On cue with consumer needs

Kiran James, Associate Vice President - Marketing & Product Management, Muthoottu Mini, reveals insights into the brand’s campaign plans, media mix, new product roadmap and more, in conversation with Neethu Mohan.

Neetu MohanUpdated: Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 09:09 PM IST
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Earlier this year, you launched a campaign which spoke of women’s empowerment that was widely shared on social media. Can you take us through the whole campaign journey? 

Today, the Muthoottu Mini brand stands strong as a trusted century-old financial services brand which people have been associated with for generations. However, over the years,there was a growing need for the brand to be a new-gen brand which speaks in the language of the youth,is socially responsible and connects better for a long-term association with the coming generations and be a financial service provider of choice. These things were on the top of our minds while developing a brand film. 

Through this campaign we highlighted the true essence of what Muthoottu Mini stands for in a person’s life journey, highlighting how we have been the silent partner to many successes of our customers. The women empowerment campaign was in the same direction where the content was the king, which was designed to touch upon the emotional aspect of chasing dreams and making them true through our products. Once we had the content, we designed our strategy to ensure we get virality with the right media mix and platforms. The campaign truly lived up to the virality quotient wherein the brand and campaign were trending on Twitter for over four hours in the top three hashtags, crossed 4 crore views across all social media platforms and got news coverage across over 300 traditional and digital news portals. It was widely covered by media houses from print to TV and digital during the campaign period for the content. The right content mix and virality took the campaign to a different league altogether while touching hearts and giving our brand a solid top-of-mind recall.

Are you planning to launch any new campaigns soon?

Recently, we have launched a new product,the ‘Safe Lock Gold Loan’, for which we will be rolling out a campaign shortly. The product extends our proposition further to help keep the physical gold in our safe along with insurance coverage and have a credit line that the customer can avail within a few taps. We are re-envisaging the customer journey to increase ease of access and be closer to our customers through digital devices. While many brands have launched similar services, they have never positioned it firmly as it was just another line of service for them compared to a completely tech-enabled product from our side while reinventing the customer journey.

What is the pathway to new product launches?

We have an internal mechanism to listen to our customers continuously. We assess the brand performance through acceptance among customers and how quickly our offerings are gaining recognition and popularity among our customers. The new products which are getting launched are purely customer need-driven.

Can you elaborate on your marketing strategies and the media mix?

While we have time-tested media mix and strategies. We also continuously explore newer options and platforms to expand our reach and have a top-of-mind recall in our target group. As a brand, we are very keen on RoI and believe good content based on the campaign’s objective and the right mix of traditional media, digital media, PR, and BTL are very important for cost-effective and impactful campaigns. We have a mechanism to continuously review the campaign to measure effectiveness and ensure we maximize RoI.

Muthoottu Mini offers a range of offerings from micro finance to insurance to wealth management. Is gold loans the largest? How much do other offerings contribute, and how is each growing?

Gold loan is our core business. More than 90pc of our portfolio is gold loans. Our segment of microfinance is also growing well. Microfinance crossed 100pc growth this year.Insurance and wealth management (which are third party payor businesses) also show an incredible growth rate. While our core proposition of gold loan is being accepted and appreciated, we are looking for newer ways to be part of the customer’s financial and wealth building journey.

Several digital players are looking at an end-to-end offering, starting with payments. What is “Smart Pay” on your site about? Do you see Muthoottu Mini making a play in the payments space?

We have been continuously investing in simplifying the customer journey with tech-enabled solutions. Smart Pay is one such initiative wherein the need for a physical visit to the branch is restricted to only the initial transaction. Later, all activities can be done in a few clicks sitting anywhere in the world. We are investing in improving our customer experience at every touch point and continuously exploring options to help our customers engage with the brand in a few taps.

The Muthoot finance brand is on the mind, and its effects would undoubtedly benefit Muthoottu Mini. Is it also a challenge to stand out as a different entity? Is there an effort to?

All Muthoot group companies benefit each other since we all represent the same brand name and lineage. However, each brand has built its unique identity around brand colours over the years. At Muthoottu Mini, our customers love us and fondly call it the Yellow Muthoottu, which we have been leveraging over time in all our communication to make it stand out and be the preferred choice for them. The Yellow Muthoottu is a tag that we wear on our sleeves proudly.

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