Theka Coffee has established its name as a traditional desi coffee brand in the coffee market that is trying to change how the beverage is served and perceived.
It’s also one of the few brands that succeeded in securing funding during the Shark Tank India Show for its unique tilt to an otherwise traditionally operating industry. Recently, the coffee startup raised Rs. 2.5 Crore in a round led by a Dubai-based VC firm Zenith Multi Trading.
So we decided to sit down with Bhupinder Madaan, founder of Theka Coffee, to discuss how the brand began and the marketing strategies they have used to establish its market in no time.
About Theka Coffee
Theka Coffee is an Indian Coffee Brand launched in January 2017. It’s a New-Gen cafe chain trying to change how coffee is served. They serve more desi-style coffee than cappuccinos and lattes in fancy beer bottles at affordable prices across India. Their brand follows the motto of LOCAL BHI AND VOCAL BHI.
Bhupinder further explains his coffee startup, “everybody is trying to capture the same Italian concepts of the cappuccino and latte. We don’t want to do that. Instead, we wanted to make sure that we built something from scratch that’s identifiably Indian. That’s why we use Indian coffee beans and ensure everything about our brand, from interactive sales points to the language we use, is rooted in India.”
How Theka Coffee is different from other big coffee brands
When asked this question, Bhupinder replied, “all the big brands – Rage Coffee, Sleepy Owl, and others. Two of the big brands are [fast moving customer goods] FMCG. We are very different from all these big brands. We wanted to serve fresh coffee, especially preservative-free coffee, to our customers. We cater to a mass population, not a very niche section of people.”
After the Shark Tank episode aired, they hired 40 employees in 22 cities and are soon launching their franchise in 50 cities.
He went on to mention how their startup produces its own coffee. He says, “We do everything on our own. We source, brew, and roast our own coffee. We don’t blend our coffee. What we serve our customers is a very pure form of coffee. It’s not a milkshake or a thick shake.”
Ecommerce Marketing strategies and tips from Theka Coffee
Give your brand a relatable character: How Gabru won hearts!
Gabru is one of their popular marketing campaigns. He believes in giving a business its own identity. “I don’t want to put my face on the campaign just to sell the coffee. So, we created a character named Gabru. Our campaign is similar to how ZooZoos did for Vodafone. Everyone likes to get connected to one identity of the brand.”
- Hire in-house resources for marketing. Managing everything in-house gives them overall control over how they want to play and execute campaigns and lets them handle things at their own pace.
- It also allows for positioning the brand and executing things faster. How you position your brand in the market is important because marketing in a crowded market requires proactiveness. In this case, showcasing a strong brand image with a relatable character – Gabru, has given a unique place to Theka Coffee than other similar startups.
- Especially in the initial stages, as the brand finds its footing, it’s quite important to give a unique image to your brand. Otherwise, how will your customers relate to and remember your startup?
Collaborate with influencers that align with your vision and mission
They focused on doing influencer marketing and did everything in-house.
Theka coffee works and collaborates with only those influencers that share the same vision. The list of influencers (both macro and micro) is approved by Bhupinder, who agrees with their brand ideology and has a unique and creative way to present it to their followers.
Thus, working with influencers with the same values gives them the added advantage of reaching a large number of their target audience.
Remember to optimize your marketing budgets
Bhupinder emphasizes the fact that if you’re just starting a business, you need to start by doing small experiments. Start small and keep a close watch on your spending, whether it’s ads, PPC, or influencer campaigns.
Don’t forget to measure ROI and rinse and repeat the things that give you the best results.
Finding the right marketing strategy for your brand
Theka Coffee keeps on experimenting with different marketing strategies. And the founder advises others to do the same as well. Eventually, you’ll find the perfect strategy to help you quickly reach your audience and engage with them better.
Bhupinder states, “Every business requires a different angle and thought process of marketing. You should never copy anyone else’s marketing technique as it will always lead you to a pre-defined or normal goal. And it will be hard to set your brand apart from others.”
Listen to the full episode here:
Content Kettle is our E-Commerce Special podcast. Starting an eCommerce business may have gotten easier. But taking your products to buyers is getting tougher by the day. In the age of rising competition and a digital-first take on consumer-brand relationships, what eCommerce marketing strategies really work? In this podcast, we talk to brand owners, marketers, and eCommerce experts to help you reach ‘what works’, faster.