`Repositioning to give the company a competitive advantage'
Relaunches Excalibur as a lifestyle brand, expands portfolio
To replicate the Excalibur model for change across various segments
After consolidating its international brands through its joint venture with VF Corp, Arvind Brands is now focusing on its own brands. On the cards is a complete overhaul of the brand image and positioning of Excalibur, Ruf n Tuf, Flying Machine and New Port. While Arvind Brands has already begun the revamp exercise with Excalibur, it is evaluating various possibilities for its other brands.
"All our brands have been powerful with good brand recall. And although our brand equity was not completely eroded, sales were stagnating a bit. We didn't want to offer just the basic product but offer a bit of fashion too. With increased sophistication in IT connectivity and service, this repositioning will give us a competitive advantage," said Mr J. Suresh, COO - Own Brands, Arvind Brands.
For young execs
Arvind Brands has relaunched Excalibur as a lifestyle brand with complete wardrobe solutions for young executives from being just a functional men's formal shirts brand. It has expanded its portfolio to include knits, jackets, T-shirts, blazers and suits under the categories of `Business Hours', `After Hours', `Vogue', `Royale' and `Vitals.'
This March, the company opened its first Excalibur standalone exclusive outlet (Till then, the brand was available only in multi-brand outlets). Today, there are 40 Excalibur exclusive outlets in the country. Plans are on to have 100 outlets by the end of this fiscal. They will be a mix of company-owned and franchisee stores. It has signed up design firm JHP, London, to design its new stores and provide a different retail experience to consumers. The first of the stores designed by JHP will be opened in Bangalore soon, followed by Delhi.
As part of the communication strategy, model Milind Soman has been signed up as Excalibur's brand ambassador. The Rs 40-crore brand hopes to notch up sales of Rs 60 crore this fiscal.
Although Arvind Brands has not firmed up the exact initiatives for its other three home-grown brands, it hopes to replicate the Excalibur model and go for a total change in positioning across various segments such as consumers, media and retail experience. Mr Suresh said the company would continue to position Flying Machine and New Port as a mass premium and mass brand respectively. The differentiation will be more in the retail experience and customer-connect by targeting the youth more.
Arvind hopes to cash in on the hypermarket phenomenon to push its Ruf n Tuf brands, which is currently available in all Big Bazaar and Mega Mart outlets. The strategy change for these three brands is expected to become visible by the spring summer season (from February).