Chumbak Marketing Head on creating lifestyle-driven communication

Paawan Sunam
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Chumbak Marketing

Shazia Zafar from Chumbak shares insights on the brand's social media strategy, the latest brand campaign - #WithChumbak, influencer marketing, content creation, and distribution blueprint, and more.

In conversation with Shazia Zafar, Head – Marketing, Chumbak, we recount the methodology behind creating a social media strategy that strikes balance between being promotional with product integrations and being visually appealing with aesthetics, along with insights on the content creation and distribution strategy for the brand.


#WithChumbak Ft. Sara Ali Khan

In January 2020, the brand released its first-ever celebrity brand campaign #WithChumbak featuring Sara Ali Khan, showcasing what unfolds when she moves into a Chumbak home and highlighting how viewers can make a home their own with Chumbak accessories. The brand films are created by The Script Room, stills, and mood films by Verrocchios Workways, with the media strategy being handled by Wavemaker India.

Shazia mentions the initial phase of cracking the concept involved social listening and hearing what the consumers and the community had to say, how they perceived the brand, what it meant to them, and what role it played in their lives.

She says, "After many such conversations, we identified a common thread running through which we were able to articulate through our tagline. “With Chumbak” is a simple, easily communicated idea that defined who we are and what we’d like to be- ‘a warm, witty, dependable, joyful, making every moment matter’ brand".

The idea of the campaign was to compose each consumer's feeling towards the brand into one all-embracing communication that focuses on the brand being a part of daily life, whether it's cozying up a comfy spot with Chumbak decor accessories or setting up a range of aesthetic dinnerware on the table. This approach stemmed from a finding that Chumbak meant different things to different people.

"We wanted the campaign to consolidate and represent Chumbak as a way of life and hence elevate the brand from a product-driven to a lifestyle-driven communication design".

This was also the brief given to The Scriptroom and Verrichios Workways who then converted it to the campaign we see today. Wavemaker was involved in building and executing the media buying strategy for the campaign in accordance with the brand's audience profile and platform approach.

Multiple meetings, jam sessions, and a collaborative process involving all the agencies and in-house teams resulted in this campaign. Shazia adds that the campaign has resonated well with the audience and "ensuing engagement has been phenomenal".

Content Properties

Content Properties have been an integral part of the social media strategy of the brand. These properties have added a continual and purposeful premise to the distribution process, enabling the brand to create umbrella concepts that can be populated with consistent pieces of work.

From the initial days, which started as an India-inspired souvenir & accessories brand till becoming a multi-category retailer with a substantial online presence, Chumbak has been steadily building these properties.

From 'Conversations With Chumbak', a video series launched about four years ago, till #StayOnTropic, the extension of #WithChumbak, and more in the present day, the brand has efficiently created and tapped various content properties to educate, inform, engage, or entertain the consumer, along with building brand awareness and strengthening brand credibility.

The properties enable the brand to curate aesthetic feeds whilst sustaining the focus on the products. Shazia states that the key over-arching properties such as Eating In With Chumbak, Do Up Your Space With Chumbak, Looking Good With Chumbak encapsulate most of the product ranges.

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"These are ongoing pieces of communication we build with our brand friends (partners) & influencer community. The larger umbrella of communication allows us to bring in a strong lifestyle aspect with a softer focus on products", she adds.

These properties also equip the brand to maintain a consistent editorial calendar and also helps in bringing in other aspects such as featuring customer testimonials.

Creation & Distribution Strategy

Through the social channels, Chumbak has managed to maintain a balance between being promotional with product integrations and also being visually appealing by creating and curating an attractive and elegant feed.

Sharing a few insights on the outlook of creating such a feed, Shazia says, "Our principle tenet to our social media (strategy) has been - content should be relatable, give inspiration and ideas to our community and build brand love".

The approach remains the same, the brand looks at social media as a medium to connect with the brand supporters and community. She adds, "We’ve recently integrated user-generated content as a key piece to great results".

The brand also plans to bring the community at the forefront of the communication design. Shazia also adds that features such as shoppable tags on Instagram are able to drive the quality, intentioned audience to the website, and require no separate or additional investment.

Influencer Marketing Strategy

Content from influencer partners and user-generated makes up for a substantial chunk of the posts we see in the Chumbak feed. The brand also executes various influencer-integrated campaigns, the most recent being the extension of #WithChumbak.

Sharing insights on the brand's influencer marketing strategy, the brand objectives for executing these campaigns, the co-creation process, and more Shazia reckons that the brand heavily relies on influencer partners for content creation.

"It keeps the content fresh & engaging, and secondly it allows us to build usage & advocacy by showcasing the products as they would be in a real-life setting".

The brand works with a select group of 25-30 partners and has developed a keen relationship with the influencer community. One of the primary objectives of the collaborative process is creating value for both - the brand's and the influencer's audience.

She also mentions that the brand was on the verge of launching a campaign when the pandemic hit, so they changed gears & focused on building engagement via meaningful online experiences with their community. Brand partners, and influencers whom they had previously worked with provided content that they were unable to create.

"The positive feedback and strong engagement from our community allowed us to re-look at our usual approach to social media with a fresh, go with the flow lens", she adds.

Commenting on the process of selecting the partners, Shazia says, "It is important to know the quirk, preferences & strengths of each of our partners to maximize our relationship and the resulting impact". The brief put together for each project is discussed and executed with partners who the brand believes would enjoy the project.

Going forward, Shazia states, "We will remain a digital-first brand when it comes to media platforms however we would like to work with our community a lot more". She adds that images & videos sent in by the community are also highly loved and remain a significant addition.

Over the years Chumbak has repositioned itself from a brand for eccentric products to a lifestyle in itself.

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