The rice industry in India takes pride in supplying premium quality Basmati to nations across the globe, as this superior variety of rice is traditionally cultivated only in India and Pakistan. As a result, every major player in the rice market has been aggressively promoting the superior characteristics of Basmati rice, i.e. its taste, aroma, colour and length, for more than two decades now. So much so, that these features have begun to lose their original appeal as key decision making factors in the minds of the consumers.
India Gate, the flagship brand of KRBL Limited, is one of the largest selling Basmati Rice throughout the world. The company has a rich legacy of over 120 years and is one of the pioneers of the Indian rice industry.
THE AIM OF OUR COMMUNICATION WAS TO SPREAD AWARENESS ABOUT THE FACT THAT INDIA GATE PRODUCTS ARE INDEED BETTER, BOTH IN TERMS OF QUALITY AND TASTE, WHILE IN CONCORDANCE WITH THE COMPANY’S WIDER BRAND MESSAGE – SAATH BADHEGA, SWAAD BADHEGA.
The challenge ahead of us was that even though India Gate is a well-known brand among the masses, it lacked a clear differentiating factor from other brands. Many new competitors that had entered the Basmati Rice market, were also weaving their marketing campaign around similar rice characteristics, including superior taste and aroma. For these reasons, the company lacked a strong brand equity in consumers’ minds. To penetrate this concentrated market, something completely unique and clutter-breaking was needed, which offered the masses a higher value proposition and thus set the India Gate brand apart.
Our solution to the above challenge was purely strategic.
The premium quality of rice stems from an extremely crucial step in the rice production process called ageing. As a part of this, harvested rice is stored in favourable conditions in the open for long periods of time, which brings about chemical, physical and biological changes in the rice grain itself. This little addition to the process is what brings about a difference in the length of the grain, as well as in its taste and aroma.
We discovered two very important pieces of information related to rice ageing, which ultimately led us to our campaign.
Firstly, this was a technique that almost every major competitor employed in its production processes, but never promoted as a part of its brand communication. Secondly, the knowledge about superiority of aged rice over normal white rice used to be quite common in Indian households, but was something people were increasingly becoming less cognizant of in modern times.
Thus we noticed that it was the perfect opportunity for the brand to promote the ageing factor and its many benefits. Not only did it allow India Gate to capitalise on the ‘first-mover advantage’, but also greatly appealed to the masses as its awareness had already trickled down to the current generations. Due to its huge scale and size, India Gate is the only brand that can efficiently age its every product for a minimum of 1.5 years, providing a clear differentiating factor. We saw it, improved it and packaged into one brilliant piece of communication.