In conversation with Media Samosa, Xotik Frujus’s Rajeev Sehgal shares insights from the new packaging and rebranding journey of Jeeru.
Designed by 82.5 Communications, the new-look Jeeru bottle labels and cans are inspired by a kaleidoscopic design with jeera grains and apple playing a key role. To maintain a sense of familiarity, the old font has been carried forward into the new design. Rajeev Sehgal, Chairman, Xotik Frujus Pvt. Ltd tells us about the efforts being undertaken to strengthen distribution and the pandemic’s role in the rebranding process of Jeeru.
Could you tell us about the timing of the rebranding?
The need for rebranding was identified much earlier and we started the process last year. We did a survey amongst our consumers and potential consumers spanning young college going boys and girls and homemakers across our key markets. We were able to gain interesting insights from them and one of them was the need for a new packaging design.
Work immediately started on this aspect, our creative agency 82.5 Communications was briefed, and they came back with multiple options.
While we were ready with the revised design a bit earlier in the year, but the pandemic pushed our plans forward. We realised that the time around Deepavali would be great to launch the new look which in itself is a celebration and depicts the celebration of flavours that Jeeru is. One of the key milestones for us was to mark our presence in 17 states and UTs across the country.
What would be your media mix to promote the rebranded product?
We are currently going to push the new label through outdoor hoardings in key markets, use a lot of Point of Sale material like Posters, danglers etc to inform the consumer that their favourite drink is now in a new look. We are also using neckties which will be put around the bottles so that our existing and new consumers are informed about the change.
On social we started with a campaign ‘Change is Refreshing’ with crisp teasers and then revealing the new look to our followers. We have received an excellent response to the new design from our consumers as well as trade partners.
What’s the significance of influencer marketing for Jeeru?
Influencer marketing in today’s time is becoming a very important tool for various brands across industries. At Xotik, we have done a few campaigns in the past to create interesting conversations and even share cool recipe ideas with our followers and many others. A campaign like ‘lockdownwaali maa’ was an initiative to salute the idea of motherhood and highlight that in tough times even if we are away from our Maa there are many who step up to fill in her shoes.
During the monsoon and just as the conversation around the first Unlock was starting, we did an interesting campaign, ‘Jeeru – Inside Outside’ we associated with the likes of Kusha Kapila, Ayush Mehra, Mallika Dua and RJ Urmin to get the views of our followers on whether they want to step out during the monsoons and of course the unlock or stay inside. But wherever they are, Jeeru is always going to be refreshing. Influencer marketing today is one of the best ways to connect with your followers and consumers when they are in their most comfortable and happy zone.
Over the years, Jeeru has built a strong offline presence due to availability in local Kirana stores, canteens and paan shops. What are your key markets and how would they change doing forward?
We are very clear that as a brand and as a product Jeeru is for the masses. Our presence and dominance in Kirana stores, canteens, paan shops etc is a must to reach the masses. But as we have grown in size and expanded to various states, we have also ramped up our presence in modern trade chains, local as well as national. West India continues to be a key region for us.
What is your strategy when it comes to tackling local, copy cat products? How would it change with this rebranding?
Our packaging design has remained the same since the launch of Jeeru in 2008. While the product in a hygienically packaged and labelled stood out then, over a period of time many local brands have tried to copy the same along with similar-sounding names. The brand name Jeeru today has become a category descriptor when anyone wants to have a masala drink they call it Jeeru.
We realised it was now time to move away from an entirely traditional and descriptive look to a new celebratory and young one. This is one of the key steps in tackling the local copy cat products. We are also informing our consumers about this change through various steps as described earlier. This rebranding and its promotion will help us in leapfrogging these copy cat products and create a clear difference between us.
Other than the new branding approach we have also taken the legal recourse as and when needed to deter such copy cat products from causing harm to Jeeru’s reputation.
Could you dwell a bit more on how you intend to strengthen your distribution network? Are there certain geographies and markets that would be key henceforth?
We did a small targeted campaign in November to add more distribution partners and over the next few months, the idea is to share snippets of our growth story in our key markets and then connect with those who are interested to join us. While we have expanded our presence in 17 plus states we are continuing to focus on Western India and West Bengal.
How did the pandemic and the lockdown change your marketing plans in the last few months?
The pandemic and the lockdown practically didn’t change our plans but just postponed them. We have been active on digital during this period to stay connected with our consumers. Once the situation has relaxed we have started implementing the plans starting with the change of packaging.
What’s the one thing you wish consumers would understand about the category, branding and positioning of Jeeru?
The category and the drink have existed over a long period of time but we have made it more appealing to the consumers. While Jeeru has always been enjoyed by families at home during the meal times, we are now positioning Jeeru as a drink for all moments. Whether you are at home, travelling, spending time with your friends Jeeru will always be the tasty refreshing companion in your life’s chatpata moments. As we said in our Jeeru monsoon campaign also – Jeeru Inside or Outside, it is always refreshing.