IPL provides ‘high engagement viewing’, says Suhail Sameer of Too Yumm!

In a chat with exchange4media, Sameer, CEO, RP-SG FMCG, Too Yumm! talks about the brand’s integrated strategy for IPL and how it has disrupted the snacks category

TooYum

The Indian Premier League provides a brand the opportunity for ‘high engagement viewing’, says Suhail Sameer, CEO, RP-SG FMCG of Too Yumm!. The brand, which was introduced in September 2017, has got associated with IPL for the second time this season. 

Sameer spoke to exchange4media on the association and roping in Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador. 

“Associating with IPL was a strategic decision for us as sports is a high affinity medium for our target audience. IPL presents a unique opportunity for high engagement viewing and delivers high frequency quickly, and as Too Yumm! is a healthier snack with some high impact assets like Kohli, it works even better. Last year, the partnership paid off really well for us in spreading the message around the brand’s claims of essential goodness and health. This year, we want to strengthen last year’s idea, encouraging consumers to #SayNoToFriedSnacks. The executions have changed to ‘Fried Snacks Out, Too Yumm!. We are also using it to accelerate awareness for “Karare”. IPL with its 650 million+ reach certainly helps,” Sameer said.

The brand has adopted an integrated strategy for IPL to target digital, TV and the traditional media at one go, he said. “The ROI metrics are straight forward – spontaneous awareness increase in a short time, brand equity building as the genre is aligned to our brand values, distribution increase and obviously sales and market share. We are also using digital and social in a big way to build stronger engagement for the brand.”

Kohli was roped in as the face of the brand within three months of its launch and launched various campaigns featuring the cricketer. “We were a start-up launching a healthy snacks brand, something that hadn’t succeeded in the past for other companies. The role of the celebrity, for us, was to build credibility for our proposition and to get a strongly entrenched association with it,” Sameer said. 

“It depends on the requirement of the brand and the defined role of the celebrity, which also influences the choice of the celebrity. However, at the end of the day, the product attributes - i.e., taste, value and proposition - have to be good. A celebrity endorsement can only lead to faster trials. The product drives repeat sales, which is where we have done well.”

On ways in which Too Yumm! has disrupted the snacks category, Sameer said: “The progress so far on Too Yumm! has been very good and fulfilling. All through our purpose has been to liberate Indian consumers of unhealthy snacking. We have been able to stamp our differentiation with great products that are tasty and healthy, with attractive packaging design, and highly engaging and different style of communication. Our brand awareness and equity have built rather quickly, and hence we are expanding and scaling up fast with more easily relatable products.” 

“It is a disruption in the snacking category in many ways. Fried snacks forms the core of Indian snacking habit and most of the well-established brands are offering similar options – all fried! Some of the known successes in the recent past in the snacks category are also fried snacks, at value pricing. The consumers are spoilt for choice in this hugely cluttered and competitive snacking market. Hence, Too Yumm! as a new brand has launched ‘healthy snacks’ at a moderate premium, building its distribution from scratch. Each of the brand’s products - Fox Nuts, Veggie Sticks, Quinoa Puffs, Multigrain Chips and the newly launched Karare - is a disruptor.”

Speaking about the opportunities and challenges that lie in front of a homegrown F&B brand, he asserted, “We have started well, but the challenge is to keep pace with constant and relevant innovations. As Too Yumm! continues to grow, one of the internal challenges we would face would be to maintain the same level of energy and speed in our decision-making and go-to-market. For a new homegrown brand, the other big challenge is meaningful distribution expansion, as it’s a long-term competitive advantage for established brands. We are investing upfront in building a strong distribution for our brand. We have the second strongest equity among snacking brands, in the top Metros and that gives us the confidence to invest in distribution to leverage our brand strength.”

The brand aims to reach Rs 500 crore in the Indian FMCG space. “Our immediate plan is to continue the growth trajectory that we have created for ourselves. Our determination is to take Too Yumm! to greater heights in the next few years,” Sameer added.

On what kind of marketing strategy works best for the brand, he said, “Our play is in disrupting a large category with innovative products, differentiated proposition and impactful communication. We wanted to offer our consumers wholesome snacks, which to us meant an effortless blend of taste and health. So we utilised our strongest proposition of being healthy without compromising on the taste. We also carefully selected Virat as the ambassador which helped us a lot in driving credibility and build equity fast. We stayed away from being me-too to competitive products available. It has been a long journey combined with many learnings to get where are today. Now, we want to focus on further brand building and expanding our distribution. A right mix of price, taste, health and effective communication can do wonders for a brand with a strong proposition like Too Yumm”!

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