Startup CupShup helps brands advertise on paper tea cups
While sipping tea at a stall near their college, Siddharth Singh and Sanil Jain stumbled upon the idea of branding paper tea cups.
The idea was suggested by Singh, and Jain was quick to realise its business potential. “It was right there. Over many cups of tea, we discussed how a brand could get dedicated exposure, for several minutes, if it was advertised on the tea cups,” says Jain, 30. In November 2014, the duo launched their advertising company CupShup.
The startup aims to convert tea and coffee breaks into an opportunity for brands to get noticed by their target audience. “The paper cup medium is clutter free, provides 5-7 minutes of exposure time and triggers discussion over tea breaks,” says Jain. “While ads on TV and radio are almost always flipped over by the customers, advertising over paper tea cups is bound to make an impression in their mind,” says Singh, 31.
The company offers end-to-end services to its clients—from getting the cups manufactured and their distribution to tracking, monitoring and post campaign surveys to gauge the effectiveness of the campaign. “Our inventory partners— corporates, colleges, airlines and tea vendors—get these branded cups for free, thus making it a winwin-win proposition for all parties involved,” says Jain The Mumbai-based startup, which has a presence in 25 cities, initially found it tough to get entry into offices, ..
Now, the startup has a wide distribution network of 1,000 offices, 500-plus colleges and more than 5,000 retail tea vendors. It has also partnered with four leading airlines of the country. Founded with an initial investment of Rs 1 lakh, put in by the founders, CupShup has run campaigns for numerous industry bigwigs, including Google, Coke, Cipla, Uber, Ola, ICICI Prudential, Hotstar and Viacom18. “Our unique model has drawn a diverse set of clients and has helped them reach cubicles and classr ..
Mapping entire cities to get the right set of tea and coffee vendors, was CupShup founders’ first big challenge. This meant a lot of ground work and was crucial to the startup’s success. “A tea vendor outside an IT Park would appeal to brands that target the working population, while a tea vendor outside colleges would appeal to brands targeting students. We needed to get this research right,” says Jain.
Automation helped the founders get their mapping right. “An app to capture tea vendors’ location and other important data points helped us to the job,” says Singh. The startup also allayed brands’ concerns around littering. “Roads littered with cups with brands’ names on them didn’t paint a pretty picture. It was a major concern for clients, so we decided to supply dustbins to the tea vendors and insisted that all used cups go into them,” says Jain.
CupShup, which has won several awards, including the Best Advertising Startup by Startup World Network, generated a revenue of Rs 1.1 crore in 2016-17. The company aims to treble its revenue in 2017-18 to Rs 3 crore. “To meet this target, we will be employing several nontraditional but highly effective mediums for advertising,” says Jain. CupShup has already launched inhotel branding and corporate activations (brand promotional activities in offices) in a few cities and is now looking to scale t ..