Ambitious growth targets are nothing new at Deliveroo. The five-year-old online food delivery company is on target to hit six million UK customers by the end of 2018 and grow its roster of 10,000 restaurants by 50%, expanding to 50 new towns and cities nationwide.
This follows the decision in June to open up its platform to 5,000 eateries by allowing them to use their own fleets rather than its network of 15,000 riders, putting the business in direct competition with rival Just Eat.
Deliveroo, which in September 2017 was valued at $2bn after securing $385m in private investment, is seeking to fill the gap being left by the decline of fast casual restaurants from Byron and Jamie’s Italian, to Prezzo and Carluccio’s.
Yet despite the growth, the brand is still guided by founder Will Shu’s ambitious goal to feed people three times a day.
“Will talks about wanting to be the definitive food company, which means that we want to be able to provide amazing food to everyone no matter what their definition of amazing is,” explains Emily Kraftman, head of marketing for UK and Ireland.
“To date you’ve been able to get your favourite restaurants, whether that’s Wagamama or Gourmet Burger Kitchen, or your local independent but it’s always been when we’ve done the end-to-end service. Some people’s local takeaways haven’t joined the platform because they already have their own riders and this allows us to offer that service as well.”
Despite being founded and headquartered in London, Deliveroo wants to position itself as a hyper-local brand that reflects the kind of food people love in locations from Manchester to Aberdeen.
Having expanded to more than 12 countries globally in the five years since the company was founded, Deliveroo is determined to maintain its disruptive edge as it scales up. The key is having an underdog mentality, says Kraftman, which the brand maintains through a sense of curiosity and eagerness to question the status quo.
She cites the brand’s delivery-only kitchens – known as Deliveroo Editions – as a way of disrupting the status quo by bringing new cuisines to areas where they might be missing. Having first been trialled in London in 2017, Deliveroo opened its debut Editions kitchen in Paris on 4 July.
Deliveroo also maintains its disruptive spirit by being single minded and eager to learn, says Kraftman. “We’re not afraid of failing and celebrating the learnings we get from the failures as much as the successes,” she adds.
“Even though we’ve grown to the scale that we are at the moment, that mentality really underpins the way that we approach marketing. We set pretty much all our marketing campaigns up as tests, so that we can understand the impact that they’re having and continue to iterate on what’s working and what’s not.”
Vision first, channel second
In February, Deliveroo went live with a new global brand campaign designed to encourage consumers to “eat more amazing at every food occasion”. Running across TV, outdoor, mobile, social, experiential and direct mail, the campaign also featured radio ads with bespoke messages based on the day, weather and location.
Karftman describes Deliveroo as being “very single-minded” in the way it executed the ‘Eat More Amazing’ campaign, from heroing the food and focusing on brand cues to keeping the message simple.
Food was put at the heart of the campaign by focusing on food photography, ensuring the adverts were placed during food focused TV programmes and even unveiling an edible burger billboard in Shoreditch, East London in March.
“We’re obsessed with food, we’re talking about food all the time, we’re eating food all the time and making sure the food is at the heart of what we do,” Kraftman states.
“And actually surprisingly, given that we’re in the food industry, we really hero food in everything we do in a way that isn’t always seen across the category.”
One of the key principles Deliveroo has instilled across its global markets is to start any brand campaign from a channel agnostic perspective by first identifying the business problem and then working out which elements of the marketing mix will make the most impact.
While Kraftman acknowledges that TV, out-of-home and radio are really important ways of gaining cut-through, Deliveroo has also sought to redefine what it thinks of as ‘marketing channels’.
This has meant giving its partner restaurants the assets to showcase their relationship with Deliveroo, from ‘open’ and ‘closed’ door signs and Eat More Amazing window stickers, to kitting out its riders, who are often the first touchpoint a consumer has with the brand.
Deliveroo also recently embarked on an experiential roadshow called Tasting Rooms, which brought four different cuisines to shopping centres across the UK as a way of engaging consumers who might not already be familiar with the brand.
The response to Eat More Amazing has been “really positive” and helped drive top-of-mind awareness across all Deliveroo’s markets, says Kraftman, who explains that the desire to generate fame underpinned the whole campaign.
“We want to continue to be a disruptive brand and one of the ways to be disruptive is to be known and to be famous. Particularly with something like an app we need people when they’re hungry to think of Deliveroo as their first option if they’re deciding to get takeaway and to do that we need to be as present and distinct as possible,” she states.
All the creative development for the Eat More Amazing campaign was done by the in-house Deliveroo team, working in partnership with producers and directors.
Based at Deliveroo’s global headquarters in London, the central global marketing team consists of the creative studio, performance marketing team and CRM team serving all markets, while there is a team of 10 marketers focused on the UK and Ireland business.
Having previously held brand management roles at Nestlé and AB InBev, Kraftman joined Deliveroo as head of marketing supply in January 2016 before being promoted to head of marketing for UK and Ireland in April 2017.
Describing her background in FMCG as fantastic foundation in the core competencies of marketing, Kraftman explains that it allowed her to work on global brands in a structured way and take a more theoretical approach.
She explains that while it is not essential for anyone new joining her team to have a degree in marketing, she is looking for people who can think analytically, understand customer insights and data, as well as distill lots of information and creatively solve problems.
“We’ve accountable for driving the growth of the business and understanding who our customers are, what are they looking for and how can we address that in terms of what we do and how we communicate,” she adds.
“They also need to have a passion for the brand or the industry. We get a lot of people that know Deliveroo and they’re probably customers as well. So absolutely we are looking to build the team based on those skills.”