Malls adore brands that attract footfalls. India’s customer is picky, choosy, moody, but it is also wise, instinctive, selective, and develops a strong liking or disliking towardsa certain brand instantaneously.
For a varied customer base, a mix of brands is preferred by the malls. With the boundaries disappearing, the international brands are going beyond the edge of cities and countries. So, the malls are happy to take on such global brands who cater to fashion conscious customers, and who in real terms become the anchor for the malls. Besides, these brands in order to take the advantage have developed merchandise according to the needs and and tastes of the Indian customers. Also, they put their pricing according to the aspirations of Indian customer.
Along with international brands, national and regional brands also find a favour with the malls to suit all kinds of customers. The placement of a brand in malls is the key to how it will fare with customers. And, most importantly, the brands require a positive and favourable environment to hit it off which the malls cordially comply.
While the success of a particular brand may depend on a number of x factors, like whether it is able to target the right audience, the brand positioning in the mall, the tenant mix in the mall within its vicinity, accessibility in terms of customers easily being able to locate the brand in the mall etc. In the end, it is the brand power of pulling in more customers and in turn, revenues and establishing an everlasting bond with the customer that matters.
The good thing is, the best of the brands know how to achieve that and so are equally loved by both malls and customers alike. Read on!
REEBOK: India’s favourite fitness brand
Reebok has a rich heritage in fitness and has been a key motivator for inspiring Indians to be ‘Fit for Life’ by making fitness a key lifestyle component. Reebok drives consumers to move not just for the sake of movement; but with the belief that movement is the path to becoming physically, mentally and socially stronger.
Reebok, the Brand
With a pan-India presence of 300 exclusive franchise stores and a 1,000-member strong instructor alliance, Reebok is expanding its footprint in the country and has a strong reach among the target audience. Their revolutionary Fit-Hub concept store format has gained an overwhelming response since its launch in 2013. The list of Fitness ambassadors include John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri, MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir, who have helped the brand motivate people to live an active lifestyle. Reebok believes that every day is an opportunity to cultivate fitness as a way of life. Commitment to a fit life involves pushing the body to its limits every day and hence their brand mantra is to encourage people to ‘Fight Complacency’.
Capitalising the Power of MALLS
Consumers are largely gravitating towards malls, rather than busy streets, to enjoy a holistic experience. Reebok recognises this rapidly evolving Indian consumer and aims to share its brand story and create an affable shopping environment in a mall than a high street where, typically, shoppers are in a hurry. The key to winning a shopper’s heart is to offer best-in-class service and experience possible. Says Somdeb Basu, Brand Director, Reebok India: “The brands must hire top notch staff and should offer a compelling ambience with better interiors and lighting. The products should be displayed attractively & conveniently by sizes, styles and cuts using modern visual merchandising techniques like colour blocking.”
Reebok stands for innovation in product. Technology powered product high on style is most preferred by consumers, and clearly with the connect they have with the style-and-health-conscious consumers, the brand has an edge over all other sporting brands. The brand regularly undertakes many engaging mall activations. They generate brand awareness with strategically placed mall media outside and inside the mall.“Always looking to innovatively engage with our consumers, we have recently tried some experiential marketing where we invite potential consumers for fitness classes like Yoga/Aerobics at our FitHub stores as the stores themselves have been built to have the same environment as any fitness studio/gym,” says Basu.
Fashion is Truly Forever
Samir Sahni is the younger of the two dynamic Sahni brothers of the renowned Ritu Wears Biglife retail chain, which is perhaps the most popular Delhi-based retail group in India. Sahni’s passion and the backing he got from the sites he has gained from interacting with consumers, has led him to launch a homemade Indian women’s fashion brand, on a pan-India basis.
The brand is christened “Forever Fashion” with the urge to serve international fashion in Indian fits and skin. Explaining the brand’s raison d’etre, Sahni says, “It seemed to us as if the Indian Brands were not keeping pace with the Indian women’s taste and style. We could feel a huge vacant niche in the women’s wear space for a brand that was comfortably trendy, affordable and immediately desirable.” Forever Fashion is available in Ritu Wears Biglife Stores in Delhi NCR, Punjab, UP and Haryana, also, the first EBO has been launched in Rajouri Garden, Delhi; while four more outlets are in the pipeline.
On how exactly the brand will proceed ahead, Sahni discloses, “Besides strengthening the presence in our own stores and leading e-stores like eBay, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, Fashion and You and Snapdeal, we will expand the brand’s presence through 1,000 sq ft standalone exclusive brand outlets and are also looking at fashion savvy franchisees. The plan is to reach 10 EBOs by 2016.”
BIBA: Purely Indian
In 2004, Biba opened its first standalone store in Inorbit Malad, Mumbai, and also became the pioneer for Bollywood merchandising in India with the film ‘Na Tum Jano Na Hum’ in 2004. Siddharth Bindra, MD, Biba Apparels, who joined the business started by his mother, Meena Bindra, went on to open another 15-20 stores in 2006 and by 2007 raised private equity from Future Ventures.
Redefining the Indian Ethnic Wear
In 2013, Biba completed 100 stores and was the first company to provide a profitable exit to the investors in the retail industry. He then went on to attract marquee investors like Warburg Pincus to invest in the company in 2013.
Currently, Biba products are available through 170 EBOs across 65 cities, apart from presence in all the major retail chains in the country like Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Pantaloons and Central. Biba has also partnered with Jabong, Myntra and Flipkart to retail in the online space and has recently launched its own eCommerce portal, biba.in.
Siddharth Bindra says, “Biba entered the luxury segment by buying a 51 per cent stake in Manish Arora’s label, ‘Indian by Manish Arora’ and recently also acquired a substantial minority stake in the designer label, ‘Anju Modi’.”
To enhance the brand’s presence at lower price points, Bindra introduced a new fashion brand –‘Rangriti’. Guided by the vision of Bindra, Biba aims to open another 100 stores in the next two years.
Da Milano: Style En-Vogue
A Milano needs no introduction. From leather tanning industry to aesthetic, high end leather accessories and home furnishings, Da Milano has come a long way in the last sixty years since its inception.
The prized craftsmanship speaks volumes of its connect with the customers they target: high-end with a distinguished sense of style. Their passion for experienced handiwork and getting elegance and sophistication to all their products have been the signature of the brand, ever since it has struck a chord with fine leather aficionados.
Exporting their products throughout the world, especially in Europe, stands testimony to the fact that the brand has carved a niche in the fine, stylish leather space – handbags, portfolio bags, travel bags, wallets and accessories. The buyer gets a lifetime warranty on their products because the brand creates each one with a painstaking effort and keeps it in accordance with the international standards. In the domestic market, presently Da Milano operates 45 company owned and self operated exclusive showrooms in 10 cities being present at the IGI International & Domestic Airport, Terminal 3, Delhi, Mumbai Domestic Airport and Kolkata Airport.
The Da Milano Boutique
Often called Da Milano boutiques, the brand operates majorly through mall spaces. Since the placement of their stores matters a lot to the brand, they are present at all high-end malls of the country, like Palladium in Mumbai, Ambience Mall in Vasant Kunj, Delhi or Select Citywalk in Saket, Delhi, to name a few.
The size of the boutique varies from 600 to 800 sq ft. Like every successful brand, Da Milano, too, makes sure the mall/high-street is prominent and is catering to a similar target audience that the brand is targeting. As a brand, Da Milano has always been front runner in understanding industry and customers’ needs and bringing out various solutions for enhancing customer experience.
Presence on Social Media
Da Milano connects with its customers on sites such as the Facebook, as it is a big tool for customer awareness and helps the brand reach out to its customers and inform them about the latest news on the products.
The market leader in premium leather brands in India also became the first leather brand manufacturing company to launch the online ordering service nationally. Speaking on the launch of this online retailing system nationally, Sahil Malik, Managing Director, Da Milano said, “Our endeavour is to provide the best of service to our customers in terms of ordering our accessories. At the same time, we want to make use of the technology to make our brand more accessible and approachable for consumers. The launch of online retailing platform adds a new dimension of convenience and experience to the buying process of our existing as well as future customers. We believe that our customers would find it even more convenient to order with us now.