Tata Tea

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Building brands, brewing success

Tata Tea is constantly evolving its product and marketing strategy in its effort to give the Indian tea drinker a more delectable hot cuppa

In today's world of intense competition, there is perhaps no marketing mantra more relevant than this — the customer is king. Every company is looking to anticipate the needs and demands of this increasingly demanding breed before its competitors, both international and domestic, in order to not jut survive market forces but thrive. And as it is with most FMCG products so it is with ta.

The tea industry, with penetration levels close to 90 per cent, is extremely habit-driven. Consumers once used to a brand are not very open to a change in taste profile. Therefore, the acquisition of new consumers (which always have to be from another brand's franchise, given the high level of penetration) is a very challenging task. Yet, Tata Tea has achieved commendable success with its innovative products, savvy packaging, attractive pricing and eye-catching advertising. However, it feels that to sustain this success and continue to grow, understanding changing consumer needs and identifying related challenges and opportunities should be a continuous endeavour.

The company uses a metric that enables it to launch new products, keep its brand image contemporary and retain a large proportion of its consumer base while attracting new consumers, informs Tata Tea executive director (marketing) Sangeeta Talwar. "This is done by the continuous tracking of consumer trends and practices both inside the category and outside, in India and international markets," she explains.

But the challenges remain. Elaborates Ms Talwar: "For a product like tea, the challenges are two-fold. Lower priced offers from local brands offer a competitive product at a cheaper price, especially when commodity prices are down. Also, value added offerings in the marketplace, which look to excite the consumer and enter the...
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