Manjari Upadhye on Welspun Flooring’s marketing blueprint as they enter the B2C segment

Manjari Welspun Flooring

Social Samosa speaks with Manjari Upadhye from Welspun Flooring to understand the trends in the flooring sector during the festive season with emphasis on the brand’s marketing blueprint.

Attempting to bring changes in the consumer perception about flooring as a category, Welspun Flooring recently launched its festive campaign with Big B. We speak with Manjari Upadhye, CEO – Domestic Business, Welspun Flooring to understand the brand’s festive marketing strategy, newer offerings, and challenges in a category that does not fall under the impulse or essential purchase segment for consumers.

Edited Excerpts

Please take us through your latest campaign- ‘Floor Makeover in a day’ with Big B. How does it help to achieve the business objectives? What is the idea behind roping in Amitabh Bachchan for the campaign?

We know that the consumers are facing a time crunch. With festivities, they are looking at quick solutions for their problems. However, renovating floors still remains a long-drawn choice owing to the fixed notion of the time-taking process. Drawing inspiration from faster home solutions, we launched this campaign to enrich the customers’ experience by renovating their flooring in less than a day. This is how the ‘Floor Makeover in a day’ campaign came into being. 

To amplify and spread the message, we leveraged Big B as he represents trust and credibility in tandem with our product offerings and the category. While this is a new concept, we offer a 5-year warranty for floor makeovers.

Welspun used to be a B2B brand and it is recently that the brand has ventured into the B2C segment. Therefore, it is all the more important to establish the trust and credibility for the brand and Big B will help us achieve the same.

In how many phases will the campaign be executed? We noticed the brand associating with KBC. You also have a layer of regional influencers & AR initiatives – please take us through the execution & relevance of each phase.

We have executed the ‘Floor makeover in a day’ campaign in an integrated manner. So, when you see the association with KBC, it is a part of the integrated campaign where it has been largely digital. The objective of association with KBC is awareness about the possibility of the floor makeover in a day and urging people to incorporate floor makeovers as a part of their decor during the festivities.

Overall, for the campaign, we are not looking at phases. It is planned to be executed for a period of 7-8 weeks time from the first week of October 2021. Therefore, influencers and AR initiatives are a part of the 360-degrees campaign approach.

We also have our critical sales coming from our online sales network. Hence, performance marketing, leveraging ‘Print’ for a supplementary campaign, and the KBC initiative, all fall under the ambit of the 360-degrees integration.

Please take us through your festive marketing blueprint for 2021. What are the key media channels that you are leveraging at this time? Which media channel will occupy the lion’s share and why? How much of the budget is reserved for digital?

80-85% of our total budget for the new campaign is saved for digital

While the national campaign is digital, we are also focusing on Print in the cities like Mumbai Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, amongst others. This is capped with Television – the KBC integration for our latest ad film

On digital, we are attempting to target people who are looking for decor ideas and home/floor improvement. Further, women also fall as the primary target audience for the brand. The brand is currently focusing largely on the top 40 towns, to begin with, for its initiatives and offerings. As we expand further, we will also incorporate vernacular in our communication, as part of the marketing strategy. It will be English + vernacular in the near future.

Floorings or home-fitting as a category doesn’t come under the impulse-purchase genre. Additionally, home renovations have been hampered/delayed in the milieu of a pandemic – what is the impact of this on sales? What be your sales strategy this festive season?

For the home improvement category, you require other people to come into your homes to complete the installations, measurements, etc. This took a hit during the pandemic for obvious reasons. Gradually, things have improved. Therefore, at the moment, we are focusing on safe delivery and installations while adhering to the COVID-19 norms and regulations.

We were doing this from the start. But with the festive season as people are now open to moving out with the decreasing threat of virus, we have observed increasing traction in a significant manner. What was not working during the initial phases of the pandemic has gone up by four-fold in the current period for both, the product and the dealership. If the positive situation continues, there will be a lot of room to build up trials for our latest offerings.

We are also focusing on the dealer network and the home improvement channels for our sales.

Also read: Anjali Krishnan on the role of generosity in the Mondelez India Festive Marketing Blueprint 2021

Welspun Flooring has launched ‘Click-N- Lock’ technology – what was the idea behind the launch of the service variation? What is the distribution plan during the festivities when people are busy shopping for other products?

We were looking at the following customer pain points with our patented technology of ‘Click-N-Lock’ service:

  • Faster installation process – ‘Click-N- Lock’ technology caters to this need
  • Almost seamless and clean installation – no gaps, less time-consuming. The new technology makes it almost DIY for the customers.

Moving forward, we want to expand our channel network and dealer network. While we want to grow our digital sales through performance marketing, 70% of our sales come through our channels. Further, we have 300 regular dealers. We intend to take it up to 600 actively engaged dealers in the next 2-3 months. 

For distribution, we also look at the home improvement channels like design cafes, homelane, Livspace, which are into providing end-to-end solutions. Further, we want to build depth in the top targeted 40 cities and launch our product in the newer cities.

To summarize, it will be our digital sales, dealer network, large home furnishing outlets, and the home improvement channels that will be in focus for us, to reach out to our customers.

What are the top festive marketing trends in the home textile manufacturing industry especially in digital?

We have noticed the following trends for the category and our latest offering:

  • On digital, your customer journey is becoming more important – from engaging them to solving their problems through your products and offerings
  • Building intrigue and resolving the curiosity of the customers, upfront for an innovation and new products becomes more important
  • The shopping intent in the category is usually by the look-and-feel of the product and continues to be so
  • Customization and personalization in the category are increasing and people are becoming more savvy and open to newer offerings and innovations. This can be seen with the advent of more D2C brands in the market
  • One-size fits all approach is now going away from the market

People are now getting into revenge shopping and revenge traveling. As a part of the festivities, brands could latch on to the revenge shopping trend to offer maximum benefits to the customers. This can be done by activating physical retail channels to increase visibility, enhancing the sales staff support to explain the innovative products to get more customers, etc.

What does your marketing TDL for 2022 look like?

We will continue on our digital marketing journey, post the festive season. We will continue to execute performance marketing campaigns in the digital space. As the way forward, we intend to offer trials and testimonials for the used products. In the future, you will see more influencer campaigns, as part of our content marketing strategy, as well.