Health problems due to sedentary lifestyle and bad food habits is rising rapidly in India. In Bangalore itself 4 out of every 10 people are obese. And close to 7 lac people eat out everyday in this city.

Sensing this need for healthy, lower calorie & tasty food, a number of startups have taken the dip to provide reasonably priced, healthy, lower calorie meals for the SEC AB population which can be ordered at a button press and be delivered within 30mins.

Most food start-ups in this category like FreshMenu, EatFresh, Box8, InnerChef surely deliver a high quality food experience but none of them have been able to position themselves as fresh, healthy, better than home cooked food in the category.

All the players come across as a quick, affordable to semi-premium online meal ordering and home delivery service with a standard quality guarantee. Here is a comparison of online stores of 3 major players in the category. They have the same look and feel of products.

Customers looking for ordering food will visit multiple online food delivery websites and take decisions based on price point and maybe delivery time utmost. Therefore currently, the only way to retain the existing customers and gain more customers is by providing heavy discounts on a regular basis. Its a proven fact that how risky business could get when played only on the price parameter without offering any real brand differentiation.

So here are 2 brand differentiation ideas for online food start-ups which none of the players have tried out so far. They are extremely budget friendly and effortless to implement. All it needs is a bit of hustle to make it ready, steady and go!

Idea 1: Tell Your Story

We all love stories and even more when its a real one! Show what goes behind the kitchen, bring out the passion of your menu planners to chefs and delivery team. Allow the audience to connect with your brand and feel the day to day struggles of getting a freshly prepared exotic meal right to their doorstep within 30mins.

Shout out the story of freshness of your ingredients, premium quality of preparation, finesse of the chefs, beauty of packaging, commitment and professionalism of staff. By showing all these finer details in the video, you will be able to give imagination to your audience, who do not really think much of you right now but only a online food store. This attempt will be one of the firm steps in building your brand character with empathy.

For Inspiration — here is a brilliant ad by Google harping on the same idea.

Giving importance to the hygiene, quality and professionalism of the entire process in your communication is a sure shot answer to get your brand differentiation in the most easiest way.

See how KFC succeeded in portraying their brand as extremely hygienic, high on quality and most importantly ensures the vegetarian items never mix with the non vegetarian items.

Idea 2: Play The Underdog

Do we know who is behind the scenes for conceptualising these start-ups and driving fire in them every day? None of these start-ups have given a face to their company. We don’t really know about the founders struggles in bootstrapping these companies. A lot of story telling and connecting with consumers can be done around this topic.

Think of popular web series like TVF Pitchers or TV series Silicon Valley, this is how much people enjoy stories of struggle and victory, because this is what they do in their daily lives and aspire for as well.

Some quirky stuff for Box8 🙂

Use interesting mediums to tell the story — the packaging box is a good way to start. Interesting, funny 2 liners around the founders struggle and achievements can be showcased on the packaging box in a quirky, casual manner. Weave in the DNA of the company culture and founder’s personality into your design and communication tonality.

Think about Dhirubhai Ambani, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Shahrukh Khan, Rajnikanth — its people’s empathy with their struggle is what distinguished them as stars and so we celebrate their success as ours. We love those who made it from rags to riches and we’ll support them if we believe they have fire in their bellies.



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