Cover Story: An ‘insta’ brand all set to cross Rs 120 crore in 3 years

For Manjula Tiwari, CEO, Future Style Lab, marketing is all about spending on the right store location, understanding your customer and targeting them the right way

e4m by Naziya Alvi Rahman
Updated: Oct 10, 2019 10:31 AM

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Manjula Tiwari Cover Story

In a three-year-long journey as a premium clothing brand, Cover Story has managed to make its mark in the competitive market with its targeted yet economical marketing plan. The brand has not launched a single TV or print ad, but is still claiming to have business worth a whopping Rs 120 crore in a short span of time.

So, what has the brand done to make itself visible to those it wants to sell? “We spend on store locations. For me, the store location is marketing. Because we invest in being at the right place. All our 30 stores are in top 30 malls,” says Manjula Tiwari, CEO, Future Style Lab.

With an aim to take on global clothing brands, the stores have strategically been placed in most premium malls, amidst leading brands. “We're perhaps the only Indian brand in some of these malls, right next to all the global brands. For me, that's marketing. People cannot touch your products through an advertisement, but a store is also an advertisement if it's in the right location,” shares Tiwari.

Tiwari says a large part of their marketing strategy is about “understanding” the customer.

“If you look at our campaigns, there are younger girls, but not teenagers. So, we've always had a replica of our target customer and she's travelling with her best friend, and she's discovering the world very stylishly. And we're also targeting working women and senior professionals. It starts at 25 and goes up to 50. That's our target customer. Our woman is definitely financially independent. This woman is very much on Instagram, she's very social media savvy. She is actually getting all of her information on Intsagram, Facebook and through her own friends circle. Our immediate circle really influences what we wear because it is kind of symbolic of who we are. So we chose digital,” Tiwari explains 

The brand, which is making a conscious effort to appear ‘inspirational’ to its clients, purposely shoots all its campaigns abroad at places such as London, Spain and Italy. Once ready, the campaigns are launched on Instagram and other social media platforms. “We create a lot of content on ‘what to wear’. And we put up all this content on our site, and we do it ourselves. We have a content team, we have an in-house studio, we come up with ideas and put things together ourselves. We have got almost 1,00,000 followers on Instagram in two years,” claims Tiwari.

 So, was the move to stick to digital marketing a conscious decision based on research?

The last I read, an average person looks at his phone more than 150 times a day. So we wanted to be very sharp, very focussed on how to reach this customer. What also happens is that on Instagram, it's shoppable now. If you see something and you like it, you can click on it and purchase it from our website. So it brings the customer closer to the product immediately. We really enjoy that freedom to reach our customers,” she says.

Going forward, Tiwari is excited about her latest collection which is an outcome of a collaboration with fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld. Tiwari claims some of the products from the collection were designed by Lagerfeld himself last year, a few months before he passed away.

“For Cover Story, the real breakthrough in design and product is to give our customer access to true luxury brand names at accessible prices. So I'm really excited about this, because Karl Lagerfeld is ‘right there’ and it's going to be available in our stores. And they actually chose us; they approached us last year. They've been to some of our stores in Delhi, they've seen some of our happenings online and so they approached us,” she adds.

Tiwari who has been in the fashion industry for close to two decades now, feels, in today's day and age, you cannot market to anybody.

“I think the customer is extremely savvy and way more informed than marketers. So we cannot underestimate the customers. I also think they know when you are genuine and when you're not; when you're selling a good product and when you're not, and if you're selling a good product they will find it. And you need to have a tone of voice that relates,” says Tiwari.

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