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To become one-stop shop for everything fashionable, Bewakoof goes beyond digital; invests in TV, print, OOH

The D2C fashion brand plans to accelerate its growth trajectory by investing in marketing, branding, technology and talent acquisition. Prabhkiran Singh, Founder and CEO, talks about how it plans to explore a new customer base through mass media channels

Prabhkiran Singh

Founded in 2012 as a D2C fashion brand, Bewakoof is now on the fast track to clocking Rs 2,000 crore in sales by the year 2025. And it plans to accelerate its growth trajectory by investing in marketing, branding, technology and talent acquisition, and is exploring traditional and massy mediums to achieve its target.

The brand’s overall ad spend is generally in the range of 10-15% of its net revenue. But due to Covid-19 last year, it scaled down its spending to less than 10%.

Armed with a funding of Rs 170 crore (including a recent round of Rs 60 crore), the brand is gearing to reach an unexplored customer base through mass media campaigns on TV and print, Prabhkiran Singh, Founder and CEO, Bewakoof, said.

“Our focus is to take the best of fashion at the best of prices to our customers who have shown unwavering support and are the reason that we stand apart in a crowded segment such as fashion,” he said.

For now, its marketing strategy is digital and has a good mix of top-funnel investment for brand awareness, performance marketing and content marketing. It utilises social media marketing, Google and YouTube, followed by CRM, partnerships and SEO.

“Organic reach and engagement on social media, Facebook and Instagram ads, Google and YouTube ads are the channels on which we bet the most,” he added.

Bewakoof, which entered the market in 2012, has itself built on social media and content marketing.

In line with its brand philosophy of adding light heartedness to life, it creates and posts content that is relatable and around contemporary humour. This strategy has built an organic following for the brand — 4.4 million fans on Facebook and 1.5 million fans on Instagram.

Singh said, “The content is liked and shared in lakhs by our consumers on a daily basis, driving good brand awareness and recall, especially in the smaller towns.”

Its investments in influencer marketing are growing significantly month on month. At the moment, it is still less than 10% of its total marketing spends but he said the brand does realise its potential and has seen good results so far.

“We plan to scale it more aggressively in the October-December quarter,” he said.

The fashion brand had recently rolled out celebrity-led digital campaigns with Rajkummar Rao, Sanya Malhotra and Farhan Akhtar (Toofaan).

Bewakoofi hai zaruri! with Rajkumar Rao:

Bewakoof X Toofaan | Todun Taak Prints For Real Toofaans:

It plans to build the momentum by signing other A-list celebrities to launch high-decibel marketing campaigns on digital, OOH and TV.

Bewakoof started the D2C fashion brand when the industry did not exist. Its challenge in the initial years was getting investors and to reduce dependency on third-party marketplaces.

Sharing its journey, Singh said, “Our biggest achievement has been building traction and engagement through our own channel. Today, 95% of our sales happens through our native channel —”

A lot of the fashion brands are focusing on an omni-channel approach but it doesn’t plan anything along these lines in the immediate future.

On the technology side, the company intends to launch a gamification-led loyalty programme as it upgrades its Bewakoof tribe by new and exclusive launches for club members.

With its vision to become a one-stop shop for everything fashionable, he said, “Our brand purpose is to be hatke (unique), expressive and bring light-heartedness through our designs. From 2012 till now, we have expanded into multiple categories such as Indo-fusion, ethnic, sleepwear, smart casuals. In the coming months, we are working to launch another set of categories in active wear and innerwear.”

For the upcoming festive season, it will launch T-shirts in Marathi (Ganesh Chaturthi), Bengali (Durga Puja), Diwali, Hyper Prints (Festive Drop), Telugu and Punjabi.

Talking about the festive season and the e-commerce category, he said the players will allocate more ad spends as the season is expected to bring faster recovery in the already improving sales numbers.

Bewakoof has reached its pre-Covid levels and expects the festive season to be a competitive with customers showing buying intent. The brand has seen a 50% revenue growth Y-O-Y and is doing sales worth around Rs 300 crore.

Singh said the e-com sector’s adex is expected to reach pre-Covid numbers this festive season.

Asked about the impact of the pandemic on its growth, he said given its agile supply chain, it was able to take relevant products to its consumers. Fashion trends changed with demand rising for comfort casuals and trendy masks given the WFH scenario. 

“The last decade has been a great learning experience. We met and built great relationships with smart founders, investors and mentors. We went through three stages — surviving, reviving and thriving. To survive, we had to make a lot of fast decisions. We took the tough call of a few unfortunate layoffs. The second important thing was the valuable contribution from employees in the form of pay-cuts. We innovated rapidly and were the first to offer reusable N95 and printed masks (within days of lockdown). The revival phase was more about quick response to life during Covid-19. People's consumption habits have changed in the new WFH world. We began to focus on comfort wear such as sleepwear, shorts, joggers and pyjamas. Thriving was about adapting to the new normal,” he shared. 

To tackle the overall slowdown that impacted the sector and the economy on the whole, it decided to slash its prices and compromise on margins so that the customers can save more.

It has served six million customers to date and continues to add about one lakh new customers every month. It is also planning to increase benefits for its members as it aims to add one million subscribers in the next two years from the present 150,000 by launching exclusive collections and giving early access to the ‘tribe’ members.

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