Founded in early 2015 to make garden fresh teas readily available to consumers, home-grown tea brand VAHDAM India has become a global player in the herbal tea segment. Catering to the huge demand in the segment overseas, VAHDAM currently ships to over 134 countries. According to Sneha Beriwal, Global Chief Marketing Officer, VAHDAM India, 90% of its revenue comes from overseas with the USA being the primary market.
Commenting on how the brand is marketing to consumers worldwide, she said “We rely heavily on content marketing and activations/ demos across various markets. Both these mediums are fairly customizable even by micro markets and hence it gives us the chance to localize while staying on brand.”
The brand recently collaborated with the Netflix show Emily in Paris. Sharing the insights behind this association and how it helps the brand, Beriwal believes that there is a great TG synergy as both the show and the brand talk to modern millennial women. She added “In terms of personality, the show is a cross-continental story about an American in Paris and we as a brand is about taking India to the world. That’s why we believe that it’s a very synergistic collab and fits perfectly in our brand world.”
For the majority of the Indian audience, tea still largely means a daily cup of milk tea which is made from CTC tea. In that case, increasing awareness for herbal teas and finally getting consumers to switch to them is a big task at hand. According to Beriwal, it's part of the larger lifestyle shifts in the urban millennial population where many consumers, especially health enthusiasts, are switching at least one cup of their milk tea from their daily routine to a healthier tea. She added “The taste and quality of our blends are a big reason why consumers choose us when they are looking to make the switch. We try and do a lot of product storytelling through our website, social and other communication mediums. We talk about the blends, the taste, the benefits, and more importantly the experience it delivers to get customers excited about trying new blends.”
At the same time, VAHDAM India is also working on launching newer blends for tea connoisseurs adding to the 150+ already available blends. Looking at the approaching summer season, a big iced tea launch is in the pipeline. The brand is also exploring some milk tea blends to bring more choices to that segment, especially for its core TG - Millennials. While the brand does enjoy a consumer base of GenZ consumers as well, Beriwal opined “Getting Gen Z excited about wellness and teas is a huge habit-forming task and not something which we as a brand want to focus on right now.”
Marketing To The Millenials
When it comes to marketing to the core TG, Beriwal believes that there are four tenets that matter to this audience: High-quality products, innovation, purposeful brand and honest content. Building more on this, she added, “Social media and content are important because that's where our audience can engage most transparently with us. Secondly, building advocacy through a large army of influencers and content creators is another big part of our strategy. Consumers like listening to other people rather than just the brand. Additionally, we bring regular limited edition blends and partnerships which keep the brand fresh for the audience.”
Further commenting on what other strategies the brand adopts to market well to the core TG, she emphasised the importance of being committed to farmers and the planet as it also feeds as a big lever into the marketing strategy and attracts audiences to the brand. Also, one of the most effective marketing strategies for the brand has been sampling. The sampling-to-purchase ratio has been very high and that helps VAHDAM to tap into new customers very quickly.
At the moment, VAHDAM is still an urban brand in India and that’s why top cities are where the brand has resonance right now. Commenting on the expansion plans, Beriwal shared “We are always evaluating new countries and regions to take the brand to. However, going deeper into the markets that we are in is also important and the organizational bandwidth will be balanced between the two. We also have some very interesting launches lined up to strengthen VAHDAM’s presence in the wellness category.”