By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
The listed company intends to invest Bt500 million in expanding Crystal’s production capacity in every region, and will conduct a marketing campaign to strengthen its brand image as a high-quality drinking water, said Sermsuk’s president, Vivek Chhabra. Capacity will be expanded in Pathum Thani, Chon Buri, Surat Thani, Nakhon Sawan and Nakhon Ratchasima.
The budget will also include the opening of new bottling facility in a northeastern province, to be opened by the end of this year. The company, however, declined to disclose the location at this point in time.
“With the expansion, we will be able to increase overall capacity for Crystal drinking water by 1.2 million cases per month, or 15 per cent, by the end of this year. It will serve the company’s target of selling 100 million cases of Crystal drinking water this year, which would be 15 per cent higher than last year’s level.
“We will focus on domestic growth within the next two to three years before exploring opportunities for Crystal drinking water in the region, in line with ThaiBev’s 2020 vision to become a leading beverage player in the region,” he said.
“For Thailand, we want to be the number one drinking-water brand in the Kingdom. We are already the leading player in terms of quality image, and our aim is to become the leader in the market in volume terms in the future,” he added. Sermsuk will also invest Bt50 million in a new marketing campaign, aiming to build the Crystal brand into the most desirable drinking-water brand among ‘next-generation’ consumers, while targeting volume growth to 100 million cases for the year.
“The path to building up the Crystal brand to become a high-quality favourite for consumers is based on three key pillars that contribute to a strong foundation for Crystal. This includes our strategy that focuses on Thai consumers who are increasingly health conscious by offering them the highest-quality water,” Vivek explained.
He added that although last year had been a very challenging period for the Thai economy, Crystal had still achieved notable success due to consumers being concerned about their health and water quality.
“In 2015, the Bt32-billion drinking-water market was highly competitive and saw growth of 11 per cent, with Crystal playing an integral part in driving the market. Crystal earned a 17-per-cent market share thanks to a sales increase of 18 per cent over the previous year. This was higher than overall drinking-water market growth. Crystal has become the most desirable drinking-water brand among next-generation consumers,” the president said.
“We will strengthen Crystal’s brand image as a quality drinking water as well as introduce a new marketing campaign with a Bt50-million budget in 2016 based on the concept ‘Same Things Could Be Different’.
“We have invited rising heartthrob star Naphat ‘Nai’ Siangsomboon to be Crystal’s new ambassador for the marketing campaign, to encourage consumers to lead healthier lifestyles and recommend that they select high-quality drinking water,” he said.
Sermsuk has found that next-generation consumers are selective about the bottled water they drink, he said, adding that consumers should therefore acquire knowledge about the different types of water they refresh themselves with by looking for a standard that they can trust.
The “Same Things Could Be Different” TV commercial is n|ow being aired, while innovative |digital billboards will be set up in Bangkok and surrounding areas |to encourage consumers to lead healthier lifestyles.
Sermsuk anticipates the campaign will reach more than 5 million customers in a single month.