Red Chief, a footwear brand from Leayan Global, will resume its marketing spends on ATL/ BTL activities in the coming festive season. At present the brand’s marketing spends are restricted to digital for increasing brand salience and top-of-the-mind recall.
“As the market slowly resumes, we are seeing a positive sign to recover lost ground during the coming festive season,” said Akhilesh Singh, Chief Operating Officer at Leayan Global.
Because of lockdown from March to June, the brand’s business was adversely affected.
“We will also start resuming our ATL / BTL activities as during the festive season,” Singh said.
For the coming quarter and festive season, Red Chief’s main objective is to resume business operation in full swing and recover lost sales while maintaining the safety of the staff and customers as top priority.
Covid-19 has changed the way work and business are operated. There has been a significant impact on the retail sector due to the pandemic. With all retail shops and sectors closed, sales and manufacturing had plummeted to the ground. Now that distributors and retailers are back to business, brand exclusive stores are operational and online business is on, Red Chief hopes to see a surge in overall business as customer sentiment is increasingly on the positive side.
Singh said the lockdown had hampered and disturbed the production and supply chain but since the unlock, the brand resumed its operation uninterruptedly and all its sales verticals back in shape with customer demand scaling up. “Since lockdown in most parts of the country has eased and people's movement across various walks of life has started, need for footwear has revived and sales are on the rise,” he said.
Red Chief is an established home-grown leather footwear brand in India for over 23 years, with a wide base of loyal customers spread across the country. The brand’s end-to-end process, from footwear design, procuring raw material and manufacturing using state-of-the-art technologies, all are done in India.
Singh said the idea behind the statement of "vocal for local" is to increase focus on Indian brands. However, there will be not any directive to purchase and it will be an individual decision. “According to experts, sales of home-grown brands will see a jump in the coming months and preference for international brands will go down.”
To support the go-local call, the brand increased its engagement with local suppliers and manufacturers. “We partnered with them to fulfil our business requirements along with educating and developing them to achieve fast, cost-effective and best quality output,” Singh said.
Singh said that as the ‘buy local’ trend accelerates; it will influence and change buying decisions of brands as consumers are looking at products and brands through a new lens. “Consumers are looking at products and brands through a new lens now, especially after vocal for local campaigns by almost all leading Indian origin brands like us. Thanks to our Prime Minister, this trend of ‘buy local’ will further keep accelerating.”
According to Singh, the gap between the country’s imports and exports has been steadily declining in recent months. Hence, one can say consumers are spending more on locally produced products.
“This pandemic should act as a trigger for the retail sector to focus on building flexible and agile business and operational models that can counter such disruptions in the future. This would also mean increased focus on digital and online models going forward. We should now focus on moving ahead of the crisis and building more resilient organisations,” advised Singh.
Speaking on age-old to new brands turning digital, Singh said, “This is true that overall screen time of people of all age groups has increased in the last couple of months and undoubtedly digital consumption has increased. Audiences are now on a lookout for more and more innovative and fresh content on digital, which every brand is trying and likewise, our focus is also on that.”
In the last two years, Red Chief diverted its focus to digital platforms. Singh said the brand is getting majority of traffic from social media platforms, of which Facebook plays a major role. He said Instagram is the new emerging platform for the audience, where they engage and enquire with the brand on a regular basis. “From engagement activities to product displays, we are experimenting with every avenue to reach out to them and build a long-term relationship with our audience,” said Singh.
The brand has been consistently leveraging its brand ambassador Vicky Kaushal on digital to engage with the target audience.
Singh said footwear is the core of the brand's product offerings and it would continue to focus on the same with fresh launches in time to come. The brand is working on a new range that will be launched during the festive season.
The brand's target audience is men in the age group of 20-50 years.
Red Chief is offering a safe shopping experience to customers across all verticals – multi-branded outlets through its distributors and retailers, brand exclusive stores and online. All safety protocols are being strictly adhered to infuse confidence in customers.
“Our CRM team is working rigorously to address customer queries and guiding them through our new safety measures. Our measures are aligned with government guidelines and local health officials, and we continue to adjust our approach as necessary,” said Singh.
“Our brand’s immediate focus is to sail through the current pandemic smoothly while minimising its impact across all aspects of business and taking care of all stakeholders, Singh said.