NEW DELHI :
Local arm of American beverage maker Coca Cola said it is stepping up efforts to launch regional campaigns and localized packaging for its portfolio of beverage brands starting with the state of West Bengal. The move comes on the back of growing trend of localization among consumer goods companies that are mapping state specific shopping habits and rolling out products and campaigns suited to those.
Consumers in the state of West Bengal will now be able to buy bottles Coca Cola and Minute Maid which will be labeled in the native Bengali language. The beverage maker has picked the state of West Bengal to run trials of what it called its "hyper-localisation" strategy as seeks to reach more consumers in India.
“West Bengal is the first Indian state where the entire portfolio and marketing initiatives of Coca Cola’s brands have been hyper-localized to resonate with local language ie Bengali and suit consumer preferences," Coca Cola India said in an announcement on Wednesday.
The maker of Sprite, Thums Up, Fanta, and Maaza drinks said it will extend this move with product and marketing localisation in other states after it scales up the reach of such packaging in the eastern state that is among its top seven markets in India, T. Krishnakumar, president, Coca Cola India and South West Asia, told reporters in Kolkata on Wednesday.
“Local languages help us better connect with consumers in the region," Krishnakumar said.
For starters, Coca Cola has rolled out packaging labels in Bengali for beverages such as Coke, Sprite, Thums Up, Maaza, Fanta, Limca, Kinley and Minute Maid. Each brand will devise a hyperlocal campaign to deepen connect and bring on-ground experience alive for consumers in Bengal, the company said. "Coca Cola India’s hyper-local strategy will reflect in the marketing mix, packaging, advertising, social media activations and a range of on-ground events across portfolio," said Shehnaz Gill, senior vice president, operations, Coca Cola India.
Going forward, the company could look at leveraging Hindi as the next big language, albeit once its trial pilot in West Bengal sees success and gains scale.
The company also announced its partnership with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), as the team's official beverage partner ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In the past, the beverage maker has used regional celebrities to endorse its popular brands in the language dominant in the state. For instance, in Andhra Pradesh, Mahesh Babu endorses Thums Up in Telegu. But the latest move will cover the company’s entire product portfolio and not just key brands with the entire communication and marketing in Bengali.
In 2017, Coca Cola decided to use hyper-localisation as one of its key levers for growth in Asia’s third-largest economy where per capita beverage consumption is still low. Part of its plans include launching more local products such as the recently launched black grape-based sparkling beverage that is widely consumed in the state of Tamil Nadu.