kalyan

BREAKING CONVENTIONAL THINKING TO CREATE A 12,000 CR BRAND

Kalyan Jewellers began its awe-inspiring journey as a fledgling jewellery brand in the 90s.

From a 300 crore company, Kalyan Jewellers is today a 12,000 crore megalith. And we are proud to proclaim that we have partnered with Kalyan, through thick and thin, every step of the way.

Breaking the mould in jewellery advertising of that time,
we zagged when the rest followed conventional wisdom.

For the first time in jewellery advertising, we made the man the protagonist, a result of research we commissioned to identify the real influencer in jewellery purchase.

The second salvo was the use of regional celebrities for each state as against one big national celebrity. In a category that hinged on trust and credibility, the strategy to use a celebrity who was one of their own turned the tide in Kalyan’s favour. This strategy generated enough traction for the brand in each market and the brand grew exponentially.

Then, there was the path-breaking concept of ‘My Kalyan’,
a stand-alone retail store unit that provides an advisory service besides retailing of gold, to shield the customer from irregularities and inconsistencies of the industry.

The final nail in the coffin was the pioneering communication that addressed the sheer transparency and best practices of the brand, a move that led it to become an industry norm for other brands to follow. Today, Kalyan continues to lead the way in jewellery advertising with breakthrough communication with results to match in India and abroad..

BABY STEPS – 1 CARAT AT A TIME

This brand follows the trajectory of conventional marketing wisdom and is a testament of how structured market and consumer understanding as well as brand development techniques can create strong brand value. When the brand decided to enter other markets where it was unknown, we designed and analysed extensive consumer research, both qualitative and quantitative, to understand needs, wants and desires of consumers of jewellery. Product range assessments were carried out with real samples to understand cultural differences. Trade interviews added a seller’s perspective. This understanding powered the first foray into closer cultures across the Southern markets.

We realised that gold jewellery, unlike diamond or other gem studded jewellery is a matter of investment rather than aesthetic apparel. And while the blushing bride’s opinion regarding design would be one factor to be taken into consideration, the investment value and hence the authenticity of the supplier was much more important to the true decision maker i.e. the parents actually investing the funds.

Hence, the brand building began first with 2 core product benefits as differentiators which were unmet needs – the presence of the BIS mark which most players did not bother with and demonstrating how price promotions actually did not benefit the consumer.

For a small local player to make these claims credibly, we needed it to come from affluent people who would be expected to have the knowhow and legal resources to check if these claims were actually true. Hence we had a genuine role for a celebrity and a creative treatment that used them to advantage. The strong growth registered by the brand in the South markets were proof that the approach worked.

Once the product benefits were established in the initial years of launch (and we heartily commend our client who has the good business sense to know when spending is required) we then laddered up these benefits to the emotional benefit area, taking on the platform of 'Trust' - a word that is synonymous with the brand today.

And while this continued to reap dividends, when the time came to take the brand across the Vindhyas, to a completely different cultural milieu, an equally extensive understanding was carried out amongst these consumer markets to test if the brand approach needed to be modified in any of the marketing parameters. Largely, the tested launch path was found to be relevant, and the brand now chose to bring in a celebrity with national and global relevance. Mr. Bachchan came on board and the rest is history.

Kalyan has become the first Indian jewellery brand to get funding from Warburg Pincus. It also serves as a great example to brand owners who question the utility of investing in brand building activities such as research, advisory services and impactful advertising and get trapped in the short term comfort of driving sales.