India’s Largest Men’s Ethnic Wear Brand

Rebooting a Men’s Ethnic Wear Brand

Creating a comprehensive marketing strategy for a Dhoti brand

Client Profile: Minister White is a brand from the group Otto, primarily known for their dhotis and shirts. Established in 2001, this brand had made a name for itself in the market, especially in the white shirt segment.

The business challenge

Though they were well received in the dhoti market, they were not the number one brand. This is where the client wanted to be, by redefining its marketing strategy from product to communication, with the goal to become the challenger to Ramraj, the current key competitor.

What We Did

An in-depth study of the current market at the time was undertaken to understand where the brand stood vis-a-vis competition and in the minds of the consumer. The next step was to also understand who the target consumer was and what were his purchase motivating factors.

Based on these findings, we created a complete marketing strategy for the brand, outlining and then detailing what Verterbrand calls the 7 Ps of marketing. Those are the product, price, place, process, physical evidence, promotions and people.

A complete product line was created and the retail strategy outlined. The brand identity was reviewed and a complete marketing communication plan was put into place. Every single aspect, which could influence the future performance of the brand was looked at and evaluated carefully. 

What We Found Out

On studying the market, we found that Ramraj had an overwhelming superiority. Of the total ethnic wear market of South India, 70% was contributed by dhotis, shirts and associated fabrics. Apart from a handful of players, the market was mostly unorganised, and over 50% was in the value segment. However, this segment was highly price sensitive and brand agnostic.

A possible opportunity therefore lay in the premium and standard segment.

The dhoti as a product has religious and traditional ties in the community and is mostly preferred by middle aged or older people. . This was not the garment of choice for the younger generation, because it was not seen to be contemporary enough.

Within the category, this garment was generally bought for daily wear, casual, or event related occasions like weddings or pujas. However, the incidence of purchase was going down because of the challenges of wearing it, lack of good quality, known brands and no information of the fabric used.

MW boasts of great manufacturing abilities, which could imply superior quality and innovative new products.

Our Solution

  • We recommended that MW should capture the premium and standard segment. Since Ramraj would not move into the premium segment, this would simply take the war to a different battleground, one where MW could come out the winner. In addition, we saw a clear movement in ethnic wear towards the premium segment.
  • The company will launch another brand to take on the value segment
  • MW will target a younger customer profile by changing the way they looked at this traditional garment and making it more desirable as a product.
  • The product line was completely refurbished with details on colours, fabrics, border width and design, pricing and packaging. Ideas on functional innovation in fabric like quick dry and in design, like pockets and waistbands, were also given.
  • Several different collection ideas were provided to the client ranging from coordinated sets to a range of top wear and accessories.
  • Where retail was concerned, our recommendation was to create Exclusive Brand Outlets (EBOs) where the brand story can be told clearly. In addition, the product lines would also be sold from Multi-brand outlets with shop-in-shop displays in key outlets.
  • The EBOs should have a premium feel and a luxurious ambience. Details on the interiors were also shared.
  • The brand essence of MW would be “Energetically Contemporizing Tradition”, implying a brand that has been designed to be contemporary and “cool”
  • For the marketing communication strategy, we suggested that MW should ensure that this brand essence permeates all their communication. Events, ad films, print ads etc. will all have the same message, appealing to the young customer. The film star Pradhudeva was seen to be the ideal celebrity to associate with.
  • A strategic media plan and ideas for events were also given along with a clear date plan.

The Results :

Minister White launched a completely new range of dhotis like home-woven dhotis, coordinated sets, flexi-waist dhotis and much more. 

They retail from a large network of multi-brand outlets, popular shopping sites and also retail on their own exclusive online platform as well. 

They launched an extremely successful TV ad campaign series with Prabhudeva in 2019, which took the market by storm and captured the imagination of younger target customer. They are now well on their way to getting to garnering the largest share of the ethnic wear market pie.

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