If retailers in the FMCG and other categories are looking for innovative ways to promote their products, they must take a leaf out of automobile retailers’ book. Retailers in the automobile industry are taking a high road and to reach out to the right TG (target group) directly, they have found a new platform i.e. the ‘Fashion shows’. For marketing and promoting their products, the association is proving fruitful.
At the fashion capitals of the world, an association of fashion events with luxury car companies is not a newbie. Sponsorships to fashion weeks, designers’ awards, and fashion events are a practice that is widespread abroad. Now, the concept has reached the Indian shores and such associations are coming to light reflecting the ray of innovation in the car industry in India.
As both fashion shows and luxury cars target the same audience, it makes sense for them to collaborate to tap each other’s client base. Luxury brands come together and match up their philosophies to create a platform to reach out to people. It’s also a way for them to establish themselves and create a niche in the market. Such associations also help brands to uphold their image and be in public eye. It is nothing but a marketing initiative that helps brands to portray their brand policies in a different yet connecting way to their customers. They are aiming at redefining customer experience.
Making exemplary moves
Fashion events, the world over, are where the elite class, which forms the main clientele for the luxury car manufacturers, conglomerate. So automobile manufacturers have chosen to directly reach out to their target group via the fashion shows that attract attention from all directions. Recently, international luxury car manufacturers in the country had put to use this retail marketing technique. Audi clinched a partnership with Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter, 2009 and had announced Audi as its official car for the event. On the tie up, Benoit Tiers, Managing Director, Audi India said, “The WIFW offers us a perfect platform to reinforce Audi’s philosophy of ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ by showcasing our super sports car Audi R8, which defines fashion in its own unique way.”
Mercedes-Benz believes in strengthening its position as a trustworthy partner in the fashion scene and for over a decade it has established itself as an experienced partner of major international fashion platforms. It has been sponsoring fashion events in Berlin, New York, Miami, Mexico City, Brisbane, Paris, Milan, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Buenos Aires. In India, ‘Fascination Line’ inspired by Mercedes-Benz has been created exclusively by Manish Arora. Aulbur, Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India is happy with the association and is looking forward to a great partnership. The collection is up for sale in all Manish Arora outlets and would also be available at Mercedes-Benz dealerships. He comments, “Manish Arora has the values of sophistication at the same time he is radical in design. It is similar attributes that have added to the fascination of our brand and created iconic vehicles- be it the SLS AMG or even the latest E-Class.” It is very clear that such an association is beneficial not just for the car manufacturers but for the fashion events as well posing a win-win situation for both.
Retailers in other categories can follow suit. However, there is a side which needs to be given due consideration. Partnerships, associations and sponsorships should be made by matching the brands philosophies with those of the event or the persons partnering with. A wrong association can lead to the drop of the brand’s image. So before taking the final decision, wheel and deal!