#SSIPLWatch We expect sales to grow by 50% due to surge in potential sales: S Shriram, Levista Coffee

S Shriram

Levista Instant Coffee is on-board as ‘Official Licensed Coffee Partner’ for Chennai Super Kings this season of Dream11 IPL 2020. S Shriram takes us through the brand’s IPL strategy.

According to the company, the association also marks a distinctive milestone for a coffee brand to associate with the annual sporting extravaganza. Through this partnership, the brand will launch a special season/ limited edition package in its instant coffee range as well as other collector’s worth combo packs with special Thala MS Dhoni and CSK team keepsakes, a range for both coffee and cricket fans.

In a tete-a-tete with Social Samosa, S Shriram, VP – Marketing and Sales, Levista Coffee puts the spotlight on the coffee brand’s major objectives and the kind of visibility potential that the tournament offers.

Edited Excerpts:

What was the insight behind your association with CSK? 

Levista has positioned itself as a family brand to experience coffee and CSK is not just a sports team, it’s rather an emotion for millions of us worldwide. At Levista, we wanted to capture this indelible combo of Family + Emotion as a great cup of coffee is just that.

What does the overall marketing plan for the season look like? What kind of a role will social media play?

We have produced 3 new TVCs celebrating our tie-up with CSK as well as the overall feel and emotions around cricket. We are the official Coffee Partner with HelloFM which in turn is the official Radio Partner for CSK. Together, we plan to conduct a lot of contests and provide “instant coffee” as “instant gratification”.

We have collaborated with DT Next, the hyperlocal neighborhood newspaper. There is a retail store activation under progress through which we will install over 3,000 name boards outside shops across the city of Chennai and TN. We have also activated hoardings in the city and on highways in TN as well as key points of the display at select toll plazas.

Please take us through your media mix. How much percent of it is reserved for digital? 

As a baby brand, most of our budgets are around mainstream media. Perhaps, around 90% of that.

However, we have been increasing our focus on digital over the past few months and I would see this growing and continue for the next few years.

Take us through your marketing strategy. Any campaigns or activities lined up to support your partnership? 

The core communication for the campaign was to stay true to the Levista audience while also widening the space to welcome and celebrate the CSK Family. Coffee is a beverage of warmth and has always been a symbol of communication and togetherness. Our social media campaign is just a reflection of that emotion. We wished to build the celebration around coming together with your family to ‘Roar and Cheer for CSK with Levista.’

We wanted to ride on the fact that CSK coming back is the first big celebration for most Chennaiites this season. With the ‘New Normal’ we designed our social campaign to purely celebrate and cherish the experience.

Social media pages carry that emotion forward with engagement-led posts that allow our audiences to draw parallels between the emotion associated with CSK and Coffee. We have plans to engage with audiences through exciting contests and video-based ideas to celebrate CSK and Levista throughout the tournament as part of #LevistaRoarsForCSK.

Also Read: #SSIPLWatch Aalok Bhan on reinforcing the importance of financial protection through IPL

What are the parameters to calculate ROI on your IPL marketing initiatives? Do you think it will be difficult to recover the investment amidst the pandemic crisis? 

As I have said above, our tie-up with CSK is a very strategic one and it is difficult to measure RoI in this sort of investment.

We expect our sales to grow by 50% compared to Q2 due to the surge in potential sales as well as the love of cricket fans, especially in TN on CSK which I am sure will benefit us immensely.

How will you be leveraging IPL to bounce back from the pandemic induced business lull & changing consumer habits created by the lockdown?

Fortunately, from the word go (Read: Lockdown 1.0), our sales have been growing northwards. Thanks to a sustained WFH mode that most of us have been on, “At home consumption” of Coffee (and other hot beverages including Milk) has grown multifold.

During April & May, we added lakhs of new consumers who tried our brand due to the non-availability of their staple ones and have continued to remain loyal to our brand, thanks to its blend and a taste that matches almost that of Filter Coffee. With WFH easing, more shops stocking our products, and existing retailers increasing their quantities, we are very happy with the outcome of the sale and are positive that the company will increase its sales in Q3 as well.

Pre corona v/s post corona: has IPL marketing or sports marketing in general changed dramatically? What are the key advertising & marketing trends you foresee?  

From planning travel to buying soft drinks and snacks to watch a particular match, IPL has been a bounty for FMCG brands and retailers all these years. I guess 2020 is not different. Overall, there is a dull moment due to loss of lives and livelihood, however, things have come to a stage where people in India, especially have accepted the reality and have decided to move ahead but with caution.

As for advertising, I believe the spends will be at least lower by 25% compared to FY 19-20 due to the pandemic. A number of new marketing alternatives will come up in the months to come. We ourselves had plans to deploy a “Face of the Brand” but due to an alternate (and perhaps) a better opportunity with this CSK outing, we are seeing a tremendous positivity towards our brand from various quarters.


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