Marketing Mocktail: Lessons in building a D2C brand explained

D2C brands should avoid blindly aping the brand building model of legacy brands. Instead, they should focus on the 3-Cs: Cocreation, Content and Community.

By  Anand NarasimhaNov 24, 2023 7:19 AM
Marketing Mocktail: Lessons in building a D2C brand explained
While most D2C brands tend to over index on performance marketing at the cost of brand building, the smart ones strike the right balance.(Representative Image: Igor Miske via Unsplash)

Note to readers: Season-2 of our column Marketing Mocktail breaks down and explains the big ideas, new disruptions and old concepts and marketing practices that matter in the modern age.

In the last decade, there has been a proliferation of D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) brands, across diverse categories. There are currently around 600+ D2C brands in India, battling for the consumer’s mind and wallet.

This has been enabled due to the breakdown of entry barriers- access to distribution (e-commerce), new channels of brand communication (digital media) and availability of capital (VC funding).

While most D2C brands tend to over index on performance marketing at the cost of brand building, the smart ones strike the right balance.

The two key questions in building a D2C brand are:

1. Being digital first brands, what should be their brand building model, as compared to legacy brands?

2. The typical target group being Millennial and GenZ consumers, how can they connect with them better than most legacy brands?

Here are some lessons on building a D2C brand that we can learn from the case of BabyChakra.

BabyChakra: Building a D2C parenting and baby care brand

BabyChakra is a content to commerce parenting and baby care brand, founded in 2015 by Naiyya Saggi. It is a part of the house of brands unicorn, The Good Glamm Group.

It began life as a parenting app and in 2021 introduced a range of clean, green and toxin free baby care products.

It competes with legacy brands like Johnson & Johnson and Himalaya, as well as with other D2C brands like Mama Earth and Chicco.

The brand targets millennial moms and dads who are digital natives and its brand idea is ‘The Joy of Parenting’.

BabyChakra is committed to supporting young parents through their postpartum journey, with education via content, care via products, and trust via co-creation with doctors and moms.

Lesson-1: Cocreate with consumers for innovation and involvement

Right from its inception, co-creation with moms and doctors has been in the DNA of the brand. From products to influencer content, to blogs, to expert sessions and more.

BabyChakra has pioneered the ‘InsiderClub’ for cocreation, which is not influencers, but real moms and doctors who are passionate about participating in the brand.

Some of the product innovations cocreated are- Bamboo Water Wipes with 0 percent Polyester (regular wipes cause rashes due to frequent use), Baby-safe Foaming Hand-wash, Vapor Patch for cold relief (applying ointments and rubs on a baby’s sensitive skin is avoidable), Plant-based Bathing Bar with Skin Identical Complex (ideal for dry skin during winters and eczema breakouts).

All products are baby safe, carefully formulated and do not contain Phenoxyethanol and artificial fragrances.

Lesson-2: Create content for deeper engagement that goes beyond selling

BabyChakra strives to be seen as a trusted friend and expert in a parent’s journey, while having a point of view on narratives that need change. The goal is to have an impact on the ecosystem and the role it plays in a parent’s life.

#LabelPadhoMoms, which is a lexicon of all the harmful hidden ingredients in other baby care products, was a campaign urging every mom to read the label before using something on their child. It educated the audience about label literacy and generated 1.2 million views organically.

#ChangeMakers celebrates a list of wonderful moms who have been awesome despite all the multiple challenges that come with motherhood.

#EqualParent was not just a campaign but a movement to create awareness about dads doing their bit too. The brand had 20,000+ dads participate in the campaign.

#CareHeroes celebrates 100 doctors across India for their selfless work.

Lesson-3: Build and nurture a vibrant brand community for loyalty and advocacy

BabyChakra was the first in India to pioneer ‘mom-influencers’ as a segment through the BabyChakra Creators Club. This has become a popular forum for recognizing and engaging with mom-influencers.

#MomsTalk is a platform for well-known celebrity moms to show a side of them like never before. The celebrities get candid about premature deliveries, postpartum depression, the perils of breastfeeding and much more, no holds barred. This has got a 15 million digital organic reach across just 3 events.

The #Momstars community engages through expert sessions, on-ground events, personalized experiences on WhatsApp, and informational content on social media. It is India’s largest mom community comprising around 30 million mothers who create authentic content and advocacy through word of mouth. They are the cheerleaders for the brand.

How this has worked for the brand

All the 3-C’s: Cocreation, content and community are seamlessly integrated through a tech-stack comprising trackers, personalized tools, and a community platform that connects people, based on interests and life stages for customized solutions.

Not only has this approach enhanced the qualitative brand affinity for BabyChakra, but it has also had a positive impact on the performance metrics and KPIs.

In terms of the key performance metrics for a D2C brand, as depicted in the graphic below, BabyChakra has shown a significant upswing over the last couple of years.

images.storyboard18.com

So, if you are a D2C start-up or an existing D2C brand, focus on the 3-Cs: Cocreation, Content and Community. Make the customer the hero of your story and reap the rewards.

The author would like to acknowledge the inputs of Naiyya Saggi- Founder and Spoorthi Kilambi- brand head, at BabyChakra.

Anand Narasimha is a corporate turned academician with over three decades of experience spanning Brand Marketing, Advertising, Consulting, and Teaching. He writes the column Marketing Mocktail for Storyboard18. Views expressed are personal.

First Published on Nov 24, 2023 7:19 AM

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