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Brands need to be more empathetic in their marketing: Nandu’s


Strategically positioned as ‘the neighbourhood meat store’, the Bengaluru-based brand is coming up with a campaign called Nandu’s Home Chef.

In the age of Covid-19, as with every aspect of our personal, professional and social lives, marketing too is being redefined. The pandemic has forced businesses to rethink about the ways in which they build brands and drive human connections. “We are in the midst of a global healthcare crisis; it is not business as usual,” asserted Narendra Pasuparthy, Founder & CEO, Nandu’s.

As India’s largest hyperlocal and omnichannel meat retail brand, Nandu’s marketing strategy has been simple, yet effective: Listen to the consumers and cater to their needs in a meaningful manner that helps them.

The Bengaluru-based brand, strategically positioned as ‘the neighbourhood meat store’, is coming up with a new campaign called Nandu’s Home Chef. “We are putting together a series of easy-to-cook recipes in video format across all our social media platforms. As part of the campaign, we also want to conduct live online sessions with chefs to help people hone their culinary skills and add variety to their home-cooked meals,” said Pavangopal A, CMO, Nandu’s.

Customer first

In many ways, coping with the second wave of Covid-19 has been more demanding. Working from home is now more like living at work. While the initial lockdown last year had witnessed a lot of families bonding over cooking at home, now it is back to being a chore in most households. “What do I cook today?” that’s a question most people dread, especially while trying to juggle between virtual work meetings, deadlines and household tasks.

Nandu’s Home Chef is an attempt to help address this growing concern, while also establishing stronger human connections. As t he first meat retail brand in India to conduct mystery audits in order to gain valuable insights into their customer experience, Nandu’s has been at the forefront of building relationships with customers founded on trust since its inception in in 2016.

“These are challenging times. The need of the hour is for brands to be more empathetic in their marketing efforts, rather than simply trying to promote their products or services. We have always prioritised trust and an open dialogue with our consumers over mere business transactions. And since the pandemic hit us last year, our customer connect has only become deeper and stronger. The key, I believe, is to be humane and honest in all conversations, more so when the situation is uncertain and beyond our control,” noted Narendra.

Inspiring hope

Nandu’s has added two new pandemic filters to the brand’s communication strategy – first, be relevant, meaningful and helpful to the consumer; second, cut out negativity and spread some cheer. “The emphasis is on being helpful, meaningful and relevant, while inspiring a sense of optimism and hope,” said Pavangopal.

Nandu’s Mother’s Day campaign, for instance, made a conscious effort not to use any of the brand’s products or typical marketing gimmicks, but to focus on the key messaging of safety during the pandemic. Evocative words such as “Mother promise” and “Mummy Kasam” were used to nudge people to take a pledge to get vaccinated, stay at home, and follow the safety norms. Just like a mother’s top priority is protecting her children, we need to prioritise safety for all, was the core message.

The company has been proactive in providing a safe work environment, accommodation and easy access to daily essentials to staff members as well as ensuring the livelihood, safety and business continuity for farmers. It has put together a Covid response team to address the needs of the workforce and their immediate family members. “A robust support system at work, along with practical solutions in terms of flexibility as well as financial and other assistance during a medical emergency, can go a long way in helping people pull through,” said Vinay Gopinath, Chief Operating Officer at Nandu’s.

The meat retail brand is also working with quite a few organisations to strengthen the fight against the pandemic. While these collaborations are in alignment with its brand values, Nandu’s is keen not to use them as branding opportunities. “The need of the hour is to do everything we can and more to win the battle against Covid-19. This is not the time to seek publicity. It’s our moral obligation to step up, take action, and make a difference,” he maintained.

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