National brands try regional

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There is a big marketing trend in the making. It’s the ‘regionalisation’ of national brands.

Last month Titan launched the Namma Tamilnadu collection; watches with dials in Tamil. Now Tata Tea Premium has insightful films to launch two variants: ‘Uttar Pradesh ke liye damdar chai’ and ‘Delhi ke liye rich Assam chai’ reads the packaging.

India is diverse with strong regional preferences, especially in categories like food and beverages. National brands cater to local tastes with different variants. But to brand packaging explicitly for a Uttar Pradesh or a Delhi is unusual.

Tata Tea, which emphasised Indianness, now wants to invoke regional pride. It will probably work.

Puneet Das of Tata Tea told Ananya Pathak of afaqs! that the brand wants to move the needle from celebrating Indian pride to evoking regional pride. Personally I think it’s a brilliant step and one that will be copied by others.

India’s states have a strong sense of local identity and have grown huge in both population and GDP. This is a great opportunity for brands to explore a connect beyond noting local festivals.

In all large countries like India there are two broad, opposing forces at play. One pulls us towards the centre and binds us together as a nation. The other pulls away from the centre and is an expression of regional and linguistic diversity. Tata Tea is cleverly tapping into the latter.

About the author

Sreekant Khandekar

A serial media entrepreneur, I started professional life as a news journalist. Am a voracious reader with a deep interest in societal change.
I was the founding editor of A&M, India’s first national publication for advertising, marketing and media. It spawned coverage of this space in all publications. Also co-founded afaqs!, The Mobile Indian and Kulzy.

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