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Driving Home the Attitude of ‘Me in Action’: Bhavishya Kelappan, Mia by Tanishq



Positioned as India’s first workwear jewellery collection for women, Mia by Tanishq has over the last year, more than doubled its storefront and increased its online presence from one to four sites. Looking ahead, Bhavishya Kelappan, Business Head-  Mia by Tanishq, says the brand’s biggest task is to create awareness and desirability for the brand.

Mia by Tanishq has expanded its online presence, from just being on the parent site to other platforms. What was the insight behind this move and how has this helped the brand grow? The online growth was a natural transition for the brand. We were only present on titan.co.in – the website for the Titan brand. However, we wanted to have our own site and hope to go live with the brand site in April. We also expanded through marketplaces as this was a format that we could not avoid. We did a strategic partnership with Amazon, in April last year, who was venturing into fine jewellery as a category, while we were trying to up our presence in the online space. We were on Myntra, for nearly two years, but had to suspend our services during the GST implementation, and are now back on the Myntra platform. I look at Amazon and Myntra as fresh businesses as we have had to rebuild our base with Myntra. We also went online with Tata CLiQ in May. What we have realised is that each marketplace brings us different kinds of customers and we aren’t seeing a lot of overlap either in bill value, bill size or even taste. Fortunately for us, every website is attracting its own kind and the online segment has contributed a very healthy double-digit growth for the brand.

How would you define your target audience, the Mia consumer?

I would put the customers in two baskets. The first is the value seeker who typically lands on titan.co.in and Amazon. The second is the slightly more discerning customer, who is not price conscious but very discerning when it comes to design and these consumers are typically present on Myntra and Tata CLiQ.

How many standalone stores do you currently operate and what are your expansion plans?

At the end of the last financial year, we had 12 stores and currently, we have 29 stores. We have expanded into markets like Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Gangtok, and Guwahati. We are seeing very promising numbers from these markets. The Tier II markets have pleasantly surprised us. The internet has broken barriers and consumers across markets, be it metros, Tier I and Tier II have a lot of exposure now. A girl sitting in Ranchi or Jamshedpur knows exactly what she wants to wear and wants to dress like her counterparts in the metros. The great thing is that these consumers also have disposable income. We are hoping to up our store count and have about 45-50 stores by the end of the next financial year.

The younger audience set does not look at gold jewellery as day-to-day wear. In this scenario, what insights go into the product design?

It’s a fact that women in their early to mid-twenties do not buy gold. Mia by Tanishq introduced a range of silver jewellery and the design of our silver range is not ethnic, it is contemporary and looks more western in style. We are hoping that once a younger customer buys into the brand with silver, she will then move to gold. In none of our communication have we called the category as precious. Our new brand positioning, ‘Me in Action’, says that anybody who enjoys wearing fine fashionable jewellery is welcome to the brand. The minute we did this, it opened so many avenues for us – internally from the design to externally at how the customer perceives us. Now, she sees us as a really fun brand. The material is almost immaterial right now and the fact that we are 14-carat gold jewellery doesn’t matter because the 14-carat is only a carrier. Our focus has completely changed to design. There are two things that are important for a customer – the design and whether it fits in her budget. What Mia by Tanishq has attempted to do over the last year is to try and tick these two boxes. We are not like our parent, Tanishq, which is deeply rooted in its preciousness.

What can we expect on the advertising front?

Digital will continue to hold a big part of our mind and marketing spend. As for traditional advertising, we will play it by the ear, wherever it is required. For example, when we enter a Tier II market for the first time, we will look at a hoarding or a print advertisement to announce our arrival and also to tell the consumers about the brand. We will up our digital spends by 15-20%. Our big spend last year was on a brand campaign that we did on television. This year we might not do it.

Mia has decided to focus on content/branded content route rather than just traditional advertising. What was the thought process behind this and how has the response been?

There is so much content available, that it is becoming difficult to grab and hold the consumers’ attention. What we realised, was that whenever we put up vanilla communication on our brand or product, our customers quickly lost interest in it. Our biggest task was to create awareness and desirability for the brand. Our consumer has to make the association that Mia by Tanishq is ‘Me in Action’. The three areas of focus for us are – our communication is true to our brand attitude, ‘Me in Action’, secondly, it is true to our product, including design and style, and finally, it encourages our target group to generate content for us. We want to focus on all kinds of women as we believe that the difference every woman brings is her. So, the communication we are going to put out in the coming financial year is the ‘Celebration of all women’, where we encourage them to celebrate their identity. We are hoping that once we do this, it will lead to a lot of women putting up content and thereby enriching our digital platforms.

What are the challenges you see ahead?

The challenge is to stay relevant to our customers, to keep her interested in us and ensure that her interest converts to purchase and grow the sales and increase our customer base. This year, the biggest task was to create awareness. While I won’t say we are home yet, but I do believe from where we were and where we are today, a part of that task has been achieved. Looking ahead, the two biggest tasks next year will be to continue to create awareness and desirability for the brand. The following year, the task will be advocacy, where the customer becomes our brand ambassador and does the job of promoting the brand for us.

Courtesy: Exchange4media.com 

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