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‘Consumer experience comes in the form of product, value, availability & accessibility’

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Puneet Das, SVP– Marketing, Beverages – India, TATA Consumer Products, tells us how the brand is restaging the premium product in the Southern markets by making its value pack accessible to all

Tata Coffee Grand, the packaged coffee brand from the house of Tata Consumer Products, unveiled its recent campaign that aims to create a new language for coffee. The campaign looks to correlate the sound, Shik-Shik-Shik – created by shaking the coffee pack – with coffee. Tata Consumer Products entered the branded instant coffee segment with the brand Tata Coffee Grand in November 2015 and the brand is restaging the product by launching two-rupee value packs to make premium coffee accessible to all consumers.

According to Puneet Das, SVP – Marketing, Beverages – India, TATA Consumer Products, value packs account for 60% of the sales in the coffee category and this is an attempt by the brand to unleash the potential of their product. Das says, “Our product is a new blend and has flavour decoction crystals which give a superior coffee experience and helps unlock the taste and aroma of the coffee. The product is available in consumer packs and we are now offering it in a value pack priced at Rupees two. As coffee is a habit product, we want consumers in the Southern markets to try Tata Coffee Grand in the value pack format and discover a great coffee experience.”

Tata Coffee Grand has launched a TVC campaign that highlights the sound proposition, Shik-Shik-Shik – a departure from the taste and aroma proposition seen in the coffee segment. Coffee is mostly available in powder form, while Tata Coffee Grand is in granular form and when the pack is shaken, a sound is heard due to the granules present. Says Das, “When you shake our pack you hear a sound but how do you tell someone about this product without them opening the pack? We wanted to communicate this uniqueness that just shakes the product and you’ll hear a very distinctive sound in our product versus others due to the presence of granular decoction crystals. We realized this is a great way to tell people that something is different about this product. Hence, this concept of the sound of coffee came up. We then came up with this campaign for great sounding coffee and great tasting coffee.” He continues, “We’ve shown endearing classic coffee situations where instead of people asking for coffee, we have them saying ‘get me a shik-shik-shik’, as a creative amplifier. We believe it’s quite a unique and memorable campaign and this will disrupt the coffee segment.”

With the idea of going mass in the Southern markets, the brand has adopted a marketing mix that includes Television and digital mediums to talk to the audience.

Winning The Southern Market

Coffee Production and consumption in India is dominated by the South Indian States. It thus becomes essential for brands to capture the emotions of South Indian coffee drinkers, and the nuances of South Indian households in their communications. On how the brand is looking to capture the coffee drinkerDas says, “Coffee is an integral part of the South Indian household. While the insight came from the sound of coffee, all the moments represented are typical moments in a South Indian household and the situations showcased in the TVCs is something people will relate to. We believe it will drive an emotional connect, and land our message appropriately.”

On how Tata Coffee Grand plans on differentiating itself, Das says “The only way to stand out is to offer a great experience, in the form of convenience, product, value, availability, and accessibility. We’ve taken our time to get our learnings right. We are offering a good product at an accessible price point and communicating it in a very disruptive manner.”

The South Indian coffee market is extremely competitive with regional legacy players sharing shelf space with national players. Tata Coffee Grand enjoys under 1% market share at an All India level, a 1% market share in the South and a 1.6% market share in Tamil Nadu – the biggest coffee market for Tata Coffee (Source – Nielsen Mat Mar 20).  Das says, “We are a very small player and the potential is huge for us. Every market is an opportunity. Since South accounts for the bulk of the coffee category, the idea is to focus on the South.” He continues, “We are looking to unleash the potential of our product both at the ground level, in terms of distribution, the product and proposition. We have a great product and want more and more people to try it because coffee is a habit product.”

Driving Trials

The key objective to get the product into a value pack was to increase the number of trials. However, with safety precautions necessary due to Covid-19, the brand has had to implement new strategies. Das says “One of our biggest outside the media initiative is to get people to sample our product. We are looking at ways to execute mass sampling. In modern trade stores, we are working out mechanisms to give consumers dry samples because these days we are avoiding wet sampling. We are tying up with newspapers and magazines. Sampling remains a big strategy for us and we continue to evaluate strategies that have worked for us in the past. The idea is to reach out to as many people as possible and get them to try Tata Coffee Grand.” The company is also looking to scale up online and be available across all major e-commerce players with its full range and full SKUs mix.

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