Little Yadav
May 30, 2024

In a Blinkit: A viral tweet turned marketing magic in India

When a passionate customer tweeted at e-commerce platform Blinkit for a free bunch of coriander at the checkout, the viral moment not only generated a buzz of new followers, but a masterclass in moment marketing.

A viral tweet about coriander soon turned into an ideal moment of marketing (Photo: Shutterstock)
A viral tweet about coriander soon turned into an ideal moment of marketing (Photo: Shutterstock)

For decades, Indian homemakers have enjoyed a small but cherished certainty: Purchasing vegetables from their local sabjiwala always meant receiving coriander and curry leaves for free. Now, even as many consumers shift to quick commerce platforms for their daily groceries, old habits still die hard.

This nuance recently resurfaced when e-commerce platform Blinkit customer Ankit Sawant whimsically suggested on X (formerly Twitter) that the company adopt this practice, after his mother was disappointed at the virtual checkout. Rather than dismissing this as just another piece of customer feedback, Blinkit CEO Albinder Dhindsa not only acknowledged Sawant’s suggestion, but tapped into moment-based public relations—replying to the tweet and integrating the request into Blinkit’s offerings. 

The post garnered over 1.2 million views, 14,000 likes, 1,500 reposts and more than 500 comments, being shared over 500 times on X (Twitter) alone.

Virality aside, Blinkit's response exemplified the transformative power of moment marketing. By responding aptly and authentically, the company demonstrated that it's possible to significantly enhance consumer perception and deepen engagement by seizing the right moment at the right time, in the right way.

When appropriately leveraged, moment marketing enables companies to capitalise on current events, trends, or viral moments to create relevant and compelling content that boosts brand visibility and engagement. However, the execution must be in harmony with the brand’s values and resonate positively with its audience.

Yet in a rush to achieve such success, brands often find themselves indiscriminately grabbing at every emerging opportunity to hop on to trending topics without assessing whether they truly align with their identity or serve their long-term goals. This was evident when The Bombay Shaving Company faced a backlash after its advertisement derisively commented on Class 10 Uttar Pradesh board topper Prachi Nigam's facial hair just weeks ago. The ad received immediate widespread criticism for its insensitivity and reinforcing negative stereotypes about women's facial hair, with the Advertising Standard Council of India's (ASCI) going as far as to say the ad may have potentially violated its code—which protects children from advertising that could harm them physically, mentally, or morally, or exploit their vulnerabilities.

So, how do brands do what Blinkit did right, and avoid becoming tone-deaf or alienating their audience, and navigate these moments with strategic foresight and sensitivity?

Ayush Wadhwa, founder of OWLED Media uses an analogy to explain: "Imagine you're at a party and you tell a joke that perfectly matches the ongoing conversation. The result? Everyone laughs. For Blinkit, adding free coriander to the online shopping cart was a similar masterstroke. It's like when brands quickly engage with trending topics on social media. Recall Oreo’s 'You can still dunk in the dark' tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout,” he explains.

Such instances show that a brand is attentive and genuinely cares about its customers’ preferences, which can significantly boost its popularity and trust.

Siddhartha Singh, co-founder and director of BlackCab, agrees—emphasising the importance of relevance in moment marketing: “In today's fast-paced environment, where people are constantly bombarded by content, capturing the moment is crucial. Attention spans are short, and people only pay attention to things that are relatable and timely.”

Singh's point is why social media platforms have begun to offer a dynamic space where brands can connect with people and build communities interactively, making them invaluable tools for real-time engagement with customers. A single well-targeted post can go viral, reaching a global audience and sending a clear message: The brand is responsive and adaptable to consumer expectations. 

Delphin Varghese, co-founder and chief revenue officer of AdCounty Media shares that to succeed in this regard however, brands have to focus on the purpose behind the campaign, the communities they're attempting to connect to and keep the consumer's desires at the center of the interaction when tapping into social channels.

"From the consumer’s perspective, social media is an indispensable vehicle to voice opinions and concerns; it also empowers them to share their experiences and influence brand decisions."

Rohit Gulati, director of marketing-India and South at Johnson & Johnson Vision agrees that when done correctly, social media "can lead to better customer satisfaction, improved products or services, and a stronger relationship between the brand and its customers.”

So, if customer suggestions are integral to building and sustaining strong brand relationships in today's competitive landscape, and engaging with customer feedback is no longer optional, it's essential—how do you tap into these insights?

Start by fostering a two-way dialogue through social media and other platforms, so you can better understand changing customer preferences, which are invaluable for product development and service improvement. Listening to customers not only leads to increased satisfaction but also fosters loyalty.

Raghav Bagai, co-founder of SW Network remarks, “Customer interaction is a foundation of building strong brand relationships. By actively engaging with customers on social media and other platforms, brands foster a sense of connection and community.”

When a brand promptly acknowledges and acts on customer feedback, it signals a willingness to pivot—essential for building strong relationships with existing and potential buyers. Such moments also generate positive word-of-mouth and enhance brand loyalty.

Ultimately the success of Blinkit's response highlighted the effectiveness of culturally resonant and timely engagement. By aligning their services with a well-known practice, the brand not only appealed to the nostalgic and cultural identity of their consumer base, but also enhanced its relatability and approachability.

Rajni Daswani, director of digital marketing at SoCheers also highlights the distinctive and maverick nature of the response. Typically, such customer issues are handled through a standardised customer relationship management process. By responding to unexpected customer feedback, CEO Dhindsa demonstrated that Blinkit prioritises customer relationships. This shows that the top management is as responsive as its customer service team, emphasising a commitment to customer engagement across all levels of the organisation.

Daswani concludes, “Blinkit is known for its speed of delivery. With a quick turnaround time on making the change available on the app, they showcased their swiftness on not just delivery, but also, on delivering customer satisfaction.”

Campaign India has reached out to Blinkit for insights on how the response has impacted sales.

Campaign India

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