Call it a dichotomy or a sign of an evolved market. For, Swarovski, the global crystal brand which has become generic for crystal is today facing the onslaught of ‘fakes’ worldwide.
“Anything that glitters and shimmers today is being sold as Swarovski,” says Swarovski India’s crystal components division (CCD) country manager Sanjay Sharma. Which explains why global cut crystal brand Swarovski is launching its first ‘ingredient branding’ exercise—simultaneously in global markets as well as in India—prompting consumers to recognise and use only genuine Swarovski crystals.
“We want to educate our customers on what Swarovski as a product is all about, even though they are aware of the brand,” Mr Sharma said.
The company is launching the first quality branding label ‘Crystallized with Swarovski’ to certify that all crystal components used in a product are genuine Swarovski crystals. The label will come in the form of a sticker, or a tag hanger and can be used by Swarovski customers who exclusively use Swarovski crystal components in their product lines, after they obtain a license to use the brand from the company.
The initiative will be supported by a global advertising campaign, again a first for the company, which apart from communicating the ‘genuineness’ of the brand will also promote its newly launched Xillion crystal range.
Launched internationally at Mod A’Mont at Milan, it will be unveiled in the domestic markets at the forthcoming Lakme India Fashion Week (LIFW) where six key designers would be showcasing the trends for the season using Swarovski Xillion in their creations. These are Rohit Bal, Suneet Verma, Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Arora, Rocky S and Malini Ramani.
The campaign is Swarovski’s first ever direct communication aimed at consumers, though in the past it has been talking to its customers, predominantly manufacturers and the trade. “This is the first time we will launch a B2C ad campaign,” Mr Sharma said.
According to Mr Sharma, India with its long history of glitter and glamour, is one of the fastest emerging markets for crystals and Swarovski CCD is the leader. “We have got what we had aimed for. The brand has become generic for crystals,” says Mr Sharma.
With 60 per cent growth last year and presence for over three years now, Swarovski CCD which provides the ‘ideal ingredient’ to embellish any hi-fashion product—garments, accessories (bags, shoes, belts, etc), furnishings, lighting and bath fittings—has come a long way since its inception in 2001 in the country.
In addition to the CCD, the second division of Swarovski India is the consumer goods business (CGB), which retails crystalline gifts, collectibles and jewellery through its retail network across the country.