Brand positioning and consumer understanding study for a homegrown specialty coffee brand


Coffee culture is evolving in India due to a set of brands focusing on single-estate specialty coffee. However, the brand had limited understanding of the consumers preference and consumption patterns.

The Ask


  • Understand consumers who brew coffee at-home, the role that coffee plays in their life and the moments of coffee consumption across the day
  • Map the journey of coffee drinker – their evolution from instant coffee or filter coffee to specialty coffee and influences along the journey 
  • Understand potential specialty coffee customers – those who have not made the shift & uncover barriers and potential triggers to the category 



  • Specialty coffee is in a very nascent stage in India with most consumers lacking awareness of the nomenclature
  • Due to the nascency of the space, consumers are constantly evolving their palette and discovering new brand, therefore unable to call them true loyalists or lapsers from any brand
  • Brewed coffee continues to have elitist associations [expected within the category] and is associated with social credibility and a mature taste palette 
  • High preference for milk based coffee in both home brewers as well as ANTs. Largely unable to stomach the bitter taste of coffee. Many do not experiment with different roasts and acidities 
  • Café culture has evolved greatly with cafes being the key source of awareness about brewed coffee

The Approach

  • We adopted a two-pronged approach comprising both qualitative and quantitative research encompassing both depth and width
  • The qualitative research was approached through different modules of work including the moments of consumption model, consumer journey with coffee, lapsers from the brand and ANTs from the category 
  • The quantitative study was conducted mid way through the research using findings from the qualitative study with an aim of validating and quantifying  moments of consumption, coffee preferences and triggers and barriers to the brand and category