Pitch BrandTalk: 'We focused on emotional connectivity, brand purpose & consumer’s needs'

In the webinar, Gaurav Dublish and Siddharth Sood, Co-founders, Wildcraft India, spoke about innovation, entering new categories, the brand's evolution and the role of leadership

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 21, 2020 12:59 PM

At the virtual discussion of Pitch BrandTalk series, Gaurav Dublish and Siddharth Sood, Co-founders, Wildcraft India, spoke to Dr Annurag Batra, the Chairman & Editor in Chief - exchange4media & Business World, on the 'Wild and Innovative journey of Wildcraft'.

In its 22-year brand journey, Wildcraft has recognized need gaps and grabbed opportunities to expand its portfolio and emerge as a winner. Even during the ongoing global pandemic, when most brands have held back new campaigns, Wildcraft has launched its first full-fledged integrated marketing campaign ‘Hain Taiyaar Hum’ for the company’s latest product, the Wildcraft Supermask W95, a respirator.

The duo touched upon their journey, starting from a garage start-up to a Rs 1,000 crore brand. They spoke of innovation, entering new categories such as PPE and masks, Wildcraft's evolution and lastly the role of leadership.

Starting off the webinar discussion, Sood shared how the brand adapted to the lockdown: “The 120 days lockdown has been phenomenal. As a brand, one of our thought processes and philosophies has always been about embracing uncertainty. I think, on 28th March 2020, there was no bigger uncertainty for us. One of the things we said to each other was either we run away from it or run at it. Being entrepreneurs we decided to run at it. In this pandemic, we decided to see what is it we can do as an organization for our team, company, and country and bring out solutions. We have been at it for the last 120 days and will be at it, going forward.”

Talking about the latest campaign launched during the lockdown period, Dublish said, “For ‘Hain Taiyaar Hum,’ we worked closely with Ogilvy and the entire team helped us in putting this campaign together.”

Sharing how the idea of Wildcraft came about, Dublish commented on the brand's belief in the magnetism of the great outdoors."Each one of us is viscerally an explorer. Instinctively, we believe that humans are configured to not live a life in the comfort zone. We are hard-wired to live life outside of it, when we step out of our comfort zone. The purpose of Wildcraft is to enable within you and me the motive to take the road less travelled by products and services designed for the wilderness."

Explaining how 'Wildcraft' is, in fact, a portmanteau of 'wilderness' and 'crafting'  Dublish said how the two were in college when they started running the business together. "Things have changed but one thing that we haven’t left out is our core belief," he mused.

The concept of the ‘Hain Taiyaar Hum’ campaign is built on the company’s core philosophy of tackling challenges -- "We are ready for anything." Ogilvy expanded the thought into ‘Hain Taiyaar Hum’ and massified it.

"This is something that also resonates with them and they created an integrated communication. The expansion of the new products came naturally to us”, commented Dublish.

Sood remarked that the focus is on inputs first and then outputs. He added, “The revenue is based on what we're putting in. We focused on saying that we want to put a value chain together. If you focus on the inputs consistently, the outputs are bound to happen. Our goal was that Wildcraft should be bigger than the two of us.”

Both the co-founders shared with the viewers why their co-leadership strategy is a perfect blend and makes for a perfect team. Sood remarked, "One of the reasons why co-founder dynamics work well is because they have complementary skills and play to the strengths of the other. Whenever we have a divergence of thought, we decide a time of the day to thrash it out over a coffee and then come back to the team with a unified solution. You need to pour your heart out and don't hold back.”

Dublish commented, “Organisations are essentially organisms. For the two of us, Siddharth is the brain and the heart. That's the way we've implemented things and try to get our way.”

Talking about what marketing mix is important for their brand. Sood said, “Our TG completely sits in the digital space. We've significantly spent budgets in the digital arena. There is different weightage for TV channels, each aspect requires a different timing.”

Dublish sharing his viewpoint said, “We haven't kept digital and non-digital as two distinct handles. They're both bridges and to be able to connect the emotional and physical need set, it's important to use both. 40-45% of our recent campaign is digital. Hain Taiyaar Hum was an emotional platform. We were able to connect the campaign melody and took it to 7 different genres of languages.”

Speaking about why the new product line launched during the lockdown period wasn’t alien to the brand, Sood shared, “We did respirators before COVID too because hikers used to ask us for the equipment. In the last 120 days, we had 3,700 people, and we scaled up the headcount to 30,000 making respirators.”

On a parting note, Dublish talking about the change in consumer behaviour patterns during this lockdown concluded saying, “Consumer behaviour is based on the attitudes or beliefs. Post-emergency in our generation something like this has not happened. So the belief is that we are in a bubble and in that bubble somebody will take care of these things. This pandemic has shaken up that belief. The consumer behaviour pattern has become very unpredictable. One day people will be laughing and another day they will be sad. You'll be hoarding stuff because you don't know what's going to happen two months from now. In terms of media, this time we very clearly articulated our objectives to be reach led. We focused on things like emotional connectivity, brand purpose, and the consumer’s needs and mindset.”

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