Storytelling, contextual content core to Raymond’s strategy: Uma Talreja

Raymond, India’s leading apparel brand, now offers its consumers an all new revamped one-stop solution to their fashion desires with ‘’. The aspiration to be a ‘Complete Man’ is now just a click away with the entire ambit of offering from the Raymond group available under one umbrella. The re-launched website helps customers shop in various ways – by occasion, by category, by brand – and helps people discover more about themselves with some unique features. The website aggregates offerings from leading brands including Raymond Ready-To-Wear, Park Avenue, Color Plus and Parx. 

A specially carved campaign, based on the proposition of today’s Complete Man who adorns many facets of life, has been created which depicts the plethoric offering. Christened ‘Wear Your Mind, the campaign comprises a thematic film which shows the modern man’s seamless transition from ‘leisure weekend’ looks to ‘casual evening’ and ‘wedding & festive’ looks with poise. 

Commenting on the launch, Uma Talreja, Chief Digital Officer, Raymond Ltd, said, “ is the single platform for fashion needs that cuts across what a modern lifestyle demands from a consumer today. Dressing up is no longer an occasion, every moment is an occasion for which what you wear enhances the experience for the user. From casual moments to quiet moments, the man’s wardrobe has exploded to be able to enjoy every aspect of his life.” 

Sharing the idea behind the campaign ‘Wear Your Mind’, Abhishek Razdan, CEO, Concept One, said, “No more just ‘work-life balance’, the man of today seeks a balanced and an enriching life filled with varied, exciting, and enriching micro-moments. ‘Wear Your Mind’ brings this to life and captures these micro-moments and occasions in a manner which is seamless and distinct, keeping appearance at the forefront.” 

In conversation with Adgully, Uma Talreja speaks at length about Raymond’s digital presence, the growth strategy, challenges in this domain and a lot more. Excerpts: 

What forms the core of Raymond’s digital strategy?
At the core of Raymond’s digital strategy is to use consumer insight and behaviour as the basis to plan the digital strategies. Digital has many roles to play for a brand right from being a media channel to a conversation channel, what we think makes the difference is the context within which the consumer is using digital and use that to create a better engagement with consumers. 

At this point, we are more prevalent with storytelling and contextual content. Going forward, technology will also be a critical component as we want to look at ways to create innovation that lead to memorable experiences. 

What is Raymond's game plan to surge ahead in the digital space?
What is important is to retain our leadership in consumer minds. We also recognize the influence digital has on decision making by consumers and hence are keen to explore ways and means to make online and offline channels work in tandem. The digital space is not really isolated as mobiles lead the way for digital for Indian consumers and they themselves initiate merging of their experiences whether digital or offline. For a company like us with a large retail presence and distribution network, that is a great opportunity. 

For a 90-year old legacy brand like Raymond transitioning to the digital space - what have been the challenges along the way? How are you overcoming these challenges?
For any large and legacy system, usually the challenges would emerge from mindset or silos or a pure lack of understanding of the digital subject and its impact. At Raymond, we have started a little ahead by making sure our organization and teams are prepared through continuous seeding of the need to be digital in the business. Personal use of social media itself is a huge support to create this evangelism and we have often done large team off-sites, to gamification in company town halls to showcase the importance of digital in the lives of consumers. The first step was to create a blue print for digital in the organization and supporting that with an organization structure headed under a CDO, so that there is a clear nodal team who manages the digital efforts and supports businesses in their efforts. We also review our efforts and results regularly in all business reviews with the top management to create continuous alignment. All of these have helped no doubt. But it is most important to integrate with business goals and in doing so speaking for the consumer of today to make digital a way of life in the organization. 

Please tell us about the website. What was need for revamping the website?
The wardrobe of today has exploded along with the explosion of lifestyles of consumers. It is important that we assist our consumers in enjoying this change through what we do best, as a guide to the well-groomed man. The revamp of the website is a step in that direction to start helping consumers with a curated wardrobe linked to occasions and relevant style guides. As we learn from consumers on the site, we will be able to start extending this to being more relevant to individual needs over time and create usable personal solutions. 

Please tell us about the idea behind getting all brands of Raymond under one umbrella.
One of the important insights we have leveraged is giving consumers an option of how they shop. One can choose to shop by category, occasions or brands. We have seen consumers shop across our brands at The Raymond Shop where this choice is mirrored in the brick and mortar space and creates a complete wardrobe solution. We have mirrored that online and added advice and content to help and are positive this will create better choice for consumers along with the quality assurance that we stand for. 

In an intensely competitive market, how does a brand like Raymond stay iconic and relevant?
The Raymond brand has evolved with changes in society and continuously infused modern values into its ongoing legacy. The complete man has been seen to reinvent himself while being true to its core. This is supported by active innovation in product and marketing that takes into account changing trends. It is a tall challenge, but is so well founded in a strong legacy that building on it is a great privilege and delight for teams and partners that work on the brand. 

As the Chief Digital Officer, what is your vision for Raymond to take it to the next level?
I am keen to see Raymond as a very agile organization that can lead consumers to experience the best at any point in time. Today that may be through digital, tomorrow it could be something else. The role of the Chief Digital officer is that of a catalyst and create the mechanisms for leveraging change. Once digital becomes a way of life for the organization, the organization will hopefully prepared to move to the next big thing after undergoing a transformation in its ways of working.


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