Long gone are the times when we were advised to take it one at a time. Today a slew of issues have engulfed our country and it seems like a common point among them all are the businesses that directly or indirectly get affected. The elephant in the room that has had the most impact on businesses have been COVID 19. While the government has taken various measures to strategically protect the businesses and keep the economy going, it is clearly a challenge especially for some who might have to shift the game in its entirety.
The world of retail has had to go through some drastic changes due to the change in customer touch points and their behaviour. To induce a desire in consumers in a pandemic stricken world where incomes are dwindling and sustenance has become one of the key elements requires patience and a great of marketing where the business is able to reach the hearts and minds of customers. One such Indian brand, Blackberrys has been trying hard to keep the boat floating through redefining their strategies and trying to understand the consumer sentiments closely.
An Indian brand which started in 1991, Blackberrys has catered to bring to the consumer a wide range of value added clothing products over past decades. Known for its quality and its classy yet simple style, it has forged into the hearts of the consumers to become a trusted brand. Nevertheless it has also had to bear the brunt of the pandemic that changed our lives. One of the advantages the brand has is the fact that the brand is domestic and in the midst of the government’s measures towards encouraging local products in the infamous ‘vocal for local’ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns, it can see a major long term growth if positioned well among consumers. But as the Head of retail and training at Blackberrys, Sorav Arora rightly points out; a demand for global products will always prevail to a certain extent. As the businesses are opening up in a phrased manner, Sorav also says that a pre determined and completely prepared approach towards the campaigns being put out by the company and also importantly the safety measures being followed for the employees at the stores has been given high prominence.
A huge focus on digital has been highlighted with respect to the fear the consumers have acquired to come in close contact with each other, which the company is tackling through increasing their digital presence. One of the ways it has done this is through shifting their marketing and advertising activities to the online channel where consumers spend the most time and by coming up with new and innovative e-commerce policies. Utilising the social media and OTT platforms has been primary to this. Measures like introducing their look books online and customising the offers with respect to personal preferences are some of the strategies the company has adopted. The other part of company’s focus has been on the supply chain which has gained equal prominence. Using technology and innovative ways to bring in new models of supply chain to reach and manage customer demands better has been a challenge it has undertaken. Due to the high relevance of online shopping today, using the same to reach the consumer has clear benefits for every company, much more in terms of retail.
However on being asked Sorav if the company is going to bring about changes in price due to the new price conscious consumers that have entered the forum, he says that offering discounts has never been the principle strategy of the company even in the midst of chaos. The brand has been known for its superior quality products that has been priced accordingly, though a number of exciting offers and gifting propositions is underway for consumers. The company is also leveraging on festive seasons to bring about a boost in sales and to manage their inventory.
Over the years Blackberrys has been popular for upgrading their trends and styles in accordance with the society. Some of its innovations that struck a chord with the changing consumers over the years have been, the launch of wrinkle free khakis in 1996, Whitest of the white shirt in 2014 to catering to India’s slim fit demands by offering a range of different products. It is however yet to see if the brand would be able to do the same in this ever changing dynamic.