Sunday, November 13, 2011

Raymond women’s apparel

Priyadarshi bhattacharya | dms, iit delhi

Raymond women’s apparel


One of India’s biggest apparel companies, Raymond has been successful in almost every segment that it has ventured into. With iconic brands like Raymond, Color Plus, Park Avenue and Parx, the company commands respect in the industry. However, its women’s wear brands, launched in 2007 have been doing very badly. Even in a metro like New Delhi, there are just two outlets where the company’s women wear line is sold. In one of them at Select City walk, the shop owner reveals that even though the women’s wear line occupies 15 % of shelf space, it contributes to just around 5 % of sales. This article examines the reasons for the poor performance of Raymond’s offerings for women and recommends a possible solution.


Background to Entry into Women’s Apparel

Park Avenue: Park Avenue marked Raymond’s entry into the men’s Ready to Wear segment in 1986.A premium contemporary formal wear brand, Park Avenue targets men in the age group of 30-40 years.
ColorPlus: ColorPlus was launched in 1993 by ColorPlus Fashions, then a unit of Coimbatore-based Ambattur Clothing Limited and was acquired by Raymond in 2002.

From the 2 pyramids shown above it can clearly be seen that there has been a significant increase in the female work force size in India in the last decade.

Wooing Women

The Raymond group initially made an entry into women’s apparel through the Be: brand line of designer clothing launched in 2001. However, the brand failed to capture a sizeable market share and was withdrawn in 2007. In September 2007, Raymond made another effort to enter this category at two different points. Instead of launching a separate brand for women, the company decided to extend both the existing Park Avenue and Color Plus brands into women’s clothing. Thus, Park Avenue Woman and ColorPlus Woman were launched. The marketing strategies of the two sub-brands are analysed below.

Marketing Plan:

Marketing Mix

Product – 3 distinct lines –

· Modern Classic Range – For business formal wear.

· Urban Chic – For business leisure wear.

· Opium Delight – For business evening wear.

Product – 5 different product lines –

1. Day wear range

2. Sporty casual wear range

3. Outdoor range

4. Business casuals range

5. Evening wear range


Competition

Madura Garments was the first to extend the Allen Solly brand to the women’s line in 2002. The company subsequently did the same with the Van Heusen range. Other players followed suit, including Blackberrys, ITC’s Miss Player and Raymond’s Park Avenue and ColorPlus brands. However, using its first mover advantage, Madura Garments saw sales of the Allen Solly women’s wear sub-brand go up to 15 % of the total Allen Solly sales by 2004. Many other players are also positioning themselves to take advantage of this growing market. Potential entrants include Arvind Mills, which plans to launch women’s clothing under the licensed Arrow and US Polo brands, and foreign entrants like the innovative Spanish designer fashion brand Zara from Inditex.

Problems

The biggest hurdle to the success of the company’s women’s wear lines has been the image of the Raymond brands. Raymond and Park Avenue have always been positioned to maximize their exclusivity for men of class (with taglines like ‘The Complete Man’). Once that kind of image is created for a premium brand (for which a more comprehensive identity is needed), it is very difficult to change it in the short-to-medium term. Apparel is one of the key areas where men and women have traditionally had different needs. Also, brands like Allen Solly have been in the women’s market for eight years now, in which time, the perception of them as men’s brands has been successfully changed to a great degree. None of the other brands had ‘maleness’ as such a major component of their core identity as the ones from the Raymond group. The company erred by not highlighting the extension into women’s market sufficiently through the right media. By sticking to print advertisements, where a high degree of communication is sometimes not possible, women’s awareness about these sub brands remains low.
An additional mistake was to enter two different parts of the woman’s apparel sector at the same time. This meant that the company could not focus on building the core non-male identity necessary to make either extension successful. Some of the choices about sales outlets location may also have hurt the sub brands. For instance, in New Delhi, while Select Citywalk is a prime location, the shop is located on the same floor as the Allen Solly and Van Heusen outlets. Any female consumers looking for western wear would head to one of these shops, rather than to one with a male-centric image.

The Way Ahead

Given the lack of success of the women’s wear extensions over the past few years, company would be better off creating a completely separate brand for women’s wear. This would allow it to define a core identity and values that women can relate to. Trying to change the present subbrand(s) to give them such a makeover would risk diluting the parent brand. In this regard, the example of Zapp – the kidswear brand from Raymond is noteworthy. A possible marketing strategy for the new brand is outlined below.

Marketing Plan

Segmentation: Segment the women’s market by occupation (working woman vs. homemaker) and age (25-35 years and above 35 years). The opportunity in the working women segment is enormous.

Targeting: Focusing on the older segment (above 35 years) would be ideal as this segment would be better suited for building a premium brand with a deep-seated identity. This brand can be made an aspirational one and extended downwards in terms of age in the future.
Only one brand should be created so that the company can focus its resources in this segment. The brand can be targeted at the modern corporate woman in at a middle management or higher level initially. Once established, the brand can be extended to target young women starting their careers. Depending on the brand’s success, a new/related one can be introduced later on as a smart casuals brand for women.

Positioning: In the first phase (targeting of older professionals), the brand can be positioned as one which appreciates the unique nature of women who rise to high level positions while juggling family responsibilities. The brand shares the journey with them and when they get there, the brand is the woman’s way of making a distinctive feminine statement. ‘Women have arrived – at the very top’ is the message the brand would send out. Later on, a line under the brand can be extended to young women just stepping into their first jobs as a reassuring, comforting friend who is with them from the very beginning as they start their careers.

Marketing Mix

Product: The product range can be similar to that of the present Park Avenue Woman brand. Some of the features from the Raymond apparel brand can also be incorporated for class, with changes to emphasise the feminine nature of the clothing.

Price: Here, the price range can either be similar to the Park Avenue Woman range or, given that the target segment consists of successful executives, a somewhat higher price can be charged.

Place: Given the profile of the target segment, exclusive brand stores can be opened in cities with a large number of big companies (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad). It also can be sold through premium multi-brand retail stores.

Promotion: As a new brand, an aggressive campaign would be required in the initial phases. This would mainly focus on business channels and upmarket publications. The brand name needs to have a strong feminine component. Some of the suggestions for the taglines would be - ‘An idea whose time has come.’ and ‘I know no ceilings.’ In addition to the media campaigns, to position itself as the working woman’s brand, involvement with supporting women-specific initiatives launched by companies (like Infosys’ Women’s Inclusivity Network) can further strengthen the brand. For example, this could take the form of sponsoring a conference to share best practices for supporting women at work. Social media is another medium which can be used for this purpose, for instance, hosting Facebook groups for women to share their experiences and success stories.

Conclusion

All in all, the women’s western wear market in India is an extremely promising opportunity. No leading apparel company can afford to be left behind in this area. Raymond’s foray into this market has not given good returns so far, due mainly to the lack of a distinctive female brand identity, distributed focus and intensity of competition. While the competition will only get tougher over time, the company can reap major benefits with a course correction – launching a new exclusive women’s brand supported by a strong marketing campaign to emphasise its feminine identity and focussing on one segment at a time. Given the company’s proud record of leadership in many segments of the apparel sector, a day may soon be at hand when it leaves competitors behind in this burgeoning sector as well.

24 comments:

Oliviapitson said...

Businesses have used promotional wear as a way of worthwhile their clients for using their services and products. Advertising the clothing has been found to be very efficient in brand advertising.

Originals Casual Wear company profile

apparelindia said...

Nice post! You have worked hard on jotting down the essential information. Keep sharing the good work in future too.
clothing for women
ladies wear

beebayonline said...

Thanks for writing valuable post concerning the subject. I’m a fan of the site. Keep up the truly amazing work.
buy dresses online

Libby lydia said...

Most of them will provide you the similar quintessential instructions on how to perform your dissertation.
dissertation writing online

rhea scott said...

There are many online portal that provides the Top Apparel Brands in India at a great market price.

shopcity 24x7 said...

Compare and Buy best cheapest products, features, reviews and offers online in india at shopcity . we provides product listing & advertising facility for our sellers and buyers. our customers can also advertise on shopcity india

sulbha said...

There are lots of indian women clothing store online where you will get lot of collections.

Suti Jaipur said...

Dressing inside all likely program and also stay the particular fashion offers turned directly into a great must pertaining to everybody,no matter if you are likely to be able to firm in addition in a good night coffee dining room table party as well as a time in just about all your own better half,every consumer desires for you to Produce a brilliant impact and just for this fashion participate in the extremely essential perform to supply a person appear in addition to feel.

Womens clothing brands

swapna rajesh said...

http://www.rsdeal.in
Best hyderabad online shopping , grocery online shopping, clothes, home appliances, laptops and ethnic wear in Hyderabad, free shipping, cash on delivery also available.
Buy online grocery in hyderabad

Sk's Creations said...

The information which you have provided is very good. It is very useful who is looking forElegant Evening Gowns.

Aarohi Sharma said...

I must say this blog is quite informative ........Thank you for sharing it with us.........Find More
Women Clothing Online India

Enjoy Bazaaronline said...

Buy women's apparels at best prices in India. Your design of the blog is really eye-catching. More over the content is also very productive. Information you have provided is really very beneficial.

Texas Divas said...

Nice post! Thanks for writing valuable post concerning the subject.And thanks for shearing...
women apparels

Sheya11 said...

Great Blog post. I loved it. Asian Fashion is unique in itself.

Sheya11 said...

Great Blog post. I loved it. Asian Fashion is unique in itself.

Bharath Gopalan said...

Great article, very engaging! I will treasure these tips!
womens apparel stores

G.R. Garments said...

waw such a great post you have shared Ladies Wear

Sunil Goyal said...

Raymond is a brand known for its quality & style, this post provides very good information about women's raymond products, thankyou!

<a href="http://www.dove-soft.com'>Bulk SMS Mumbai</a>

Sunil Goyal said...

Very informative post on "raymond - women's brand products", thank you!

Bulk SMS Mumbai

Suchita Singh said...

Your article made me very impressed. I enjoyed it. Women's Apparel online

Lovisa smith said...

What are the main reasons behind the growing rise of an online store? Women are always in love with fashion. They would try their level best to Shop Women's Dresses Online, which are recently in fashion.

EvaAndersen said...

Hi Dear,

i Like Your Blog Very Much..I see Daily Your Blog ,is A Very Usefull For me.

You Can see also my services..

Best Online Shopping Store For Women – BMCwear

Best online shopping store. Buy clothing & accessories top online for womens. latest fashion trends with affordable price @ bmcwear.com

Visit- online women shopping

Indian Saree Store said...

Nice Post! And I like your collection.. Thanks for sharing Saree Manufacturers In India

Eugene A. Price said...


You may have clients that are interest in urban wear, casual clothing, or items for the young woman who will attend a formal gathering, a list or directory of merchants will be of good sources to look into. This is where you can find suppliers offering top name brands at discounted prices.to know more click this link to know more click this link --- https://www.fabtagsale.com/shop/page/15/

Post a Comment