India’s leading colour cosmetics brand, Lakme (Lakme Lever, part of HLL) is in the process of a metamorphosis as it gears up to keep pace with the changing definition of a premium luxury positioning in India. The billionaire brand, with sales of more than Rs 100 crore, is eyeing a greater share of the Rs 350-400 crore colour cosmetics pie (organised business) in India.
Anil Chopra, Vice-President, Lakme Lever and Business Head-Lakme brand, said, “The definition of premium brands in India is changing rapidly as the largest democratic market in the world and its consumers gets aligned to global norms. And this holds true even for the colour cosmetics business. Earlier, too, Lakme was a premium brand in the Indian context, but you will see the brand upgrading to meet the global connotations of luxury colour cosmetic brand scenarios.”
He further said that luxury should be aspirational and deliver a unique sensory experience to the discerning Indian customer. According to him, “It’s a superior feeling that transcends the ordinary state-of-mind while inducing a feel-good, in which customer revels.”
Chopra also confirmed that the ad spends on the brand would increase proportionately in order to achieve the objectives mentioned above. “Media costs have been increasing due to fragmentation and the proliferation of multiple media vehicles and infinite consumer touch points,” he explained. Incidentally, the overall market leader brand is facing fierce competition in the premium luxury segment from global brands like Revlon.
The brand’s custodian is bullish about the sponsorship route, which forms a significant aspect of the holistic media and marketing communication mix. And notwithstanding the raging controversy over the Lakme Fashion Week, which will compete with the FDCI’s (Fashion Design Council of India) India Fashion Week, Chopra felt that Lakme would attempt to do something very different with the IMG-organised event slated for March-April 2006 and September-October 2006.
“Lakme will help discover fresh talent. In the last few years, the instances of discovering raw talent in the fashion designing business can only think of Sabyasachi Mukherjee over the last six years. Since, we shall be the sole custodians of the Lakme Fashion Week, we shall have more flexibility and can leverage and promote the cause of fashion and our business interests,” he added.
Speaking about IMG’s role, Chopra elucidated, “Recently, IMG has globally bagged the mandate of internationally renowned events such as New York, Los Angeles and Singapore fashion weeks. And we have had a fruitful association with them in the last few years.” Incidentally, Percept D’Mark has bagged the mandate of the FDCI Fashion Week.
Chopra also confirmed that they would be looking at like-minded associates and co-sponsors to cater to the other vital aspects of the IMG-Lakme Fashion Week event.