Guruji. When we spoke to Akhil, Benjamin, and Karan, the minds behind the new lotus seed superfood snack, their focus on collaboration between the Eastern heritage and Western taste profile really came through in their marketing strategy. Here at Forward Fooding, we chatted to them about how they’ve combined the two hemispheres, and how marketing has been one of the major challenges along their start-up journey.
One of our biggest challenges has been marketing; sales is sales wherever you go, but marketing has been new every step of the way. We didn’t want our marketing to be something overly westernised which would detract from our eastern heritage, nor did we want to lose that contemporary, funky ethos our brand is all about.
Coming up with the name was really important, as we wanted a brand name not a product name, so we weren’t limited. This way, if in the future we wanted to expand into vegan cafés, we’ve got that ‘Guruji’ brand’s ethos established. Walking you through the process, we wanted something affiliated with the word ‘guru’, and the word ‘guruji’ is the respectful way of addressing a guru by Hindus. It stuck really quickly. It’s also just a cool sounding word, and it’s allowed us to really build up that combination of Western modernism and Eastern heritage. I think you see that most distinctly in our teaser video (watch it here), which we’re super proud of.
Once we had the name, we wanted to visualise it, but also use iconography; the hand was absolutely the perfect symbol to bring it all together, combining the west with the east. The hand symbol is a mudras, a symbol of physical and mental wellbeing, so it has those eastern connotations. In the west, it’s the universal symbol of okay. It’s also how you’d actually pick a lotus seed. The multifaceted meanings, bringing together those symbols known in the east and the west, under one icon, was really an encapsulation of what our product is all about.
Speaking to Guruji, it’s clear that the way they’ve brought their Eastern heritage to a Western audience is an example we want to showcase. If you’re interested in reading our earlier interview with them, feel free to check it out here.
This interview made up part of our ‘East Meets West’ newsletter, where we spoke to a number of companies who’ve brought their traditional delicacies to a Western audience, and their advice to other start-ups looking to do similar. We provide hand-crafted news and insight from the world of FoodTech; if you want to be put on our mailing list, email email@example.com and we’ll add you to our community!
Here at Forward Fooding, meaningful collaboration and connection lies at the heart of all of our actions. Whether that be through our Global FoodTech Map, or one of our events, we want to enable those networking opportunities with established food organisations via partnership and investment opportunities for our community of start-ups. We’re seeing it more and more in the food world, such as in Sainsbury’s collaboration with a number of selected plant-based companies in their meat-free butcher. If you’d like to see what connections Forward Fooding could offer your start-up, feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org! You can also add your company to our FMCG trends section on our platform to get free visibility within our corporate and investors’ network here.
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