While many brands were hit by the Covid-19 crisis, Levista Coffee saw this as an advantage, as many people were restricted to their homes with either WFH or partial or loss of job.
Shriram Sanjeevi, Vice President, Levista Coffee, considers this as a great opportunity for Levista to gain new customers, particularly with most brands out of stock in retail store shelves. As a seeding operation, during the first full lockdown in April, they decided to spread samples of the coffee sachets along with milk and the morning newspaper. However, most of the apartment complexes did not allow milk vendors to join the compound, and several other households shunned newspapers because of a questionable argument that they might be coronavirus carriers.
Levista is affiliated with the Chennai Super Kings as their beverage affiliate, and the sampling exercise was planned for the opening match of the current IPL season when the Chennai Super Kings played against the Mumbai Indians. The 20th of September was selected for sampling because it was a Sunday that would make for a stronger interaction with readers. The sampling exercise was carried out in Chennai, Kanchipuram, and Tiruvallur markets.
Narayan says, “In comparison to the daily show of advertisement messages, sampling with the morning newspaper allowed Levista ‘s coffee to cut short the different stages of the advertisement process-awareness, curiosity, motivation, and intervention. The sampling exercise helped to circumvent the process and specifically caused a trial among the participants.
Explaining how DT Next carried out the sampling, Thariyan says, “They carried out a stress test to ensure that the bags holding the samples were not harmed when bundling and shipping the copies. Arrangements were often made to attach 2 samples, using a self-adhesive sticker one day in advance to paste the paper as soon as it was printed. We have organized enough manpower to complete the task of sticking samples to the pre-assigned position in the Levista advertising on the front page of the newspaper. To build buzz and visibility, we carried out one advertising each in Regular Thanthi and DT Next the previous day, telling readers about the sampling exercise.
Thariyan also commented on the feedback from DT Next’s readers, that they were pleased to receive two free Levista coffee powder pouches along with their favorite journal, DT Next. By the way, it’s the first time a newspaper sampled coffee powder on the Chennai market. Many readers have informed us that they used the samples on the same day, and some of them are considering buying Levista coffee from the market and adopting the brand.
The brand has received positive reviews from customers as well as from avid readers and print media patrons, Sanjeevi said that He sees this as a publicity promotion and not a sales promotion, so the feedback has been as expected-that they have received much-needed attention from prominent households in Chennai City. Levista is now going to be big on the concerned table for several thousand after enjoying the coffee.