I’ve been wanting to capture the real story behind Chumbak, a Bangalore-based design company which specializes in Indian themed souvenirs, which has steadily become a lovable start-up brand on Social Media. You may ask me what proof I have of this status, and I would quote to you their impressive fan-base on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram, or the recent feature on the Google Business YouTube Channel.
Therefore, I got hold of Vivek Prabhakar – the CEO and Co-founder of Chumbak and did a super serious interview with him.
So, the conversation is shared below just as it happened:
Jason: Wassup, better half of Chumbak?
Vivek: Hello Jason. Not sure about the better half bit.. but now after all this time, with so many people contributing to Chumbak, I’m just one little part of Chumbak :)
Jason: You shared your first visual post on Facebook on 29th, March 2010 and then cut to 23rd, August 2013, and you guys are still maintaining the visual madness with a fan base of 147,824 across the world. How do you do that?
Vivek: We don’t look at social media as something that requires an ROI. We look at Social Media as a part of who we are. We love conversations and that’s why we post the stuff we do. We’re not about just pushing Chumbak products, but genuinely love to talk about what drives us and what makes us laugh / cry and a whole lot more.
Jason: Do you know of the phrase ‘Content Marketing for Social Media’? If yes, tell us what does it means to you.
Vivek: Yup, we do know of the phrase. We believe that content marketing is making sure we create content that matters to our fans and publishing that content. Our fans are around to see stuff they like as well, instead of the stuff that’s pushed down on their news feeds!
Jason: What drives your content strategy at Chumbak? Is it the theme – India or Madness or Fun or Silliness or Cats or Design, or just your Products?
Vivek: We don’t have a strategy. But our themes and products revolve around India, that’s for sure. We sneak in cats a lot nowadays.. they’re so much fun!
Jason: We have heard from many media sources and the recently shot Google Case Study Video that you owe your online visibility to Google Adwords. Doesn’t Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram also deserve some credit?
Vivek: Really? Facebook was the first thing that we did :) In fact, Facebook has a case study on us as well. We’ve been using Instagram for the last 2-3 months and have slowly started creating a fan base there as well. As for the rest, we’re working on it :) Promise.
Jason: What do you believe defines the backbone of your brand identity, honest storytelling and relevant/fun content?
Vivek: Yup. You’ve gotta love what you do. Really. The moment you start looking at Social Media as a marketing tool and ROI questions pop up, you’ve lost the plot. We’re on Social Media to have fun and speak to people :)
Jason: Tell us how you built product films like ‘Yogi Baba’ and ‘Everybody Loves Everyone’ to introduce them to your audience?
Vivek: The idea first hit us when we decided to launch our first first bobble head, and we realized this was a truly unique idea. We wanted to project something very different to the consumers, so we shot a very simple video showing Bobby bobbing his head to some music. Then we graduated to animation :)
Jason: “Good Recognition is above all the Social Media ROI for a brand” – Do you agree? Any more thoughts on this?
Vivek: I think Good recognition with good recall + Consistent messaging is key.
Jason: Does Chumbak have a brand communication strategy? If yes, what is it? (let the newbies learn)
Vivek: Nope. No strategy. The moment we have one, we’re like everyone else.
Jason: How difficult it is to ideate, execute and monitor a content strategy on social media? Do you think you would someday want to hire a consultant / social media agency / digital agency for the same?
Vivek: Not tough at all. It’s what we do :) Social will always be an in-house effort. Who knows Chumbak better than we do?
Jason: Social Media Marketing v/s Content Social Media Marketing v/s Visual Social Media Marketing – Your Preference?
Vivek: Honestly, it’s a mix of all the stuff you’ve mentioned above. We have no preferences.
Jason: Perfect. Here’s hoping Chumbak continues to be the lovable brand it is as of now for a long long time. Thanks for your time.
So, let me pull in the key takeaway insights from our conversation which will help you build a lovable brand on Social Media:
- Look at Social Media as a part of who you are.
- Don’t push your product/service.
- Talk about what drives you.
- Design contests which people would really like to comment / reply on.
- The moment you start looking at Social Media as a marketing tool and ROI questions pop up, you’ve lost the plot.
- Be on Social Media to have fun and speak to people.
- Good recognition with good recall + Consistent messaging is key.