At the time when Government's initiative of 'Make in India' is gaining pace, Indian ice cream brands are re-branding themselves to combat foreign brands like Haagen-Dazs and Baskin Robbins.
According to TechSci Research, the ice cream market in India will grow with a CAGR of 17.03% from 2016 to 2021.
Moreover, an increase in demand for local products continues to benefit the local brands, according to Brandz top 50 most valuable Indian brands.
The Drum spoke with Devanshu Gandhi, managing director of one of India's oldest ice cream brand, Vadilal which was twice voted as the most trusted brand by the 2014's Brand Trust Report, a pan-India study by Trust Research Advisory to know its marketing strategy in India.
He says: "Vadilal brand is synonyms with Ice Cream in India and has a legacy of 100 years of trust and loyalty. Brand Vadilal is serving quality products since more than 100 years in India. We are the second largest ice cream manufacturer and have extensive brand recall. As a brand with variety of products we have fan followers who love to enjoy taste of our brand across India and in many other countries."
"We firmly believe in consumer and trade research and do them extensively to understand the consumers’ demand better. We have launched several campaigns in the past based on same parameters to successfully stay ahead in the game. Our previous campaigns included TVC campaign ‘The Best Part of Everyday.’ The campaign is directly targeted at groups of friends and family to promote premium ice cream category. It was promoted across various media channels including TV, print, outdoor, social media and various online channels. The commercial was supported by digital and social media elements using the hashtag “#thebestpartofeveryday”.
Vadilal is further leveraging social media platforms and influencers for its marketing campaigns since long. It recently signed Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra as its brand ambassador.
Vadilal also entered the Limca Book of Records for producing the largest ice-cream sundae. It has further included local flavours (kaju drakhsh, kesar pista, kaju anjir, rajbhog, etc) which has seen its consumer base expanding.
Gandhi further elaborates on how Vadilal is working on different platforms to penetrate target audience and market its products.
He says: "From our experience, we have noticed a change in consumer behaviour. It is more feasible to have a dedicated online marketing campaign as almost everyone today is on the internet. This strategy is not only effective in targeting customers, but it is also cost effective with the serving consumers and trade better with delivering the best quality products with the brand innovation from time to time.
Besides, we are able to be in touch with our consumers in much efficient way. Unlike one way communication, with social media, even our customers can communicate with us and that is helping us understand their demand more precisely."
Vadilal is constantly rebranding itself according to Gandhi. Vadilal has active contact spots with consumers including ice cream outlets — Vadilal Scoop Shops, Vadilal Hangouts, Kiosks and Happinezz Parlours and ‘Vadilal on Wheels’.
Gandhi adds: "Vadilal has taken a leap from mid premium market brand to premium category brand with the introduction of new flavours and range. We have also introduced various price touch points to serve our consumers better. We have successfully launched new products in the premium category, which now has higher contribution in overall sales."
"New age media campaigns including social media, print and electronic media and outdoor advertisements has helped us keep up with ever changing dynamics of the industry and we regularly work on our branding strategies to always stay on top of the game."
There were rumours about Vadilal promoters selling the brand, to which Gandhi says: “there is no such plan.”