Report on Shemaroo

Brandie to focus on brand loyalty and community building in India

Pranav Kosuri and Douglas Andersson reveal all about this new digital marketing tool

MUMBAI: Taking the trend of influencer marketing one step further by introducing real brand loyalists and customers in the paradigm, the world’s first crowd marketing platform, Brandie recently entered India after creating a lot of buzz in Sweden and the US. took the opportunity to interact with Brandie founders Pranav Kosuri and Douglas Andersson to understand what Brandie is all about and how it can prove useful in attracting a larger consumer base to partner brands. The duo shared insights into a number of aspect related to the company including their strategies, plans, and the basic business module.

Speaking about the idea behind Brandie, Kosuri and Andersson revealed, “Brandie was created after testing and analysing the brand’s main source of revenue and what actually affects the bulk number of sales.”

They elaborated, “We believe that every voice has a value no matter the size of social following. In fact, the most powerful way to influence people's purchasing decisions is through friends and family. We reckon that people already are actively sharing their positive experiences with the brands they love and thought that they deserve to be acknowledged by the brands for that.”

“Thus, playing on this concept of word-of-mouth marketing we decided to provide a powerful tool where brands’ loyal fans can be rewarded by opting into a social media loyalty program where they earn points depending on the content they create and share to social media. When we then introduced the Brandie tool the brands could see a consistent increase in sales with a decreased media spend in traditional media channels. Our mission is to democratise marketing and help brands that are loved by their customers, grow and get the exposure they deserve," the pair added.

On being asked what are their expectations from the Indian market, given it is quite different from their past two ventures, the duo said, “We see a great product-market fit for Brandie in India; both from the brands point of view and user point of view. Our market test in the Indian souk has proven to us that we can expect great traction here for the Brandie tool.”

Highlighting their strategy to win over the Indian market, Kosuri and Andersson noted that brand loyalty and community building are currently high up on the agenda. "We also see that for consumers the behaviour of wanting to be associated with the brands they love is closely linked to the social media behaviour of the Indian youth today.  We are growing our operations in a controlled and orderly fashion tuning the Brandie tool to meet our initial partner's needs before we expand; we also want to make sure that the users get the best experience possible before scaling. Brandie is the platform and tool for brands to engage and reward their loyal customers and fans, not for discount hunters and the masses.”

Brandie has entered India with a very impressive portfolio of 11 highly stylish and popular brands, including Anand Ahuja’s Bhaane, Pipa Bella, Le15 Patisserie by Pooja Dhingra, and Godrej Nature’s Basket among others. But what made the two to zero in on these names?

To this Kosuri and Andersson replied, “The brands are carefully selected by our team. They have been identified as trendsetters and market leaders within their respective verticals. In the process of selecting these companies, we have looked for partners that have a strong digital strategy, a strong brand and who we believe will be able to grow their presence on social media.”

On being quipped what other brands can one see entering this lavish portfolio the duo asserted, that currently, no new brands are being added to the Brandie platform since the primary focus is on launching partners' success. However, the response from brands since we went live here in India has been tremendous and the inbound traffic of other brands requesting to join has been overwhelming. Since Brandie is an exclusive platform we have a pipeline and evaluation phase for brands that have requested to join and our team is gauging and assessing their profiles basis which we will incorporate them into the programme.”

India is a market of interest for a lot of brands that Brandie has worked with in Europe and the US, some already having a presence in the Indian market. "You will be seeing a lot of international brands from Europe and the US joining Brandie in the near future,” they added.

How does Brandie stack up against today's influence marketing model? To this, Kosuri and Andersson had an interesting perception to share. They said, “Definitely, traditional influencer marketing is a powerful tool when used in the correct way. However, the effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) can be debated. We see that integrating a real consumer in the marketing efforts makes all the difference; by having genuine customers as an integral part of your strategy building and growing, the brand resonates better with the early majority/majority on the bell curve of marketing.”

Not only does Brandie help one get mass adoption of the product, it also gives insight into how the actual customers are communicating around the brand to their friends and family. "This is something that, today, is lost on brands since the majority of social media accounts for regular people, meaning not public figures, are private accounts and brands don't see the content being shared by them. With Brandie, the brands are now able to see this content and with our photo recognition tools and machine learning products, we are able to provide invaluable insights on how to adapt their marketing strategies,” the duo contended.

Kosuri and Andersson went on to conclude, “Brandie is a tool digitising the concept of word-of-mouth and we think that our tool is the most cost-effective and powerful one. Therefore, we put our ‘money where our mouths are’, meaning that in the coming months, when we decide to start communicating about Brandie outside our partners' existing communities, our primary tool to help brands reach a larger audience is through our own tool, Brandie.”

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