Swiggy and the Unique Brag-Worthy Proposition

A few days ago during a team lunch, two of my teammates mentioned about a new roadside vendor selling Rajwadi Chaas (or Buttermilk) outside our office building. They spoke in length about how he has put in all types of spices in the buttermilk and how there’s always a queue of people waiting to grab some of it at any given point of time and of course how yummy it tastes! In short, they were bragging about it.

The impact of this bragging was such that the whole team went down post lunch to have it. Heck, being a bunch of Marwaris and a Sindhi, we even guesstimated his daily revenue and profits the next day. The point being, this bragging brought in strong word-of-mouth publicity for the vendor resulting in fast organic growth for his simple product — Buttermilk.

As I look back at this incident, I am reminded of the Unique Brag-Worthy Proposition (UBP) philosophy proposed by Kunal Shah of FreeCharge. It’s pure gold for people who build products!

One of the Indian consumer tech product I have bragged about a lot is Swiggy. It is an app through which you can order food from a nearby restaurant. Their own delivery personnel delivers the food.

I started using Swiggy in December 2015. They have this peculiar business differentiator ingrained in their company’s vision — Every Craving Counts; which technically means no minimum order value. My first order was only a Masala Dosa for Rs. 50 from a restaurant 4 km away. And the total amount I paid was, well Rs. 50.

The Dosa was fantastic, so was the delivery. I was mind blown! Never in my dreams before could I ever think of ordering from a restaurant only for myself without the minimum order clauses. It had to be a group. But this experience was amazing! And obviously, I bragged about it to my teammates and friends. Swiggy team rightly put a viral hook there with a refer and earn scheme. I have myself referred the app to more than 10 people because of that feature.

I understand that this business model may not be sustainable and hence, Swiggy now charges for delivery of small orders but it still remains a viable option for small cravings. Also, even though for profitability the average ticket size should be higher, this no minimum order feature has provided them with a good boost to their customer growth which is needed in the early days for an un-established brand. This is their UBP.

And the most important thing to be noted here is that the creation of this UBP required no heavy investment in data science or research. It was a simple product decision which was a part of the vision and early design, a masterstroke in its domain!

Everyday we come across products/experiences we brag about or find someone else bragging about. I bragged about this chatbot today, what did you brag about? And did you take out the time to learn why you did so?

[You can read more about UBP here and watch here.]