“With the evolution of social commerce, consumers now expect each content channel to stand within its own right,” says Dipali Patwa of Fabindia - HT Media

The fashion label understands the relevance of localized micro-talent to build the connection between the brand and the audience, therefore collaborating with local influencers to communicate its messages to the people.

For leading fashion label Fabindia, marketing communication has always been about telling the story of the brand. While community marketing is at its heart, Fabindia believes that immersive customer experience will drive retail, going forward.

“The experience needs to go beyond the product so that the customers have more reasons to visit physical stores. Services will play an important part, as will product-led engagements and demonstrations,” says Dipali Patwa, Chief of Brand and Community, Fabindia.

With the growing popularity of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, Fabindia continues to advance its digital presence, as well, to cater to customers’ evolving shopping preferences. The brand intends to grow its sales through its website and mobile app. Fabindia has five lakh-plus followers spread across its various social media accounts.

“We intend to raise brand awareness through an active and forward-thinking digital strategy, focused on engaging with a younger and more digitally savvy customer base. Our digital strategy is strongly supplemented with product innovation,” says Patwa.

Fabindia also plans to evolve beyond traditional physical retail by focusing on experiential aspects of shopping, through its ‘Experience Centres’ that house product and service offerings under a single umbrella. The brand wants to enhance the store experience using the latest technologies and leveraging CRM.

“Our physical and digital capabilities have helped us create a seamless and integrated omnichannel ecosystem, with a strong focus on personalization, digital experience and robust supply chain network. The interior design studios will come alive digitally,” informs Patwa.

As a part of the experiential marketing strategy, Fabindia launched Fabcafe that echoes the brand’s philosophy of ‘Healthy Conscious Living’. Fabcafe offers a nutritious and contemporary menu that highlights India’s diverse cuisines.

Leveraging Personalized Communication Tools

A single recommendation can have a far greater impact in today’s hyper-connected world, leading to word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) strategies to capitalize on the opportunity.

“New digital tools and platforms, combined with powerful data analytics, have also enabled us to directly engage with the customers. All these help improve the shopping experience, and we gain valuable data at every point of purchase,” Patwa says.

Talking about the importance of social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., she says, “If done effectively, social media-driven engagement efforts can help build brand loyalty and drive D2C sales. The social influence of individuals can now be measured and valued by the number of friends or followers they have, how likely their social network will re-broadcast a message (their reach), and how likely those receiving the message, become customers. So, brands can now identify high-value individuals and monetize their social equity through analytics,” says Patwa.

Apart from understanding the audiences and speaking to them, Fabindia’s branded content strategy takes into consideration various types of content and formats for different goals and objectives, and builds engagement with the community. The brand has a precise content structure in place to ensure scale and quality.

“Gone are the days of using social to just drive traffic to your website. The evolution of social commerce means that the consumers now expect each content channel to stand within its own right, operate with content that is independent as well as complementary to other platforms,” opines Patwa.

Today, Fabindia collaborates with local influencers to communicate its messages to the people. It understands the relevance of localized micro-talent to build the connection between the brand and the audience, which is critical for growth.

“We work towards integrating our influencer content into the brand’s content platform. We work with influencers who have a great personal style. We run that through our social media handles, and create an email as well as social media campaign around it. As a result, it incentivizes the influencer and becomes a real partnership. We’ve found this to be quite successful and far more collaborative,” says Patwa.

Talking about the larger media mix strategy, Patwa mentioned that print media enables brands to direct marketing spend towards their target audience, while creating relevant and engaging content. “Print media also enables the integration of print and digital campaigns to maximize results. Over the years, we have seen that print has consistently generated footfall for us and, now, with the power of 360-degree digital integration, we expect this will only be further enhanced,” she says.

An Ode to Indian Craftsmanship

Fabindia is a multi-category store brand, with a unique ethnic and artisanal positioning across fashion, lifestyle, home décor and personal care categories. Established in 1960, the brand is built on artisanal heritage and tradition. As of September 30, 2021, Fabindia operates 309 retail stores in India and 11 international stores.

Recently, the brand launched ‘Kala Kapda Karigar’ campaign, paying an ode to Indian craftsmanship. ‘Kala’ talks about how the brand preserves and enhances age-old crafts, while keeping the contemporary consumer in mind. ‘Kapda’ talks about fabrics infused with the skills of artisans, designed to embrace everyday living with Fabindia. ‘Karigar’ talks about the artisans, who are the backbone of Fabindia.

“Last year, we launched FabNu, to cater to the fashion needs of ‘Modern India’. Underlined with the mottos of ‘CelebrateYou’ and ‘UnapologeticallyYou’, the launch was aimed at offering clothes that embody the woman of now,” says Patwa.

“This year, we have launched a more elaborate ‘Kala Kapda Karigar’ collection to celebrate the traditional boldness and indigenous simplicity of timeless techniques, like chikankari, block prints, etc. These cultural imprints and artisanal sensibilities come alive in flawless wardrobe picks for every occasion.”

In the second quarter, the brand will focus on a summer wedding collection that celebrates homely, intimate gatherings and cultural functions surrounded by family, friends, and well-wishers. Later in the year, the collection will be a presentation of vibrant ensembles fusing modern and traditional aesthetics, which will personify the cosmopolitan spirits of the modern Indian.

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