Seven years ago two techies, both from the North of India decided to serve the meal needs or should I say cravings of North Indian immigrants and thus was born Mast Kalandar.
From its inception Pallavi and Gaurav, the two founders, were very clear that it was going to be an ardous journey – especially because of the fact that they were sticklers to quality of what got served to their consumers – food had to be devoid of any shortcuts – food had to be made from no-compromise fresh products (veggies and dairy) traditional recipe (daily routine of hand pound masala), no artificial additions, cooked twice a day cycle and the longest leg was to get the ingredient from the source in North India (the hing had to be from Hathras, the shikanji masala from Modinagar ). No it was never going to be a compromise on this.
With this philosophy they looked beyond their first store in Bangalore and today are at a 47 store number across other cities like Hyderabad , Chennai and Pune as well.
Need for Re-invention
After 7 years it was evident that the consumer had embraced this concept of a ‘fast casual North Indian restaurant serving fresh food devoid of artificial additives’ at the ‘just right for me’ price point but were also very demanding in their expectations. Mast Kalandar (or MK – a nickname given by the consumer )was definitely growing in market share but also needed to get a deeper emotional connect with consumers.
With this in mind they decided to reposition itself to build a stronger emotional relationship between the brand and its consumers. To deliver a unique identity that the stakeholders have always expected of the brand.
How much do we change?
A classical question before any reinvention exercise. Study the core vs. the peripheral. The equity that is deep entrenched vs. attributes that need to be strengthened. Whatever positioning they were going to embark on it had to strike the right balance between being value priced and yet cool enough for consumers , being inwardly traditional and outwardly fun and contemporary.
So I studied the tenets of the repositioning:
Keep with the core colour identity
MK conducted extensive research to understand that they did have a equity in its orange and white colours. However the logo could be more contemporary in going with the personality.
Make the brand playful yet steeped in tradition
Keeping the consumer at the centre they looked at an identity which was fun, simple, contemporary with a strong reminder of the food that was being served.
Deeper emotional connect
MK is an Everyday eating place so the need to recognise the everyday consumers and thereby building an emotional connect.
Elements of humour from popular Bollywood dialogues and striking a desired balance with the MK food.
A new ambience in the stores with live food encounters , new in-store communication as well as a fun space to hang out in.
Slice of North India
Introduction of merchandising to take the MK brand and with it a slice of North India home.
Mast Kalandar : Celebrating the Hero in You
Mast Kalandar addressed the re-invention by positioning its restaurants as an extension of a ‘modern day corporate canteen’. In a dynamic and functional space with an emotional promise of getting the consumers to ‘celebrate the everyday hero in them’. MK would be a modern and dynamic space outside of there office canteens where they meet to discuss and celebrate the small heroic deeds that they achieved through the day.
Mast Kalandar rolls out the new identity in Oct 2013.
I look forward to a home grown brand as vibrant as Mast Kalandar for re-inventing itself and bringing back the Masti