Marketing is what you do when your product is no good
So said Edwin Land, who among other things is known for the Polaroid instant camera, a coveted possession in the yesteryears, when we didn’t have digital cameras.
This wisdom seems to be intuitive with passionate marketers who do it effortlessly without any education or experience in marketing.
When Geetanjali Gondhale launched her silver jewelry line, Moha, she was taking a break from a career in graphic design. She did not have an MBA in marketing or a PhD in metallurgy or years of experience as a sales and marketing expert.
What she did have was a dream, a passion and a deep sense of commitment to create outstanding pieces of jewelry that people will love as much as she does. With that investment she took the plunge only to instantly rise as a successful marketer. Her commitment was evident even in the name she chose for her line – Moha – which means “desire” or “passion”.
Her creations live up to the brand name. They are indeed passionate and desirable designs that reflect the passion of the creator and instantly map with the passions of prospective customers.
So what does her marketing mix include? Print ads? TV commercials? Billboards? Search engine ads? Brochures? Posters?
Not even aggressive digital marketing.
Moha’s only marketing mantra – create passionate products
Geetanjali spends all her time traveling for ideas and inspiration that come from nature, tribes, mythology and India’s rich history. She then translates those ideas into designs, and then works closely with her artisans on production.
When the products are ready, she puts up pictures on their Facebook page. The products sell themselves much like the proverbial hot cakes..
Effectively, she spends only a few minutes on sales and marketing.
An entrepreneur usually solves a problem s/he faced
Geetanjali first launched Moha in Goa. She always loved silver jewelry, but would never find the kind of stuff she desired even after combing all the shops in town. Whenever she saw a piece of jewelry, she used to think how she would design it if she were it’s creator.
And then she started designing her own jewelry. When she realized how much people liked them, she decided to launch a silver jewelry line.
She recalls her first selling experience when had she set up a stall in an exhibition in Goa and says she did not know even the basics of sales or customer interaction. But the effort was a huge success, after which she set up a stall in the Saturday Night Market in Goa, that start late in the evening and continue until midnight. Sometimes she used to travel 30 kilometers back home alone at that hour of the night,
Moha was already a huge success when she relocated to Mumbai, where her collections continue to sell themselves. Women from all over the world are passionately buying Moha.
No success is without its share of challenges
Geetanjali says although it is women who adorn jewelry, it is men who control the jewelry business. She has to deal with men at various stages in the process, who aren’t necessarily acclimatized to the idea that a woman is leading a jewelry business.
She recalls another incident when thieves broke into her studio and stole some rare and valuable jewelry that she had painstakingly collected from various parts of the country. Heartbroken, she nearly gave up, but with the support of her loved ones she started afresh.
Happy customers are Moha’s biggest payoff
When her customers share their happiness wearing a MOHA piece, Geetanjali feels motivated and this is what keeps her workshop running.
When she puts up stalls in exhibitions in various cities across India, customers visit even if they are in a hurry to catch a flight or in the middle of other busy schedules .
Others earnestly ask her when she is going to visit their town.
Customers keep sharing with her their happy photos wearing their desired Moha jewelry.
‘Create a great product’ is what Moha and Steve Jobs have in common
Marketing is not what is done after the product is ready. It is about understanding what the customer needs, than trying to second-guess what they might need. A great product doesn’t need marketing, it sells itself.
The passionate lady behind Moha adorning her very passionate fish pendant