Godrej Security Solutions, pioneers in security solutions of the country. The coronavirus pandemic halted operations globally for many industries and organizations but it also made way for organizations to reinvent themselves for the new normal and design path-breaking innovations. To communicate more effectively with their target audience, a legacy company like Godrej Security Solutions also adopted unconventional marketing tools. The core security solution brand through mediums of webinars, consumer research, Instagram lives, and collaboration with influencers have redefined messaging and interacting with their customers during the lockdown as the brand expanded itself vertically by launching a series of products to cater to the health security segment in both the B2B and B2C market.
The new segment has allowed them to have a focused approach to understand the need of their customers in the time of crisis. Godrej Security Solutions has done a thorough research of the current environment, understanding consumer’s shift towards health safety and introduced innovations and made alterations in the old products with new technology as well as their approach with customer care and solutions to help people adapt the new normal. The new communication channels are revolutionary and are helping to create an open communication space between brands and customers to lead a healthy balanced life prioritizing health and security.
Mehernosh Pithawalla, Vice President – Godrej Security Solutions in an exclusive chat with MediaNews4U speaks on the company’s readiness during the pandemic, initiative to understand consumer behavior, marketing initiatives, and more…
How did Godrej Securities perform during the pandemic and what were the challenges?
The pandemic swept the industry to a tailspin. Godrej & Boyce has always been deeply committed to serving communities and people since its inception. As an industry leader of the home and institutional security solutions, it was incumbent on Godrej Security Solutions, a business of Godrej & Boyce, to step up and expand our solutions to cover both home and health security. This prompted us to work on product innovations relevant to the times and help people adjust to the new normal. We introduced an array of products beginning from a thermal camera, turnstile with a sanitizer dispenser, cash sterilizer for the B2B segment, and the UV Case, Video Door Phone with gesture detection for the B2C segment. While introducing innovations were important, ensuring that it adheres to the highest safety standards was equally critical. Therefore, all our products were tested for their performance by the competent authority. For instance, the market was flooded with cheap UV-C-based solutions that may pose photo-biological health hazards on prolonged usage. Our UV Case was tested and certified by ICMR (CSIR) which was established as an authority on COVID-19 related matters.
Did Godrej Securities initiate any research to understand consumer insights?
We conducted nationwide research in the wake of the pandemic to educate the citizens on different home and health security solutions available to secure homes and one’s health. The research – ‘Cocoon Effect on Home and Health Security’revealed, over three-quarters of Indians (76.99%) now consider health and wellbeing as their primary safety concern at home and only 23.01% consider the protection of possessions as the priority.
Post pandemic, health devices have become a priority purchase for 46.35% of Indians, followed by smartphones/tablets (15.86%) and home entertainment systems such as Alexa and Google Home. The study also revealed 61% of Indian women have taken the lead in raising their understanding of different home and health security parameters, product benefits and usability, and certifications from a competent authority.
The research helped us to rethink our product offerings and innovate solutions as per the need of the customers. We were able to diversify our portfolio and start the new health security segment offering solutions that catered to the health security concerns of people in both B2B and B2C markets.
Did your marketing strategies evolve around this research?
Yes, in order to reach a wider range of audiences we tried new marketing tools and platforms to engage and interact with the audience. Through the year, we conducted various Instagram lives, webinars, and consumer research initiatives to understand the evolving needs of consumers. We hosted live sessions customized to the needs of the audience, for example: for parents, dealing with young children in the lockdown, we hosted a webinar on the importance of adopting new-age fire safety solutions to secure our residential and commercial sectors from fire hazards. Apart from the overall research, we also conducted a survey amongst some of the leading banks to understand the health security concerns of the bankers in times of COVID which helped in the emergence of cash sanitizers that uses UV technology to sanitize currency notes.
How did you cater your communication to reach a wider audience?
All our marketing communications are contextual and relevant to the environment around us. The important point here is not to adopt a fear-psychosis-based approach and rather an information-driven engagement. As a legacy brand, we believe in evolving with the current trends to spread awareness about security as a category so that the citizens can relate and adapt to it. While we constantly develop as a brand and expand our offerings, our core values remain the same to build category awareness and proactive adoption of security solutions. With the changing times, we deep-dived into the consumer’s need and focused on solutions that would help them feel secure while navigating in the new normal. We spoke more about how consumers can feel safe with our product at home and also how it helps in keeping a constant check on the security and well-being of their loved ones.
Through Godrej Group’s owned media platform in the lifestyle space, we created a web series in which popular celebrities like ArjunBijlani, SmritiKhanna andAashkaGoradiahighlighted how security solutions ups the security, wellness, parenting quotient of the consumer. We also looked at contextual campaigns with celebrities like RiteshDeshmukhduring the national fire safety week and released a new DVC featuring AyushmannKhurrana that spoke about why in case of a fire, if we have the right fire safety solutions at home the only thing we must worry about is our loved ones.
We have now stepped into a new normal, what would be GSS communication to keep both home and health secure?
With the second wave of Coronavirus and people are again looking at staying indoors and there is a renewed focus on health security. In this scenario, our communication is focused to urge people to stay indoors and adopt various technology that takes care of their health and security needs. However, we must reiterate that preparation must not be driven through fear-mongering. It’s a collective responsibility of all citizens (and even brands) to aid the country and countrymen in safeguarding their loved ones. And for this, Godrej Security Solutions shall continue to introduce new home and health security innovations in the space.
Digital platforms have surged, will your Marketing strategy now be more digitally focused?
Yes indeed, as physical events and on-ground marketing came to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hence digital was the only way forward. Adapting to this shift, we used our already established online presence to drive messaging on virtual mediums. Some key elements adopted by us were engagement with RiteshDeshmukhand AyushmannKhurranato to drive the message of Fire Safety, Instagram Live sessions involving Chandni Bhagat, highlighting security at home for children. Focusing on webinars to form a closer connection with our customers in both B2B and B2C sectors. These forums brought together stakeholder such as SantoshWarick (Director, Maharashtra Fire Services), Suresh Menon (President, Fire, and Security Association of India), Dr Marcus Ranney (Healthcare Expert and Well-being champion), Dr. Naresh Kumar Mani (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biotechnology, Manipal Institute of Technology) from the industry who shared insights which in turn was informative for consumers as well as the brand.
We switched to online consultations for our existing customers in order to answer their queries. We helped new customers via the medium of virtual assistance to set up their gadgets step by step hence encouraging easy installations of home security solutions. Also, we actively promoted the idea of DiY among our customers through videos and virtual calls. These new-age tools have helped us retain our customer’s trust and faith amongst and helped to acquire new customers as well.
As a legacy brand, how is GSS redefining the communication strategy for new products and services?
From the communication and messaging perspective, let me reiterate the core principle that we have been following at Godrej Security Solutions for many years now: Information and prevention must be the focus; not fear psychosis. In the current situation, instilling fear is detrimental to the overall safety and security of the consumers. Reach out to the audience where they are. We have shifted our focus to engage our consumers on digital and social media platforms. At the same time, in line with our direct-to-consumer engagement, we have been co-creating content with celebrities, influencers, key opinion leaders (knowledge experts of a specific domain), and even our customers to involve them in our campaign towards making our homes a safer place to be.