The Pondicherry-based fashion label and leather accessory manufacturer Hidesign is beefing up its advertising plans in international markets and towards this it is looking at appointing different agencies in those markets where it wants to push its retail initiative.
In the immediate future, the company is looking at appointing an agency in South Africa. Hidesign is in talks with a local agency called ‘Promise’, a breakaway from Ogilvy & Mather. The company hopes to finalise the deal by March-end. The Johannesburg-based Promise is a two-year-old agency with around eight clients on board.
Hidesign came to know about Promise through a youth fashion brand called Soviet, which is also based in South Africa. The company will also look at appointing agencies in Russia, Hong Kong and China in the next six months.
“We’ll look at appointing small to mid-sized agencies in countries where we feel the need. We feel small agencies are far more aggressive as they want to prove themselves. Having one large agency might not be the best fit. We are looking at agencies that understand the local media space and the customer profile much better. We’ll choose agencies on the basis of their passion for our brand, their past work and their strength in creative thinking in terms of being effective with limited budgets,” informed Hidesign CEO Kunal R Sachdev.
Hidesign is present in 20 countries, including Britain, the US, Australia, Germany, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa, Russia, and West Asia among others. The first Hidesign store in China will open within the next three months.
Elaborating more on the need for having different agencies on board in each market, Sachdev says, “We’re gradually moving towards the retail model. It’s important to create experience and profile for the brand hence it’s necessary to look at advertising. Agencies will guide us as we aren’t familiar with the local cultural background and hence will help in coming up with cost-effective ways of connecting with the customers.”
In India, Hidesign’s advertising duties are handled by its in-house creative team, and will remain so in the immediate future. Said Sachdev, “Indian advertising is strong with words and we’ve moved away from copy-led advertising. Indian agencies don’t have much to offer for luxury brands. We believe in communicating through imagery. Photography is a crucial part of communication.”
Besides ATL, Hidesign will now look at BTL activities too (specially in overseas markets) for the company considers BTL activities as the direct interface with customers. Hidesign spends around 10 per cent of its turnover in advertising and marketing.
As far as its future plans are concerned, it has targeted to open around 15 stores within the next 12 months across the country. Currently, it has around 35 stores. Internationally, Hidesign will be strongly focusing on China where it wants to open around 18 stores in the next two years.