25 August 2016 14:52:26 IST

Is speed your brand’s differentiator?

Quikr office in Bengaluru | Pic credit: GRN Somashekar

Quikr’s success can be attributed to its ability to sense changes and adapt itself accordingly

Taking off from last week's article , let us continue the discussion on Quikr. Over the last few years, the brand has moved into the big league, while staying true to its basic philosophy of being flexible and capitalising on opportunities with the consumer in focus.

When Quikr realised that consumers often don’t get the price they deserve when they sell their goods on the portal, it pioneered the concept of Maximum Selling Price (MSP). Here’s a commercial that demonstrates the idea.



The company was changing with times and focused on the mobile app. And it had the Kevin Pietersens of the world telling us “Photo Khench, Quikr Pe Bech!”


Then, realising that consumers who posted on the site were being inundated with calls, they came up with the idea of instant messaging system. Consumers could merely select the “private” option, which hid their phone numbers and email IDs, while keeping track of all chats and making photo sharing easier — an important feature.

Time to change

As brands continually keep reinventing themselves, one of the things they refurbish is their identity, as it reflects new dynamism, growth and ambitions of the company along with a tagline that mirrors what the company stands for. This was an important phase in the company’s evolution, as it moved into the big league focussing on emerging opportunity areas which would provide consumers, traction and revenue. The verticals were cars, homes, jobs, services and goods.

Let’s focus on cars, which are such an important part of people’s lives. It was a big revenue stream for Quikr as consumers could sell cars in as little time as eight hours once they advertised on the portal!

Using the fascination Indian audiences and consumers have with celebrities, the brand signed up Suriya to woo southern audiences and Ranvir Singh for national audiences.

Do celebrities help brands?

This is a question consultants and journalists are fond of asking — “Do brands benefit from the using celebrities?”

Most marketers in India would vehemently say “yes” and Quikr is no exception. Someone like Suriya certainly did make a difference to the brand, especially for homes, and it probably points to a significant change in the brand’s personality.

It moved from its earlier brash, cheeky and irreverent image to one that still catered to impatient consumers but who have value and to whom it it has to deliver consistently. Suriya certainly embodied the qualities of trustworthiness and maturity that the brand wanted to make its own.



Along with cars, the company als realised that many young Indians needed jobs and, hence, Quikr jobs was launched. Other commercials followed for repairs of flooring as a struggling dancer tried to dance on a shaky floor that needed retiling, and so on and so forth. As the offerings continued to broaden, its appeal broadened as well.

A success that continues

Today, Quikr is present in more than 1,000 cities, with nearly 30 million unique visitors and a page view of 1 billion, with a revenue stream that many companies would yearn for. So what has Quikr done differently?

For one, they have been smart in using media — not extravagantly, but sensibly, a combination of mainline, outdoor and social media, including localised media.

While mass media built awareness on a larger scale, they leveraged social media and events to engage the youth. Online advertising was used to reinforce and influence behaviour. They also extensively used localised media to create widespread awareness in a concentrated market. I guess this is one of the many smart things that the brand has done.

But to my mind, I would be attribute its success not only to media and technology but to its ability to sense changes in the environment and quickly adapt itself to the opportunity. And believe you me, that is not easy.

Speed is success

As companies grow, they lose their speed, become ponderous and slow moving, finding themselves very tardy in responding to changes or (worse) opportunities. Quikr has demonstrated its ability to be fast, flexible and build on the equity that the brand garnered in the eight years of its existence.

It demonstrated that all start-ups don’t have to get into trouble as long as they have some clear differentiators and think smart, consistently. Most significantly, it is important for companies to not sit back on their achievements but keep evolving, quickly, even as they spot trends and capitalise on them.

So is speed your brand’s differentiator?