Vivek Prabhakar and Shubhra Chadda founded Chumbak in 2010 when they spotted a business opportunity for affordable, well-designed and crafted merchandise, inspired by India. They hawked their house to get the initial capital for selling refrigerator magnets. Back in 2010, Chumbak was a rare breed of startup that launched with mere online presence via digital marketing platfoms such as social media, search engines etc.
Chumbak is today one of the leading design houses for products across Apparel, Home and Accessories with products across 75 categories and retails across large format, full experience stores and pop up stores across popular malls and high streets apart from their website. The business model is now, a combination of offline and online sales with the former contributing 70% of sale.
Praise and recognition has been aplenty (and rightly so) for Chumbak over the years. When Facebook reached the two million advertiser milestone recently, the brand was among the few ventures from across the globe that got a mention in the ‘thank you’ note circulated by founder Mark Zuckerberg on the occasion. It is also one of the three global companies featured as part of Google’s global ‘the web is what you make of it’ campaign”.
Build awareness its products; grow the community of people supportive of the brand and willing to purchase its products.
Approach and Strategy Adopted
Chumbak has been active in digital media and pro-social media since inception and this is evident from the manner in which it engages with its fans, followers and consumers across social networks.
From day 1, Facebook was the lead medium to reach customers. Chumbak was also an early adopter of search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimisation (SEO) and is a Google AdWords case study too. The brand has an active blog, is active on Instagram and Twitter and has a YouTube channel. Chumbak follows a ‘digital only’ marketing budget with the bulk of it spent on Facebook and the rest on Google AdWords, display and search ads apart from photos and videos for Instagram.
Each channel including the brand website showcase the brand philosophy #MakeHappy even while retaining their distinct role in the content strategy and overall brand communication.
As Founder and CEO, Vivek Prabhakar mentioned in an earlier article to the media, Facebook talks about the products and new arrivals in the product range. Twitter engages with influencers and is used to make periodic announcements. The brand blog and Instagram are high on engagement and feature content that ties in with the brands’ philosophy of creating happy experiences for customers. On Instagram, it has cultivated a robust close knit community. User-generated content with this brand’s merchandise is encouraged by fans. The profile focuses on creating happy experiences for the community in keeping with the #MakeHappy brand philosophy and thus posts on food, travel etc and even Hugo, the Chumbak Dog are regular content fare. Videos, picture sharing and contests too have worked well and will continue to drive engagement on this channel.
As per a media report published in 2015, Chumbak admittedly spent approx. Rs.15-20 lakh on Facebook during the year via promoted posts, ads in the News Feed section as well as mobile ads and generates 35% of its online revenue and 38% of its website traffic are through Facebook.
As on date, Chumbak has over 474,000 fans on Facebook with over 1 lakh engagements in 2015 alone. The brand has 66,000 followers on Instagram with over 3.75 lakh ‘love’ received in 2015. The community on Twitter is growing – the brand trended 5 times in 2015. The videos on YoutTube for the festivals and campaigns generated high viewership. The brick-mortar stores across Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Pune and other cities received over 3.9 lakh footfalls last year. The Chumbak loyalty program boasts of 1.3 lakh customers.
Despite new entrants in the category and cheaper look-alikes, Chumbak is betting on a steep growth by catering to the Indian diaspora across the globe with a special focus on young Indians who wear India on their sleeves. The brand is aggressively entering new product categories, expanding footprint and is eyeing annual revenues of Rs 400 crore in the next three to four years.
Chumbak experiments with designs and product lines and refreshes its merchandise every 2-4 weeks, depending on the product category. The product range is promoted across its multiple digital platforms as customers keep coming back to their stores and social media handles to stay updated. And this helps customers get valuable feedback and ‘validation’ right away. Having a distinct tone of voice in social media, consistency with the theme; vibrant visuals and high energy engagement have helped Chumbak grow and widen its community of loyalists.
Sources: The Economic Times, Livemint, Forbes, YourStory, YouTube, Chumbak.com