While digital is hailed as the medium of now and the coming future, even today a large chunk of the big brandâ€™s marketing budgets goes towards traditional media. But Tata Starbucks, a 50-50 joint venture between the US-based Starbucks Coffee Company andÂ Tata Global Beverages, has kept its focus steadfastly on digital with regards to marketing and communication.
â€śStarbucks 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,â€ť said Veetika Deoras, CMO, Marketing, Category and Digital, Tata Starbucks.
Deoras said the Starbucks store itself is their other important channel of marketing.
â€śWe 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,â€ť 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, â€śIf 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.â€ť
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 donâ€™t change.
â€śMarketing, 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,â€ť 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 drinkersâ€™ market, Starbucks is also focusing on tea through Teavana.
With Starbucksâ€™ dominant image as a coffee brand, would it be difficult to lure the tea drinkers into the fold? No, feels Deoras.
â€śThe 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,â€ť said Deoras.
Commenting on what Tata Starbucks wants to achieve in India, Deoras said, â€śThere 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.â€ť
Starbucks has now introduced their Nitro Cold Brew in India. Starbucksâ€™ Nitro Cold brew is made after handcrafting the cold brew coffee, which is thenÂ infused with nitrogen. It is also available in vanilla flavour.