Kopi Gadjah
Creating Fresh Desire For Tubruk



Be More Tubruk

How do you make a drink that’s been around for centuries relevant to a younger generation? This was the key challenge as we set about innovating a new brand to shake up Indonesia’s traditional tubruk coffee category. As a drink still consumed by Indonesians, young and old, on a daily basis the issue was not in changing the product, but in creating fresh relevance through a contemporary brand. After extensive consumer conversations, cultural observation and category investigation, we developed, created and launched Kopi Tubruk Gadjah. Younger drinkers are now able enjoy a traditional coffee that authentically reflects who they are – right now, in 2021. And after only a few weeks on the shelves, early engagement amongst drinkers and retailers has exceeded the client’s expectations.

Creating fresh desire for tubruk

The ambition set was unambiguous: to lift an entirely new tubruk brand from point zero to number 2 in the market in 2 years. Achieving that would require seizing significant market share specifically from the market leader with a focus on increasing switch amongst younger drinkers, who were stuck with the same old brand their grandparents drank. Whilst this youthful generation has more relevant choices in almost every other category they shop in, it was time for tubruk to catch up – de-positioning the complacent incumbents. 

Indonesia in every cup

Extensive in-depth conversations with our target drinkers made clear that whilst there was appetite to modernize the category, it equally needed to remain as distinctly Indonesian as tubruk is: there is cultural pride infused in every cup. We also discovered that our target see their own best selves reflected in tubruk. As young Indonesians, they desire to be as strong, characterful and social as coffee is – because this attitude will further their ambitions to succeed within their communities.

Making tubruk an attitude

With our drinkers sharing the belief that the right attitude will carry them far we positioned our brand around an ethos – Be More Tubruk. As a brand, we are the first to capture the essence of tubruk as an adjective – bold, considerate, determined, and rallying people to embrace positive behaviours and actions. This contrast of strong and social inspired an equally bold name – We gave our kopi tubruk the name Gadjah, meaning ‘elephant’. As an animal, it symbolises what it means to be tubruk – big, powerful, poised, but also intelligent, social and nurturing. We were also first in the category to incorporate the colloquial term ‘tubruk’ into our brand, unequivocally demonstrating the shared cultural pride we have in the product.

Alive on pack and beyond

We created a visual identity rooted in the tubruk attitude. Our icon is the front-facing elephant, full of power, strength and ambition, whilst the colour palette represents the rich darkness of coffee as well as the evocative national colour of Indonesia. The power of the design is in its simplicity – ensuring the packaging delivers superior standout in stores and amidst Indonesia’s bustling coffee stalls. The visual system centres around the elephant and is used extensively as a super graphic, building brand recognition through repetitive use of this iconic asset, while the supporting “Power” graphic works to enhance the story of power and boldness.

High retailer demand

Within 1 month of launch, response from retailers has outperformed all normal expectations for a launch of a new product brand – 60% penetration in key channels with 25% already reordering due to rapid sales – a clear testament to the confidence in, and excitement around, Kopi Tubruk Gadjah.

A future-ready brand

Kopi Tubruk Gadjah has redefined tubruk and will serve to keep our client’s business ahead of the curve, making it set to become the brand of choice for an entire generation.

A category re-energised

Kopi Tubruk Gadjah has woken up a category comatose by complacency by rewriting the semiotic codes of the cultural institution that is tubruk coffee – shifting expectations of what it can be.

Experience by: L&F Singapore


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