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The journey of Chumbak: from mail to

mall leveraging social media networks


for on-going dialogue with customers
Chetna Kudeshia and Arun Mittal

Chetna Kudeshia and


Arun Mittal are Research
Scholars, both at Birla
Institute of Technology,
Extension Centre, Noida,
India.

Hi Vivek, Your company Chumbak has been selected, and youd be one amongst the three
firms worldwide that will be a part of the Google case study! This was the email that
husband and wife team Vivek and Shubhra Chadda got from the California-based company
known as Enso, who was working with Google to make a case study video on how firms
worldwide are using Google services. They were looking for businesses that had a
compelling business, web and a human story and Chumbak fulfilled all the requirements.
However, this wasnt the case just a few of years previously when Shubhra and Vivek had
to sell their house for Rs 40 lakhs to raise seed capital for the venture. Chumbak which
started as an absolutely self-funded company without any financial liabilities was now
being banked by the big financial companies of India. But how did it become possible for
a self-financed company with a meager investment to incur a place on a Google case study
that was being conducted jointly with Facebooks study about advertisement success
stories? The had company broken even after three years of trading and was presently
pumping all of its profits into the business and the success of Chumbak can be attributed
to social media. Social media was responsible for all aspects of Chumbak and its success,
from brand identity to brand awareness, from campaigns to recruitments. What started as
a store for magnet souvenirs now offers a line of products including apparel, accessories,
stationary, home and style products.

Introduction
The definition of business in India has changed from having a shop or manufacturing unit
to discovering and creating a strong online identity for brands. One necessary
phenomenon is maintaining personal and steady relationships with customers. Even if a
business is being set up or expanded through modern technologies, such as the Internet,
the basis will always be the same better engagement with your customers. The only
difference will be the medium of establishing that engagement and it is not surprising that
this philosophy is widely being accepted by many small and medium-sized businesses as
a function as their business strategy.

Disclaimer. This case is written


solely for educational
purposes and is not intended
to represent successful or
unsuccessful managerial
decision-making. The author/s
may have disguised names,
financial and other
recognizable information to
protect confidentiality.

DOI 10.1108/EEMCS-09-2014-0209

One drawback that small business face is-competition from medium-sized and large
businesses. Additionally, there is very little funding at the disposal of these businesses for
promoting functions, which may greatly hinder a small businesses ability to reach an
oversized audience. Unlike established businesses units that may already have a good
reputation, a large customer base and high brand recognition, small and medium-sized
businesses need newer, innovative avenues for building their brand, to reach out to every
prospective customer and creating better and strong relationships with the customers once
the relationship has been established. Online promoting now plays a vital role in

VOL. 5 NO. 4 2015, pp. 1-24, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 2045-0621 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES

PAGE 1

establishing small-scale businesses, and gives them the advantage of being able to run
favorably alongside their larger counterparts.
As per the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED), 2006 Act of India,
a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) is an one where the investment in plant and
machinery is more than Rs 25 lakh but does not exceed Rs 5 crore [22]. A significant
17 per cent of Indias GDP come from its 40 million SMEs. A recent report by McKinsey says
that the SMEs who are highly active on various social media avenues report double the
revenue growth of those who are not using it. Out of the 40 million small entrepreneurs,
around 500,000 SMEs, have a strong presence on social media (McKinsey Global Institute,
2012). A report by Assocham and Comscore (2012) says that Internet users in India are
expected to reach between 350 to 450 million by 2015-2016, and this will act as a catalyst
in the growth of SMEs (Batra et al., 2012).
Social media statistics in India:

India has 243 million Internet users.

Facebook is the most browsed social network on social media with a large base of 100
million users.

India has 33 million Twitter users.

LinkedIn has 26 million India users, of the total 300 million users.

Of the total 70 million total users of Pinterest, 5.5 million are from India [source: www.
digitalinsights.com (accessed 9 August 2014)].

Small businesses in India are integrating social media in their marketing strategies for
better collaboration, engagement and effective communication. From the company
websites to the blogs, from social networking sites to the content communities, these social
technologies are helping the businesses to reach the most influential audience giving a
stronger brand impact.
On the same notion, in March 2010 Vivek and Shubhra Chadda started Chumbak, a
Bengaluru-based souvenir startup popular among the age group between 18 to 24 years.
Vivek, the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, and Shubhra Chadda, Head of Product
and Design, had successful corporate careers before they founded Chumbak. Shubhra
was associated with KPMG, Nortel and NetApp before the launch of Chumbak and Vivek
worked for various brands and had over 16 years of experience in retail marketing. During
his time with Tanishq, Vivek was an important part of its initial brand team responsible for
the companys turnaround. He was then associated with Platinum Guild International as
head of their south markets looking after retail marketing. He joined as the head of modern
trade marketing at Motorola, and worked in setting up Moto Stores across India. In his last
and final corporate role he was head of Partner Marketing at Sun Microsystems.

The idea
The Chaddas loved to travel and each time they travelled, they would shop for souvenirs,
especially fridge magnets. As they were usually on a small budget, they found that fridge
magnets made appealing and affordable gifts to friends and family back home. While
varieties of such products were available abroad, in India, buying mementos was restricted
to options such as pashmina shawls, marble miniatures of the Taj Mahal or brass elephants.
Why dont we get these fridge magnets in India? Shubhra asked Vivek, and the duo
started searching for India-made fridge magnets but they could not find fun fridge magnets
in India and Vivek and Shubhra soon realized that affordable, well-designed and crafted
products that could be used as accessories and gift items were in demand. Why dont we
start making our own fridge magnets and add a bit of color and modernity to the market of
Indian trinkets? And thus came the idea of Chumbak! In 2004, the couple started doing
some initial research and, finally, in 2009, spent a good six months researching various

PAGE 2 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES

VOL. 5 NO. 4 2015

products. The company is inspired by and based on the couples love for India combined
with their love for travel.
The creativity and cleverness of the company can be seen in the name of the company
itself, effectively merging Chumma (kiss), and Bak (stone). Vivek and his colleagues
agreed on the name Chumbak, which means kissing stones, more popularly known as
magnets. In April 2011 Chumbak started a dedicated e-commerce website (www.
Chumbak.in). The company that did not its own store initially, today retails through 250
stores across India and 100 stores in Japan. It also exports to the USA, the UK, Australia
and the Middle East, including the Virgin Megastore in Dubai, where Chumbaks phone and
laptop cases are also available. Chumbak is also in talks with big-box retailers such as
Anthropologie and Pier 1 imports in the USA to include its India-themed souvenirs in
different categories of home decor and apparel.

Design philosophy of chumbak products


Chumbak products range from extraordinarily designed and crafted products, including
apparel and footwear, bags and wallets, souvenirs, key chains and jewelry. Its range also
includes phone covers, unique whistle charms and bracelets. It has a total of 38 categories,
with between 400 to 500 products, which makes Chumbak impressive. Inspired by the
various colors embedded in Indian culture and day-to-day events of an Indians life,
Chumbak tries to put all this together in its products.
Vivek says:
We believe that our products should be recognizable nine out of 10 times without the logo and
to achieve this we follow a very strict filtering process before any product hits the racks. That is
the design test all our products have to go through.

Chumbak is a leading design company and they take great care about how they look, from
their office to kiosks and to products. The originators, who conceived the workplace
themselves, settled on an open-plan arrangement office with only two encased rooms that
are implied for imaginative conceptualizing and gatherings.
Chumbak required the work environment to be open. We didnt require anyone to need to
thump on ways to meet the boss, said Vivek. In spite of the fact that their organizations
items have a tendency to be jumbled with pictures that summon India, such as the auto
rickshaw and dairy animals, the originators chose to be moderate in the workplace. The
creativity of the founders is reflected in the Technicolor item tones emerging in the pink and
blue seats and the blue-green pin sheets. However, style wasnt the sole concept on their
mind. Shubhra and Vivek additionally ensured that the workplace is energy efficient. The
organization utilizes window air-conditioning systems that cool the area of workplace being
utilized at a given point of time. To scale back temperatures within the warehouse they have
spinners on the roof and upside-down clear PVC panels let in light throughout the day. We
dont have to switch on the lights until around 6:30 at night. Our power bills are low, said
Vivek.

Funding
The unique designs of Chumbak have attracted favors from private equity investors and
funds from venture capitalists. As the brand was being established and there was
acknowledgment from various areas, Chumbak got funding by Seedfund in 2012 and from
Matrix Partners. Rishi Navani, co-founder and managing director, Matrix India, says, The
entrepreneurs, Vivek and Shubhra, have a unique mix of design sensibilities and strong
business acumen (Rebecca, 2011). Revenues for Chumbak in 2010-2011 stood at Rs 1.25
crore, however, online sales account for 15 per cent of revenues.

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Business model
Chumbak does its business through the hybrid model, i.e. online through its website
(www.Chumbak.in) as well as offline by having more than 20 kiosks in the best malls all over
India. Vivek says that 50 per cent of Chumbaks orders come through Facebook, organic
searches on Google and in-store visibility. Spotting trends and developing new products
along those lines is a continuous process for Chumbak. The marketing strategy of
Chumbak believes in removing old products, for which demand dips as a new product is
introduced. The entire planning, designing and production processes are in-house.

What made chumbak successful?


Vivek believes, Its a volume game. After having loads of items to choose from, in the range
of Rs 95-1,495. Chumbak recorded breakeven within the first three years of business. In
the lifestyle products segment, the most important thing the company believes needs to be
done, is to know your customer and to implement this. Chumbak became very aggressive
on all social media channels in the initial years of its setup and is still following the same
practice. When Chumbak was founded, the company aimed to grow in terms of distribution
channels, through both online and multi-branded outlets. It achieved this in the first two
years and grew the business.

Chumbak and social media


Chumbak as a brand has been built solely through social media marketing and word of mouth
with zero marketing spenditure. Social media is an important component of Chumbaks overall
marketing strategy and is integral to the overall company goals and strategy for attaining those
goals. In a very short span of time Chumbak has made its presence known on almost all the
social media platforms. Bootstrapped and with no budget for high-flying ad campaigns,
Chumbak built all their brand-recall value by solely focusing on social media.
Chumbak is one of the first brands in India to merit a global Facebook case study. By
having a strong presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and their own website, the
company tries to be more open and transparent in their marketing communication. The goal
is primarily to communicate and build relationships with consumers. Chumbak uses all
these avenues to communicate the same message but in different ways, depending on how
engaged the consumers want to be. The use of social media in the company is a tactical
rather than a strategic decision. Chumbak uses a blog to comment on business issues,
while also using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to reach customers. The company
monitors its customers and analyzes comments to take a proactive approach in
responding and has steadily become a highly regarded startup brand on social media.
Their impressive fanbase on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram,
and the recent feature on the Google Business YouTube Channel, is proof that social media
has as a charm for them (Table I). The firm is also doing quite well into corporate gifting, as
a result of social media. Vivek says, Every single corporate order we have done has been
Table I Chumbaks presence on social media
Facebook: number of likes
Facebook: number of people talking about this page
Twitter: number of tweets
Twitter: number of followers
YouTube Chumbak: subscribers
YouTube Chumbak: video views
YouTube Chumbak: number of uploaded videos
Pins on Pinterest
Boards on Pinterest

280,593
4,100
5,306
2,776
576
66,485
9
168
10

Source: Compiled by authors from www.facebook.com/twitter.com/youtubeChumbak/pinterest.com


(accessed 28 April 2014)

PAGE 4 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES

VOL. 5 NO. 4 2015

because someone approached us. By being dynamic on all the social networking sites,
Chumbak can consistently monitor what is said about the organization. Chumbak believes
that gone are the days when discussions about the brand used to take place on the
companys own website only; now most of the discussions take place on third party sites,
making it more difficult for the company to control and thus self-involvement of the firm is
required to review and analyze all of these discussions regularly. Chumbak plans to shift
the customer service to Facebook, as the most frequently asked questions can help several
customers at any one point of time. By observing on what is being said, the company can
customize the material it wants to publish and this can definitely get the customers
involved. Vivek says, The company knows that people are out in social media channels
seeking information and researching, and they need to use social media to influence their
buying behavior (Table II).
Chumbak is using the following social media channels:

Blogs;

Social network sites such as Facebook;

Multimedia sharing (e.g. YouTube);

Micro blogs (e.g. Twitter);

Review sites/discussion forums;

Instagram; and

Pinterest (Figure 1).

Vivek, as the social media head, says that social media is meant for businesses such as
Chumbak and the company harnessed the opportunities that the Internet presented. It
utilizes it to team up with its customers, to enthrall its customers, to collect and track clients
surveys and to make announcements about diverse campaigns. In addition to these
functions, Chumbak additionally utilizes online networking devices for procuring better
labor for its organization.

Convert your fans into finance using social media


A facebook page to start with
The most famous social networking site, Facebook is a sublime stage to begin with
(Tables III and IV). Best for the companies who are focusing on adolescent clients, as
Facebooks client base is mostly in the age range of 18-25 years in India. This was the
reason Facebook was the first social media tool with which Chumbak associated. After its
launch, Chumbak had no PR or launch event just a Facebook page and a fully functional
web store. Before Chumbak knew it, they had almost a 1,000 fans on Facebook, adding
100 new fans every 10 days, all this in less than 100 days of launch (Table V). In March
2010, Chumbak had 117,526 likes on Facebook, with 2,261 people talking about them,
Chumbak now has more than 2 lakh likes on Facebook, the platform that helped make it
what it is today:
One of our biggest advantages in 2010 was Facebook. The FB page back then was very
different, as it was not focused on advertising. So if I posted a product, people were checking
it out without us paying for it. That was great for a startup, says Vivek.

One of the fun, creative things Chumbak did was to encourage participation from its fans.
Chumbak always believed that its communication would never be one way. They are very
conversational on this platform and the communication topics range from movies to rain in
Bengaluru to spontaneous quizzes to talking about social issues and many more subjects.
Chumbak held a Weekend Contest every week to encourage fans to participate. Chumbak
founders have been using Facebook as an interactive forum to engage with the customer
base, treating them like a community of friends. Vivek says Interaction with customers is

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PAGE 5

Table II Survey of Chumbak customers on engagement through social media


Survey items
I follow Chumbak on various social media sites because I find
its products to be unique

I follow Chumbak on various social media sites because I want


to get my queries solved

I follow Chumbak on various social media sites because I want


to know its promotional schemes

I follow Chumbak on various social media sites because I want


to know more about it

I follow Chumbak on various social media sites to have direct


interaction with the Company

When needed I notice the products of Chumbak more often as


I am following it on various social media sites

I buy the products of Chumbak directly from its social media


platforms (Facebook) as I am following it

I repurchase the products of Chumbak when required, as I am


following it on various social media sites

I refer it to others, as I am following it on various social media


sites

Information shared on the platforms of Chumbak influences my


buying intentions

I prefer Chumbak over the other products in the same category


as I am its follower

I think favorably about Chumbak after joining it, on various


social media sites

PAGE 6 EMERALD EMERGING MARKETS CASE STUDIES

VOL. 5 NO. 4 2015

Scale
anchors

Frequency

(%)

1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1

4
7
21
51
64
8
23
33
44
49
5
13
27
51
51
3
11
17
47
69
6

2.7
4.8
14.3
34.7
43.5
5.4
15.6
22.4
29.9
26.5
3.4
8.8
18.4
34.7
34.7
2.0
7.5
11.6
32.0
46.9
4.1

2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5

13
28
46
54
8
8
31
40
60
14
29
36
32
36
10
18
30
46
43
4
9
30
34
70
7
13
35
37
45
10
11
33
46
43
11
9
26
44
56

8.8
19.0
31.3
36.7
5.4
5.4
21.1
27.2
40.8
9.5
19.7
24.5
21.8
24.5
6.8
12.2
20.4
31.3
29.3
2.7
6.1
20.4
23.1
47.6
4.8
8.8
23.8
32.0
32.6
6.8
7.5
22.4
31.3
32.0
7.5
6.1
17.7
29.9
38.1
(continued)

Table II
Survey items
I am more confident about Chumbaks quality after becoming
its fan

I feel emotionally connected with Chumbak after following it on


various social media sites

Scale
anchors

Frequency

(%)

1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5

8
12
19
42
66
12
8
27
40
60

5.4
8.2
12.9
28.6
44.9
8.2
5.4
18.4
27.2
40.8

Source: Compiled by author from SPSS output

Figure 1 Customer engagement via social media channels


Community pages
Visuals (photos)
Blogs

Chumbak

Social media
marketing

Polls & games


Campaigns
User generated content

Source: Authors own findings

Table III How did you come to know about Chumbak?


Source of information

Frequency

(%)

116
2
29
0
147

78.9
1.4
19.7
0
100.0

Facebook
Company website
Word of mouth
Others
Total
Source: Compiled by author from SPSS output

Table IV Which is the most preferred social media platform to interact with Chumbak?
Source of information

Frequency

(%)

127
16
1
1
1
147

86.4
10.9
0.7
0.7
0.7
100

Facebook
Company website
Instagram
Pinterest
Other
Total

Notes: Survey done through Chumbak Facebook fan page between February and July 2014. The
total number of respondents: 147 (where 1 strongly disagree, 5 strongly agree, scale compiled
by authors from literature review)
Source: Compiled by author from SPSS output

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Table V Increasing fan page engagement of Chumbak on Facebook


Engagement activity
Were online baby. . .
Our products are ready
Sneak peek the boxer shorts!!
Youll have to tell your friends to like
Chumbak from now on
With so many of you liking
Introducing antastic
Flip
Awesome Women all over!!
Brand new Chumbak
iPhone cases
An amazing 20% off everything
Chumbak make the web work for them
Be awesome be responsible vote!
Celeberating 20 stores of Chumbak

Date
14 October 2009
(joined Facebook)
5 March 2010
29 March 2010
21 April 2010
31 July 2010
(Crossed 1,000 likes)
Flops 14
March 2011
5 October 2012
3 April 2013
1 July 2013
7 April 2014
31 July 2014

No. of
likes

No. of
shares

0
42
8

0
11
3

12

153

44

357

75

346
1,845
1,785
936

32
83
13
68

Source: Compiled by authors from Chumbak Facebook fan page

really spontaneous sometimes I impulsively announce discounts, theres nothing planned,


he adds. One of the strategies to encourage participation is through contest questions that
are India-related, e.g. Which are your most memorable Bollywood movie dialogues and
what would be a funny English translation? Instead of giving away products as prizes,
Chumbak gives away discount vouchers, which are then redeemable at their web store.
This not only ensures that the contest winners get something substantial in value, but it also
converts these fans into customers. Chumbak sees 30 per cent of its website traffic from
Facebook. The company uses its Facebook page to raise awareness of product lines,
announce new product launches and crowd source ideas for new products. It also
engages with its fanbase by showcasing new products under the Brand New! tab, gives
fans sneak peeks of upcoming products, promotes special offers and discounts, holds
contests and enables customers to directly get in touch through the Contact us tab. The
company has seen a five-fold return on investment in total advertising spend with
Facebook, a very high degree of repeat purchases among fans of their FB page and sees
25 per cent of its revenue coming from Facebook users and fans.
Chumbak is a case study in the success stories of facebook advertisement page and it
says:
There is nothing else out there that gives you the ability to reach out to your target audience the
way Facebook does. Whether its a product launch or a contest or even customer queries its
honestly the best marketing tool a startup like Chumbak can have (YouTube video of Chumbak).

Approach
Chumbak uses Facebook as its sole marketing channel for building community of
Chumbak-passionate users who love the brand. Chumbak created a Facebook page that
is very colorful, very suitable for its brand personality.
Content marketing
Dont use social media always to push your product as your customers want to listen to
something closer to them, is what Chumbak believes:

Dont push your product/service.

Talk about what drives you.

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VOL. 5 NO. 4 2015

Design contests which people would really like to comment/reply on.

The moment you start looking at social media as a marketing tool and ROI questions
pop up, youve lost the plot.

Be on social media to have fun and speak to people. Good recognition with good recall
consistent messaging is key [Source: Compiled by authors from www.socialsamosa.com/
2013/09/chumbak-start-up-brand (accessed 13 March 2014)].

Content marketing helps to attract and retain customers by creating and publishing
relevant and valuable content. Content marketing follows the gut feeling strategy rather
than using data. An interesting, useful and compelling content keeps you in the mind of
your consumers. Through its Facebook page, Chumbak publishes the content that matters
to their fans. They believe that their fans are around to see stuff they like as well, instead of
the stuff that is pushed down on their news feeds!
Real time marketing
The on the moment marketing gives marketers plenty of opportunities to craft real-time
responses on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This makes social media unique as
sometimes it needs no planning and is spontaneous. By implementing small, real-time
marketing initiatives on an everyday basis Chumbak tries to connect with all its customers
in all the situations, whether its festivals time or voting time in the country. Different festivals
and occasions in India give Chumbak plenty of lead way to craft real-time responses on
Facebook. Through its creative post, Chumbak tries to connect with the life of its customer
with a personal touch which is many times very effective and conversational.
Social care
Social care is defined as how much the company is embracing the opportunity to provide
customer support using dedicated social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
The more your company can solve queries through these tools, the more you will be
engaged with your customers in a better way. Facebook is the most used social media
platform for interaction by Chumbak to solve its customers queries.
Offer little more
A sales-orientated business can always consider offering product discounts as the best
way of promotion for people who like pages by installing the Coupons application. It is said
that, if the average Facebook user has almost 150 friends, you only need to engage one
person to reach the 150 more. Offering prizes, gift coupons and running competitions are
also an interesting way to attract customers and Chumbak continuously does this to appeal
to its customers.
Invest your time
The more you waste time on the social media the more you will be productive is what
Chumbak feels about social media. Considering this Vivek and Shubhra visits the
companys page up to six times a day. They say, It is one of the most effective ways to
know whats happening in your business because youre not controlling whats coming
through; its in real time.
Keep on asking
Chumbak tries to involve with its customers in the most possible ways as per them
crowdsourcing is the best way to know your fans. They conduct polls, use apps such as
Survey Monkey to know what their fans like about Chumbak and what they want from the
business to do for them next.

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Be consistent
Chumbak is very consistent about its presence on various social media channels.
Chumbak tries to integrate them efficiently, and its Facebook page is thus embedded by all
the other social media platforms they are using including Instagram and Pinterest.
Recruitment
Social recruiting is the latest and most discussed recruitment method. Recruitment through
social media is not only cost-effective but it gives a company a wider choice and this is
Chumbak motivation for placing ads on Facebook.

Results

30 per cent of online revenue of Chumbak comes from Facebook, with a very high
degree of 25 per cent repeat purchases among page fans.

5X ROI on total advertising spend with Facebook.

30-40 per centof website traffic of Chumbak comes from Facebook (YouTube video of
Chumbak).

Twitter
With around 2,776 followers and 5,306 tweets on Twitter, Chumbak does an excellent job
by maintaining replies, retweets and hashtagging. Vivek says that Twitter is a platform a lot
of recommendations are made and Chumbaks customers can subscribe to its
e-newsletters. Chumbak shares a range of quotes, articles and media that its followers love
to watch and share. With the magic of 140 characters Twitter connects Chumbak to its
customers in real time, and it uses Twitter to quickly share information with the people that
have an interest in their product. Through Twitter it tries to assemble real-time market
intelligence and feedback and build relationships with its customers, partners and
influencers. Chumbak contains an effective method of including links in nearly each single
tweet, sharing its achievements. By including links of the varied interviews and videos of
YouTube featuring the company, Chumbak continually offers its followers something to
engage in. Chumbak talk, share and post photos and this ultimately provides positive word
of mouth to the brand at nearly zero cost. Keeping your followers interested is essential for
maintaining a strong social network, and this is why Chumbak uses their Twitter feed to
keep their followers up-to-date concerning new product arrivals and present offers. Twitter
offers Chumbak an easy way to reach an engaged audience in an effective manner and the
company remains consistent with its tweets, using a variety of videos, links and images.
Pinterest
Pinterest has become a strong tool for Chumbak to garner time period insights, share
knowledge and influence content creation and amplification. With 10 boards being serious
on visual content, Chumbak tries to own a group of pleasantly colored pictures and
merchandise to feature on Pinterest. Through Pinterest, Chumbak tries to keep it simple for
individuals to find and share its products. Pinterest reworked the way Chumbak is
concerned with its content selling. By generating content on Pinterest on an everyday
basis, Chumbak can connect with a new audience by showing off their latest collections
and a few digital art galleries through varied and simple visible classes. Chumbak
undoubtedly has become a good place for shoppers to search out completely different
merchandise for all of their desires and their Pinterest account lays out the products in a
visually friendly style.
YouTube
YouTube, the first major video hosting and sharing site, helps Chumbak in engaging with
its customers by uploading its attractive videos. These 10-minute videos uploaded can also

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VOL. 5 NO. 4 2015

be embedded on other websites including social networks, blogs and forums. The success
rate of the videos uploaded could be judged by the ratings, comments and through the
number of times it has been viewed. At the moment, Chumbak has uploaded nine videos
having 524 subscribers and 62,313 views. Some of the uploaded videos contain
information about Chumbak, some concern new arrivals through attractive animated
movies having Chumbak product characters, some are doing real time marketing by
greeting the customers on various festivals and some are just for fun. Chumbak believes
that uploading just a commercial wont get a company nearer to its fans: a company has to
be creative and subtle to make individuals remark positively on its products.
Instagram
Chumbak uses Instagram to reach its customers in a fun way by taking pictures of its
products, daily activities and offers. By sharing their activities and products on various
social media sites it gets engaged with its customers in a better way.
Google
Chumbak uses their Google presence to post images that show the value of their
products rather than just tell it. It consistently uses Google for promoting their latest
products as well for interactions with their potential, as well as existing, customers. The
regular posts on this social media tool help Chumbak get engaged with its fanbase.

The road ahead


Chumbak says it is registering about 300 per cent year-on-year growth. From initially
starting with a two-member team, Chumbak now has a 70-member staff and its stores have
an 80 additional members. Though a lot of Chumbaks designs are India-inspired, they do
well in the international environment and the company now also sells its products in Japan
and West Asia. The brand has grown considerably in the past two to three years. With gross
margins varying across all categories, Chumbak is eyeing annual revenue of Rs 400-500
crore in the next three to four years. Chumbak plans to have between 60 to 65 kiosks and
larger retail stores across malls and high streets by March 2015 and is planning to open a
2,600-square foot store in Bangalore soon. Co-founder Shubhra says, One of the most fun
things at Chumbak is working on new designs. At the end of the day, the thing that makes
me most happy is seeing people using our products.

Challenges
Keeping up with the changing tastes of its young clientele is a real test for Chumbak. The
hybrid model its online, as well as offline presence has helped the company in keeping
itself abreast with the fluctuations of the demand. The company wants to increase the
contribution of its online sales to its overall earnings to at least 30 per cent currently, online
sales account for about 15 per cent of total sales and is, therefore, focusing on various
technological platforms. Furthermore the organization feels that, its essential for them to
understand the type of dissemination to be the future standards offline or more of online.
The third challenge for the organization is costly land; Chumbak is attempting to handle this
by opening more modest stores 150-200-square feet, rather than standard business
spaces of 1,000-square feet. The company currently has 20 stores and kiosks across five
cities, along with the presence in about 60 multi-brand outlets.
Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore contribute 60 per cent to Chumbaks total sales. The
other challenge for the company is to gain acceptability in emerging metros and smaller
towns as it expands. It also needs to be aware of the competition. Companies such as India
Circus and Happily Unmarried which have a heavy fan following on social media platforms
such as Facebook are already making inroads and have similar design aesthetics.

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Table VI Global rank of India in the social media sites


Social networking sites
Facebook
YouTube
Twitter
Pinterest

% of visitors

Rank of India

7.9
8.4
6.1
8.9

3
4
12
17

Source: Compiled by authors from www.alexa.com/topsites (accessed 9 May 2014)

Conclusion
According to PWC (2014), 60 per cent of consumers use social media to follow, discover
and give feedback on brands and retailers. A recent survey by a USA-based consumer
data collection company Datalogix showed that 70 per cent of Facebook campaigns drove
at least three times the return on investment while almost 50 per cent received a five-time
return (The Economic Times, 2014b). A recent report from LinkedIn discovered that 80 per
cent of small-scale entrepreneurs are turning to online networking stages to produce
income and discover new customers. According to the report 73 per cent of
high-performing small organizations say they expanded using on online networking and
social advertisements. Upon further examination, it can be seen that just 42 per cent of
small organizations encountering no development did likewise (LinkedIn, 2014). The
fast-growing small businesses report social media to be an effective marketing tool. Nine
out of 10 says their social media efforts help maintain a company presence and identity,
while 82 per cent says the platforms help generate new leads (LinkedIn, 2014).

Keywords:
Facebook,
Small business,
Social media,
Customer engagement,
Chumbak,
Social media marketing

The tremendous range offered by online networking has surprised small-scale businesses
and made them more aspiring (Table VI). Companies have understood they require the
stage of social networking to get by as well as to win. Chumbak is the dream of
husband-wife duo Vivek and Shubhra Chadda and is currently a fruitful brand that would
not have been conceivable without online networking. Engagement through social
networking is basic for any business that wishes to be seen as modern and part of the new
digital age. Chumbak is wonderfully achieving this and has accepted the fact that, although
the spot and strategy for working changes with mechanical headways, eras and changing
decisions, one thing that never shows signs of change is the acknowledgment that the
customer is always the king.

References
Albert, N. and Valette-Florence, P. (2010), Measuring the love feeling for a brand using interpersonal
love items, Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 57-63.
Assocham and Comscore (2012), State of e-commerce in India, available at: www.assocham.org/
old-site/arb/general/Comscore_%20ASSOCHAM-report-state-of-ecommerce-in-India (accessed 4 April
2014).
Batra, R., Ahuvia, A. and Bagozzi, R.P. (2012), Brand love, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 76 No. 2,
pp. 1-16.
Cheung, C.M., Chiu, P.Y. and Lee, M.K. (2011), Online social networks: why do students use
Facebook?, Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 1337-1343.
Chumbak on Instagram, available at: www.es-la.de-de.vi-vn.connect.facebook.com/Chumbak/app
(accessed 22 March 2014).
Chumbak on Pinterest, available at: www.pinterest.com/chumbak (accessed 2 March 2014).
Facebook page of Chumbak, available at: www.facebook.com/Chumbak (accessed 20 February
2014).
Jahn, B. and Kunz, W. (2012), How to transform consumers into fans of your brand, Journal of Service
Management, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 344-361.

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VOL. 5 NO. 4 2015

LinkedIn (2014), Social media: a hotbed for SMB growth and fertile ground for financial services
prospects, available at: http://marketing.linkedin.com/blog/social-media-a-hotbed-for-smb-growthand-fertile-ground-for-financial-services-prospects (accessed 23 April 2014).
McKinsey Global Institute (2012), The social economy: unlocking value and productivity through
social technology, available at: www.mckinsey.com/.../media/mckinsey%20offices/.../the_social_
economy (accessed 28 March 2014).
Park, N., Kee, K.F. and Valenzuela, S. (2009), Being immersed in social networking environment:
Facebook groups, uses and gratifications, and social outcomes, Cyber Psychology & Behavior,
Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 729-733.
Pinterest Page of Chumbak, available at: www.pinterest.com/chumbak/ (accessed 15 March 2014).
PWC (2014), Social media: the future of customer relationships, available at: www.pwc.co.uk/.../
social-media-the-future-of-customer-relationships (accessed 4 May 2014).
Rebecca, L. (2011), The woman entrepreneur at chumbak: Shubhra Chadda, available at: http://
youtu.be/XluDONZFPss (accessed 2 March 2014).
Reitz, A.R. (2012), Online consumer engagement: understanding the antecedents and outcomes,
PhD dissertation, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
The Economic Times (2014b), Bright & Airy: why kitsch design company Chumbak opted for an open
plan office, available at: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-03-01/news/47799637_1_
office-space-chumbak-sun-microsystems (accessed 10 March 2014).
Wallace, E., Buil, I. and de Chernatony, L. (2014), Consumer engagement with self-expressive
brands: brand love and WOM outcomes, Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 23 No. 1,
pp. 33-42.

Further reading
About Chumbak, available at: www.chumbak.com/about-chumbak.html (accessed 4 February 2014).
Alexa Ranking (2014), available at: www.alexa.com/topsites/countries;4/IN (accessed 4 May 2014).
Anandan, R. (2014), Indian entrepreneurs should stop worrying about failures the Economic Times
on mobile, available at: http://m.economictimes.com/opinion/guest-writer/rajan-anandan-googleindia-vp-md-indian-entrepreneurs-should-stop-worrying-about-failures/articleshow/msid-31911842.
cms (accessed 23 March 2014).
The Chumbak blog Tumblr, available at: chumbak.tumblr.com/post/56327116404 (accessed 19
March 2014).
Chumbak on Google, available at: www.chumbak.com/faq.htmlChumbakGoogleplus.google.com/
100694205198881886837 (accessed 19 March 2014).
Cool Age (2013), Chumbak: from fridge magnets to business magnates, available at: www.coolage.
in/2013/10/16/chumbak-story-of-the-kissing-stones/ (accessed 1 February 2014).
The Enso Blog (2013), The web is working for global small business, available at: http://blog.
helloenso.com/post/52915582314/the-web-is-working-for-global-small-business (accessed 2 March
2014).
Entrepreneur India (2013), Seed fund invests over $2 million in Chumbak, available at: http://
entrepreneurindia.in/thebuzz/specialreport/seedfund-invests-over-2-million-in-chumbak/18421/ (accessed
4 May 2014).
Huang, E. (2013), Chumbak saw a diamond in mere rocks, now in India and Japan, available at:
http://e27.co/chumbak-saw-a-diamond-in-mere-rocks-now-in-india-and-japan/ (accessed 24 April
2014).
Hubspot (2013), Companies rocking on social-media, available at: http://cdn1.hubspot.com/hub/
53/101-Companies-Rocking-Social-media-HubSpotv5.pdf (accessed 1 April 2014).
IBNLive (2013), Indian startup Chumbak exploits the web to create a niche market, available at:
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/indian-startup-chumbak-exploits-the-web-to-create-a-niche-market (accessed
20 February 2014).
Kareem, R. (2013), Kitschy kitschy bang bang, available at: www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/
nxg/kitschy-kitschy-bang-bang/article4458873.ece (accessed 3 March 2014).

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Karol and Karol (2014), Survey: hyper growth small businesses spending more on social media,
available at: http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/entrepreneurs/2014/02/19/survey-hyper-growthsmall-businesses-spending-more-on-social-media/ (accessed 10 March 2014).
My Bangalore (2010), Chumbak, Indian souvenir, kitschy products, fridge magnet quirky designs,
available at: www.mybangalore.com/article/0810/chumbaks-kitschy-souvenirs-truly-represent-india-.
html (accessed 4 April 2014).
Pagemodo (2014), Facebook is still king among small business owners [SURVEY], available at:
www.pagemodo.com/blog/facebook-king-small-business-owners- (accessed 25 March 2014).
PWC (2013), In-store shopping still center of shopping experience, available at: www.pwc.com/.../
pwc-annual-survey-of-online (accessed 6 May 2014).
Reserve Bank of India Report (2014) available at: www.rbi.org.in/scripts/FAQView.aspx?Id84
(accessed 3 February 2014).
Social Samosa (2013), Why is chumbak a lovable start-up brand on social media?, available at:
www.socialsamosa.com/2013/09/chumbak-start-up-brand-social-media/ (accessed 2 February 2014).
Success story of Chumbak, available at: www.facebook.com/advertising/success-stories/chumbak
(accessed 20 February 2014).
The Economic Times (2011), Chumbak: Shubhra Chadda pull in profits by quirky India-centric
souvenirs, available at: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-11-28/news/30450424_1_
fridge-magnet-souvenirs (accessed 11 March 2014).
The Economic Times (2013), 5 women entrepreneurs who have defied myths & handicaps, available
at: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/slideshows/biz-entrepreneurship/5-women-entrepreneurswho-have-defied-myths-handicaps/slideshow/19124951.cms (accessed 2 April 2014).
The Economic Times (2014a), Small companies market themselves on Facebook and seal deals via
WhatsApp, available at: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-02-5/news/47670597_1_
whatsapp-facebook-page-mark-zuckerberg (accessed 2 May 2014).
The Hindu Business Line (2014), Quirky, magnetic, very Indian they are the couple who sold a house
to live their entrepreneurial dream, available at: www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/blink/work/
quirky-magnetic-very-indian/article5757185.ece (accessed 3 April 2014).
Tribune India (2013), The tribune, Chandigarh, India trends, available at: www.tribuneindia.com/
2013/20131102/trends.htm (accessed 4 April 2014).
Twitter page of Chumbak, available at: twitter.com/Chumbak (accessed 15 March 2014).
Your Story (2013), Lessons for entrepreneurs from Chumbak an attractive Indian venture, available
at: http://yourstory.com/2013/02/lessons-for-entrepreneurs-from-chumbak-an-attractive-indianventure (accessed 1 March 2014).
YouTube video of Chumbak, Chumbak makes the web work for them, available at: http://youtu.be/
1EhsNFOA9ew (accessed 19 February 2014).

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Exhibit 1. Chumbak product range based on an Indian theme


Figure E1

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Exhibit 2. Studio of Chumbak


Plate E1

Exhibit 3. Hiring for Chumbak through Facebook


Figure E2

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Exhibit 4. Real Time marketing through Facebook


Figure E3

Exhibit 5. Content Marketing through Facebook


Figure E4

Exhibit 6. Crowdsourcing through Facebook


Figure E5

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Exhibit 7. Social care through Facebook

Quick note on ecommerce deliveries: Hello just wanted to personally update you on some of the
delivery issues weve been having for the past couple of days at Chumbak. Some of your orders
have been delayed. So I thought Id write a quick note to tell you why in the past couple of months
weve been seeing much larger traffic and increased orders on Chumbak.com. And for that, on
behalf of all of us at Team Chumbak, Im sorry. I truly am. We have ramped up stuff and you wont
have any more cause to get stressed. Heres looking forward to crazy loads of smiles and love
from you guys. Vivek (the guy who makes the whoosh sound, Team Chumbak).
Source: Screenshot (Chumbak Facebook fan page)

Exhibit 8. Chumbak on Pinterest


Figure E6

Exhibit 9. Chumbak does the subsequent to win back its customers through
Pinteres

It has Pin It button to its website.


It uses well-lit, high resolution photograph of its merchandise to draw in repines.
Create Pins around festivals, events and holidays to draw in Pinners longing for specific content.
Feature common pins across the digital channels to inspire Pinners to shop for your merchandise.
Source: Compiled by authors from Chumbaks Pinterest wall

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Exhibit 10. Sharing photos through Instagram

Figure E7

Exhibit 11. Variables


Social Media Engagement (adapted from Cheung et al., 2011; Park et al., 2009; Jahn and
Kunz, 2012):

To know more about it.

To have direct interaction with the company.

To know about its promotional schemes.

To get my queries solved.

I find its products to be unique*.

Brand attachment (adapted from Batra et al., 2012; Albert and Valette-Florence, 2010;
Wallace et al., 2014):

I feel emotionally connected with the brand after liking it its social media platforms.

Following this brand makes me happy.

Liking this brand me satisfied.

I notice it more often.

Purchase intention (adapted from Batra et al., 2012; Jahn and Kunz, 2012; Reitz, 2012):

I purchase the same brand when required as I follow it on its social media platforms.

I buy its products directly from the social media avenues (e.g. Facebook) when
required*.

I intend to purchase this product/brand in the future also.

I am loyal customer of this brand as I follow it on its social media platforms.

Word of mouth (adapted from Batra et al., 2012; Wallace et al., 2014; Jahn and Kunz,
2012):

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I often talk positive about this brand because I am following it on social media
platforms.

I recommend this brand to friends and family.

Information shared on the fan page of the brand influences my buying intentions*.

I introduce this brand to other people.

*Items developed newly within the study.

Corresponding author
Chetna Kudeshia can be contacted at: ckudeshia@yahoo.com

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Abstract
Title The journey of Chumbak: from mail to mall leveraging social media networks for on-going
dialogue with customers.
Subject area Marketing.
Study level/applicability Undergraduate and postgraduate management students.
Case overview Small scale business in India employ almost 30 million people contributing 50 per
cent to industrial and 45 per cent to the total exports of the country. The rapid growth of internet has
made it possible for the small scale start ups to reach its existing and potential customers without
investing much. The case highlights this fact describing the journey of Chumbak a small scale
business from an unknown brand to the foremost favourable funky product of India. Through this case
the authors have tried to relinquish a synoptic view of how Chumbak has used varied social media
platforms, to engage and connect with its customers. A survey of 147 customers of Chumbak customers
shows that engagement through Facebook fan page of Chumbak positively impacts its purchase
intention, brand image and leads to positive word of mouth.
Expected learning outcomes The case highlights numerous dynamics of social media marketing
and shows the recent social media promoting methods being used by the little scale businesses to
ascertain on-going dialogues with their customers. The Case would facilitate the scholars in learning
how these platforms may be used alone as a promotional tool not solely to reach the purchasers but
additionally to type a higher complete awareness of the products with reference to Chumbak. The case
explains that communication happening at varied social media platforms got to be tailored considering
the sort of users.
Supplementary materials Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your
library to gain login details or email support@emeraldinsight.com to request teaching notes.
Subject code CSS 8: Marketing

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