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Digital will continue to be our focus when it comes to marketing, says Veetika Deoras of Starbucks

According to Deoras, who joined Tata Starbucks as CMO, Marketing, Category and Digital from Tata Capital, success for Starbucks in the Indian market will be building a passion for coffee

While digital is hailed as the medium of now and the coming future, even today a large chunk of the big brand’s marketing budgets goes towards traditional media. But Tata Starbucks, a 50-50 joint venture between the US-based Starbucks Coffee Company and Tata Global Beverages, has kept its focus steadfastly on digital with regards to marketing and communication.

“Starbucks is a brand that is co-owned by Starbucks along with its customers. Therefore, digital as a channel allows us to build on that relationship we already have with our customers and digital will continue to be our focus going forward as well,” said Veetika Deoras, CMO, Marketing, Category and Digital, Tata Starbucks.

Deoras said the Starbucks store itself is their other important channel of marketing.

“We often say that Starbucks is a brand that has been built by all of our partners who actually serve coffee every day and build that direct connection with the customers,” said Deoras.

Deoras had joined Tata Starbucks from Tata Capital, where till a few months ago she was COO, Tata Capital Digital.

Speaking about the shift, Deoras said, “If you look at both these companies, they are powerhouses in their own rights. Fundamentally, both these companies rest on a very ethical and common value system. Individually, for me, it has been like moving from one arm to the other. The transition has been very smooth.”

Deoras agrees that as categories both finance and coffee are as close to being poles apart as categories can get, but she believes that the fundamentals of marketing don’t change.

“Marketing, today, is more about building connections with the customer. It is more about purpose-led branding and offering the customer a heightened value proposition which is differentiated. So, on the face of it, the two categories are very different and I have learned a lot about coffee as a category in the last few months but if you decode the categories and start to look at marketing fundamentally, there are massive similarities,” said Deoras.

In India, according to Sumitro Ghosh, CEO, Tata Starbucks, the brand has been following a two-pronged approach. Considering that India has predominantly been a tea drinkers’ market, Starbucks is also focusing on tea through Teavana.

With Starbucks’ dominant image as a coffee brand, would it be difficult to lure the tea drinkers into the fold? No, feels Deoras.

“The Indian consumer is adequately versed with coffee as well and they have moved manifold when it comes to coffee. It is true India has been a market that has been traditionally dominated by tea but we believe that there is an equal space for tea as well,” said Deoras.

Commenting on what Tata Starbucks wants to achieve in India, Deoras said, “There is a lot in the world of coffee that needs to be explored, invented and experienced. We have begun our journey in India with a 40-year-old legacy and we are keen to partner with our Indian consumers in building coffee passion and that for us will be success in the market.”

Starbucks has now introduced their Nitro Cold Brew in India. Starbucks’ Nitro Cold brew is made after handcrafting the cold brew coffee, which is then infused with nitrogen. It is also available in vanilla flavour.

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