The internet has revolutionised the way we interact with brands and consume content, especially with the boom in social media marketing. India alone has 574 million active internet users as of 2019 with 330 million active social media users. This number is further expected to shoot up to 448 million by 2023.

With the Internet and social media, businesses are witnessing growth like never before. Today, social media cannot be ignored if a brand wants to communicate truthfully and honestly with its consumers.

Innovative marketing strategies are on the rise, especially on social media platforms. For example, in 2020, when the pandemic hit globally, health, hygiene and safety were the top priorities on everybody’s list.

Home-grown brands, in this regard, stopped direct advertising and became more empathetic during the two waves of Covid-19. A lot of brands used these platforms to convey health information and also became a helpline of sorts while imparting positive messages to boost the morale of people. For example, brands like Paytm, Zomato, and Unilever set up donation drives and launched initiatives to support communities.

Enveloping Marketing In Empathy 
From Pharma to FMCG companies, everyone altered their communication to become more approachable while keeping the communication two ways. This increased consumer trust in the brand while conveying the message that everyone is in this together, irrespective of competition.

During the second wave of Covid-19 earlier this year, people across the nation were coping with not only the illness but the huge loss of loved ones. So when Borosil’s Managing Director, Shreevar Kheruka, announced aid and compensation to the families of those employees who had lost their lives to the pandemic, other corporates and companies followed suit. This became popular on social networking site Twitter with companies going the ‘Borosil way.’

As the Covid crisis continues where most people are continuing to work from home, undergoing stress, anxiety and suffering from pandemic fatigue, empathetic advertising comes as a relief to consumers. Everyone wants to associate with a brand that truly understands the customer. This trust between the consumer and the brand can be built further by enhancing the use of social media to communicate this feeling.

Whatever the strategy, content has to be topical, engaging and humorous. A great example of this is Zomato’s tweet on the lines of “Guys, kabhi kabhi ghar ka khana bhi kha lena chahiye” which instantly went viral. Coming from a food delivery app, people found this humorous and this prompted an instant response from many other brands as well who used this tag line in different ways to which Zomato had a witty comeback.

When you think topical, the one name that instantly comes to mind is Amul. Whether it is the IPL, the pandemic or anything going on in India, Amul has the most creative take on the issue, adding smart punches. But Amul’s marketing strategy is more than that. Be it festivals or encouraging the habit of having milk or launching a new product, the brand knows how to connect with its audience. Of course, social media strategies also go beyond this to include marketing campaigns that touch upon a social cause.

Brands are using social media to voice concern and support social causes by running campaigns. From supporting child education and the girl child to women empowerment to ending hunger and poverty, breaking stereotypes of colour and beauty, social cause marketing is finding its way with local brands and gaining popularity. Brands that have a strong purpose are more relatable to consumers who are likely to become converts and stay loyal to the brand.

Other innovative trends brands are picking on when it comes to social media marketing and innovative strategies, is direct to consumer marketing and user-generated content campaigns. From the start to the finish of a product or campaign launch, many home-grown brands are building customer interest by involving them in every aspect. At Borosil, we encouraged people to design their own bottles and asked participants for designs that we printed and disseminated.

Brands also pick up on trends, important dates and festivals. We have seen creativity at its best during Pride Month over the years where products took on rainbow colours with innovative captions. Logos changed to pride colours and conversations started around this. The Vicks ‘Touch of Care’ campaign and The Times of India’s ‘Out and Proud’ campaign were some of the highlights.

Brands are also roping in celebrities and influencers big time to cash on the consumer’s interest with WFH giving them ample time to follow a celebrity’s life in real-time on social media. This is one of the quickest ways for a brand to identify itself with consumers and reach its target audience. However, this has to be done cleverly and we are seeing ample examples of this with home-grown brands. Direct-in your face advertising and marketing strategies have been replaced by contests, challenges and fun interactive sessions between these stars and the consumer.

The Olympics was another event that brought the country together. India’s performance at Tokyo Olympics 2020 was an emotional moment for every Indian. From Mirabai Chanu to PV Sindhu to Bajrang Punia, India witnessed its best Olympics performance. Every countryman was thrilled when Neeraj Chopra brought home gold in the javelin. Borosil had the first mover’s advantage of making and disseminating quickly creative content on the win which was reposted by Amitabh Bachchan. What consumers want today is a touch of humanness and connectivity with empathetic marketing that’s also emotional, whatever the need, situation or time.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Priyanka Kheruka

Brand Head, Borosil

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