Thursday, November 15, 2007

Only Vimal

The once iconic brand is preparing to make a comeback. The linked article is a well written one from Businessline. The big question- will it succeed?

The brand is attempting a comeback after 7 long years - but from a memory perspective, perhaps longer - an entire generation perhaps. For the previous generation the market was something different. And remember, even for them, Vimal was about sarees and fabrics. The market has moved from there into the readymade segment, so Vimal will have a tough time convincing its customers that it "has it".

My take is that the premium market will be hard to crack. It is a very crowded market. Arvind mills, Madura and even Indigo nation have made a mark there, as has Raymonds. And we are not yet talking about Provogue, Reid & Taylor and Colour Plus etc. What will take me into a Vimal store? Curiosity.

In those days, there really was "Only Vimal"; today it is not only Vimal but a lot of other brands. Arvind has a whole panoply of cleverly overlapping brands in this segment. So, just a generic Vimal might find the going tough. Also, cotton is a big selling point in menswear these days - Vimal was never all about cotton - and even today it is not, apparently as per the article.

My take is that Vimal should build more its brand equity in the womens segment, which is something that clearly lacks a good player with decent, predictable quality and a great range.

But regardless, it will be a nice battle to watch since, after all it is Reliance at work.

Related, more thoughts on shirts...

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