FARHAN HASSAN: Ülker is a huge success story from
A: What is the nature of Ülker’s investment in
FH: It is a joint venture. In 2000, Omar Jilani a friend of Ülker’s Chairman & CEO, Murad Ülker, approached him regarding setting up a joint venture in
A: What is the extent of Ülker’s commitment to
FH: Their investment in setting up a world class, state of the art, food manufacturing site at Port Qasim; one of Ülker’s biggest contributions to the project was the technical expertise they brought. Ülker manufactures enough cakes to ensure that every person on the planet can potentially eat one every 14 days! They have a huge history and a huge repository of knowledge and understanding of making cakes. Today, there is only one Ülker Turkish expat working in
A: Given Ülker’s huge FMCG portfolio, why did they decide to introduce their cake range?
FH: After studying the FMCG food market space in
A: Who is your target audience?
FH: Our audience at this point is varied for two reasons. One is the size of the product portfolio, which goes from the individual Peki layer cake all the way to larger family sized cake. We need to work across different touch points and target not only the consumer, but the buyer as well. We need to differentiate between a mum who buys the family-sized Peki layer cake because she can divide it into four, six or eight parts, depending on the size of her family, and the five-rupee Dankek which is aimed at a slightly different socio-economic price point. And if you are a bit more affluent, then the 10-rupee product is more innovative; its (smaller/individual) size makes it a different type of consumption product. We have price points across the spectrum of purchasing power.
A: Dankek is also part of the Ülker portfolio, yet it is not being pushed.
FH: Although Dankek was the first brand we launched in
A: Most people are used to buying their cakes from a bakery. How will you change that mindset?
FH: The cake category in
A: Are there imminent plans to introduce more products from the Peki range?
FH: There is a full portfolio behind the Peki brand which we will be launching in phases. We have a range of other and more sophisticated Peki products. Obviously, the more sophisticated you get, the more investment you need, because the manufacturing process becomes more complex. However, depending on how we can manage the price points for the Pakistani consumer, all this is available. We will be adding a couple of larger family-oriented products to the portfolio very soon.
A: Peki is being marketed under the umbrella of ‘Take a Peki Break’. What positioning are you trying to achieve for the brand?
FH: At the end of the day, after all the planning and strategising is done and the agency, creative and marketing inputs are in, luck favours the brave. We came to this concept after thinking about where our consumer touch points were, and we realised that there was another big and successful global brand that said ‘Take a break, have a…’
A: ‘Kit Kat.’
FH: … in our case we wanted to brand the moment itself. To turn different moments into ‘Peki Peki moments’. There are complexities in doing this. Mainstream advertising has no regard for the specific time of day, afternoon or night it goes across to the consumer. So we had to drive our media buying agency to do something new with the electronic media by having them manage the complexity of running our TVCs and radio spots to coincide with different times of the day. We also had a lot of success with FM radio, because they created five to eight spots which ran at different times with different taglines; for example: ‘Have a Peki Peki drive home’ because Peki Peki is a state of mind. Our tagline is ‘Peki se hi khushiyan, yeh Peki Peki duniya.” Peki Peki Duniya is a place where you can take a moment to enjoy a bit of life. It’s a happiness moment; it could be your drive to work, dinner at home with the family, a cricket match or even a ‘Peki Peki’ joke. So throughout the day we had multiple taglines running through our communication.
A: Given your previous experience in the food business in
FH: My previous experience was with the ice cream business, with Wall’s ice cream. Wall’s successfully brought ice cream back to the hearts and minds of consumers and today ice cream is a thriving category in
A: Do you see any emerging trends?
FH: The food category is going to keep on growing much faster relative to most other categories, not only because of the population growth, but also because many companies are entering the category. I expect to see more global brands coming to
A: Recently at the
FH: The question is: if the bulk of consumers in a particular marketplace is earning less that $1000 a year, why are you constantly trying to sell them something that has been designed and created for, and marketed to, people who are 20 times more affluent? Sachet marketing is not only about size. It is not only about saying: ‘I want to wash my hair with a great brand of shampoo but I can’t afford the bottle, so if you offer me a five-rupee sachet I will buy your brand.’ It’s also about gleaning insights about those consumers and then giving them more value, at a price point that will delight them rather than simply meet their outlay. Interestingly, many sachet marketing ideas are making their way back to the affluent economies. When a recession hits, most consumers go into a sachet frame of mind; they want to down trade, but they want to still be delighted, no matter what price point they are at. We believed that by giving value, even with a 10-rupee price point, we would get the business, and we have been surprised and delighted by the response.
Farhan Hassan was talking to Mariam Ali Baig. For feedback, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org