Rarely does it happen that a brand gets it right from day 1. Even more rare is for that brand to be a beverage brand targetting adults. A few years ago, Hector Beverages launched paper boat drinks. A unique idea of completely Indian home-made flavours packaged in a ready to drink beverage format. What followed was a string of products from jaljeera to jamun, from aamras to golgappa pani. All positioned for adults who reflect back to simpler times and innocent childhood. Whether by design or by accident, the fact is the core working age group in India has seen a sea-change in its lifestyle. It is a generation that grew up in a pre-liberalization India. Where access to products and services was difficult and existence was much more family and community driven. Cut to today, their life is much more isolated. Has moved from spending vacations with cousins to solo back packing trips. In this massive transition, the innocence of their childhood is a fond memory and paper boat latched on to that nostalgia which no other brand even remotely thought of.

Of course the beverages aren’t just for rose tinted moments looking at the past. It is now a popular mixer in private parties and restaurants whipping up unique cocktails all over. What a way to re-mix your palette and update it to your modern needs. Everything from the basic product flavours to the packaging is unique about the brand. The “drawing” class creatives used across are so distinct it builds a highly differentiated brand presence every single time. By far one of the most thought through and intelligently handled brands in the country.

Of course, the basic theme of paper boat will continue to be relevant. The challenge is to keep updating the product offerings and communication themes to cater to the nostalgia. a 28 year old, 10 years down the line perhaps may not identify with the flavours or the Malgudi Days music used in communications recently that has a special place in the hearts of the entire 28yrs+ folks. There will be something else thought, what is hip and happening today will need to be adapted into flavours and communications 10 years down the line. If you think about it, it is a case of a brand updating itself with history rather than the present consumer trends.

Can’t wait to see how this brand evolves for the next generation that will suffer from quarter life crisis!


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