What according to you makes a brand `hot’?
A brand becomes hot when it becomes aspirational & desirable. These brands inspire passion and fierce loyalty among their customers. They feel proud being associated with a brand. Hot brands transcend their product/service category and become a part of the culture. These brands represent more than the product/service. Hot brands create benefits that go beyond functional benefits. Hot brands create an imaginary world that people want to live in.
Hot brands possess three important features that separate them from other big, well-known brands:
- They have strong cultural roots that tap into society’s values, sometimes even inspiring a shift in those values.
- They have physical or visual features that make them instantly recognizable.
- They have a compelling story and manage to remain true to their original values while re-inventing them in light of contemporary culture.
Ways in which you connect with the new age customers?
The new age consumer today has become very segmented. One solution does not fit all consumers/segments. For a new brand mass media is a good way to build quick awareness but brands which are already there need to engage with consumers to connect and build a stronger bond. This connection could happen across select media or through events/activation or even at the store. It’s about creating an opportunity where you connect with the consumer and provide them an experience that they will always remember.
Has the Indian consumer changed the way they consume?
The Indian consumer has changed a lot in the way they consume. Basic habits have changed and the consumer has become a lot more experimental. A habit of savings have given way to a wave of consumption. Consumers are willing to spend more across categories. Experiences have become as important as products. Technology has changed the way consumers collect & evaluate information and take decisions. The purchase cycle has become very small and even high value purchases have become impulsive. While the tip of the society may no longer be price conscious but the growing middle class while being ready to spend more also evaluates brands on the value that they provide for the money.
What makes Mumbai a unique brand?
The diversity of Mumbai makes it a unique brand. We find people of all cultures & social strata in the city. There is an opportunity for every business. High penetration of media provides an opportunity to reach. Mumbai residents aspire for success and growth and this creates an opportunity for brands to associate with them in their success journey.
Hetal Kotak is Brand Director at Park Avenue & ColorPlus.
Hetal Kotak joined Raymond Limited ten years ago and enabled the brand “Parx” to achieve sustained growth. He also worked to anchor initial formation of the brand “Raymond” in its apparel form, before moving to Chennai in August 2011 to take over the reins of ColorPlus as its Chief Operating Officer. After the relocation of ColorPlus to Mumbai in 2014, he was given additional responsibility of managing “Park Avenue” in 2014. An apparel operations expert, Hetal has been successful at establishing the vision and strategies necessary to grow an apparel brand.
Having started his career with “Arvind Mills Ltd” in 1997, Hetal has traversed through and experienced varied aspects of the lifestyle apparel business. The early years of his career gave him an opportunity to extensively travel across the globe. So, he brings in a very international flavor to apparel brand operations.
As the “Brand Director – ColorPlus & Park Avenue” – two of the most recognized home-grown brands in the Premium Men’s Apparel segment, Hetal’s acumen on revitalizing the brand’s collections, their positioning and operations is already reflecting on the brands and their success across formats.
A senior apparel and retailing executive, Hetal has been successful at establishing the vision and strategies necessary to grow a branded apparel business. He has a successful track record of bring momentum to businesses.
A Bachelor of Textile Technology, he also has certifications in Strategic Leadership Program from the Michigan Ross School of Business and Brand Management from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
He is also a speaker at Mumbai Brand Summit & Hot 50 Brands 2015.