Learning from Levis; Collaborate, Cooperate and Succeed.
It’s quite rare to see (in the Indian context) Brands working very closely with Retailers or Malls. Most often, each Brand would like to leverage its presence within the large format, be it a Department Store or a Hyper or even a Mall by taking up pole position (read – prime locations at the entrance). Retailers cash in on this trend by charging a premium for such locations which Brands pay, albeit not happily. Many Brands, international, domestic and regional believe that a prime location within the store would attract footfalls and the Brand magic would result into higher conversions. In most cases, it is not so. Corner locations alone do not guarantee higher business potential. What’s important is for the Brand to work closely with the Retailer in mutual interest and both must make best use of each other.
A recent example is that of Levis. I have read somewhere that on an average an American owns 1.65 pairs of Levis. That’s very similar to the count on Wal-Mart, that over the past 40 years, over 90% of all Americans have visited the world’s largest Retailer atleast once in their lifetime. In India, of course we cannot share such figures with authenticity though. Back to Levis. The Brand was among the earliest entrants in the casual-wear denim wear segment in India during the early 90s and continues to remain among the most aspired affordable fashion brands in India. After a small lull during mid-2000 decade, Levis has bounced back in strength. A very strong merchandising and marketing team is at work and the results are on the face. After many successful campaigns over the past months, the most recent one is an encouraging trend set by the brand again. This time, its outright collaboration.
Levis and Lifestyle, the Department Store chain owned and managed by The Landmark Group of Dubai, have come together in what seems to be among the most talked about promo in town. The tagline, aptly named “Just4YOUth” targets the young by age and young at heart to enjoy the mood and spirit of youth. This at a time, when most first-timers enter their college days, an important part of growing-up. To have a bit of variety and participation from other brands, LEE and ARROW have also been roped in. The promo seems simple; an assured gift with a minimum billing and a chance to win a Mega Prize, VW Beetle, the newest and coolest Youth icon in the making in India. And there are other prizes to be won too, including a YAMAHA motorbike and voila, a chance to be the next model for the Department Store chain! This is seemingly similar to the promotion that was held a year ago at Bengaluru International Airport to celebrate its first anniversary. Although many sceptics believe that such promos do not offer tangible benefits, I refuse to believe so. Indian shoppers are value-seekers and if they see anything additional to their purchases, they would just grab it. It’s been so for many years now and will remain so for times to come. The simple promo is a great crowd puller into the Lifestyle Stores, especially for Levis fans to check out the latest collections. On similar lines, Levis has also partnered with Shoppers Stop, India’s largest Department Store chain with another exciting promo – “Denim Rocks”, attracting music lovers by offering a Promotion revolving around the most favoured fabric of rock stars, pop stars and rappers. Here, the associate partner is another fashion brand FLYING MACHINE.
Today, Brands should seek more prominence among shoppers by not just having a premium location but by experimenting such promotions from time to time. The mantra is clear – Collaboration between the various parties, i.e., Brands and Retailers. Cooperation among Brands within the store. And the result – Mutual success for all. Wish more brands understand this simple logic, rather advertising silos on supplement first-pages!