There’s a storm brewing in the Indian tea cup. In a bid to take on videshi as well as swadeshi rivals, Tata Tea Ltd is drawing up a new game plan which includes, relaunches, packaging initiatives and new mass media campaigns. Meanwhile, MJS Group, makers of Dilma Tea which has a distribution tie-up with Dabur Foods is looking for marketing tie-ups with Indian hotels to promote its preimum tea brands in India.
On Tata Tea’s game plan, says Mr Vivek Mathur, vice president, marketing & sales, Tata Tea Ltd: “Our focus is to increase investments in advertising for building our brands in the Indian market place. This financial year, we had doubled our adspend compared to last year. From April 2004, we further plan to increase it by a 30 per cent.”
Incidentally, the company also plans to shift its adspend from below-the-line activities to mass media ad campaigns, informs Mr Mathur.As for the rationale behind the move, says Mr Mathur: “At the end of the day, the value will be built around products and brands with media campaigns, so that’s why we plan to spend more on mass media ads. Our core strategy is to invest behind big brands like Tata Tea for diffentiation and value additions,” he adds.
Further, Mr Mathur informs that the compnay plans to give a new look and feel to its existing tea brands. In essence, the company plans to modernise its brands by relaunching them. “We will soon launch new media campaigns to promote our brand in the market place. A few months back we launched a premium brand called Tata Tea Gold and it’s doing pretty well now,” explains Mr Mathur.
As for Tata Tea’s foray into the iced tea segment, Mr Mathur says the company is still evaluating the project, however the company does not view this project as one of its high priority projects.
On the other side of the spectrum, Dilma Tea, a leading international tea brand is planning to focus on ‘sampling’ initiatves in major metors as part of its marketing strategy. Says Mr Tony Joseph, country manager, Dilma Tea: “We plan to host ‘tea-tasting’ sessions to promote to our brands in the Indian market place. We have recently rolled variants of Dilma tea in fruit flavours.”
Further, Mr Joseph adds that the company is looking for marketing tie-ups with institutions and five star hotels in major metros across the country. ‘‘Our brand is already served at ITC hotels,” he adds.
With major players chalking out ambitious marketing plans, competition is truly hotting up in the branded tea markets in India.