In an intensely competitive world, a good product is essential but not sufficient. Product similarity, especially in the low involvement category typically degenerates into customer ‘indifference’. A brand may enjoy customer stickiness (repeated patronage) sheer out of convenience but not love or sentimental connections. Operating under such conditions can be difficult and challenging. In the absence of emotional commitment, brands woo customers away from each other by offering indifference breaking promotional temptations. Shares tend to be unstable as customers switch easily.
Kissan operates in such a market. Ketchup holds very little ‘meaning’ for most of us. Its absence may hurt but presence does not elevate our existence. The category holds very little psycho-social relevance and therefore it is called low involvement. The new campaign of Kissan (‘Welcome to kissanpur- where what you grow is what you eat’) aims to take the brand-customer engagement to a new high. Under the existing brand building model , the product is entirely created by the company in its factory and customer is informed by one way communication. The campaign seeks to break customer indifference by getting them to co-create a product which typically is ‘factory made’. Quite like ‘dirt is good’ campaign by Surf Excel, the brands seeks to give children an opportunity to experience nature by growing tomato in their own home (artificially created spaces) which would have a chance to be made into ketchup.
The first ad came with a pouch containing tomato seeds glued on the paper of a newspaper. The first ad showed five step process graphically (collaborate and engage) to grow tomato: take seeds, plant seeds in a pot, grow, upload picture of the plant on ‘kissanpur’ site and get a chance to have your name printed on the bottle of Kissan ketchup. The second ad (‘…where every childhood store is set in the lap of nature’) explains how childhood in the past meant growing with nature (playing cricket in open, chasing butterflies) but children grow away from nature (indoors, online chat and gadgets- artificial environment). The brand seeks to give children an opportunity to bond with nature (soil hands and see how nature throws its bounty).
Cocreation implies that value should be created jointly by the firm and the customer (blurred roles of producer and consumer and direct customer role) like Lego, Linux, Skype, Wikipedia, and E-bay. ‘Kissanpur’ may not exactly be a correct example of co creation but it certainly allows customer to be a part of brand building- either as an ingredient inside or as a name on the bottle. Despite being an FMCG, the brand certainly leverages the power of social media to create higher customer engagement and brand ownership. Two words that Kissan brand is likely to gain by this campaign are ‘nature’ and ‘real’ which may prove an important source of differentiation in future.