Fashion is a sector which is always mysterious. No one can predict the success of the brands. When Khadi struggled to catch attention, Fab India with similar portfolio was a huge success. The traditional saree is now replaced by the modern churidar and jeans. What puzzles me is the speed at which consumer behaviour changes. However, the inclination towards modern outfit is dominant among the new generation. This is evident from the extensive use of suits by men as marriage outfit.
Even though embraced well by the younger generation many a time, Suit as a marriage outfit invited irk from the older generation. This resulted in a forced departure from modern attire to traditional attire (Even if forced there exists a vast majority who willingly wear traditional as well as ethnic wears). The difficulty in wearing, is that what stops many to go for traditional ethnic wears. Thus, consumer avoidance of traditional wear is attributed mainly to two reasons – inconvenience and price. What if a brand addresses both?
For the success of any brand, the choice of category is very important. Mostly, brand stays relevant if it creates a category by itself. Manyavar, a brand launched in the year 1999 is now synonymous with wedding wear. The brand journey is quite interesting. The tipping point for me is brand positioning. Largely, ethnic wears are considered as apparel for rich. Manyavar democratized ethnic wear by launching kurta-pajama from Rs 1,000 and sherwanis from Rs 5,000-6,000. This gave the brand the intended acceptance among the consumers.
The flashy segmentation used by the brand is occasion segmentation (even though gender, as well as age segmentation, is present). By adding a wide range of products, Manyavar positioned itself as a Celebration wear brand. The brand now caters to various occasions - from weddings to festivals, Rakhi to Roka. By ensuring a fusion of western and traditional designs, the brand has addressed to the problem of inconvenience. The Manyavar product portfolio includes exquisite Sherwanis, fine Indo Westerns, Royal Band Galas, Jackets, Kurtas and matching accessories for life’s celebrations. Kid’s Ethnic and Fusion wear are also on offer. In tune with the overwhelming success of menswear, they extended recently to women’s segment with the brand ‘Mohey”.
Manyavar caters to the consumers through 400 plus Manyvar exclusive outlets spreading across 6 countries as well as through Multi Brand Outlets. This enhances the brand visibility. The choice of Virat Kohli as the brand ambassador to me is a balanced decision. He can best reflect the brand as Virat can be a synonym to “Earn your Respect”. Another interesting twist which probably an obvious choice is positioning Manyavar and Mohey as complementary brands (see the recent ad below).
So far the journey is smooth. The Indian ethnic wear market is growing with an approximate market of around INR90, 000 crores. Brands like BIBA, TNS etc. are also gaining consumer acceptance and may pose a challenge to Manyavar as well as Mohey. I presume female ethnic wear is more vulnerable to competition than men’s wear. Anyway, I personally feel that Manyavar will remain as an undisputed leader at least for half a decade as the brand DNA itself revolves around innovation.