Our brand revamp focuses on modern family needs: Anirudh Pandharkar, VIP Industries
Anirudh Pandharkar, CMO, VIP Industries speaks about the brand's re-launch and the ‘Hello Holidays’ campaign which seeks to align the brand’s core values with the modern Indian family
After nearly 5 decades, for the first time ever, VIP Industries has opted for a major brand revamp. According to Anirudh Pandharkar, CMO, VIP Industries, the re-launch with a new logo and ‘Hello Holidays’ campaign seeks to align the brand’s core values with the modern Indian family. The brand has also roped in Bollywood couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor as brand ambassadors.
In an interview with exchange4media, Anirudh Pandharkar elaborated on the reasons why the brand decided to revamp the business after nearly 50 years. “When you mention VIP the perception is of bulky suitcases. Consumers thought that the brand is for an earlier generation. Consumers today increasingly think of luggage as an outward extension of themselves. The need for lighter luggage, which is not only stylish but also meets their functionality has increased. Earlier, the company was heavily dependent on the VIP brand. It was the main pillar of the company. So making changes to that pillar was a bit risky. But we created stronger pillars with Skybags, Caprese, Aristocrat, and Carlton, and these have been well accepted by the audience as well. The over-reliance on a single brand VIP has come down considerably, hence we felt this is the right time to revamp the VIP brand with a meaningful offering to the young families of India”, said Anirudh.
VIP Industries in the last few years has rolled out new products - Skybags and Aristocrat being the most popular. We asked Pandharkar, among all the brands that the company offers, why was there a need to revamp only the VIP brand? “Skybags caters to individualistic young India. Aristocrat caters to the value-conscious consumer. Carlton distinctly caters to business-travel needs. VIP as a brand truly imbibes Indian values and our attempt is to utilize this strength of being a truly Indian brand known for its superior quality luggage”, he said.
Speaking more about what they expect from this re-launch, Pandharkar explained, “VIP has remained at the forefront of bringing good quality, innovative luggage to the market. However, VIP was not seen as a brand which is suited for modern India’s needs which were seeking a trendier solution, yet good functionality in their luggage brand. The objective is to bring back the family travelers to try new VIP luggage which suits their functional as well as aesthetic needs of travel on a holiday”.
Currently, VIP has a market share of 27 percent. In the branded segment, it is about 60 percent of the market share. “In that 60 percent, we want VIP to have at least 40 percent by end of this FY20”, Pandharkar asserted.
Not only have the products been revamped, but the brand has also changed its marketing strategy; from a new logo and bringing in new faces for the brand. The reason behind the brand association with Bollywood couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan was to shift the positioning from an individual to a family.
“The advertisements not only focus on the convenience and the functionality of the bags but also drive home the message of being family-friendly. Saif and Kareena are perceived as one happy family by people across the country. The celebrity couple along with a child actor who plays the celebrity couple’s son makes for an ideal Indian family that would hopefully attract young families and new couples”.
It has to be noted that all their major brands have celebrities on board, Varun Dhawan for Skybag, Alia Bhatt for Caprese, Rohit Sharma for Aristocrat. Pandharkar explains the ways in which these associations have helped the brand, explaining, “There has to be a meaningful association between the brand values and the values depicted by the celebrities. A celebrity’s involvement always helps in attracting the right audience; it adds some great value to the brand. If a celebrity’s personality and image match that of the brand, it can definitely increase the chances of attracting the right audience”.
The brand has also partnered with Kings XI Punjab for the ongoing IPL season, Pandharkar emphasizes, “IPL is one of the biggest cricket events held, and being part of it really puts the VIP name across to the masses. This is perhaps one of the best ways to get your brand name across to your target audience – in this case, the youngsters who are exposed to this sporting event. IPL association has helped in generating an impact of the new VIP logo in the consumer’s mind. IPL also helps in building a high awareness level and quick reach build up in our TG”.
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