Ten-year old brand fbb has been delighting audiences – both with its wide range of fashion offerings, as well as its vibrant and bold advertising. Prachi Mohapatra, Chief Marketing Officer, fbb tells us how the brand stays relevant to consumers of all ages
Q] Tell us about #Varun Always Hatke, fbb’s most recent campaign, and the idea behind it. The idea behind the campaign was to make fbb the talk of the town as a one-stop fashion destination for menswear. Through this campaign, we wanted to break the stereotypical view of this category being less exciting and vibrant. Actor Varun Dhawan as our brand ambassador fit the brief perfectly. fbb as a brand speaks the language of the youth, and so does Varun. His energy and enthusiasm lent to the shaping of the campaign as a whole. This campaign wonderfully merged both the brand personalities and the outcome was fantastic, both in numbers and creativity.
Q] What is your #WearYourSmile campaign all about? #WearYourSmile is our campaign to connect emotionally with consumers in the New Year encouraging them to smile more, as that is the most beautiful thing to wear this season. It is priceless, picture-perfect and complements any attire of one’s choice. Through the campaign, we delved into the deeper meaning of ‘feeling good to look good’, and the stories behind the various emotions we experience daily. The campaign is being promoted on Digital and in-store through visually attractive merchandise.
Q] How is your new brand Shyla doing? Post the Shyla By fbb campaign, we grew by 60%. Shyla is growing strong and steadily, and as we see it, we have opened up the market for sleepwear through the brand, with more and more brands talking about sleepwear after the launch.
Q] What about your other private label brands? What is the kind of growth they are seeing? We believe in nurturing our brands to help them witness steady growth. One such example is our ethnic brand Shrishti, which today is a huge, extremely profitable brand by itself. Buffalo is another popular brand endorsed by Varun Dhawan, which saw double digit growth over the last one year. That said, our top priority is to establish fbb as a one-stop shopping destination, and that’s precisely what we are doing at this point of time.
Q] What is the kind of growth that fbb is seeing currently? We are witnessing double digit growth annually.
Q] Typically, how much of your overall budget is allocated to marketing spends? What is your marketing mix? We spend a healthy amount on marketing and we are extremely active in the social media digital space. We are a young brand, so for us it is imperative to ensure brand awareness among our consumers and influence their purchase decisions. This necessitates having a young voice on social media platforms, which can appeal to people of all ages who are young at heart. So we have a healthy mix of digital, ATL and BTL campaigns. In terms of Digital marketing, content is something that we have been very specific about and in the last two years. We have invested a lot in content development which is media agnostic, seamless and occupies our consumer’s mind space. We customize our content zone-wise, according to demographics of the region, to cater to consumers of all ages with one voice. We also associate with strong properties like Miss India and IPL to increase our brand visibility.
Q] How does fbb strike a balance between brick and mortar retail and e-commerce? We are a brick and mortar brand and there is no shying away from that. In India, the market is still 98% brick and mortar. That said, we have a strong omni-channel strategy in place. This involves talking to our consumers, especially the youth online and then getting them to visit out retail outlets to experience our offerings. We have been very successful in doing this, as our redemption percentage of 36-37% shows, and we invest wisely in e-commerce to drive sales directly. We run specific campaigns on our e-commerce platform, apart from being present on other e-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart and Paytm Mall.
Q] What is your strategy for Tier II and III cities? We believe that Tier II and Tier III towns and cities are growing manifold. If you look at the volume of sales, it is skewed towards the metros and mini metros; however, the primary growth comes from Tier II and Tier III towns. This is mainly on account of the exposure these consumers have today to a lot of information. This makes them smart, value-for-money consumers, which ties in very well with our brand philosophy, with its strong focus on value fashion. Thus, these towns and cities are focus areas for fbb and we have a customized marketing strategy to reach out to consumers there, in terms of catchment assortment specific to the region, product mix, marketing mix and more. Over the next few months, we are looking at opening five new stores in the East and another four-five new stores in the South.
Q] In an extremely cluttered fashion retail space, how do you stay relevant? The fact that we are a well-established brand which is proactive to market requirements works in our favour. We anticipate trends and are fast adaptors of fashion, with offerings to meet the diverse and ever-changing fashion needs of consumers across the board. That said, competition pushes us to do better and to have a sharper, more focused marketing tone, and so we welcome other fashion brands.
Q] Going forward, what is your outlook for the India market and your growth strategy for the coming year? Our focus will be on Tier II and III markets, and we have very big plans for them. We will continue to speak the language of the customer, which we have been doing very effectively. However, our slicing of communication will be sharper to suit the requirements of vernacular markets. This strategy has worked for us thus far and we are confident that it will help in our continued success, even as we remain a step ahead of the curve.