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Home interiors start-up HomeLane earmarks Rs 100 crore as marketing budget, to spend mostly on hyper-local campaigns

In a conversation with, Srikanth Iyer, Founder and CEO of HomeLane, talks about the marketing and expansion strategy of the brand. He talks about experimenting with the FMCG-kind of distribution network for an unhindered growth

Home interiors brand has set aside Rs 100 crore as its marketing budget, making it one of the largest marketing campaigns to be undertaken by a start-up in 2020.

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The technology-based home interiors service provider recently unveiled its new brand identity as part of the company’s overall strategy to steer its business into the next phase of growth. The brand will mostly focus on digital advertising, with salience and performance marketing being the core of the strategy.

Talking to, Srikanth Iyer, Founder and CEO of HomeLane, said, “Digital advertising already accounts for a significant amount of our marketing budget. As we enter new markets, it is imperative to build strong brand awareness. Our marketing spends are directly linked to the market expansion plan."

Talking about its massive commitment towards marketing in terms of budget, Iyer said, “Strong delivery efficiency and a large addressable market have strengthened our commitment to spend the allocated Rs 100 crore.”

On its plan for associating with any big-ticket property, he said that IPL, Bigg Boss or KBC and the likes are high-impact properties and have the reach that can help any brand. He said the main focus of HomeLane would be on running hyper-local campaigns.

He added, “Our brand is a hyper-local business and we try to focus our marketing spends also hyper-locally. We are focused on investing in each micro market as and when we enter new markets. We intend to build strong brand awareness via a mix of impact and salience campaigns in the months to come.”

Iyer said that digital marketing on channels like Google and Facebook has been able to drive ROI for the brand even during the pandemic.

“The proportion of offline and affiliates marketing has reduced post Covid-19, however we do work with long-term affiliate partners who help us cover a larger footprint,” he said.

With physical meetings coming to a halt during the lockdown period, the brand reached out to those homeowners who were putting their dream home plans on hold and switched its marketing strategy to provide online design consultations to the customers.

It has also focussed on building efficiencies in its primary channels and has strengthened the organic channel.

Despite the pandemic, it was able to close more than 350 orders during the lockdown while also managing to enter three new markets: Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore and Mysore.

With the recent re-branding and funding, it aims to expand operations to non-metro cities and bridge the sizable gap in its target market.

Iyer said, “We have started seeing early signs of the growth rebounding, albeit at a slower pace. We are strongly positioned, despite Covid-19, to get to EBITDA profitability by April 2021.”

With an understanding of how Indian consumers raising their bar on home aesthetics, the brand via its new identity aims to make the brand visuals much more relatable, to bring out the joy and excitement.

On the back of Rs 100 crore as marketing investment, Iyer said, “We plan to enter new markets with a greater focus on non-metro expansion while strengthening the brand's presence across existing markets.”

It has planned to reach out to its customers for non-metros using a franchisee network, which will be operated in a FOFO model.

“We plan to be in 25 more cities in the next 18 months and are eyeing to get 35% of our revenue from these cities. In this franchising model, our partners will be responsible for selling, designing and installing the solution, while HomeLane will be responsible for the overall customer experience, manufacturing, quality and service aspects. We believe that this FMCG-kind of distribution network will give us an unhindered growth path, keeping profitability in mind,” he added.

While all the 10 existing cities (markets) contribute a fair share to the overall business growth, the southern markets continue to be its stronghold — Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad are among its top markets. Other markets have started to contribute to its growth significantly, Kolkata being one of the fastest growing markets.

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