We aim to challenge conventions by offering quality products that are highly affordable: Parminder Datt, Alcis
With Shikhar Dhawan as their brand ambassador, a partnership with NBA and FIFA and a Rs.10 crore marketing budget, this sporty start-up is moving strength to strength.
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With the country being more driven towards fitness, a lot of brands are coming up in this sector. Around a year old, Alcis is a start-up which just roped in Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, Lauren Gottlieb and Karan Tacker as its brand ambassadors and has set aside about Rs.10 crores as its marketing budget.
Parminder Datt, Head of Marketing, Alcis, gives more insights on this and their recent tie up with NBA and FIFA.
Being in a cluttered and competitive space, how do you differentiate yourself?
For the bold and sporty Indian youth, Alcis is a stylish sportswear brand that pushes them to break conventions and perform to their maximum potential by providing technologically advanced sportswear for their fitness pursuits. Our strengths are being an Indian home grown brand, manufacturing prowess, aggressive pricing, wide range of functional and fashionable products and technology driven performance.
Our brand promise is ‘Keeping it Real.’ We want to offer a diverse range, both in terms of depth and width across categories at affordable prices along with key technologies, whether it is anti-moisture management or anti-odour. We see ourselves as a challenger brand that is willing to break conventions by offering quality products which are technologically superior or at par with current premium brands and yet are highly affordable. We are targeting the middle of the Indian consumer pyramid spread across tier 1-2-3 towns and cities. For example, we have a product called Wonder Tee which weighs just 80gms. It has an anti-microbial technology which makes the product odour free. The Soil Release technology repels soil and Dynamic Drying makes it easy to maintain. This Wonder Tee is made of 100 per cent recycled Polyester where typically eight pet bottles worth of plastic is used to make this environment friendly t-shirt. We are offering this at price of Rs. 499 and it comes in 10 colours.
Can you tell us more about your association with NBA and FIFA?
We have an exclusive tie-up with FIFA where we are the Official Licensed Apparel Merchandise partner for both U-17 WC and for 2018 Russia WC. For the U-17 WC, we have developed over 94 styles in T-shirts, shorts and track pants in Indian hues and colours depicting the spirit of vibrant India. We have kept the prices highly affordable as apparel merchandise starts from Rs. 399 to Rs.999. We have tied up with Shoppers Stop, Central, Globus and Sports Station shopping chains. Additionally, football fans can also buy from our website and other online portals like Jabong, Myntra, and Amazon. Finally, we have also put up merchandise stalls at each of the participating stadiums across the six cities in India. Similarly, we also make Fan wear for NBA in India which again we are retailing through a variety of offline and online channels.
You have planned to spend about Rs.10 crores on marketing. Could you give us more details?
The key marketing challenge for us is to induce trials for a relatively unknown brand as well as compete with top brands for retail shelf space. Hence, our dual marketing objectives are to create awareness for the brand Alcis as a fashionable sports performance brand and impact sales by supporting retail marketing activities. To deliver on these objectives, we have roped in Shikhar Dhawan, Lauren Gottlieb and Karan Tacker as our brand ambassadors where we have worked with our creative agency in Hakuhodo and developed a TVC ad featuring Lauren and Karan. We have launched this ad on Sony Ten for the U-17 FIFA WC coverage to benefit from the growing popularity of football in India and reach out to our core target group which is in the age group of 16-25 years.
What is your marketing strategy?
Our focus is primarily on TV and Digital in terms of ATL spends with PR and retail marketing comprising of BTL spends. We are using the power of TV and Digital to impact reach and appeal to our target group. We have defined Alcis brand personality as an ‘Outlaw’ archetype. Hence, we have invested in brand ambassadors that display the personality traits of an outlaw and are creating premium imagery around them to influence our target group.
What marketing mix do you follow?
Product and pricing are our inherent strengths so our focus is primarily on promotions where we are undertaking a host of marketing activities to create awareness for Alcis with key focus on digital marketing. We are investing in Google, Youtube, Facebook advertising as well as key SEO and SMO activities including Gmail sponsored promotions.
What are your plans going ahead?
Cricket is still the most important determinant of sports performance in India. Hence, our focus will be in highlighting our association with Shikhar Dhawan as we aggressively work to reach our core consumers in the 14-28 age groups. At the same time, we also plan to invest in various local events to engage with users. For example, we have tied up as sportswear partner of the highly popular IIT Kanpur Udghosh annual festival where we will display our TV ads as well as create awareness via various outdoor collaterals.
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