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The 22-year-journey of Brand Café Coffee Day

19-July-2018
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The 22-year-journey of Brand Café Coffee Day

The journey of brand Café Coffee Day (CCD) began in July 1996, just when internet was finding its way to India. The first outlet of CCD was a coffee shop-cum-cyber café at Brigade Road in Bangalore. The outlet offered more of a novelty value thanks to the internet it offered, rather than being a place for people to spend a leisurely hour or two. Over time as commercial internet grew, CCD did away with the internet and instead decided to emerge as a full-fledged café.

From a handful of cafés in the first five years, Café Coffee Day has today become one of India’s largest cafe chains with 1,722 cafes across 245 cities, as per Q4FY18.

The Making of Brand CCD

“With the café culture growing in neighbouring international markets, the need for a relaxed and fun hangout for the aspirational, urban youth in the country began to emerge. Recognising the potential that lay on the horizon, Café Coffee Day embarked on a journey to become a large organised retail café chain with a distinct brand identity of its own,” says a spokesperson from CCD.

Every new venture has a few challenges, and Café Coffee Day’s foremost challenge was creating the need for a hangout where none existed. In the early '90s, people would either meet-up at friends’ homes or go to restaurants for family outings, and working executives would set up meetings only in office premises. Back in those days, coffee drinking in India was restricted to the five-star coffee shops.

“The challenge was to change the perception of coffee and weave it into the hearts and lifestyle of the youth. The Cafe Coffee Day vision was to become an 'experience beyond a cup’. Today, coffee is not just seen as a beverage but a social glue that brings people together to relax and unwind,” adds the spokesperson.

Marketing and advertising strategies of CCD
CCD’s strategic approach based on the 3 As (Affordability, Accessibility, Acceptability) is a significant factor contributing to the growth of the brand.

“Youth being the key customers and early adapters of trends, we also evolved in our strategy and became more digital-centric as we engaged with the new age world,” says the spokesperson.

Coming to experiential marketing, the spokesperson says, “Over a period of time, we’ve realized that the country needs to increase its knowledge of coffee for the coffee culture to grow. As a conscious developmental strategy, we conducted several in-café activities to increase one’s love and knowledge on coffee and keep consumers excited about the brand through unique in-café experientials."

Consumer engagements is another thing that CCD constantly ensures, be it the recently conducted the ‘Latte Art Festival’ – where customers were served coffee topped with creative latte art designs, special offers on Women’s Day, CCD turning 22 by treating every customer for the whole day at their maiden outlet on Brigade Road, and additionally serving Cappuccinos for Rs. 22 at all other cafes across India as part of a ‘Flash Cappuccino Party’ or its recently introduced home delivery service.

Digital has become an integral part of Café Coffee Day's marketing plan with over 5 million fans on its social media pages and consistently engaging customers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc.

As CCD goes digital, it is also looking at innovation in user experiences by adopting new technologies to enhance customer service. The Café Coffee Day app had 4.4 million downloads as of March 2018 and also has an integrated mobile wallet feature with the objective of enhancing brand loyalty and customer experience.

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