NEW DELHI: Food and beverage brands in India are taking the trend towards marketing in regional languages a stage further to embrace product packaging as a way of reaching more consumers.

“The packaging connects with the consumer at point of sale as it has an immediate ‘pick me up’ value,” Rajiv Dingra, founder and chief executive of digital and social agency WAT Consult, told Mint.

Brands like Pepsi and Mars have explored a number of novel ways of tapping into this notion.

For example, Mars’ Snickers product has for some years had a global positioning based around the idea that “You’re not you when you’re hungry” and has substituted the brand logo with words in Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil representing hunger symptoms; an accompanying campaign is promoting the products in 100 cities.

“Consumers are looking for closer connection with the brands. They want products as well as branded content which is share-worthy,” said Andrew Leakey, general manager, India and Indian sub-continent, Mars Chocolate Ltd.

“They are also looking for social currency which allows them to connect with friends and family,” he added.

Nutella, the chocolate and nut spread, last year offered customers the chance to have a person’s name printed on jars in store, which a spokesman claimed “helped the consumer build a personal connect with the brand, wherein they take on the role of a brand ambassador for Nutella”.

Pepsi, meanwhile, has developed packaging for a number of festivals, and, as part of its Moments campaign, used colloquial words in eight regional languages on its packaging to create a buzz and sharing among the target audience of millennials.

“This was a one-of-its-kind packaging innovation where every pack spoke to consumers, in a language that was both contextual and relevant in that region,” said Raj Rishi Singh, director marketing at Pepsi.

A less immediately obvious benefit to using local languages is that these can reassure consumers they’re getting what they want.

“A large number of consumers in our country are not comfortable with English,” noted Anjana Ghosh, director at the Bisleri beverages company.

Accordingly, “Bisleri bottles carry the brand name in both English and local languages to ensure that the end consumer gets Bisleri when he asks for it and does not mistake any other brand for Bisleri”.

Sourced from Mint; additional content by WARC staff