With the world around us changing faster than we ever expected, businesses too have had to evolve and adapt to the various ‘new normals’ in these unprecedented times of crisis.
The change in our life has led to a change in the kind of products consumers use, and following those trends brands are making changes in their product portfolios.
Popular brand Oriflame South Asia’s Senior Director Regional Marketing– Naveen Anand spoke exclusively to Medianews4u; as a part of our super successful brand series, Back to Business on how digital has become an integral part of the brand’s strategy and also shared some of his personal learnings through these difficult and challenging times.
Read on for some brilliant insights from this well-known brand.
How are you coping with the impact of Covid-19 on Oriflame? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
Digital tools have been the main focus for us since the lockdown was announced. Digital has been one key medium for us to connect with our audience and consultants even before the lockdown. We have been investing in the digital platform for quite some time now and find ourselves strong on it. This is evident in the hugely popular social media campaigns such as #FitFamilyChallenge which received over 6 million impressions and the #BeautyofMoms campaign which garnered over 10 million impressions.
Educating and training our consultants about products and building successful businesses has been a key component of our overall value proposition. Ensuring that this continues even with the on-going physical barriers, we are leveraging key technological enablers such as Zoom & Microsoft Teams to stay in touch with our consultants. We have conducted more than 2000 training sessions during the lockdown.
As the lockdown period is tough due to social isolation, we are also taking steps to engage employees through the special efforts of our employee engagement teams. We use the Microsoft Teams platform to conduct interesting and interactive sessions like Share Your Passion and Don’t Rush Oriflame Challenge. With such interactive sessions, we are lifting the spirits of our employees by encouraging them to share their passion and do what they love best. These initiatives go a long way in keeping people engaged and spreading positivity amid this challenging time.
The quest for a solution to a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business models. What sort of innovation has or will the Covid-19 pandemic bring to your brand/industry/category?
The foremost development brought about by the pandemic is the increased trust in the digital medium. While social distancing is keeping us from meeting each other, connecting through online social channels is at an all-time high. It is also a great way to build meaningful relationships with customers and interact with them personally to communicate our values and offerings. Seeing this trend, it would not be an overstatement to say that social selling is the future of online selling. The role of digital in discovering new products as well as promoting them will prove to be immense.
As employees have been working from home since the beginning of the lockdown, we have seen a spike in productivity. For an increasing number of companies, it is becoming apparent that work from home actually works! So, the large-scale adoption of the remote working model has definitely been one of the innovations that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world.
While some parts of the country have become Covid-19 free, cities like Mumbai and Delhi are still in a lockdown situation. How are you planning to resume business across cities that are not in the Red?
The government has permitted the delivery of non-essential goods across all cities and areas except for containment zones. In line with the government’s directive and considering that 95% of our transactions are through the online medium, we are looking forward to resuming business in these areas. Of course, we will be taking all the required safety precautions during this period.
What will be your communication strategy post the opening of the lockdown? What will be the objective of the communication/marketing strategy?
Now that the lockdown is being lifted sequentially, our communication will be crafted around immediate customer needs. Currently, consumers across the country are focused on buying wellness products that contribute to boosting their health such as anti-oxidants,etc.
Considering this aspect of the customer mindset in the current times, we will continue to communicate to our customers that health takes precedence over all else and Oriflame is with them in their decision of living a healthier and happier life.
At the same time, the focus will also be on hygiene products like soaps and body washes since the need for cleanliness and safety will be at an all-time high. This trend is likely to continue for a long time now, and we will bring forth our daily need products that are gentle and effective.
Finally, since skincare is also an essential part of holistic health and hygiene, we will communicate our commitment towards helping every individual achieve beautiful skin.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
At a time when staying home has become the norm, we’re all missing the fun and positive office environment. In such a scenario, keeping the overall employee morale and positivity levels high is, in my opinion, the responsibility of a company.
To achieve this, we are conducting regular interactive sessions through Microsoft Teams in which our employees can express themselves freely, share their passions, talk about their experience during the lockdown, etc. In doing so, I believe we are succeeding in keeping our team connected, engaged, and motivated.
On a personal level, I am focusing on remaining disciplined. Even though I am physically at home, mentally I am at the office. My constant commitment towards work and discipline have let me remain positive during this period.
What are some of the post-lockdown business strategies that you will use to bring the business back on track or at least get it in the right direction and also create demand for yourself?
At Oriflame, we believe in creating products that make you not just look but also feel beautiful. Our entire product portfolio is aimed at furthering this concept of holistic beauty that can be achieved by everyone. Our products focus on beauty, as well as overall health and well-being. Apart from this, we also offer everyday use products such as soaps, scrubs, shower gels, toiletries, etc., that are safe and effective.
There will be a greater emphasis on these products as the demand for high-quality offerings is set to increase. Furthermore, wellness products, especially immunity-boosting, will be of great importance now and even beyond the current situation. Thus, our strategic roadmap beyond the outbreak will be focused on these offerings that can uplift and enhance the lives of people, bringing them closer to achieving unparalleled well-being.
Are there any learnings that you would want to share with our readers?
If there’s one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, it is to always be prepared for uncertainties. It is important to build a company that is financially strong and capable of absorbing the aftershocks of such unprecedented times.
Finally, and most importantly, it has taught us that hope and solidarity can help us persevere through any challenge. While we are all distanced from each other, we know that we are in this together. And this, invariably, gives us the strength to face this challenging time with a smile on our face and our goals in our mind. This will pass soon – we’ll be back together, stronger than ever!