It’s not often that one gets to see a 132-year-old company work like a startup. The agility and innovation required to bring a new product to market is vastly different from the tried-and-tested franchise bottling approach that comes with a historic legacy.

Aquarius Glucocharge is one such example of an entrepreneurial-style setup working within a Company with as historic a pedigree as The Coca-Cola Company. Having introduced the product for the hydration category, the Company has engaged with the trade directly this time. This, coupled with launching only in specific markets has generated great excitement for Aquarius Glucocharge in its early days.

A small team within the business unit strategised collectively with limited resources, to come up with a hawk-eye approach to product launch. And they nailed it. Partners too had a key role to play in the process.

Says Reetima Rakyan, Director- Special Projects, Incubation:

“A small cross-functional team of associates with critical experiences, functional expertise and management trainees with a fresh outlook to business came together to deliver on the vision of becoming an agile incubation arm of the Company. The model was to fast-track innovation through a pipeline of products targeting specific consumer segments, and unexplored beverage category sub-segments through an alternate route to market.

Our partners supported us in this journey, showcasing the product to traders during large-scale, city-level trader meets and sampling to shoppers across key stores.

The new launches through this approach go through the incubation loop of ‘Build, Measure, Learn, Scale.’ Aquarius Glucocharge was the first product to go through this incubation loop – from idea to execution in six weeks!”

Multi-city, trade-centric approach

The launch for Aquarius Glucocharge, which combines glucose, minerals and real fruit juices in different flavours, was rolled out in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and West Bengal markets in a phased manner over the last couple of months.

The brand managed to generate the maximum bang for its marketing buck with over 1.5 million experiences enjoyed by consumers.

“We have had an entrepreneurial approach to this launch. We would like to believe that this is how a product would make it to the markets if a startup were to launch it, after the development of the product,” says Anoop Manohar, General Manager, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia.

Engaging retailers and employees

Key events were organised with retailers to introduce them to the product and generate buzz around it. The objective was to engage them and get them excited about Aquarius Glucocharge so that their passion for the product would spill over onto consumers. A fun auction was also part of the activity at which IPL tickets were up for grabs!

But it isn’t only the retailers who will be out in the markets. Coca-Cola associates will also get in on the action with the Company’s annual MIT program. As part of the activity, employees will visit retail shops at multiple locations to help small shop owners step up point of sale branding for Aquarius Glucocharge, and demonstrate how they can have more ‘glucocharged’ conversations with customers about the product!

Partnership with TNPL and KPL

When Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), arguably India’s second largest league for T20 cricket started, consumers who were watching the matches had an opportunity to taste Aquarius Glucocharge. The same offering was made during the association with the Karnataka Premier League (KPL), another state-level T20 cricket tournament.

As matches were held at three locations for KPL – Bengaluru, Hubli and Mysuru, fans cheered their teams sweating it out in the heat. It was the perfect opportunity for them to taste the product and keep themselves hydrated.

TNPL CEO, Prasanna Kannan had this to say on Aquarius’ foray, “I think TNPL was the perfect platform for Aquarius Glucocharge, and it was certainly a big hit at the event. From fans to organisers to even the players - everyone got a chance to enjoy the product. Aquarius Glucocharge certainly knocked it out of the park for us!”

Former India cricket captain Saurav Ganguly too joined in enthusiastically to get the ball rolling in Kolkata. For the West Bengal market, his presence was important as he addressed the key issue of staying hydrated during and after matches. As the fans lined up to catch a glimpse of ‘Dada’ (elder brother) as Saurav is popularly called, his message for the fans was ‘Thakunga, par rukunga nahi’ (I will get tired, but I will not stop).

Ganguly may have made the point about cricket, which is undoubtedly India’s most popular sport. But all sports persons (and fans!) who need that extra dash of hydration may want to sip Aquarius Glucocharge at the end of a long, arduous day of sport. Specially developed for Indian consumers, the product offers a non-carbonated hydration option with low sugar. Aquarius Glucocharge has all essential minerals and real fruit juice and is offered in a 200 ml serving.

Feeling dehydrated already after all that activity? Aquarius Glucocharge to the rescue!