Exclusive | Quality sets us apart from other brands: Tupperware's Bagai
Tupperware as a brand has a strong legacy of quality products and a life changing business opportunity. As far as the Indian landscape goes, Tupperware has witnessed major economic and social changes and has grown organically with the country. The philosophy that drives the Tupperware business in India is ‘confidence in every home’. It stems from an unwavering commitment to create and distribute modern kitchen solutions that would make food storage, preparation and serving a convenient exercise. With the increasing number of urban families, Tupperware is the answer to the changing needs of the urban kitchen.
When Tupperware entered the Indian market in 1996, the brand faced a roadblock. Plastic was never associated with food and the market relied heavily on traditional steel and glass containers. Tupperware appeared to be too expensive for a range of plastic products. Through the direct selling model, Tupperware came to be known for its lunch boxes and Modular Mates dry storage containers because they were unparalleled in terms of their utility to carry gravies and the kind of modular storage solution they offered for the Indian kitchen preventing any kind of spoilage.
Adgully caught up with Anshu Bagai, Chief Marketing Officer, Tupperware India to know more about the brand and its initiatives.
Speaking about the promotion of brand Tupperware in the early days, Bagai said, “The initial marketing efforts of Tupperware were to promote the products as viable kitchen storage solutions and the communication focused on quality of products. Through our communication we emphasized that the quality justified the cost. However, until the customers actually experienced the products it would be difficult to convince them. The brand needed a breakthrough with the customers. This breakthrough came through the launch of the range of ‘Aquasafe Bottles’. These bottles were developed specifically for the price conscious Indian consumers. This range took Tupperware into many homes establishing the brand as a household name.”
With increasing popularity of Modular Mates storage containers, food preparation and microwave ranges, today Tupperware has made a significant contribution to the way kitchens are thought of in urban India. In 2011, the brand also launched a super premium range of products named ‘Ultimo’. This exclusive range is designed to save energy while cooking.
In 2013, Tupperware entered the water filtration segment with ‘Tuppersure’. This new product carries the same brand promise of quality and also provides a no-electricity solution to the need of clean drinking water. All these efforts have put the brand on top in terms of brand equity in all metros in India. Now with the launch of the Baby products in the pipeline for 2013, Tupperware will complete its full circle of offering products across varied age groups.
In 2012, Tupperware came out with a campaign titled ‘She Can, You Can’. Elaborating on this campaign, he said, “This campaign upheld the examples of women achievers in the field of social entrepreneurship. It was designed to inspire women and give them the confidence to begin their own ventures. This campaign still runs strong within the Tupperware sales force and continues to inspire more women to achieve their full potential through the Tupperware Business Opportunity.”
Tupperware recently launched another noble initiative titled ‘Care4Food’ which promotes healthy food storage habits. This initiative aims at reducing food wastage. It also speaks of Tupperware’s affinity with food and the genuine association that the brand Tupperware has with food. With a simple tagline like ‘Food Loves you, Love it
Back with Tupperware’ establishes the connect.
“As it stands today, Tupperware is positioned as the provider of smart kitchen solutions that markets its products directly to consumers through a network of independent women Consultants,” added Bagai.
Tupperware as a business opportunity has instilled confidence in women, made them independent in society and helped them to create a distinct identity of their own. Shedding more light on this aspect he said, “Tupperware distributes its products exclusively through a network of independent women Consultants who run it as their own business. Running a business is not a simple task. It takes team building skills, training ability, business acumen and above all, confidence.”
The Tupperware business opportunity not only equips the Consultants with world class products, but it also provides systematic training and a social support system in the form of other independent women. This helps them develop confidence in their own abilities. Given the overpowering traditional roles of a daughter, a wife and a mother, most women find it difficult to work full time.
Most women choose family over a career. In this decision, while the family enjoys the benefit, the women end up sacrificing their dreams of pursuing a professional career. The Tupperware Business opportunity provides a unique alternative to a corporate career. This opportunity requires no initial investment. One can choose their work hours and above all, it does not require any academic qualifications or other prerequisites to join. All that is required on their part is a vision and drive to accomplish something in life , make a place for oneself in society and above all be willing to work for it.
Many women, today lead their team of thousands and manage a substantially large business thus making her a powerful, financially independent businesswoman. . They are now known as entrepreneurs and as independent women who have made a mark for themselves.
Elaborating on the promotional campaign and the overall marketing strategies at Tupperware, Bagai said, “Unlike most other direct selling brands that rely solely on a push strategy to boost sales, Tupperware employs a combination of push and pull strategies that keep the brand equity high in the minds of the consumer and incentivizes the sales force to achieve the desired impact.”
He believes in the fact that Indian consumers do not go out of their way for a brand, the brand has to reach out to her. “Visibility for her is credibility, which leads to perceptions about quality. She wants to touch and feel a product before deciding to buy it. Being a direct seller, the need was to put in place a robust Brand and Access plan in order to increase visibility and provide better accessibility to the consumers,” avers Bagai.
“Over the past 3 years we have launched many such campaigns, giving us dramatic results. We catch the consumers’ attention through advertisements in newspapers, magazines, TV, FM & outdoors. These ads direct the consumers to our Experience Centres at malls and organized retail. Here she gets an opportunity to touch-and-feel our products leading to a desire to own it. All interested consumers leave their contact details behind, which are then forwarded to our sales force to follow up,” shared Bagai.
Adding further, he said, “In order to make the products more visible, we also undertake several BTL activations. Some examples of the same would be our kiosk activities at major malls and MTOs, school access programs, office cafeteria activations, activations at cafés, RWAs and other event based activations.”
Highlighting the usage of digital media, Bagai said, “Increasingly, digital media is becoming an important component of the marketing mix. We have a strong social media strategy that believes more in engagement rather than promotion.”
Explaining about the direct selling industry in India and the future growth that is visualized for this industry in the country, Bagai said, “Direct selling is still at a nascent stage in India. The industry has shown a tremendous growth in the past few years. Many reputed brands have found India to be one of the most promising markets for both their products as well as their networks.”
Presently there are several brands in the market hence the questions arises as to how different is the premium Tupperware brand from these other brands. In this regard Bagai said, “The single most important point of differentiation between these products and Tupperware is the difference in the quality of the products. These differences are evident right from the kind of plastic that is used to the smaller design details that make Tupperware products a delight to use.”
Globally, Tupperware products have won over 39 Red Dot Design Awards for the innovative product designs. Tupperware products are a perfect example of beauty in simplicity. They are born out of meticulous research and hence once you start using them they often give you delightful surprise with each usage. It is no wonder that research has shown that over 85% of users who have used a Tupperware product come back as repeat customers. “Tupperware is made from 100% food grade virgin plastic that is perfectly safe for storing, serving or preparing food. We place such confidence in our products that most Tupperware products come with a lifetime replacement guarantee against, chipping, peeling or cracking during non-commercial use,” says Bagai.
He went on to add , “Another point of distinction is our unique sales model. Tupperware world over sells its products through ‘Party Plan’ method. Through this method Tupperware customers not only learn all the benefits of each product, but they also develop a bond with the brand. Our 1,000,000 + strong community of fans on Facebook is a testimonial to the kind of love the brand enjoys from its consumers.”
The objectives of Tupperware can be bifurcated in broadly two categories. First is to strengthen the brand further in the major metros where we already hold a strong consumer base. This can only be achieved by continuing to innovate and evolve to find the right products that can satisfy the need of the hour. The second objective is to make foray into newer markets such as smaller towns and developing cities.
The growth story of the Tupperware business in India has been quite a remarkable one. In terms of markets he said, “We have a stronghold in all major metros in the country and Tupperware has been seen to have the highest brand equity in the kitchenware segment in metros.”
“We place an unparalleled amount of importance on the quality of the products that leave our manufacturing units and this unique assurance of quality is what sets us apart from other brands in the market ,” concludes Bagai.