New Delhi: Online marketplace Snapdeal has initiated a branding overhaul as it seeks to create a clear niche for itself in a market that is now dominated by Flipkart and Amazon India, according to two people aware of the development.
Snapdeal, which is now a distant number three, is working on a new logo—one that resembles that of Dropbox, looking to introduce a fresh colour (you can expect one colour in the name, instead of the present blue and red) and introduce a new tagline, the people said on condition of anonymity.
The makeover will be made public before Diwali, a time when e-commerce companies in India witness peak traffic and orders. The project is being led by Snapdeal co-founder Rohit Bansal, who is working closely with advertising agency McCann Erickson.
Snapdeal earlier promoted itself as a deals site, touting deep discounts and the lowest prices. With a funding crunch, the company has been forced to change its strategy. Snapdeal, which didn’t have its own logistics unit until it acquired a stake in Gojavas in 2015, has now created Vulcan Express Pvt. Ltd, an in-house logistics and fulfilment service provider. With the help of the new logistics unit, the company is trying to present itself as a high-quality service provider.
Snapdeal declined to comment for this story. Mint could not independently ascertain the investment behind Snapdeal’s rebranding strategy.
Earlier this month, Snapdeal had said it would spend more than Rs.200 crore on a campaign that will run for 60 days in the run-up to the Diwali festival.
The new campaign is expected to be introduced across television, print, YouTube and social media next month.
Online retailers have dominated the advertising arena in India through 2015 and 2016; the marketing has largely been around pushing discounts and educating Indian users about the nuances of online shopping. It is only now that e-commerce firms are trying to build a brand and establish differentiation in the market.
Amazon’s advertising mantra over the past year has revolved around being a platform with the widest catalogue that one can trust. It has introduced taglines such as Apni Dukaan (My Shop) and Aur Dikhao (Show Me More). Bigger rival Flipkart is also trying to build customer loyalty by assuring original and authentic products and by promising prompt delivery.
With the new tagline, Snapdeal, too, wants to go beyond the narrative of assurances and basic introductions to online shopping.
Snapdeal usually comes up with a new tagline every year just before the festive season kicks in. In 2015, it hired Bollywood actor Aamir Khan to reposition and promote the brand, with the message Dil Ki Deal (a deal that tugs at your heartstrings).
In 2014, Snapdeal pushed the message of discounts and savings with the slogan Bachaate Raho (Keep Saving).
It is still uncertain whether the rebranding will work for Snapdeal this time. Amazon India is famed for its customer service and Flipkart, whose service levels dipped last year, is now making strides in regaining its high standards of the past.
The first half of 2016 has been fairly muted for e-commerce advertising as firms remained cautious while investors tightened their purse strings.
Mint reported last month that the overall share of business-to-consumer, or B2C, e-commerce firms in TV advertising (by volume) declined to 2.49% this year (as of 18 June) from 3.18% in the first half of 2015 (January-June), according to data from AdEx India, a division of TAM Media Research. Their share of print advertising declined to 1.25% from 1.29%.