Grasim Suiting, the textile division of the Aditya Birla Group, is keenly eyeing the tier II and III towns to drive its sales. The ready-to-stitch seven-year-old garment brand has small town men as its primary consumers, owing to various socio-economic-demographic factors. The company is geared to release its first TVC on August 3, with actor Akshay Kumar as the face of Grasim Suiting.
According to Abhijit Ganguly, Brand Director, Grasim, while fashion reigned in metros, smaller town people wanted a more matured look. They do not attribute wearing jeans and baggy clothes as proper clothes, and prefer formal wear since it provides a sense of seriousness. “In tier II and III towns, what you wear and what you gift is significant. Although, readymade is still stronger in the metros, we have also found that people in towns still prefer to get their clothes stitched, rather than buy some suiting from some not too prominent clothing. This is the rationale behind driving all our attention to tier II and III towns.”
The company observed that it was also losing the metro consumers since they were fast paced in fashion. There is a radical shift in the buying patterns of those in tier II and III towns. Said S Krishnamoorthy, President and Unit Head, Grasim Industries Ltd-Textile Division, “Till now, the brand was associated with the elite and upmarket segment. Now we deliberately want to take fashion to a larger audience -- an audience of aspirants and achievers, the ‘self-made man’. Accordingly, we have also changed the tagline to ‘For the self made’.”
While talking about its target audience, Ganguly said that the company was not making clear-cut SECs distinctions as “the SEC A of Patna is not the same as SEC A of Delhi”. “Our consumer is the man in his 30s, who has taken some time to gain a stronghold in their career. He has taken risks to be an entrepreneur, as against helping in the family-run businesses. They want to etch out their own dreams and are successful in doing so.”
This was exactly the reason why the company roped in actor Akshay Kumar as its brand ambassador in May this year. “Akshay is someone who has made it to the top on his own. Today, he is seen as someone who classy and has a mass appeal. He is one of the most bankable stars today, having moved from action to humour to serious melodrama films,” explained Ganguly. Grasim currently has 10 sub-brands, and the actor will endorse all of them.
The new TVC rolls out on August 3, and it depicts the story of Rajiv Bhatia who relentlessly strived to make himself into Akshay Kumar. The TVC attempts to show that the process of a suit being stitched is akin to the stages of growing and progressing in life. The TVC will be aired across all major TV channels, with special focus on regional channels and Doordarshan. Outdoor promotion will involve conventional billboards, apart from making its presence felt in cinema halls. There would be ads in the print medium too, as also ads on cricket sites like cricinfo.com. The company is planning a blog too, where people can share their own success stories.
The contract with Kumar is for three years, and apart from him wearing only Grasim suits, Ganguly said that there was a likelihood to have in-film brand placements of Grasim in the actor’s forthcoming films. Rs 4 crore has been spent on this campaign.
The company has 48 showrooms, and plans to open 25 more by end of this year, of which 80 per cent of the stores would be in tier II and III towns.
Another TVC has been planned for the festive season, from mid-October to December. Grasim’s marketing spend is about 10-12 per cent of its turnover, which translates to about Rs 10-12 crore. The company’s annual sales figures are Rs 120 crore, which is based on the wholesale price. Grasim faces stiff competition from major brands like Reid & Taylor, Siyaram Suitings, Mayur Suitings, Raymond’s and The Harry Collection.