Will Blackberrys Soon Emerge As The Next Big Brand For Men In India?
Mohan Brothers (Nitin and Nikhil), Owners and Directors of Blackberrys, spoke to BW Businessworld about their sub-brand, Blackberrys URBAN, Marketing Strategies and Expansion Plans
Blackberrys is known to be a niche brand with its formal linen garments and specified target audience. However, on 12 of June 2017, the brand introduced 'Blackberrys URBAN' in Goa which comprises Casuals, Denims and Fashion-forward clothes for the younger lot of the country.
"As a brand we are largely known for our formals, and this is the year when we embark the casual segment of the market. In the near future, we will be opening Blackberrys exclusive stores and also URBAN exclusive stores which is a sub-brand of Blackberrys. So put together 50 plus stores will be opened," said Nitin.
When asked by BW Businessworld about the number of cities where the new stores of the brand will be introduced, Nitin replied, "Blackberrys will be opening its stores in 50 new cities and the larger cities will have more number of stores."
Talking about the minimal presence of the brand in the North-East of India Nikhil told, "In the North-east there are logistics issues and acquisition of property under lease is not very clear. These are some of the reasons why few stores are available in the North-East, but it's clearly coming in the mainstream."
"It is gaining more prominence in terms of its purchasing power. Today we have lots of franchise coming who want to open stores in the North-East. They will be investing money and acquiring properties, so the stores will be opening soon there," he added.
For a long period of time, Blackberrys had a constant target audience of men who are in the age group of 25 to 35, but introduction of URBAN has turned the tables around for the brand. "URBAN will help us attract the younger audience i.e. 18 to 20 plus. Now we have a strong play in casual-wear. For our formal segment, 25 to 35 has been the heart of the audience," said Nitin.
"There are people who have been loyal to the brand, who have aged and now fall in the age group of 40 to 50. They still continue to wear our clothes. But the heart of the target audience is 25 to 35. For our casuals the audience is much younger," he added.
The brand is carving out three brands out of one, URBAN denim inspired, Fashion-forward line and Casual-centric line. "The fundamental change is multi-brand strategy which will enable us to package the product portfolio in a very appropriate manner for the consumers," informed Nikhil.
"We are moving closer towards our consumers. Another thing is natural movement of people into digital so there is a clear sense that broadcasting does not work, one has to engage, one has to communicate to people, so brand communication will definitely be at focus."
E-commerce continues to constitute 5 per cent of the business for the brand. "The business that comes from E-commerce is at the touch point for the consumers. Irrespective of the city the consumer is in, he understands what the brand offers are, the look that the brand is offering for the season and so it's a fantastic opportunity that digitalization is offering. At the moment, the business is following. The volume is not very high but it will catch up soon," explained Nitin.
The owners also spoke about the probability of expansion of the brand in South India. With the inauguration of URBAN, there lies a high possibility for the millennials to move towards Blackberrys to embrace the blend of linen and cotton.