Licious is not just a meat brand, it’s a holistic meat destination: Santosh Hegde

In conversation with e4m, Santosh Hegde of Licious speaks in detail about the innovative meat delivery industry and how Licious works towards making meat buying a holistic experience

e4m by Nilanjana Basu
Published: Sep 27, 2022 8:49 AM  | 6 min read
santosh hegde

Buying meat straight from the butchers was always an unpleasant task until the concept of online meat buying was introduced. What was once a strange concept probably 10 years ago, is a household need in the busy lives of urban Indians. Licious, the meat delivery company, has been a pioneer on this front. It has spared consumers from having to visit butcher shops and fish markets, and instead, they can now buy meat and fish from the comfort of their homes.

Santosh Hegde, Vice president – Brands, of Licious, spoke to e4m at length on the company’s new age thinking, their competitors and their considerate as well as localized marketing.


How has Licious been increasing customer satisfaction and engagement?

What makes Licious unique is that it's still a confluence of three things: there is the product part of it or the meat; there is the platform part of it, which are the experiences we provide on our app; and the last part of it is the service.

There is a strong service aspect to what Licious does. If you look at it, it is actually three companies or three organizations rolled into one. There is a product company, a storefront or retail experience and then there is a delivery company.

Over the three waves of the pandemic, we saw convenience as a use case spike up a lot. But the reality is that a lot of those consumers continue to transact with us as we go along. And here's where I want to make a point of what differentiates us from the competition and also makes the experience very engaging.

Our positioning is not that of a pure meat brand. Instead, it is that of a holistic meat destination. From the point the consumer enters the app to the point they get the meat delivered to the point they consume it, we want to be in control of the process end to end.

And that's where you see a lot of the changes. A lot of additions that we made in recent times to our app are to provide the consumer with that holistic experience. Meat consumption doesn't have to just rest on that ultimate “Aha” you get when you start eating it, the whole process can be very interesting and experiential. That is how we make the whole process more engaging for our customers on a day in day out basis.

Regionalization and customization by regions are the reality of our category. There are times when you feel like eating something from your native place or the region you belong to, except it's difficult often to source all the ingredients and cook them. So, Licious makes all of that available in digital format. In India, this one size fits all approach was not really a matter of finding the right balance between customization and business logic to make it viable enough. I think Licious is doing good work on that front.

Give us an insight into Licious’ marketing strategy.

Our marketing strategy is interestingly called the source-to-stove-to-stomach-to-soul framework. Source to stove is all of the consideration-building activities that we do. We use that to convey to to our consumers why they should be considering Licious among the many options that they have.

We do a bunch of marketing initiatives and activities under the source-to-stove bucket. Then there is stove-to-stomach which carries all of our content initiatives. Everything from recipes, to tying up with influencers and celebrity chefs, to all of the new product launches that we've done, they are all part of our stove-to-stomach journey to make the consumption experience very delightful. That's the second big pillar of our marketing strategy.

The last one is stomach-to-soul. Here's where we put all our equity-building initiatives. So, an example of this would be what we did with the new IP that we launched this year, on Mother's Day, and then we extend it to Father's Day as well.

The idea is to make consumers fall in love with the idea of Licious, beyond just the products that they consume and the experience that they have on the platform. It's about getting them to a place where they don't have to think twice about where to order meat from at some point in the future So, in these four ‘S’s, basically, we have our holistic marketing strategy sitting on the site.

We are largely a d2c brand and we're also present right now in 28 cities, which means digital, especially YouTube and Facebook, is where most of our marketing spends happen.

In the last few months, we’ve also expanded to TV and print and we're looking seriously at these mediums that also happened to struggle during the pandemic times. TV struggled for lack of content since production was held up for large. But they're all back now.

If you look, Licious is one of the first few brands to have advertised on GEC as a medium. And that has also worked really well for us when we look at it from a business impact standpoint. So, I think these are some channels that we are actively operating with and dealing with. We also use our app really strongly. CRM levers that we have at our disposal like notifications, and emailers are also a great channel for us to have that relationship with our consumers on a consistent basis.

How ambitious are Licious’ plans to expand and explore different consumer bases, especially those who are not so tech-savvy?

We have a three-pronged framework for this expansion planning. We call it the “more users more usage” in a premium format. “More users” would essentially comprise two things. One is expansion to your city. Right now, we're at 28 cities, but we have ambitions of expanding beyond that. The second one of more users is our offline channel. For instance, we've set up stores in Gurgaon and Bangalore, and we are going to expand to other cities as well where we have ambitious plans of ramping up our offline expansion. That will take care of bringing in people who are not so tech-savvy. So that's a whole new consumer base that we will target so this will get us more users.

As far as more usage goes, it's about cross-selling and upselling, launching new products, getting people who buy our raw and fresh category to experience are ready to cook, ready-to-eat spreads and so on. That will just increase consumption.



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