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Puneet Das spills the tea on Tetley’s changing relationship with young consumers

Puneet Das of Tata Consumer Products shares insights on GenZ consumers and how Tetley’s marketing journey is shifting with changing consumer mindset.

Globally, social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram are changing their advertising guidelines. This change comes after consumers have spoken about going through body image issues due to fad diets and quick weight loss ads that keep popping up on social media platforms. TikTok has restrictions in place for advertisers who promote harmful body images. 

This change, while slowly, is also getting reflected in India. Leading green tea brand Tata’s Tetley, which holds the second position in terms of market share after Lipton, also shifted its narrative this Women’s Day. 

Green tea consumption is often linked with weight loss. The narrative in this segment has moreover revolved around ‘looking’ fit rather than being fit. Tetley identified potential areas for change to avoid showcasing and idealizing a specific body type. 

Through its recent #everyBODYcan campaign launched earlier this year, Tetley tried to shift the focus by featuring multiple sizes and body types and highlighting the broader concept of well-being rather than solely health benefits. 

Speaking about this progress and change of narrative, Puneet Das, President-Packaged Beverages (India and South Asia), Tata Consumer Products, Social Samosa, said, “We launched a very bold point of view regarding fitness, which is about having a more realistic fitness of mind and being fit from the inside out. We have challenged some of the paradigms of fitness which are all about just looking good versus actually feeling good.”

“We came up with this idea of challenging the stereotype associated with fitness and physical fitness that is more than just looking fit and married it to these cultural biases,” he added.

This campaign is also extended to its social media platforms now, where the brand is trying to marry moment marketing with its core thought.

Campaigns that shaped Tetley’s brand image

Early entrant Lipton has a strong foothold in this market, with a 15% share. To compete with them and gain consumer trust, Tetley has focused on taste and flavor, health and wellness, social connections and sharing, and more on the marketing front. 

Operating in a tea-dominant market, Green tea is still in its nascent stage. This led to Tetley focusing on taste, which is a selling point for Indian consumers, health and wellness, largely the reason why consumers move to green tea in the first place, and social connections. 

In Andar se clean bahar se active campaign of 2018, the brand narrated how the world conspires against you when you want to eat healthy food, and you end up having moments of unavoidable indulgence. Even in 2019, through their Diwali campaign and in 2020 through their wedding season campaign, portrayed a similar story.

During the pandemic, when the world was worried about increasing their immunity, Tetley in 2021, brought a difference in their product. This shift in marketing happened due to changes in consumer behaviour brought by the pandemic. 

Das explained how people were changing their outlook on what fitness meant when the pandemic hit. He said, “Suddenly, fitness became a big concern for pretty much everyone and people started talking about how fit you are from the inside. So we reformulated and added Vitamin C to our product.”

Immunity was a marketing buzzword in 2020 and 2021. Tetley Green Immune campaign was launched that also revolved around immunity, following industry trends.

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In India, green tea is not widely popular due to the prevalence of black tea and milk-based beverages. In 2022, Tetley saw this as an opportunity and launched a mango-flavored green tea to cater to local taste preferences. This strategic move aimed to bridge the gap between traditional Indian flavors and the perceived taste of green tea, making it more appealing to consumers. 

Largely, consumers who switch from tea to green tea, struggle to adjust to its taste. When the brand introduced their mango flavor, they told consumers about the change through a campaign. 

The taste factor is also seen on their social media. 

Apart from that, Tetley has also started talking about “internal health” on social media by asking consumers if they feel fit on the inside. 

After this, what was followed was a slight change in their mass-media narrative with aforementioned #everyBODYCan campaign. 

Das explained that brands must realize that being fit is more than just about looking fit, it’s about the holistic concept of fitness and about being fit from the inside too.

Young consumers driving change

Das believes that with the advent of social media people are trying to look their best but they project a certain image to the outside world. 

He said, “Social media’s why there is so many shortcuts to fitness or this obsession with looking fit. We are advocating the idea that one should be fit, but it’s don’t just focus on surface level fitness but all aspects.”

Apart from changing global narrative, youth in India is also pushing brands to be more transparent. 

Celebrities promoting weight loss on social media has pressured consumers with unrealistic body standards and quick fixes, leading to negative body image and unhealthy habits. 

However, young consumers and creators are driving a shift towards body positivity, self-acceptance, and holistic well-being, challenging the prevailing narrative surrounding weight loss.

As per Das young consumers expect brands to tell them what brands stand for, they want brands to be authentic and, actually go beyond just the commercial aspects and tell them the purpose behind it.

He said, “GenZ  wants brands to have an authentic relationship with them rather than a transactional one.”

Das told Social Samosa that the campaign has been receiving positive feedback and 

a lot of people have reached out and related to the campaign. Talking about the brand’s future plans, he said, “The idea is to now scale this up and build on it and bring the right stories and the right messaging around this.”

Experimenting with new marketing formats

Apart from the changing narrative, there are notable shifts in the marketing mix, driven by the influence of technology. 

As per Das, the marketing landscape is in the experimentation stage with tech now. And Tata Consumer Products has explored the Metaverse, hyper personalization and AI for their other brands. 

Speaking about the trends that will continue in the marketing space, he said, “There’s a lot of interest around artificial intelligence and voice-based techniques like driving hyper-personal messaging.” 

We don’t want to follow a trend for trend’s sake but if the trend marries the objective, Tetley will incorporate it.

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Source: Social Samosa

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