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Brands are at forefront of influencing, onus of making the world more compassionate, empathetic and sensitive is on them, says Yogesh Tewari of Mars Wrigley

The Marketing Director of Mars Wrigley says brands that voice their opinion and have a purpose resonate much better with customers than those who just focus on selling in their communication

Yogesh Tewari

As brands across the board are trying to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mars Wrigley — the company that runs popular confectionery brands such as Snickers, Orbit, Bounty among others — is working to make its products easily available to consumers through both online and offline supply chains.

In a conversation with, Yogesh Tewari, Marketing Director at Mars Wrigley, said that since the company operates in an impulse purchase category, it is heavily dependent on customers picking up the products at the end moment from retail and traditional outlets. "During this crisis, brands need to provide customers with easier and more convenient solutions to maintain their business and continue to grow," he said.

The company partnered with online delivery platforms such as Zomato and Swiggy at the beginning of the nationwide lockdown to expanding the purchasing options of its customers.

The company also launched a dedicated online brand store – ‘Snickers® Store,’ on the online delivery app Swiggy.

“We identified and leveraged a digital commerce platform in an innovative way to reach maximum consumers with ease and adhering to safety measures,” said Tewari.

Talking about the new normal amid the pandemic, he said the consumers are now looking for brands that voice their opinion beyond their products and category. "They are not looking just to buy the products but for companies and brands which have a bigger purpose to help one and all. Apart from this, while the manner of purchasing has changed, consumers are still looking forward to enjoying the products they have loved over the years," he said.

“It is imperative that brands continue to strive towards a more purposeful role through their initiatives and campaigns,” he said.

And therefore, as brands are at the forefront of influencing, they have the onus of paving the way for a more sensitive, compassionate, and empathetic world, he said.

He mentioned how the power of an idea has always been the most important element to appeal to consumers. Backed by a strong insight and a well- planned marketing strategy, the creative thought and idea helps the consumers to develop and retain a strong affinity towards the brand, he said.

The Snickers campaign story

Over the years, Snickers (a leading brand under the company's umbrella) has expanded its horizon and platforms to constantly touch base with its new target audience and provide loyal consumers with varied purchasing opportunities.

Tewari shared how the brand was one of the first to partner with digital commerce platforms for cashback offers. Taking the lead right after demonetisation, it led the digital wave by giving consumers the opportunity to get as high as Rs 10 cashback on Rs 10 Snickers bars, which resulted in mutual benefits.

In 2017, it had identified 19 hunger symptoms that were commonly recognised by urban millennials in India such as Tubelight, Drama Queen, Princess, Junglee and Laatsaab and replaced its brand logo with these characteristics in four different languages (English, Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam).

“We were the first brand in our category to take such a bold step back then to drive relevance and differentiation for our consumers,” he said.

Since its introduction in India, the brand has successfully established itself as an effective solution to hunger and developed a strong base of loyal consumers and has become synonymous with hunger satisfaction, Tewari said.

Talking about the brand’s journey in India over the years, he said the brand’s success is backed by its investment to constantly grow and leverage the potential that India as a market offers.

“From launching the eggless variant of the bar to satisfy the Indian palette, to heat robust bars that suit the Indian climate, our endeavour to constantly innovate and tailor our product to best suit our consumers is a testament to our commitment. With a top quality state-of-art manufacturing facility at Pune catering to the production of the chocolate and availability of the bars at lower price points such as Rs 10 to make it more accessible, we have ensured we make the product experience seamless through the entire ecosystem,” he said.

While it already has a great consumer response from the top metros, it has been able to penetrate to tier II and III markets as well with the bars being accessible at various price points.

Mars Wrigley caters to audiences across demographics and pockets and believes to have established itself as the one-stop solution for everyone’s ‘hangry’ mood.

Tewari said that the brand’s philosophy of ‘You are not you when you are hungry’ has helped it to build deeper resonance with the consumers. Not just that, it has developed a loyal base but is also constantly tapping new customers and expanding its horizon with new product variants, new price points and unique, relevant campaigns.

“Every brand operates in their own way and each of one of us are trying to win the hearts of the consumer. What matters most is how well do you connect with them and for how long,” he said.

Apart from this, having realised that our frontline warriors need to be acknowledged, the brand has recently launched ‘Acknowledge Your Heroes’ campaign to express gratitude for the incredible work being done by essential workers against all odds. It has created the opportunity for consumers to share a customised digital ‘Thank You’ message at the back of the pack with their brave warriors. The campaign stems from the thought that a small gesture can go a long way, especially for our everyday heroes.

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