Shreyas Kulkarni

D2C brand Rage Coffee targets 4-5X growth in 2022

The founder and CEO talks about the brand’s new visual identity, the consumers it wishes to attract, and more.

Rage makes you boil and is unhealthy for your system. For Rage Coffee, however, boiling to the top of India’s coffee market is in its best interests. As per Research and Markets, a market search store, India’s coffee market size will reach $ 855.0 million (Rs 6,637 crore) by 2025.

Founded in 2019, the D2C coffee brand sells instant coffee, ground coffee, liquid coffee, cold brew bags, and coffee shots and uses them to battle the likes of coffee giants like Bru, Nescafe, Tata Coffee and young D2C brands like Blue Tokai, iD Fresh, Sleepy Owl, among others for frothy supremacy.

D2C brand Rage Coffee targets 4-5X growth in 2022

Aiding its battle for the cream is the $5-million funding from Sixth Sense which the Economic Times reported in August 2021, and an undisclosed funding from cricketer Virat Kohli in March 2022.

Old logo versus new logo (L-R)
Old logo versus new logo (L-R)

Cutting to the product itself, since its inception, the visual identity of Rage Coffee had a very alphaesque look with a claw mark across the name and a guy in a blue suit holing up a cup of coffee. Cut to 2022, a mighty stag standing atop a jagged with a deep purple sky in the background is the new visual identity of Rage Coffee.

Bharat Sethi reveals he had designed the brand’s original logo in two to three hours and it worked for them that time but he says the brand needs to be more accessible, approachable and inclusive for all genders and categories of customers today because when they started, their customers “were between the ages of 25-34” but it was a predominantly male skew.

“A lot of women who were drinking Rage Coffee said it looks very masculine,” tells Sethi and adds the team wanted people to have something they could enjoy and feel is part of their lifestyle and identity. The brand today wants to appeal to millennials, GenZs, 40-year olds as well as 35-year old housewives.

Rage Coffee is aiming to become a universal coffee brand but one must notice that while coffee consumption might have increased in the past two years of the lockdown because many non-coffee drinkers (India is majorly a tea-drinking nation) might have to wanted to experiment, have they become converts to caffeine or is Rage Coffee still seeing hesitant consumers?

Sethi says that when it comes to coffee consumption, a lot of consumers, apart from South India where coffee consumption is high, were flirting with coffee because they do not consume it daily and only at parties or events where it was served. “Our bet was to lower the cost and offer a 10-time better coffee experience at home and get people addicted to coffee.

The founder reveals Rage Coffee’s 60-75% of sales before 2021 came from cities outside South India and that the brand has started targeting the South from January 2022. He also reveals Rage Coffee since its inception has grown 5X every year and expects a 4-5X growth this year.

When asked about what kind of coffee people order because, for many, the different flavours can confuse and even intimidate, the founder was quick to remark Rage Coffee’s flavours like Sparky Orange and Chai Latte as hits which enjoy a repeat order rate of as high as 75%.

“50% of our business comes from D2C website and online and the 50% cent comes from offline channels like general trade, modern trade, and hyperlocal… 80% of Rage Coffee’s online business is from its D2C site.”

Despite being a popular name among the new-age coffee brands, Rage Coffee hasn’t doled out big bang campaigns and has instead released influencer-led campaigns from time to time. Turns out, it was all by design.

“Two to three years ago, we had the opportunity to start spending on advertising and we took the more difficult route of going with top creators in the ecosystem and ended up paying them as much we’d have ended up paying a decent cricketer or a decent actor,” reveals the founder and says the brand is planning a campaign with Kohli soon.

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