Coca-Cola India's defences against rise of regional brands
Competition from regional brands has been the biggest nightmare for most companies with a national presence. By virtue of being local these brands have a better understanding of consumer tastes. They also have an edge in pricing which makes them more affordable.
However, Sanket Ray, president (India and Southwest Asia), The Coca-Cola Company, says the company’s core strength is its brands. He believes that the pandemic has seen consumers opting for trusted legacy brands. “Strengthening our brands and increased marketing has been our strategy. We have really increased our marketing spends as well as our understanding of regional tastes. Aam panna, for instance, has a 90% repeat rate. We also have a brand called Rimjhim, which is a jeera drink.”
To make deep inroads into regional markets, Ray says that Coca-Cola has been challenging its business model. “Our traditional approach is using bottlers and distributors but we are now partnering with B2B and e-commerce players to scale up our opex and cost to serve.”