P.A.L.S. : Suzlon’s Community Initiative [B2B]

P.A.L.S.

Suzlon is a leading Indian Wind Energy company which has its presence felt across 6 continents and 32 countries. It is also the 5th largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world. Suzlon was started in 1995 in Gujarat, India and has been a pioneer for over 17 years. But the company’s corporate philosophy goes way beyond just making wind turbines. their philosophy of pursuing sustainable development for the planet in the social, economic and ecological sphere, Suzlon realized,to maintain their philosophy of pursuing sustainable development for our planet in the social, economic and ecological spheres, there was a need to widen Suzlon’s appeal from just their business stakeholders to the general masses.  This realization led to P.A.L.S.

Shikha: What is P.A.L.S.? How did the concept come into being? Our readers would like to know about the story of P.A.L.S.’ birth!

Suzlon : P.A.L.S. is the “Pure Air Lovers Society” and comprises of a bunch of people who believe in working towards clean air and protecting the environment. This initiative is part of Suzlon’s commitment to bringing about a “Clean Air Revolution” in India.

 

Dharini Mishra heads the Suzlon Group Brand and has over 16 years of impressive experience in the field of Brand Management. She has been responsible for spearheading the launch of P.A.L.S. for Suzlon. She says “Suzlon wanted to reach out to the youth of this country with an issue that concerned them and demonstrate how an individual could find solutions. Hence Suzlon started P.A.L.S. with a focus on creating awareness about air quality and converting this awareness into action by empowering the audience with tools and means to be a part of the solution. The issue and the campaign have struck a chord nationally, particularly in the digital space.

 P.A.L.S.

To achieve this, Suzlon had to create a movement, a revolution of sorts. For this, Suzlon had to garner a community of likeminded people who believed in the same cause. Hence Suzlon launched the platform of pals.in where anyone who wanted to be a part of it, could, as all it took to be a p.a.l. was to make small positive changes in their lives for the planet.

The pals.in platform grew by leaps and bounds thereby inviting the generation of new India  to be more of a p.a.l. It is now a fast growing community. With this, Suzlon was able to garner love and respect for the brand.

Shikha: What was the approach to promote the idea of P.A.L.S.? Considering it’s an initiative which revolves around “get involved and share the concern’’

Suzlon: Suzlon needed to convey Suzlon’s promise of pursuing sustainable development for the planet to the generation of new India. Therefore Suzlon had to connect with them emotionally in a way that would  enable them to engage and interact with the brand.

The best way to achieve this was by getting like minded people from all walks of life together to champion a common cause, namely ‘pure air’. Amongst the masses, Suzlon specifically targeted the ‘youth’ as the cause needed ‘change makers’. The new generation is conscious about the environment and having a sustainable way of life, Suzlon wanted to give them a platform to do something about it.

A study carried out by Suzlon with AC Nielsen in May 2011, showed that more than 82% of Suzlon’s TG felt that air pollution was the number one environmental problem for India. Taking this into account and also to effectively communicate their message of pursuing sustainable development for the planet, Suzlon arrived at the thought of creating a community to channelize and harness the green activism to be able to do actionable initiatives. Hence the pals.in website was floated as a platform for people to come together. Pals.in served as a medium for people to register and learn about simple actions that can result in cleaner air. For all those that registered, there were constant emails sent with updates on current P.A.L.S. events. This helped in creating a platform where in people came out and spoke openly and shared ideas and techniques for cleaner air and how, in turn, clean air would benefit society and the country.

However, Suzlon didn’t stop at that. The Company also used other media including TV, print, PR, radio and outdoor to garner engagement on the website and thereby get people to do their own bit as well.

Dharini Mishra spelled out Suzlon’s successful campaign by saying Suzlon has achieved its first major milestone with this campaign by acquiring a million-strong P.A.L.S. community. This is a great achievement and makes P.A.L.S. one of the fastest growing social cause campaigns in India.

Shikha : Apart from this site, on which all social media channels PALS is present?

Suzlon : P.A.L.S. is present on

Shikha : Which medium is bringing the maximum conversations for PALS?

Suzlon : Facebook which is around 145,155 as of today is bringing maximum conversations for PALS.

Shikha : What is your take on B2B venturing into Social Media ?

Suzlon : Nowdays, it’s very evident that Social Media has helped humanize B2B companies and offered them new avenues for connecting with customers and prospects. B2B markets are considerably smaller and hence more focused thereby allowing an easy and quicker avenue to build relationships.Now, since B2B customers are relationship driven, Social Media does have an edge here. In fact its practices also demonstrate business values and in turn influence business decisions.

Dharini Mishra also explains the immense power in digital medium today and emphasizes 4 key elements:

  • Be unique: Copying the success of others seldom works, the strength of this medium works differently for different brands.
  • Know your audience: Knowing your target audience is the first step. No campaign can be successful until you figure out what you need to invest and what you want from it.
  • Be clear: Today’s audience is incredibly sophisticated. Gimmicks for the sake of creativity alone will not work. Focus on your message.
  • Commit: Short term or fleeting engagements can do more harm than good. It is very important to plan and execute initiatives that can be sustained in the long term.

Suzlon believes Social Media marketing will benefit businesses in the future. It feels that this area has matured to the point where companies are now looking not only at a mix of quantitative ROI measures such as revenues and web site traffic but also qualitative measures such as brand awareness.

 


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