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What They Mean for
2013 Social Engagement Strategies of | ndia’s Retail Brands
Customer identities: What They Mean for Social Engagement?
If it is customers that create a brand in social media, then
it is important that a brand trie to find a place for itself in
their conversations. However, the challenge is to initiate
conversations that appeal to customers.
Recently, Younomy carried out a study on the content
strategies and campaigns of | ndia’s top fashion and retail
brands that aimed at increasing social engagement.
We found that when brands run creative social campaigns
to help customers express their identities - from personal to
social - during special days of “identity celebrations” like
Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Teacher’s Day, they get
In many ways, the study showed that corporate identities
can be built by helping customers express their own
identities. Today, customers are not only their own
celebrities but also their own brands.
We hope the campaigns featured in this report would help
brand custodians in finding new ideas to make their social
initiatives successful. We thank Ms Leena Chengappa,
MBA student of JSS College of Management Studies,
Mysore, for her valuable inputs for the study.
Younomy Consulting Services
2013 Social Engagement Strategies of lndia’s Retail Brands
There is an “identity”
behind every conversation
Markets are conversations, declares the first of the 95
theses of ClueTrain manifesto*, a set of call to action for
businesses operating in a connected marketplace. When
the manifesto was written, there was no social
media as we know it today, but the explosion of social
networking sites, in the last ten years, has only made
marketplaces — and customers — more connected,
thus increasing the relevance of the Manifesto.
Social media has come to be seen as online social market
of conversations. Brands not only accept this version,
but also realize that having a greater “share of voice”
in social conversations is key to create word-of-mouth
(marketing) and capture voice-of-customer (innovation).
A deeper analysis of social engagement, whether it involves
a brand or not, can tell how identities** are behind most
interactions. Among several ways to strategically trigger
conversations in social media channels include:
creating content that encourages customers to live out
their multiple identities.
* The Cluetrain Manifesto was written in 1999 by Rick Levine, ChristopherLocke,
Doc Searls, and David Weinberger.
** From the perspective of psychology and sociology, identity is a "person's
conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations
(such as national identity and cultural identity)". It also includes one's "self-image,
self-esteem, and individuality". Source: Wikipedia.
Identities: People usually have multiple identities. But we
can group them into four types: personal, familial,
professional and social.
Types of Customer Identities
Ex ‘i am a respons bie mother“ Ex lavn a smart rranager
Ex ‘i am a healln freak Ex lam a communist
Personal Identities: are those that are built around
personal characteristics, beliefs and value systems;
attributes related to gender or appearances;
and even personal interests like swimming or photography.
Familial Identities: are built around the roles of
individual in families, and their responsibilities.
Professional identities: are those that are built around
job specializations, careers, expertise, job titles and so on.
Social identities: are based on how people are
identified in societies with respect to their affinity to political
parties, ideologies, religious beliefs, and causes.
It's a Win-Win
Companies regard customer engagement as the most
important performance metrics of brands in social media.
When presented with content that appeal to their personal
or social identities, customers are most likely to act on it.
Content around Raksha Bandhan, which is a religious as
well as social festival in India, offers an example of how
brands help customers build their identities - in this
case, identities of the loving, protective relationships
they have with others as brothers and sisters.
Many retail brands create social content - hashtag
campaigns galore - during Raksha Bandhan that invariably
elicits more interests. Some of the ideas tried out in the
social space include a photo contest that sought the
participation of customers by way of sharing photos of
themselves with their siblings and a Twitter
campaign that recognized best tweets of brother-sister
affections with a prize.
Identity campaigns are a win win for both customers and
brands. For customers, any opportunity to live out their
identities becomes irresistible. In addition to gaining visibility
for their identities, among their friends and followers,
customers are also looking to socializing or networking
opportunities with others who are also proud of similar
personal, familial, professional, or social identities.
For brands, more social conversations means more
sales conversions, especially when brands
club their engagement campaigns with a special
product/ service offerings.
Following are few customer identity social campaigns of select retail and fashion
brands in India, carried out during August-October, 2013:
As it is often observed by contemporary marketers,
people are their own celebrities. They do have a view
and a distinct voice, and a personality. Offering chances
for the customers to express their own personalities (”seIf
images”) in any possible way appears to be a sure-fire
way to win their hearts.
Café Coffee Day's (CCD) Coffee Mate
CCD comes out with a print magazine that
publishes “Coffee Mate of the Month”. It features a
customer every month with his/ her photo and few
interesting personality details. The magazine is circulated
in all its outlets in India. This regular profile brings out the
personality of customers, who are also featured in the
official Facebook page of the company.
Co| gate's Visible White Angels Photo Contest
Colgate encourages its Facebook fans to share the
pictures of “your dazzling white smile”. It has an app in
Facebook that can be used by customers to upload and
share their smiling photos. One of its recent social
campaigns gives a chance for its customers to get a
make-over and get featured in a leading magazine
with Hindi actor, Sonam Kapoor.
Globus‘ Pose to Win Contest
Globus promotes Facebook engagement in a novel
way - it has permanently put a backdrop at all its retail
stores. People are asked to pose and get a snap in front
of the backdrop and share the photos in Globus‘
Facebook Fan Page.
Customers, whose photos get maximum number of likes
would stand a chance to win Globus gift vouchers
worth Rs 5000 each.
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Familial identities are often the primary among all other
identities of customers, considering the close family ties
people have in India.
Tanishq, a jewelry brand, had conducted a contest on
the eve of Rakshabandhan. Targeting its female fans,
it asked them to “remind your brother how much
you love him”. The fans can share their funny little
moments with their brothers in Twitter, embedding the
#TweetaRakhi tag or tweet directly to @TanishqJeweIry.
Tanishq awarded three lucky winners with gift vouchers.
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chance to gift their fathers a special
magnet personalized with dedication to
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magnet and ship ll to your father for lreel
printed this on a magnet and delivered
it to the parents.
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BigBazaar’s #Sib| ingsConnect
BigBazaar witnessed active participation for its
#Sib| ingsConnect contest. It let its fans to create beautiful
Rakhis. It asked its fans to recall fond sibling-memories
during the Raksha Bandhan. Big Bazaar also had created
a social media campaign on Parents‘ Day, asking its fans
to express their feelings for their parents.
Social identities are broader, and are based on people’s
diversified affiliations with others, ideologies, and causes.
Café CoffeeDay’s Friendship Week
CCD recently ran a campaign asking its fans to come up
with the funniest_#Friendship_Week meme for a friend.
Participants would have to make fun of a friend.
CCD presented creative memes in its exclusive web section
htt : //www. cafecoffeeda . com/ friendshi da
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Titan’s Fathers Day campaign
Titan, emerging as a consumer products company, ran
“Celebrate Fathers Day with Titan” campaign.
To help its customers looking for Father's Day gifts, Titan
put together its best Father's Day gift ideas, collecting gifts
for dads from around Amazon to make online shopping for
Father's Day a snap. Customers were asked to like Titan's
official Facebook page to receive Father's Day ideas
and exclusive Amazon content.
Big Bazaar sought entries - creative ideas,
views, greeting messages or even
photos - from its fans on Ganesh Chaturthi,
a popular Hindu festival, for its #Ganpati
BappaMorya contest. The winner of this
contest were to present with a gift
vouchervi/ orth Rs. 2000 that can be redeemed
at the nearest Big Bazaar outlet.
BigBazaar’s Onam Photo Contest
BigBazaar crowdsourced pictures on the
occasion of Pookalam, a flower arrangement
made from various flowers during the
grand harvest festival of Onam by Keralites.
It published Pookalam pictures sent by
fans in its Facebook page.
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Barista asked its fans to make their favorite
teacher feel special on #HappyTeachersDay
by inviting the teachers for a coffee at Barista.
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When brands give people chance to express and nurture
their identities, it helps brands increase rate of social
Hence brands need to focus on honing their skills in using
segmentation sciences like demography, psychography
and firmography to understand the rich diversity of identities
of their social customers.
It seems that brands are already using social media for
finding customer identities. A 2013 survey of
Grant Thornton, points out “identifying and profiling”
customers figures as the third most important business
objective of social media usage by US brands.
Primary Business Objective For Which US Companies Use Social Media
According to Senior Level Financial Executives, August 2013
% of repondents
Identify participants/ customer proﬁling and identiﬁcation
Source: Grant Thornton, ‘Social Media Risks and Rewards, Sept, 25, 2013
Discovery of customer identities can help brands create
tailor-made content for micro targeting, increasing both the
rate of conversation and conversions.
Study Inputs: Ms Leena Chengappa, MBA -Final Year Student, SJCE, JSSCMS Mysore
Design and Layout: Ms Rathna
Photos: Facebook images of Big Bazaar, Cafe Coffee Day, Colgate, Globus, Tanishq, Trent Westside.
Customer Identities: What They Mean for Social Engagement?
Younomy is a social business consulting
firm. We think social is a “conversation”
and co—creation platform.
We share our thoughts through workshops,
reports, media articles, newsletters,
and blog. Ourjob is to help brands evolve
unique social business strategies.
Connect to co-create:
www. younomy. com
he| |o@younomy. com
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2013 Social Engagement Strategies of India's Retail Brands