The online furniture brand has come out with two ad films conceptualised by L&K Saatchi & Saatchi to celebrate its five-year journey. BestMediaInfo caught up with Kashyap Vadapalli, Chief Marketing Officer, Pepperfry.com, to know more
Akansha Mihir Mota | Mumbai | January 6, 2017
In the last five years, Pepperfry has built a strong brand recall and equity among consumers in the furniture and home segment. To celebrate the completion of five years, the company has come out with two ad films conceptualised by its creative agency L&K Saatchi & Saatchi. The films show Pepperfry consumers merrily interacting with furniture, humming the brand’s signature tune. They also communicate the birthday sale message, asking existing and new consumers to join the celebrations and grab the great birthday sale deals.
The campaign is being aired across a bouquet of entertainment, movies, English infotainment and lifestyle channels and select Hindi GEC HD channels/properties and regional channels. The total outlay for the campaign is Rs 5 crore. In addition to TV, the sale message is being promoted across digital and social platforms such as Google, YouTube and Facebook.
Kashyap Vadapalli, Chief Marketing Officer, Pepperfry.com, said, “The five-year journey has been very eventful. It’s a journey where we have evolved and have many firsts to our accolades. Earlier, e-commerce was run in a certain fashion. We are the ones that have created furniture as a category online.”
Pepperfry started as a marketplace where it provided listing support to merchants to get on the site. Later, it started providing expertise in packaging and photography. It realised that in India, there is no logistics support to move furniture from one city to the other. To fulfil all these requirements, Pepperfry came into existence. “We realised it is a very strong unfulfilled and unmet consumer requirement when it comes to furniture,” said Vadapalli.
Commenting on the campaign, Debarjyo Nandi, Senior Vice-President, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, said, “In an encore from last year, the fifth birthday sale campaign celebrates Pepperfry's promise of happiness using the Pepperfry signature tune as an expression of that happiness.”
Pepperfry first advertised two years back. It targeted problems consumers have to face while buying furniture offline. Furniture buying in India is full of anxiety around quality, right price, last-mile service in terms of guarantee and installations associated with it. People have to go through a lot of hassles when one has to directly work with carpenters because fundamentally it is an unorganised sector.
First TV commercials:
Sharing his experience, Vadapalli said, “When we first went out in the market with the first advertising campaign with the tagline ‘Happy furniture to you’, we kind of identified and provided a solution to consumers in terms of the problems they were facing in the market. Over the five years, we have understood the consumers better than the existing manufacturing players. We have also put in place the infrastructure required.”
The company mostly advertises on the television front and then on the digital medium through social media and search engine optimisation. It does outdoors and radio in larger campaigns. Pepperfry’s 80 per cent business comes from furniture and 20 per cent from home engagement and utility category.
Elaborating on the overall marketing strategy, Vadapalli said, “We have built a trust around the brand. Our initial focus was taking the trust related messaging to the consumers. Right now we know that the awareness of Pepperfry is quite strong. Therefore, now most of our advertising is focused on propagating specific benefits. Lastly, we have taken the task of providing Indians with great looking and well-designed furniture.”
Nowadays, there are quite a few furniture renting websites available. In this arena, these websites have also found seat. When asked if they will hamper Pepperfry’s business, Vadapalli explained, “In my assumption the kind of customers who are looking for renting furniture is very different from the kind of customers who are looking to buy furniture. Our core target audience starts at 25 and goes up to 45. Our actual peak transaction happens between the age group of 30-40. These are the consumers who have begun the journey of setting a house. They are settling down and looking at establishing their homes with a certain sense of practicality and style they require. Renting furniture is usually for a younger crowd. This crowd is less than 30 years old. They are people looking for furniture for a few months or a few years, or the people who are on temporary assignments and are not sure if they will stay in the same house. Therefore, I see no problem in that space.”
The company receives only 10 per cent of market demand outside metros and tier-one cities. Top eight metros make up the 75 per cent business of the company. The furniture brand finds its biggest opportunities in top 25 cities in India, but the overall market space is dominated by top eight only.
Vadapalli hopes the brand’s demographic reach will widen. He said, “In tier-one cities, furniture shoppers are a little bit more evolved in their online buying behaviour, while for fashion and electronics, the tier-two and three towns have caught up. But we see it growing very rapidly in the last 18 months. We think in the next two to three years, the next big opportunity would be from the top 25 cities. When you think from four to seven year timeframe, it is only when you look going beyond top 25 cities.”
One doesn’t buy furniture every other day. People spend hefty amounts of money in buying furniture. Therefore, they wish to touch, feel and see the product beforehand.
When asked how they deal with this challenge, Vadapalli said, “I think the question about Indians who want to touch and feel furniture and buy is something we have challenged very successfully and have overcome it in the last five years. One of the common misconceptions is that the consumer needs to see the product before buying. Even if you have to go out at an offline store, it would not be more than a five to seven thousand square feet store. It would only have 5-10 choices to select from. You are most likely not going to buy from the 5-10 choices they are going to show you and you end up shopping from the catalogue. Indians over the age group of 30-40 years are actually used to buying furniture without touching or feeling the furniture that has actually come to their house. The carpenter also works on the piece from the image you have shared with him.”
In last two to three years, the company is growing at 200-300 per cent (YoY). Vadapalli concludes, “We have the infrastructure and strategy in place. It’s just a question of more and more consumers adopting Pepperfry to buy furniture. Any problem that the consumer has faced in buying furniture, we have gone out and solved them. The only challenge left is to grow faster and faster because it is really a very large market.”
Creative agency: L&K Saatchi & Saatchi
Production House: Crazy Few Films
Director: Anupam Mishra