Maggi is an international brand of seasonings, instant soups and noodles owned by Nestle. Nestle launched the all time favorite Maggi noodles with its two minutes tagline in the year 1982 when instant food was not that popular in India. Today it is an all time favorite which is loved by all age groups. Generations have grown up loving the signature taste of Masala. In May 2015, it was reported in India that tests had found high amounts of lead and MSG in Maggi noodles by some food safety regulators in Uttarakhand and on June 5th 2015 Food Safety and Standards Authority of India ordered recall for all 9 variants of Maggi Instant Noodles and Oats Masala Noodles. On June 6th 2015 Central Government of India ordered a nation-wide ban on the sale of Maggi noodles for an indefinite period. On 13th August 2015 Bombay High Court called off the ban and said that the ban violated the principal of natural justice and asked maggi to send 5 samples from each batch of Maggi noodles for testing to 3 labs and if cleared they can start manufacturing and sell again.
The Company said that the stocks of Maggi noodles worth Rs. 210 crore were being withdrawn from the market and destroyed even as another Rs. 110 crore worth of finished goods and related material stock remained at its factories and distribution centers. Nestle reported its first quarterly loss in more than 15 years after the food regulations ban. Suresh Narayanan,chairman & Managing Director, Nestle, India is aggressively trying to increase the consumption of its flagship- Maggi instant noodles. It will also sharpen focus on digital media and push other products so that all categories contribute almost equally to the company’s overall revenue. Regaining lost sales is the first and the most important objective of Nestle. Pinaki Ranjan Mishra, partner and national leader, EY, says, “The brand needs to have consumer confidence without commenting on the Maggi controversy. Once trust is restored, comeback will be easy.” Keeping this in mind, even during the ban period Maggi stayed connected with its consumers through various social networking sites ensuring its consumers about the safety, various tests being conducted and the test results.
Strategy adopted by Maggi:
Suresh Narayanan said, “We will connect digitally with our target audience with our target group, and carry out a lot of events for branding.” The company is engaging actively in social media, and is building a strong digital presence to strengthen the Maggi brand. Along with TV and print campaigns the company is engaging with customers via Facebook and Twitter. “Digital and social media is central to our brand-building process. We believe that big things happen for brands when these two are in synergy,” he said. The company has a digital acceleration team, which was responsible for the ‘We Miss You Too’ Maggi campaign and has also set up 24×7 toll-free consumer services in order to address consumer concerns.”For us, the concept is not just digital media, but of competing in a digitally-connected age,” he added. Maggi also had a tie up with a famous e-commerce website ‘Snapdeal.com’ and came up with the idea of selling maggi welcome kit which was a box containing around 12 packets of Maggi, 2016 Maggi calendar, a Maggi fridge magnet and a Maggi welcome back letter. Results achieved by Maggi:
“Snapdeal sold out the first batch of 60,000 Maggi Welcome Kits within 5 minutes of Maggi Flash Sale going live today. There has been much anticipation for the return of one of India’s favourite brands and we have witnessed a phenomenal response to this sale from customers across the country,” Snapdeal Senior Vice President (Partnerships and Strategic initiatives) Tony Navin said. Nestle India sold 3.3 crore units of Maggi in the first 10 days of its relaunch. The Snapdeal offer is christened ‘Dil ki Deal’ and the hashtag ‘DILKIDEALWITHMAGGI’ started trending on twitter after the sale was resumed. Where on one hand snapdeal sale got sold out Maggi conducted various online competitions asking its consumers to express their favorite moments and asking them what Maggi brought back with its comeback and consumers participated with full enthusiasm. Twitter page of Maggi, facebook page, and youtube page is crowded with its fan followers expressing their trust on maggi.
Choosing digital market and digitally getting connected to the consumers is one of the most effective and intelligent way to reach out to a large audience. Getting a tie up with an e-commerce website for the sales of the welcome kit proved to be successful as the flash sale immediately got sold out and the company could anticipate the consumer’s want for the product. A company’s presence in different social media sites builds trust in the hearts of the consumer and displays the authenticity of its brand.
photo credits: snapdeal.com, nestle.in