Unformatted text preview: Chenak makeover
Published in Jan-Feb 2014
By Ayesha Shaikh The brand has positioned itself as a means to celebrate the
homecoming of the men after a long day’s search for work. Despite the multitude of options available in the beverage
industry, tea remains the drink of choice for Pakistanis in both
urban and rural areas. However, Pakistan has a variety of
ethnicities and taste preferences are hugely varied.
According to the Pakistan Tea Association (PTA), total
consumption is estimated at 200,000 tonnes, with a 50:50 split
between branded and unbranded tea. The tea category consists of
leaf and dust variants; leaf dominates the cities, while dust owns
the rural market – primarily due to the karak (punch) each cup is
said to deliver, and the PTA estimates that approximately 30,000
tonnes of dust tea is consumed, of which 10,000 tonnes is the
unbranded loose tea available at most dhabas in the rural areas. In
terms of brands, the dust market is more or less a duopoly
between Pearl Dust (Unilever) and Mezban (Tapal), both of which
are premium priced brands. According to Khurram Koraishy, GM
Marketing, Tapal, Mezban is the market leader, accounting for a
90% market share. 90% market share.
Tapal’s Chenak falls into the lower end of the dust market. The
brand was launched in 1986, focusing specifically on the Thar
region in Sindh. Until 2006 advertising was restricted to BTL
activities and then in 2006, Chenak came out with a TVC and
positioned itself against Unilever’s Red Rose (now defunct) with
the theme: Himmat walon ji chanh.
Colloquially, chenaks are the metal containers used to pour tea in
the dhabas. The name is said to have struck a chord with the
target audience, due to its association with their customary tea
Koraishy classifies dust tea as “the poor man’s tea” and price is an
important consideration, as most users are daily wage earners.
Faiza Ziaullah, Brand Officer, Tapal Tea, further adds that “dust is
approximately 20% cheaper than leaf. Also, it diffuses quickly and
is stronger, so you use less tea and it lasts longer.”
Currently Chenak sells for Rs 108 and Rs 54 for the 190 and 95
gramme packs respectively.
In November 2013, the brand repositioned itself with a new TVC
(produced by IAL Saatchi & Saatchi) that brought in an
aspirational angle. Until the launch of this TVC, the split between
ATL and BTL media remained at a constant 20:80 ratio; this has
changed to 50:50, with the TVC aired on PTV’s regional channels,
Sindh TV and Kook.
Moving away from the notion of Chenak as a mere source of
refreshment, the brand positioned itself as a means to celebrate
the homecoming of the men in the family after a long day’s search
for work. To give an authentic flavour to the campaign, Chenak’s
team went into Thar to experience a real taste of the life there and
the social norms of the region. Avoiding the stark realities of
desert life, the campaign focuses on the preparations for the
homecoming, with women colourfully dressed preparing tea in
the time honoured way.
Whether the shift to a more aspirational positioning and a heavier
tilt towards television will translate into sales is too early to call,
especially given the realities of the harsh climate and poor living
conditions in the region where people travel miles to access bare conditions in the region where people travel miles to access bare
necessities such as water and where televisions tend to be a
luxury. However, according to Ziaullah, people in Thar live in a
communal system with shared televisions.
Despite the repositioning, Chenak’s packaging remains the same,
a decision, says Koraishy, that was based on feedback from
retailers in rural Sindh, who emphasised that given that the target
audience is largely illiterate, Chenak’s distinct saffron packaging
is its USP; in their view even a slight modification would raise
doubts about the brand’s authenticity (counterfeits are a very
Koraishy and Ziaullah are optimistic about further growth given
the increasing number of rural consumers opting for branded dust
tea. At the moment, the new campaign has succeeded in creating
a buzz on social media, with some people questioning the
aspirational positioning of a low end brand aimed at audiences
with no easy access to TV; others have been impressed by the
quality of cinematography in the commercial. Clearly, and at least
for the moment, Chenak’s campaign is set to be a talking point
and not only in the deserts and dunes of Thar. ...
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