The co-founder and chief marketing officer talks about the company’s new personal grooming brand, the reason it was launched in 2021, the TG, and more.
When you are forced to stay indoors, work indoors and only leave your home for essential work, then grooming tends to take a back seat.
From the moment COVID struck, grooming faced an existential crisis. The subsequent lockdown(s) enforced to curtail the virus’ spread, didn’t help much.
However, you had to look at least presentable in front of those video calls and, for many, grooming was a much-needed act of therapy and self-love.
Do it yourself (DIY) grooming became de rigueur and brands began to advertise their wares that’ll let you experience salon-like services at home.
That was last year. So, colour us surprised when we learnt that boAt, a leading wearables brand (wired and wireless ear wear), announced the launch of ‘Misfit’, its grooming and personal grooming brand for men and women, in June 2021.
Various states had reopened, and so had salons. So, a personal grooming brand offering “exciting and aspirational lifestyle products that are perfect to give that salon-style finish at home”, and aimed at millennials, felt out of place and time in June.
A few months later, in September, the brand released its first campaign, featuring influencers. Light and depreciating, it wasn’t your usual grooming brand ad.
afaqs! spoke with Aman Gupta, co-founder and chief marketing officer, boAt, about the new venture, the timing, the TG, and rivals – both old and new ones.
What prompted boAt to enter the personal care category? Aren’t you late to the party, considering salons have now reopened?
boAt has always recognised the need of the consumer. The pandemic and ‘work from home’ culture have brought a change in the way people function on a daily basis.
The dependence on salons decreased and people started experimenting with their looks at home. boAthead, our community, has always supported us throughout this journey, and wanted us to explore new categories, after audio and smart wearables.
This made us foray into the personal grooming space. We may not be the first ones to introduce this to the consumers, but we’re confident that we are doing it the right way. Our Misfit T200 is currently the best-selling grooming kit on Flipkart.
Are you worried that your diversification from core products to personal care, is a gamble that may not pay off?
We have always envisioned boAt as a lifestyle brand and are happy to explore newer categories. Misfit is a separate brand, with an entirely different brand ethos and vibe. We have a separate team for Misfit to ensure a fresh and new perspective. The users have accepted the products with open arms and have reacted positively to the brand so far.
Misfit has some of the highest-rated products on Flipkart, in their respective categories. We will soon be launching personal care appliances for women under Misfit.
What do you think about your competition? You are not only going against legacy brands, such as Philips, but also younger ones, such as Mi.
We believe that the competition keeps us on our toes and motivates us to come up with the best tech solutions for our consumers. They are the ones who ultimately benefit from a healthy competition that exists between brands.
Misfit’s core focus lies in marketing for millennials. It has a digital-first approach to communicate with the consumers online. This separates us from the competition and gives us an edge. We are working closely with Flipkart to create an online demand for grooming and personal care appliances.
Apart from the millennial-centric marketing, we have always focused on offering quality products without burning a hole in the pockets of our consumers. This ideology is here to stay.
Keeping your rivals in mind, what’s your differentiating USP?
Our product portfolio has always been dependent on the consumer’s needs. We believe our competitive pricing and superior quality products separate us from the competition.
Unlike traditional brands, we launch multiple products under one category to cater to the diverse needs of different audience sets.
We take pride in digital-first marketing strategies and a wide array of products for every consumer. We look forward to bringing the best in the market, as per the requirements of the consumers and our community.
Why is Misfit geared only towards millennials?
Millennials today are very involved in their family's buying decisions, as they are 'aware' of everything. Therefore, the decision-making lies with them as far as most tech products, including personal care appliances, go.
Our marketing is geared towards the millennials, but our products are for everyone. The wide range of trimmers under Misfit has something for everyone.
Why have you gone for an influencer-driven campaign for starters?
The digital approach that Misfit has adopted leads to constant communication with the consumers. We believe that influencers help communicate the brand ideology and beliefs to the consumers by creating a ‘connect’.
The awareness that can be achieved through influencer collaborations for a new brand like Misfit, is unmatched. Apart from massive reach, these influencers help us to create quality content pieces for our digital platforms.
The festival season is your brand’s first peak season. Tell us about your media spends.
Being a digitally native brand, we believe that this (digital) mode of communication is the best, in terms of consumer communication and connection.
The constant feedback, the efficiency of the platform and the wide reach help us understand the consumer better and also build credibility. The millennial connect that the brand is looking at, as a whole, can be achieved through digital mediums. So, during the festive season, maximum spends happen on the digital platform.