Creating the WOW Experience
Date: Thursday , August 04, 2011
Human psyche is very strange and unpredictable. A simple gesture like a small gift on their birthday from the company can go a long way and make an employee feel very happy and valued. Similarly an unexpected souvenir for New Year can at times make people feel overwhelmed with joy and make them feel appreciated by their company. Small acts like these can make the employees feel that they are an integral part of the company and that their company cares about them. Can this be taken forward to increase brand loyalty? Will this help in reducing the attrition rate? The answer is yes! But how can a company with hundreds or even thousands of employees and very large number of customers keep a track of all this? Well, they can let Jivity handle it for them.
Bangalore based Jivity specializes in providing brand engagement solutions for companies and educational institutions. Companies are desperately trying to retain their customers by employing devices like advertising, social media, public relations and more, but falling short of this goal many a times. Higher salary packages and other benefits are often offered, but employee attrition still remains as a major challenge. When all these means are failing, what is it that a company can do to increase their brand loyalty still remains as the bigger question! Jivity is trying to answer by employing its merchandising capabilities to actively engage the employees, customers and partners of their customers. “We let the companies understand what part of their brand people like and appropriately run their brand merchandize, thus helping them to improve brand loyalty,” says Mukund Mohan, CEO, Jivity.
The company starts by identifying the brand placement of its clients. Understanding is the key; understanding where a company is standing in terms of brand value, loyalty and engagement, and then figuring out what can be done to improve it. Jivity puts a lot of efforts into this, and this helps them in successfully taking the next step. Based on the result of the first stage, the company devices the plan and strategy to take the branding further. It then goes towards merchandize selection and innovation. With its in-house designers Jivity custom designs merchandize for its customers. As a result of this approach the products that come to the table are very specifically personalized products which fit the customer’s image. For example, one of its customers is a trucking company and Jivity built a miniature of the client’s truck with their emblem and all the other details. “One of our customers, wanted to put together a green campaign and so we put together a whole bunch of eco friendly products that they could give to their employees and customers along with the other products that they have,” says Mohan.
Jivity works out a monthly engagement campaign for each of their customers. In the month of any particular festival the prices of anything and everything associated to that festival go sky high. This is another target area for the company, they will bring products that are relevant to that particular festival to their stores and let its customers provide this to their employees at reasonable prices. At this point, the company is preparing for the Independence Day campaign, in the month of September they will be putting together a Rakhi related campaign, after that Ganesh Chadurthi, and this goes on. Thus helping the employees get good quality festival products at very affordable rates at the apt time.
Jivity Rewards is a hosted software solution that the company provides to its customers to help them administer and manage the program. The customers and employees can directly, from the client’s website, access the online brand store to look at merchandize offered, get status on their rewards, and to pursue redemption options. Since the portal is seamlessly integrated into the client’s intranet site, it is only visible to their employees. But there are many who are not happy buying online, who wants the touch and feel of what they are buying, for such people the company has on-premise retail brand stores, Store-on-Wheels, a temporary retail brand store like a mobile-store, and brand vending machines.
From Jivity the brand professionals can obtain results and analytics on top selling products, categories that are selling frequently and new product offerings, analyze the response of the employees and customers of its clients and give feedback to the client. “We gather a lot of information like, what the employees like, what they don’t like, when their birthdays are, when a particular campaigns work, and so on. We put all these together and handle this over to our clients. This also helps us with customizing the products,” says Mohan. Using this methodology the company smoothly and cost effectively manages to get the branding done for its clients.
The 75 people strong team is deployed in sales, marketing, customer services, fulfillment, delivery and engineering to give its customers very balanced and complete services.
Multinational organizations spend millions every year in the process of hiring, not to mention all the time and other resources they put into this. Then they spend several more millions on training these hired employees. Even though not so much, the small companies are also spending a good percent of their revenue in this. After that they are fighting and struggling through attrition. All the measures they are taking to challenge the attrition, does not seem to have much of an effect. It is in this scenario that Jivity came with their much simpler, effective, and cost efficient brand merchandizing model to engage the employees.
The Indian brand merchandizing market is a Rs. 500 crore market which is growing at a very rapid pace. The opportunity present in this market is huge. To leverage this opportunity the company is presently operating in four different sectors, Pharma, Financial Services, Technology and Education, and boasts over 50 happy customers. These customers include the giants like Dell, Mahindra Satyam, Indian School of Business, TATA Teleservices, Franklin Templeton, Mindtree, Oakridge International School and more. These are all sectors with so many differences, companies are poles apart, but one thing they all have in common is the people. The people are all the same, the same gestures make them happy and appreciated, and this is why Jivity’s model works irrespective of the sector.
What is so special with Jivity that is attracting all these big shots to it? How is it different from its competition? “To help our clients have maximum control in brand merchandising, we give them the option of online brand store, retail brand store, a brand store on wheels, and brand vending machines. No one else has such wide variety of options,” says Mohan. This is also a differentiation factor for the company. Keeping the customers and employees of their customers happy and satisfied is the whole motto of Jivity. “Jivity have provided us from time to time, various innovative gift items at competitive prices, shorter lead times and pro-actively provided gifting solutions to suit our budget and industry,” says one of its customers, Infotech.
The company constantly comes up with new and new products, both standard and customized products to keep their clients engaged. On top of this they analyze the data that they generate and improvise them accordingly. This keeps them on the edge at any point of time and this is another reason why the big companies stick to them.
The WOW experience
“The whole point is to reinforce the brand perception among the employees and the customers. We do that by specifically custom creating products for them, and we have a very wide range of products to choose from as well,” says Mohan. The company flaunts with more than 100 top notch brands and about 20,000 unique products in 200 different categories. It partners with a lot of these companies to make itself capable of getting the customized products on a regular basis. This wide variety itself makes Jivity stand out in the crowd and that is also a reason why it was able to attract so many customers in such a short period.
As if customized products from Levi’s, Reebok, Fastrack, HCL, Nokia, IFB, Titan, Apple, and the likes are not enough, Jivity makes it a habit to hatch new and new ingenious ways to create and retain that WOW experience among the employees and customers of its clients. Among these are discounts. For example, an employee of Dell walks into Café Coffee Day or Lifestyle and gets a discount of some percentage since they are an employee of that company. This is sure to make them feel WOW. With such campaigns and promotions they make sure that their end customers stay happy.
The company understands the need of the day and manages to bring products accordingly. For example, now the necessity of healthy food habits is becoming popular among the people and they are changing their food habits accordingly, and now the company has started offering organic food materials like daal, rice and more to meet this demand. They also offer their end customers biking tours, trekking, or similar packages to keep them even more engaged.
A peek into the future
“We intend to increase our number of customers by several fold and we want to be known as a company that creates the WOW experience among the employees of our clients and create a lot of shareholder value,” says a highly enthusiastic Mohan about what he wants to do in the future. The company is suiting itself up to become a major player in this fast growing market. As long as the company’s focal point remains their customers and they keep on improvising and innovating, the future looks very bright for it, the future can have nothing in store for it than a hockey stick growth.
The Man behind the Scene Mukund Mohan, the founder and CEO of the company, has a reputation of building successful companies. He has so far successfully found and sold four entrepreneurial ventures including the social media marketing company, BuzzGain. His has made it a routine to follow the technology, entrepreneurial and business circles closely and is a regular blogger on these.
Before venturing into the entrepreneurial scenery he has successfully steered leadership teams at HP, Invois, Ariba Technologies and Cisco Systems. He was also on the board of iConclude (acquired by HP), Semantic Defense and Kinetic Brains. Mohan is known for his innovative ideas, ability to build, manage and leads teams to success, and this quality is reflected throughout his career.
His experience in the sales and marketing sector made him see the opportunity in the space in India. He thought about how a more effective medium than advertising can be made, how companies can be made into strong magnets that keep on attracting their employees and customers, this thought finally led to the conceptualization of Jivity.