Mahindra is a large Indian conglomerate with a strong reputation for quality with many interests in its domestic automotive, manufacturing, services and tourism industries. A decision was taken to launch a new holiday offer to international visitors, based on a network of privately owned ‘homestays across India marketed through the Mahindra brand. A homestay combines the comfort and distinction of a boutique hotel with the personal hospitality, informality and local knowledge enjoyed when staying with family friends. It offers an insight into the culture, traditions, history and everyday life of an Indian family.
Mahindra came to us in order to get the insights from an agency in its target market but also because we have international experience. We needed to conduct research, develop a brand strategy, positioning and go on to create a name, identity and design a comprehensive website and campaign to launch the business, firstly in the UK
During our research we experienced the homestays firsthand and were completely taken by the experience that we had – both first time and multiple time visitors. The homes, hosts, food, advice and insights the hosts proudly gave us was invaluable. It enabled us to ‘experience the real India’ which became the central brand proposition. Around it we developed the brand values, a messaging hierarchy and a communications campaign that was used to launch the brand and is still in use today. In it we combine copy and photography to describe the diversity of experiences available that are so exciting and enriching that they sometimes leave one unable to sum it up in anything more than being ‘just so India’.
After exploring routes and confirming that the concept of a homestay was easily understood, we proposed a simple name for the business that used the recognisably Indian origin of the company name and a straightforward description of the offer – Mahindra Homestays.
We developed tiered messages based on the brand values that we had agreed with the client and tested all components of the brand story and identity proposals in focus groups with sample target audiences. The responses were positive and with that feedback and more from the client, we progressed to designing the suite of communications tools, including the fully transactional and information rich website. We also supported the press launch with further campaign led material and went on to produce advertisements for national and trade press.