Case Study

Kineer: A social marketing challenge

18 pages
January 2022
Reference: IMD-7-2293

Kineer Services Limited (Kineer) was a social marketing startup set up in 2018 by Lakshmi Narayan Tripathi, a prominent Indian transgender, and Manish Jain, an ex-hospitality industry veteran. Their objective in setting up Kineer was to provide a life of dignity to the socially stigmatized third gender community in India. As a startup, Kineer faced several challenges including finding the right business investors and manufacturing facilities, crafting a suitable distribution set-up, and marketing a commodity product with a differentiated branding strategy. Tripathi and Jain had to try to create a recallable and recognizable packaged water brand using a unique value proposition based on gender inclusivity. They also had to choose between pursuing a consumer market and an institutional market route. Could they hope for a future beyond being a niche brand? Was social marketing going to help them? As B2C sales required massive investments, should the brand continue to pursue the more manageable B2B segment? Should it go ahead with the offer of Cyrus Enterprises to sell its product in the B2C markets? Would selling the product through a third party compromise the brand identity?

Learning Objective
  • Assess the challenges faced by a bootstrapped startup in a competitive market.
  • Evaluate the differences between societal, social and cause-related marketing.
  • Analyze the key imperatives for differentiating a brand using a social marketing platform.
  • Assess the prerequisites for success as a B2B marketer in a commoditized market.
  • Discuss relevant positioning strategies crucial for conveying a unique value proposition.
Start-up, Business Growth, Social Marketing, Social Platform, Competitive Strategy, Brand Marketing, Value Proposition, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Gender Equality, Clean Water, Sanitation, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable City, Sustainable Community, Responsible Consumption, Responsible Production, Goal Partnerships
Kineer, Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage, Services, Water Supply and Sanitary Services
Field Research
© 2022
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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