Blue Tokai: Taking The Consumer On An Immersive Journey
Brand Breakdown is Shopflo’s monthly 4-part newsletter, in which we deep dive into an Indian D2C brand, and understand its constituent elements to figure out what makes it tick ⏰
It's good news for all coffee lovers because Blue Tokai is this month’s pick. In today’s newsletter, we discuss marketing and social media strategies that set them apart.
One of the troubles of being a player in a market with a lot of competing brands is that consumers won’t hesitate to switch to a rival brand after one bad experience, and consumer experience is one of the most powerful tools to drive brand loyalty. One of the reasons for the rise of D2C brands could be attributed to, is their focus on maintaining a personal connection with their consumers.
Blue Tokai’s differentiation lies in the manner in which they sell you the idea of the world of coffee, as the one you’re missing out on, rather than just the tangible beverage. This extra mile that they take is why most of their consumers are also advocates for the brand. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why this brand has made its way right into the hearts of its loyal consumers.
It’s not just about coffee, it’s also what you have it with!
One of the best ways to indulge both coffee lovers and non-coffee enthusiasts is by showing them the range of your product. Through its website and social media, Blue Tokai showcases a variety of easy desserts and drinks that can be tried out with its coffee. Whether it be a seasonal change or an upcoming festival, their recipes are perfectly timed to capture the zeitgeist. They also encourage their followers to come up with recipes that they include in their feeds as well.
The Producer Series
One for the true blue enthusiasts, Blue Tokai’s Producer Series is an elevated collaboration between Blue Tokai and four farms (so far). Grown in small quantities, these limited edition offerings stand apart due to the innovative processing techniques employed and their unique floral, fruity flavors. Each time a new lot is released, a minor build-up is created through email and social media. A miss for the general coffee drinkers, but cause for excitement for the ardent followers who look forward to each new product in the series.
Created to help their consumers explore the world of specialty coffee, the Taster’s Club was created to satiate the curiosities surrounding this world of roasts, and brewing techniques. Currently, on their second season, each season comprises 9 episodes. Each episode is specific to a single topic and comes with a separate handbook, a worksheet, an exercise, three 75g coffee pouches, and a kit to get some hands-on experience.
Whether it be to understand coffee better, or a fun activity to do with a partner, this club is a means to join a community of coffee lovers that engages and educates.
Building communities around coffee and beyond
Although a D2C coffee brand, all of Blue Tokai’s community-building activities aren’t confined to the world of coffee. Their cafes are hosts to numerous events and seminars that range from modern calligraphy to latte art. A propagator of engagement, the brand has also in the past, hosted a pouch designing contest, with the winning artwork being incorporated into their new launch.
Through these events, the brand becomes synonymous with shared experiences, rather than being known for anchoring itself to only coffee drinkers.
Breaking glass ceilings in the coffee world
With great collaborations come a greater consumer base; and over the years Blue Tokai has entered into some interesting, off-beat collaborations. In a surprising collaboration with Adidas Originals, Blue Tokai released ‘Nite Jogger Blend’ in 2019, a limited edition line that brings together the ‘creators who chase their dreams into the wee hours of the night. In another surprising twist, Bira, in collaboration with Blue Tokai’s cold brew blend, released a line of ‘Malabar Stout’ in 2021.
Whether it be creating a line of body scrubs with The Switch Fix, or syrups with SWA Naturals, Blue Tokai fearlessly enters new spaces in collaboration, breaking barriers maintained by traditional coffee companies. In a world where brands are investing heavily in consumer acquisition, these creative partnerships work on an often-forgotten aspect of marketing: the first step - consumer awareness.
Consumer Connection is King
There is a section on Blue Tokai’s website that details their beliefs. The three beliefs that they’ve highlighted broadly touch upon transparency, propagating a culture of constant learning, and their drive to maintain quality. Through all the content they put out and the initiatives they take, these beliefs are evidently centered at the core.
To build a sustainable business, creating a 360° consumer experience is extremely important. With increasing means of digital communication, a human connection is what consumers crave, and that’s where Blue Tokai’s marketing efforts really shine.
With this, our first brand breakdown comes to an end! You can find the previous parts of the series here.
Next month, we will be covering (drumroll please) a powerful women’s clothing brand that started in the 90s but keeps reinventing itself to stay relevant. A visionary woman who created a fashion empire that houses a few of our wardrobe staples, her story is one of a kind. Stay tuned.
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