Rage Coffee, a rapidly growing FMCG company that manufactures, markets, and distributes innovative coffee products globally through its D2C channel, embarked on its market journey in 2018. The brand’s first product in the market was a proprietary small batch of crystallized coffee. Infused with six plant-based vitamins that synergistically work with caffeine, it brings in a distinctive kick that feels and tastes like high-end specialty cafe coffee.
“For millennials, coffee was becoming an integral part of their lives. However, they did not have anything to look up to as a brand. It was essentially an unserved market devoid of any real innovation and underpenetrated online. The market also had several gaps with a few critical shortcomings in the supply chain, ingredients, manufacturing techniques, and distribution. These prompted the need for a coffee brand that could blend into the lives of independent individuals and upgrade an average consumer’s overall coffee drinking experience by 5-10x. Subsequently, I had put in all of my savings, which was around Rs 75 lakh, and took another Rs 10-15 lakh from somebody, and finally, Rage Coffee was born,” says Bharat Sethi, Founder, Rage Coffee.
Rage Coffee is the first in India to introduce flavor-infused coffee that has received an overwhelmingly positive response. The brand has over 1.7 lakh customers.
“We are creating craft coffee that comes in a variety of flavors, is ready to mix, and is convenient to carry in tube shots, giving a great coffee experience that is convenient, accessible, and affordable. At the same time, we are largely innovating around caffeine and want to be leaders in these sub-categories within the large coffee category. Currently, we are offering Instant Coffee in 8 flavors, Coffee Shots, Cold Brew Bags, and Ground Coffee. All our products are gluten-free with no added sugar and vegan-friendly. They are made from 100 percent Arabica beans and offer a perfect caffeine kick to anyone. The products are also US FDA, FSSAI, GMP, ISO certified.
Since the beginning, the marketing strategies of the brand have been really bold and authoritative. They revolve around talking about product differentiation and consumers who buy Rage products because they enjoy it or need it to kick start their day.
“The idea to employ a D2C marketing strategy or approach is helping us build the next generation of packaged coffee products. It also allows us to be highly customer-centric and sustainability-driven. In addition, our user-generated content helps us in increasing our online presence and customer engagement. We also work with a lot of influencers or influential people in the industry. That’s how we acquire customers,” asserts Sethi.
Social Media: Helping Reach More Consumers
The coffee brand markets itself vigorously on social media, especially Instagram and Twitter to reach its consumers.
“With a large number of young and passionate people using these social media platforms, we can connect with them while nailing our presence amongst consumers. To put things in perspective, we have more than 27K followers on Instagram. Besides, we work with many social media influencers and that helps us to reach more and more consumers. All in all, the target is to identify what customers love, understand their needs, and provide them with a great coffee that is convenient, accessible, and affordable,” states Sethi.
Technology: An Enabler
The brand is using digital platforms to expand the brand’s reach. Employing an omnichannel approach, it is selling 50 percent of its products online and the rest offline.
“Talking about online, about 75 percent of sales are through our website and 25 percent through e-commerce platforms. Rage Coffee is available on all major online platforms in India and has also marked its presence in the US market through Amazon,” he shares.
“Also, looking at the logistics side, our shipping partners have integrated smart technologies into the process like shipment tracking technologies. These help us in not just sending our customers a time-to-time update on their order but to significantly reach out to them. Leveraging all these technologies has enhanced our door-to-door reach,” he adds.
During the lockdown last year, Rage Coffee had clocked a four-fold increase in online and offline sales with a 300 percent surge in sales.
“We are working relentlessly in expanding our distribution network. Besides, our target is to grow our revenues by 3x and reach over 3000 retailers by the end of 2021,” he asserts.
The brand is targeting to reach Rs 35 crore ARR by end of FY22.