This article will:
1. Help you understand how a brand can be build on emotions
2. Help you understand importance of consumer insights/research
3. How being steady yet progressive is important to business
4. Have appreciation for entrepreneurship
Preeth Padmanabhan, 42, spent most of his life working as a SAP consultant. Smitha an engineer by education loved working on designing and building IT solutions for business problems. Together they built a successful Pune based IT consulting set-up Qeros Software Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
As Preeth’s father’s job took them to different cities and profession as a SAP consultant led him to travel to corners of the world. His love for food ensured he did not to restrict himself to only being a business traveler, but also to be a foodie on a journey.
Being a true Keralaite living in Pune, he always missed his hometown food & always wished that these delicacies were made available to them right at their work-station. Preeth observed that it was not just them but his entire team who had come from different parts of India to Pune for work, missed the delicious delicacies back from their town.
This love for food & at the same time the geographic distance that separated them, encouraged Preeth & Smitha to work towards their dream start-up ‘Flavors of My City’. Yes, an e-commerce platform that enables you to enjoy over 2000 delicacies from over 180 vendors across India right at your doorstep!
Back then in June 2015, when Flavors of My City delivered its first order of Kolkata’s authentic K.C.Das Rosogullas to Ahmedabad, little did they know that they were not just delivering a box of mithai or namkeen, but a box of HAPPINESS, a box full of MEMORIES. In Aug, 2016 Preeth approached the Brand Launch Centre team with a question – “How can Flavors of My City connect to its consumers more effectively?”. It was in this moment, with the Brand Launch Centre that the journey of connecting with customers began. At first the Flavors of My City team thought of it as a simple redesign transition of their brand, but as Brand Launch Centre started hunting for insights they interacted with customers, vendors, foodies, migrants and parents. Over the course of the 90-day Wings for Profit process of co-creating brands with customers, they realized it’s not just the tangible pleasure of taste that is driving this business but an emotion, an emotion that is a strong desire to relive one’s good old days.
Strange! Isn’t it? Reliving the good old days? Memories? Places? How does this connect to a regular e-commerce business delivering a box of Mithai? Well, this was the exact insight we found during the Wings for Profit process of an authentic online food delivery portal, “People desire to relive old memories”. For us it was just an online delivery food but for people food meant more than just taste, it reminded them of their past – the memories that they treasured all these years were somewhere connected to food.
These 90 days completely transformed Flavors of My City as a business. Flavors of My City evolved from being in the business ‘of delivering mithais and namkeens to a customer’s doorstep’ to ‘helping people relive their memories’. This got reflected from the packaging to the website to the social media pages. Flavors of My City was wrapped in the colours of happiness, as team Brand Launch Centre believed that there is no other happiness like the happiness of reliving old memories. Customers of Flavors of My City had now started receiving a box of memories wrapped in joyous colours. Flavors of My City team believed that the change in colours not just changed the tangible face of the business, but helped them to connect with the consumers at a much deeper emotional level. They feel that the colours have brought a positive vibe to the brand. External customers and internal consumers alike, now feel more connected with the brand. Today the brand speaks a language of happiness and memories in whatever it does – from the simplest visiting card, to organizing an initiative that brought a smile to the face of our Jawans, who were away from their families during Diwali.
With Flavors of My City being this team’s dream start-up, they always desire to do more for their foodie customers. His dream of staying connected to his consumers, motivated Brand Launch Centre to re-create a mini India in Pune City, through the Flavors of My City Food Festival & Expo. The Expo was one of its kind, as foodies of Pune could experience authentic food from all across India under a single roof & talk to the makers of these foods, not just this but individuals could also take selfies with the beautiful Indian monuments that were made from delicious food.
Today Flavors of My City is a family of 100,000+ customers with a daily average of 400+ orders delivered to 5,000+ pin codes across India. However, this is just the beginning, Flavors of My City was recently awarded as the ‘START-UP OF THE YEAR (F&B)’ by IReC at Delhi in a recent event. This appreciation has encouraged Preeth & his team’s dream to just grow further. The brand is now planning how it can bring its virtual world of authentic Indian food to the physical world, to help its consumers have instant gratification of reliving their memories.
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Project Team ‘Flavors of My City’: Preeth Padmanabhan, Smitha Nair, Rochelle Rasquinha, Khushi Kulkarni, Shanti Nair
Project Team ‘Brand Launch Centre’: Sameer Desai, Akash Nagrani, Madhura Sapkal, Urvi Bole, Shailesh Meshram