Allen Solly launches app to co-create signature colours

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | November 13, 2013
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The apparel brand has launched an innovative digital app that gives customers the freedom to get creative with the shades of their clothes and design their own attire.

Men around the world are eager to know whether their apparel colour matches their personality and which shades suit them best. It's apparently also one of's most prevalent fashion questions.

Allen Solly store with Colour Lab display

The Colour Lab application

The Colour Lab print ad

Sooraj Bhat

Allen Solly, the apparel brand from Madura Fashion & Lifestyle, a division of Aditya Birla Nuvo, seems to have found an answer. The brand has launched Colour Lab, an innovative digital app that gives customers the freedom to get creative with the shades of their clothes and design their own attire.

The iPad application enables users to pick out their favourite garment and get it dyed the colour of their choice. As per the company, the app is an extension of the Colour Lab campaign where real people were brought in to represent the face of the brand. The application makes colours the centre point.

The app is available at all Allen Solly stores across the country and on, Allen Solly's e-commerce store.

The application allows the consumer to play matchmaker by picking a garment and colour of their choice. The merchandise is then custom dyed and delivered to the user within 15 days. The application has been installed across all 150 Allen Solly brand stores and on the brand's e-commerce website, The Colour Lab products are priced at an additional charge of around Rs 400 because the pieces are custom manufactured. The company expects this feature to contribute around 5 per cent of the sales during this fiscal.

Allen Solly plans to take forward the experience of this model to launch it for women next summer, as the female segment contributes 25 per cent to the overall brand sales.

Co-creation is what Allen Solly calls it, as the brand leverages digital technology to build stronger linkages between manufacturer and customer. "Co-creation is a big consumer trend these days. Consumers are increasingly looking at ways to be part of the design or production process. This helps them to create unique, distinctive experiences for themselves. Once we had finalised the idea of letting the consumer create his colour, we wanted a simple yet powerful mechanism whereby the consumer could do this. Hence, the application," says Sooraj Bhat, brand head, Allen Solly.

Bhat further mentions that colour is central to the product positioning of Allen Solly and this initiative, over a period of time, will help the brand own the idea of colour. "Colour is fundamental to the way consumers appreciate clothing and fashion. Consumers deeply seek variety in colour when they shop. Hence, the conception of an idea where consumers can create their own colour in a garment (shirt/trouser) was a natural one, even if innovative," he adds.

By giving each and every customer the opportunity to create their signature style, Allen Solly believes it is getting closer to meeting customer requirements completely, the one thing everybody's vying for in a fiercely competitive market. "In a non-buoyant economy, walk-ins are difficult to come by. Strong ideas like Colour Lab boost walk-ins in addition to strengthening positioning and adding to imagery," opines Bhat.

Designed by Mobilox, a mobile technology and services company and conceptualised by social media agency Blogworks, the Colour Lab innovation aims to target the 25-30 year old urban, upbeat, fashion conscious and socially connected man. The app is currently designed for men's apparel only, with women's and kids apparel slated for inclusion next year.

The concept is being supported by extensive media promotion and social media activities. The Colour Lab campaign has been one of the most aggressive ones carried out by the brand. "The campaign proposition 'Catch a Colour. We'll Match It' was a unique concept and was released across many new markets as well," Bhat says, adding that print was the lead vehicle with impactful full page releases across all leading dailies supported by outdoors.

The campaign was released on social media with Colour Lab Playroom activity and in three weeks of its release, the brand added 1.23 lakh fans on Facebook. The brand has an overall following of 1.5 million people on Facebook.

According to official statistics, more than 2.8 lakh people have already viewed the Colour Lab tutorial video. The digital campaign was integrated with the team and the search and display ads were released on YouTube, Facebook and Moneycontrol to drive traffic to Besides, a total of 13 million impressions were delivered on Facebook and Colour Lab was actively promoted among 40,000 members of MySolly Club via direct mailers.

The larger challenge in India for a brand like Allen Solly is to establish the name as a premium aspirational lifestyle brand spanning menswear, women's wear, juniors and accessories. What makes Allen Solly's Colour Lab stand out as a high mark in retail innovation is its combination of product innovation, digital technology and capabilities in customised and flexible manufacturing and distribution. "For 20 years now, we have enjoyed a frontrunner's fame for creating relaxed work-wear for the unconventional mind. With the launch of 'Friday Dressing' in 1995 and the brand's celebrated Yellow Shirt commercial four years later, Allen Solly officially became a name forever synonymous with colour and innovation. Now, we are taking it to a whole new level," says Bhat.

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