CASE STUDY: Parle Agro's Hippo turns to Twitter to track inventory and replenish stocks

Indian food and beverage company Parle Agro has teamed up with Creativeland Asia to experiment with Twitter as a means for effective retail inventory tracking.

Background

Parle Agro launched snack food brand Hippo in the India market during June last year. Since then the baked wheat snack brand has operated by the simple philosophy of establishing itself in the US$1.5 billion Indian snack market with its unusual tagline, ‘Hunger is the root of all evil. Don’t be hungry.’

According to a press release, the brand is known to be performing exceedingly well in its category.

Aim

Hippo partnered with Creativeland Asia and turned to social media to experiment with alternative retail inventory tracking methods in order to reinforce its sales and distribution network.

The snack brand explored the possibility of using social media to crowdsource the sales and distribution network in a huge country like India and in essence get consumers to voluntarily work on the most technical aspects of the brand.

Execution

Staring in February 2010, Hippo asked his Twitter followers send a tweet whenever they couldn’t find Hippo in stores and promised to replenish stocks within hours.

Hippo is therefore able to identify empty racks faster and re-stock locations within hours, even identify new potential markets.

The resulting response prompted Parle Agro to set up a core cell which instantly passes the information received as tweets to the respective area sales and distribution teams.

Hippo responds to the tweets with regular and meticulous updates on stock replenishment and also sends out personalised anti-hunger hampers to the most active tweeters, complete with a handwritten note.

Results

Hipp received stock update Tweets from over 25 cities. At zero cost, the number of people tracking stocks across markets over Twitter for Hippo were equivalent to 45% of its sales team.

By matching supply with demand more effectively, Hippo managed to up its sales by 76% in the first few months after launch.

The campaign helped Hippo to identify, gauge demand and prioritise its potential new markets

Hippo effectively used social media to do what no one has ever done before - reinforce and support its sales and distribution network.

Credits

Client: Parle Agro
Brand: Hippo Baked Munchies
Campaign name: Hippo crowdsources inventory tracking through twitter (Inventory tracking through social media)
Agency: Creativeland Asia
ECD: Sajan Raj Kurup, Vikram Gaikwad, Anu Joseph
Creative team: Huzefa Kapadia, Vinit Bharucha, Bryan Elijah
Account services team: Jay Gala, Anjali Khanchandani
Duration: Ongoing from February 2010

To submit a Case Study for publishing, email marie.green@media.asia.

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The Campaign Asia-Pacific Team