How a tech-accessory brand is growing out of licensing?

In a candid conversation with Retailer, the super-excited COO of the brand Binal Shah divulged the benefits brand has churned out with the brand licensing alliances.

Macmerise– an initiative started with the founder’s fascination towards Apple products and hunt for a nice decal - has now grown to become one of the biggest licensees in tech-accessory segment. Boasting a plethora of brands including the likes of Disney, Marvel, DC, designer Masaba Gupta available for decals and phone covers, Macmerise has aptly positioned itself as an alliance of fashion and tech, thus mesmerizing one’s Mac experience (as put by the brand).

In a candid conversation with Retailer, the super-excited COO of the brand Binal Shah divulged the benefits brand has churned out with the brand licensing alliances. Also, Shah reveals about Macmerise’s plans to seek fundings.

How has been your stint with brand licensing so far?
Started by Sahil Shah, Macmerise deals majorly into decals for Mac and mobile covers. Disney India was a turning point for us. What started with being Disney licensee has turned us to owning more than 10 brands under umbrella and we have around 23 properties in our portfolio.

When it comes to licensing in gadgets and tech accessories, I think we have the maximum number of licenses in India.

Our basic aim is to make gadget accessory a fashion. The trend is that with every gadget you buy, there are 5-6 accessories you buy along with your gadget. It is not just the phone anymore; but includes phone case, phone skin, flashcard etc. 

These days, mobile cases are not just functional thing but reflect your personality along with being a style statement. There are people who change phone cases every few days. Our aim is to marry fashion with technology and that is why our tagline is also ‘do the thing differently’. Everyone is making phone covers and so are we, but we have the maximum number of licenses on board. 

Macmerise is a brand grown out of licensing or licensing is just a tool to scale up?
I think it worked both ways. Ever since we started doing licensing in India, we got to know that there is something as ‘licensing’ that exists and you can’t just pick up an Iron-man from the internet and slap it on your product. There is a proper process that provides credibility and authentication to your product. We benefitted in termas that we got to associate with industry stalwarts like Disney and FCB, but at the same time what Macmerise has brought to these brands is that there is some brand that is into tech-accessories, understands the core of licensing and wants to do it in a legit way.

What is the story behind the name Macmerise?
Sahil, the founder, is a big Apple fan, so much so that we have a huge art of Steve Jobs in our office. The first product that Macmerise ever churned out was a MacBook decal. The though behind the product was to mesmerize one’s love for Mac. Since we were dealing with Mac, hence the name Macmerise!

What has been the growth rate so far?
Last year we were doing around 1,000 cases a month vs today when we churn out 300 to 350 cases a day taking it around 8,000 cases a month. This is just the number of cases going online; otherwise we also do several B2B orders. Growth rate has been more than 100 per cent year-on-year.

What are the retail points, Macmerise products are available at?
The kind of products we deal in, we have realized that online is the place. You and me won’t think of going to a mall to buy a phone case as it is very impulse purchase. It is more driven online, however having said that, offline has a humongous reach. So we showcase our products offline at stores like Crosswords, retail individual standalone stores in malls like Palladium in Mumbai and Entertainment store in Bengaluru. If you ask the percentage, 80 per cent of the market is online. The beauty is that our website attracts maximum number of orders followed by Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Shopclues etc.

Have you raised any funding so far?
Not as of now! So far we have been bootstrapping, but now when we have numbers in place, we will be moving ahead in that direction this year.

What makes licensing an ideal retail strategy for a brand like Macmerise?
We have to understand that though licensing has many challenges when you start with it, and the first step is difficult considering the fakes in market. But once you take that step, there are a lot of benefits you can churn out. It is strange that somebody like Macmerise is now being associated with brands like Disney, DC.

There is a lot of difference in product from design perspective that comes along with licensing, credits the limited access to global designs.

Today the youth understands the value of original products and don’t mind spending a little more to get the right product, given the credibility associated with licensing. We have fans who have been wanting to showcase their love for a property but don’t know which product to buy. Now we are bridging that gap up to some extent.

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