Ashee Sharma

Now Myntra has a 'look east' policy

And this is reflected in the brand's latest ad film.

Myntra, the online fashion destination, has released a new digital campaign targeting the north-east market. The three-minute video features Novi - a fashion enthusiast and homemaker from Aizwal (Mizoram).

Given the geo-climatic and socio-political dynamics of the region, it has largely been under-represented in the media, advertising included. Haven't all of us, at some point, been embarrassed about raving and ranting over non-issues while a flood disrupted life in the north-east? What's interesting is that, the more significant news was delivered to us through the internet which has played the role of an equaliser for the seven sisters.

Now Myntra has a 'look east' policy

Myntra's new digital campaign targeting the north-east market

This development however, has been so subtle that sometimes even brands were able to spot it only in hindsight, thanks to the measurable nature of the digital medium. Myntra's campaign is based on data-driven insights which indicate that Novi had been a consistent shopper on the platform, especially during the EORS (End of Reason Sale) - Myntra's flagship biannual sale. She also purchased her daughter's first dress from Myntra.

Now Myntra has a 'look east' policy

A still from the ad In a recent interview with afaqs!, that is part of our Marketers' Special Issue (afaqs!Reporter magazine, June 15, 2017), Gunjan Soni, Head, Jabong and CMO, Myntra, said, "We now see close to 50 percent of our sales coming from tier II and III cities - this is a big shift. Previously, this revenue used to be predominantly contributed by the metros. We have seen disproportionate growth and popularity of international brands over the last 12 months. Myntra sees very high traction coming from the fashion-forward north-east market."

For the next set of 10 million consumers, Soni is betting on tier II cities and smaller towns.

Now Myntra has a 'look east' policy

Sujith SudhakaranSujith Sudhakaran, senior director - brand marketing at Myntra adds, "As the most fashion-forward market, the north-east was always on the radar. However, looking at the data, we realised it needs a focused effort now."

Sharing some insights on what differentiates this market, he tells us that because north-eastern societies have generally been matriarchal and more progressive, the percentage of women shoppers is higher in the region. Also, as compared to other markets, there is more demand for international brands.

Explaining the second observation, Sudhakaran states, "The north-east is usually considered a 'media-dark' region. There is TV, but without any regional channels. So, people mostly consume English entertainment because they are more comfortable with the language. Internet proved to be the game-changer and today, a lot of international content is being consumed on the medium. Hence, from a media buying perspective, the region can be covered well between English TV and Digital."

Sudhakaran, however, cautions against considering the north-east a homogeneous market because of the cultural differences that define each state. For instance, while customers in Guwahati understand Hindi and also like to purchase Indian wear, Aizwal with its large Christian population is heavily influenced by international trends and personalities. Christmas is the buying season there.


Now Myntra has a 'look east' policy

Mikhail Verma According to Mikhail Verma, associate creative director, DigitasLBi, while it's easy to mistake the ad for another consumer testimony, delving deeper into Novi's story makes one realise that it is a success story of sorts, for both, the brand and the consumer.

"On the brand side, it's the success of entrenching itself into a consumer's lifestyle and for the consumer it's about finding that perfect one-stop-shop for her entire family's fashion needs. The title suggests that this is possibly a series, so I'd like to see how they give more meaning to 'Myntra Unforgettables' as a title," he states.

Appreciating the documentary style treatment of the film which gives an honest perspective into Novi's life, he adds that a more thematic approach to the edit, perhaps, carrying on the juxtaposition of old world charm and new world fight from the opening line, or a shorter edit could have ensured a higher video completion rate.

Commenting on whether brands have adequately leveraged the digital medium to reach out to the north-east market, he shares, "The north-east region of India is home to a geographically remote consumer set, whose growing needs and demands are on par with, if not more than, the rest of the country. As a market, it has huge growth potential. While brands have boosted their presence in the region, its representation has fallen way short of the mark when compared to the digital revolution. There is a treasure trove of untapped stories, and I think Myntra is one of the few brands, apart from Samsung and Amazon to name a few, who will reap the long term benefits of being first movers within this space."