Paul Writer launches Innovative Marketer Dialogue,
Video interview series with CMOs highlights marketing best practices
On Innovation and marketing @ Britannia…
Innovation at Britannia has always been a way of life. We use innovation in its broadest sense of the word. Renovation which is re-staging a product, restaging the packaging or a brand are taken up very seriously as innovation projects itself. From breakthrough innovation to a new SKU for a new consumption moment, all of these fit under the gamett of innovation and are measured for using the same kind of yard sticks, does it get our new consumer in? Does it give me brand equity? Does it give me scale? All of these are applied in a fairly quantifiable and templated manner to every single new piece of work that we do.
I’d like to speak perhaps about a couple of innovations that we’ve done at Britannia in recent time. One of them would be our entry into the world of diabetes, Nutrichoice did this innovation three years ago. Nutrichoice cookies, oats cookies and ragi cookies, it started out as a concept first and then became a product reality. The concept was simply about the fact that people who suffer from diabetes are told by doctors to have medicines twice a day, their caregivers take care of their main meals and they worry about what to do about their snacks. We’ve met consumers who have told us that they believe they have been deprived and cannot eat anything any longer. I’ve met a different set of consumers who tell me, “it doesn’t matter I’m anyway going to live a little less so I might as well continue to eat what I used to eat, but I can’t give up”. Therefore we have found a wonderful sweet spot and the campaign really was about the sweetest thing you can tell a diabetic, and that actually isn’t permitted so you have to say the sweetest thing you can tell somebody with diabetes, that’s the right way of saying it and it was about ‘you need to eat every two hours’.
Our product Nutrichoice diabetic friendly cookies. They come in a pouch filled with three cookies which are exactly 107 calories, the right serving size for somebody with the condition of diabetes who is able to eat every two hours.
My greatest satisfaction comes from seeing people carrying it in their bag and having it in their office work stations when I go visit people, it is one of the biggest pleasures of my life. On this innovation, we went the entire 360. Before we launched and invested time, effort, money into writing about the condition of diabetes, for six months we understood what people in this condition really need to do, we pre-soaked people, we made people test whether they have this condition or not, we have partnered with several organizations like blue lighting on world diabetes day which is on Nov. 14th, we participated in walkathons to bring awareness about this issue. Today I am really happy to say that our product sells perhaps to about 20 lakh which is about 2 million people every month and more than the number of people that it sells to, it seems to have made a unique space for itself – energy dips.
Diabetic Caregivers give us a lot of thanks and the anecdotes that I perhaps like to tell is when we made the Times Of India front page when Chief Minister Yedurappa was in jail, his diet was mentioned in the paper, it said that Yedurappa was given and allowed diabetic biscuits from Britannia Nutrichoice as part of his jail diet. The other story that also made the Times Of India national news was Susheel Kumar, who won the wrestling medal for us, his diet had Nurtichoice oats cookie and we realized then that we really arrived for someone who needed it or suffered from the diabetics as well as people who did not suffer from the condition and needed it to build health credentials.
“Before we launched and invested time, effort, money into writing about the condition of diabetes, we pre-soaked people, we made people test whether they have this condition or not, we have partnered with several organizations like blue lighting on world diabetes day which is on Nov. 14th, we participated in walkathons to bring awareness about this issue. Today I am really happy to say that our product sells perhaps to about 20 lakh which is about 2 million people every month and more than the number of people that it sells to, it seems to have made a unique space for itself – energy dips.”
The other one’s actually a slightly different innovation which is a business model innovation, very fledgling as of now. So the Britannia nutrition foundation works with under privileged children and would like to improve their hemoglobin or their iron status. 70% of children in India suffer from iron malnutrition. It is measured by a factor called hemoglobin which should be between 12 and 13. Most children’s hemoglobin count across the country would be between 8 and 9. We developed a special tiger biscuit which has 5 mg of iron in each biscuit. The care that we took was that the taste would not be metallic but it would taste as good as any other biscuit. We currently reach about 400,000 children with this through a public-private partnership with organizations like Akshaya Pathra, The Nandi Foundation, in a couple of places we’ve partnered with government organisations too. This project is partly funded by Britannia and partly funded by other donor organizations. We’re only at 400,000 children right now, I don’t think we’ll be happy with anything less than a million in the next year and a half. It’s not only about corporate responsibility or corporate social responsibility, it helps me feed my brand tiger to all these people who will continue to buy us in different stages of life therefore, for us it is a new business model kind of innovation. I can’t claim to have met with as much success in this particular project yet but if we build this, it will truly be doing the right things for people and doing well while doing good. The couple of things I go home and feel happy about are the Nutrichoice diabetic friendly and the Britannia Tiger in the school mid-day meal program.