For Soy Day, a brand that positions itself as ‘a healthy diet alternative’ and ‘value-adding food’ for the New Age Indians, challenges were plenty when it entered the Indian market about two years back. The biggest challenge was trying to change the food habits of people.
U Purnachand, Business Manager, The Solae Company, said, “There is a high level of awareness amongst consumers about soya and its benefits. However, it is perceived to have limited applications – either as a meat extender or as a substitute for fresh vegetables. Moreover, there were issues regarding the appearance, beany taste and rubbery texture of soya. However, brand Soy Day has no such problems in its quality, taste, texture or appearance.”
To address these challenges, Soy Day tailored its communication by closely studying its target consumers’ lifestyle and eating habits. India being a country that’s predominantly vegetarian, the only way in which Soy Day could cut across and appeal to the largest possible number of consumers was by educating them about its versatility and applications across a range of primarily Indian vegetarian dishes.
Purnachand further said, “The communication strategy was aimed at educating consumers that Soy Day could be used to create delicious Indian vegetarian dishes. The brief given to our agency, Hakuhodo Percept, was to take the brand Soy Day to the consumer. They developed the complete brand from scratch – including the brand name, the packaging, the colour coding, the graphics, its positioning plus designing and implementing the entire above-the-line and below-the-line media activities.”
Debashis Bose, CEO, Hakuhodo Percept, said, “Our task was to not just launch the brand Soy Day and differentiate it from the me-too brands of soya protein available in the market, but to also give the consumer a real and compelling reason to try out the brand and thereafter to ensure that it was purchased on a regular basis.”
“With the catchphrase ‘add josh to your food’, the creative proposition was that Soy Day ‘turbo charges’ every meal with taste and health. The ‘recipes’ became the hero of every aspect of brand communication – from packaging to advertising to point-of-purchase to sampling events.”
The communication highlighted the different dishes that could be prepared using Soy Day ranging from breakfast, tiffin, snacks, main meals and desserts. These dishes were chosen from regional cuisines from all over India and designed to appeal to all age groups. It was photographed and styled in the finest traditions of food photography. The strategy and creative of Soy Day was checked at every stage by the client, not just in India, but by their offices located in Australia, Brazil and the US.
A unique Integrated Marketing Communications programme was orchestrated with the help of communication partners, including Eventus, Web Percept, Vaishnavi and DB Activations. This provided greater synergy to the brand advertising through PR, web, events, exhibitions and sampling.
Bose further said that an interesting aspect of the creative work was that ads released in each magazine had been customised to the eating habits of its readers as well as the time of the year when the ad was published. For instance, for communication targeting readers in West Bengal, ads were released in Bangla women’s magazine ‘Sananda’, which contained recipes designed to tempt the palate of those readers.
Magazine ads were further supported by ground activity in the form of wet sampling, wherein dishes cooked with Soy Day were offered to consumers at high traffic areas in malls and residential complexes. Soy Day ‘Josh Melas’ were organised at schools giving students and teachers the best of taste and nutrition. Specialised exhibitions targeting nutritionists and caterers were marked by the presence of Soy Day. The brand has its online presence through its website www.soyday.com.
The present communication strategy is to sustain Soy Day’s presence continuously in the consumer’s mind through communication that showcases the usage of the brand in exotic as well as everyday dishes.
According to Hakuhodo’s Bose, “The current challenge for Soy Day in India is to reach every urban home to begin with and to become an essential part of consumer’s everyday food. The task is to not just create a preference for Soy Day amongst new consumers, but also increase its usage amongst existing consumers.”
In future, the communication strategy will continue to focus on creating awareness about Soy Day’s versatility and compatibility with Indian cuisine through the recipe route along with sampling of cooked dishes that would convince the lady of the house about Soy Day’s product quality. Simultaneously, communication will attempt to reach newer benefit segments, including office-goers, people who eat out, seasonal vegetarians (for example, Navratras). In geographies where the brand has achieved critical penetrations, the strategy would be to fine tune communication to increase usage and repeat purchase. This apart, emphasis will be on interactive communication media such as the Internet and consumer contact programmes to build stronger bonding with consumers.