(Priyanka Parashar/Mint)
(Priyanka Parashar/Mint)

Why Britannia is helping women make Lassi, beauty products

  • On 6 March, Britannia announced winners who were awarded 10 lakh each to scale up their businesses
  • The businesses ranged from home-bakers to makers of natural personal care products, among others

New Delhi: The 100-year-old Britannia Industries has set out to help homemakers in India kick-start their own businesses as the maker of Marie Gold and Good Day biscuits wants to up its engagement with consumers through more meaningful marketing campaigns. As part of a marketing plan for its Marie Gold biscuit brand, the company has funded 10 startup ideas led by women homemakers in India.

On 6 March, Britannia announced winners who were awarded 10 lakh each to scale up their businesses. These ranged from home-bakers to makers of natural personal care products, and an entrepreneurial idea by a 23-year-old resident of Namakkal who wants to set up her own lassi shop.

In the first such marketing effort for the brand, the company said it was looking to use more social and purpose-driven messaging going forward. “There was a time when each of our brand campaigns used to be product-out (or more product driven) and made functional promises about the product to the consumer. But now we have realised that it is very important to take each of our brands to a higher purpose so we can have meaningful conversations with our consumers. That’s because there is a sense of realism and a social sensitivity emerging within consumers today," according to Ali Harris Shere, vice-president, marketing. Going forward, the company planned to attach a purpose with each of its brand, he added.

While the company will continue its product-focused campaigns, corporate social responsibility (CSR) or social messaging could also be part of marketing plans, he indicated.

The adaptation of social media was also pushing the company to rethink its marketing narrative, he added. “Indians always had a point of view on everything but they did not have the means to express it. Today anyone can express their point of view on anything and so they also resonate with brands that have a point of view."

The company has already released a few campaigns. Last year, its Marie Gold brand rolled out a “Go Anywhere" campaign that offered a chance for women to win free scooties. It launched the "Kyunki Bahut Kuch Hai Karna Hai" campaign in December last year as a prelude to the contest where it has now funded women entrepreneurs.

Over the past few years, brands have been pivoting to marketing campaigns that draw from larger social issues such as promoting voter rights, breaking the taboo around homosexuality, shedding spotlight on inter-caste marriages, and even focusing on gender equality. Brands such as Close-Up, Tata Tea and Titan have in the past woven their campaigns around these issues, as consumers especially in urban markets use social media to voice their opinions on such topics.

Britannia sees itself participating in such conversations going forward wherever it fits with the brands. “Elections are coming up, IPL is happening and then there is the World Cup. This offers a lot of contextual opportunities for our brands," Shere said.