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Managing Your Brand Through Out Of The Box Thinking – By Ankur Warikoo At CMO Summit, 2014

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ankurCMO Summit, being one of the biggest platforms to discuss new trends in marketing and big ideas came up with a few of the stalwarts in the Marketing Industry for the 2014 edition. One amongst the bunch is Mr. Ankur Warikoo, CEO of Groupon India who looks after APAC (India, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand) region shared his views on “Managing your brand through out of the box thinking”. He is also voted as one of the India’s 25 Hottest Youngest Executives (under 40) by Business Today.

A small brief was given on the history on the birth of Groupon. It all started initially with the acquisition of sosasta.com which was a daily deal site then. The “sasta” word did not give the necessary branding as they wanted to be associated with the great brands with great pricing in India, with which Indian people are aware of. This led them to rename it as “crazeal” (combination of Crazy Deal). Finally, after the two brand changes, they have to settle with Groupon, after winning a legal battle for the domain name.

Groupon India works entirely on a different business model to attract business. They give crazy offers on a daily basis or with a promotional code which gives the buyer some percentage of discounts when compared to the actual cost. One such idea is selling onions on the web. Can anyone imagine selling onions on the web? This is a crazy thought which raised many eyebrows, but proved them wrong.

Selling onions online, itself is a new thing because it is a touch and feel product. But the timing of this sale made the magic to get the traffic. They initiated this sale at a time when there was a shortage of supply with depreciating rupee value and the onion prices touched the Rs.90-100 range. The teasers were sent the day before the sale to top journalists to get a wider coverage. Most of them called back to share their different thoughts about this crazy sale ad.

They started a week long onion sale on Sep 5th, 2013 offering at Rs.9 per kg for 3,000 buyers each day, limiting to 1 kg per household to be delivered at the door step. This 1 Kg per household is reaching out to more customers. It just took 44 minutes to sell the first lot of onions and generated a lot of traffic where the Groupon India site crashed for 10 minutes. This news went viral on the social media with the Google searches for “Groupon” shooting to 400 percent during this period. The last day of the sale of 3000 kg was like a rapid fire and 3000 Kgs were sold in less than ten minutes.

Traffic was insane during this sale time. Mr. Ankur also shared that this was done to make the customers “experience the joy of buying onions online”. Overall, 22,500 Kgs of onion were sold across 78 cities in India. Groupon differentiates itself from the other deal sites, which offer a “token price model”. This truly is Out-of-the-Box thinking which created a buzz in the online marketing space.

In the Q&A, he reinforced that the target group for Groupon India is 24-40years. India basically is a trust deficit country with a lot of cynicism. This made them work only with those brands that Indians trust. Also keep a tab on what they are buying to give it in a better way. They customize the marketing model to suit the Indian needs.

What and When is the next crazy idea from Groupon India!

  • Digital-Marketing


  • There are 2 comments


    • 4 years ago

      Kiran Lund   /   Reply

      But to add on, they are other companies who do online grocery and have more offers, to get more customers for e.g at my door step.com,bigbasket.com. These are the examples of online groceries where they sell on daily basis.

    • 4 years ago

      Indrajit Goswami   /   Reply

      Good business model. One out of the box question. Can ‘touch and feel’ be considered as criteria to buy condoms online? Here the model could be: Get sensasion from CONTENT of product or brand, select and buy, then TOUCH & FEEL.

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