Online fashion retailer Myntra ventured into the private label business in 2012, launching 10 in-house brands for men, women and kids. Recently, the e-tailer has rolled out a 56-seconder featuring actor Kangana Ranaut, to promote its private label Dressberry, a Western-wear brand for women.
In the film, Kangana struts around in different outfits from the brand's product catalogue. The objective of the effort is to strengthen Dressberry's presence in the women's Western-wear e-market. Dressberry made its debut on Myntra in 2013.
Dressberry targets women in the 18-30 years age bracket - women for whom staying up-to-date with the latest fashion trends is important.
Recall that in August this year, Myntra roped in popular Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh to endorse Roadster, an in-house denim brand, designed for the rugged outdoors. Remember the naughty 'Code for Road' print and outdoor creatives Myntra rolled out for this label?
"Our in-house fashion brands account for about 20 per cent of Myntra's overall revenue," shares Verma.
Currently, Myntra has a total of 10 in-house brands including Dressberry, Roadster, Anouk (ethnic range for women), Mast & Harbour (casual wear), Kook N Keech (graphics-inspired T-shirt range), Yellow Kites (for kids), Invictus (premium, formal-wear for men), HRX (by Hrithik Roshan), Harvard University Ivy League Clothing and ETC. In the days ahead, the company plans to further beef up its private brand portfolio by launching more labels.
Online private labels sell on both pure play as well as multi-brand e-tail platforms. Yepme, a pure play private-label online retailer, has roped in Shahrukh Khan as its brand ambassador, besides whom, the brand also has on board actors Farhan Akhtar and Esha Gupta as ambassadors for its in-house labels. Other players in this category include names like Zovi.com, FreeCultr and DoneByNone.
On the private label front, Myntra faces direct competition from Jabong which is setting up a 15-member fashion design studio in London to design all its private labels. Meanwhile, the brand has already tied-up with apparel brand Biba, celebrity designer Rohit Bahl and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt to launch a line of clothing that will be sold exclusively on Jabong.com.
Labeled It Right?
"A private label," he reasons, "gives e-commerce sites product exclusivity and the freedom to price the products. This way, they can get higher margins."
The private label route, he notes, is a medium-to-long term business opportunity that doesn't generate buyers right away. Usually, traction is expected a few months after the launch of the label.
Getting "Bollywood faces" to endorse the label, he feels, is a good idea, as "it increases the 'aspiration quotient' of the label," especially among fashion-conscious youngsters, he says.
In Vaitheeswaran's opinion, private labels work better in the apparel category, as opposed to other categories like consumer electronics. This is because when it comes to buying apparel, shoppers are used to sifting through hordes of options. "Buyers anyway choose among at least 20-30 brand options while buying clothes; a private label only increases the variety for them," he says, insisting that this is not the case with electronics, a segment that is dictated by few known players. Variety might delight an apparel buyer but might just confuse a smartphone buyer, goes the premise.
Besides, unlike in the case of apparel, where people are open to giving newer, lesser known brand names a chance, when it comes to electronics, consumers typically stick to the tried-and-tested options and tend to opt for brand names they are familiar with.
Thirdly, as Vaitheeswaran points out, buyers are less open to taking risks with electronics than they are with their clothes. This is partly because the monetary investment per piece is higher in the case of electronics and also because, by and large, people tend to be a lot more brand conscious when it comes to their smartphones than when it comes to their clothes.