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"In-store branding draw immediate attention of consumers"

By Fairy Dharawat | April 19, 2017

Maui Jim, the leading international sunglass brand is marking 10 years of its presence in the Indian market in 2018. Point-of-Purchase chats up with Rahumathullah, Managing Director, Maui Jim, India, regarding Maui Jim's in-store marketing initiatives and retail strategies where technology and visual merchandising takes central stage.

Maui Jim, the leading international sunglass brand is marking 10 years of its presence in the Indian market in 2018.  Since 2008 when Maui Jim entered the Indian market, the brand has evolved and offered more than 112 styles, four lens colors, five lens materials and prescription capabilities in more than 400 SKUs. The brand is also further eyeing a fresh phase of growth and expansion in the Indian market. Point-of-Purchase chats up with Rahumathullah, Managing Director, Maui Jim, India, regarding Maui Jim’s in-store marketing initiatives and retail strategies where technology and visual merchandising takes central stage.

What is the impact of the new age shoppers on the way you have looked at In-store marketing?
At Maui Jim, our marketing is focused on the motto ‘seeing is believing’, for if a consumer tries a Maui Jim once he/she becomes a consumer for life, such is the difference in clarity and detail offered by our technology. The new age shoppers are mostly from the new emerging middle class in India which has a strong consciousness for lifestyle products and looks for technology driven products. Our in store marketing for this clientele therefore focuses on emphasizing on the best technology and the fact that we are a pioneer in polarized lens technology. We also do a lot of visual merchandise.

What key changes have you seen in the new age customer and what are the initiatives that you have had to take? Do you see a visible difference in shopper response when you undertake a major in-store branding of your products?
The new age consumer is more aware, has greater brand consciousness, eye for detail, and preference for quality. For such a discerning clientele, it is important to set yourself apart by positioning. Rather than involving celebrities for brand promotions, we have focused extensively on positioning as a technologically superior product. Yes, in-store branding does make a difference, as it helps draw immediate attention of consumers to your brand. However, long term conversions depends completely on quality and user experience.

What are new innovations and ideas that have been successful to grow business and acquire new customers/markets?
We have relied more on personalized marketing to reach out to consumers, since every individual has different needs.

Has the need for technology in your in-store marketing ecosystem changed?
Technology today plays a central role in every domain. When it comes to in-store marketing, brand pictures are today accompanied by audio visual features. Yet, the basics of our brand marketing remain the same. ‘See’, ‘Touch’ and ‘Feel’ are the pivots around which the concept of Maui Jim’s marketing revolves. The patented PolarizedPlus2® lens technology gives brilliant color so every detail is crisper, cleaner and without glare or harmful UV. It is imperative to slip on the pair, to see the difference.

How do you plan for the point of purchase displays in the stores for your product? What has been your experience with such promotions in terms of generating the desired ROI? How do you measure the effectiveness and ROI of the investments in in-store marketing? Have the methods changed from the past?
We plan displays according to the store clientele. In trade outlets at upscale centers where the customers are elite, more affluent and highly discerning, we display our products that cater to the more aware customer base. Since, these consumers are regular users of luxury brands and have already used multiple products, the display focus turns to exhibiting more discerning products. On the other hand, in the outlets where middle class consumers visit, the display focuses on products catering to their sensibilities. Having said that since our focus is more on prescription eyewear, the optical dealers remain the most critical marketing representatives for us, hence we focus a lot of their training. As far as measuring the effectiveness and ROI is concerned, a number of factors are taken into account, apart from sales. These factors include whether we are converting new customers, and whether we are retaining them.


Some key lesson learnt from in-store marketing that you could share.
Our lesson has been that good customer service plays a pivotal role in promoting brand loyalty. When you are competing with brands that are technologically equivalent to you, it is customer service that will be the key differentiator. We at Maui Jim differentiate ourselves for not only the best visual clarity and color but also the best customer service. At Maui Jim, ALOHA translates into Good Customer Service. This is why we hold regular network meetings to ensure our optical dealers know the brand inside out, and also know how to position in the market.

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