Benita Chacko

Bombay Shaving Company drives superior salon experience down Delhi streets

Laalit Lobo, VP – marketing says through the initiative #ShavesForGood, the brand intends to give back to the society by reaching out to the people to whom its products are not easily accessible.

Armed with scissors and combs, Bombay Shaving Company has been travelling through the bylanes of Delhi for the last month. Going around in its mobile salon it has been giving a superior salon experience to many for whom it would otherwise have been inaccessible.

Bombay Shaving Company has only one concept salon in Delhi to allow patrons to experience the products, but regularly creates pop up salons and activations in malls. But now it wanted to provide this experience to those who may not have access to it or be able to afford it.

Through the initiative #ShavesForGood, the brand intends to give back to the society by reaching out to the people to whom its products are not easily accessible. All through December they drove the mobile salon, specially created for this initiative, to working class neighbourhoods of Delhi and got the people to experience their services.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Laalit Lobo</p></div>

Laalit Lobo

Laalit Lobo, VP – marketing at Bombay Shaving Company, says, “Christmas season is also a time to give back. As a brand, we believe that our products should enable you to experience a few minutes of joy. So we want everybody to feel their best and do their best."

With transparent glass walls, the salon chair inside intrigues passers-by. It is parked at one location for a day and people come out of curiosity to know more. When they see other people getting a shave or a trim, even they line up. With a shave taking about 20 minutes, they managed to reach about 30 people per day.

While the idea is to give back to the community, Lobo stresses that it is not a CSR initiative. With this the brand can reach people in their communities, rather than them having to come to a particular location. It’s mobility also enables it to go to different places and so it intends to now take it to other parts of the country. In the future Bombay Shaving Company also hopes to associate with the armed forces and maybe even old age homes and other centres for people who are neglected to give them 10 minutes of joy.

“We want to build a long term property around ‘Shaves for Good’. It will be our community's touchpoint initiative where we reach out to people who need a 10-minute-break to enjoy a good makeover, but may not have the time or the money to afford a high-end salon experience. We have already reached out to our partners to develop more mobile salons and we will soon be rolling out in other cities. We will start off with the metros- Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai,” he said.

Beyond the initiative, the brand also plans to take the mobile salons for college festivals or to campuses.

Bombay Shaving Company has mass premium products and it is priced slightly higher than its competitors like Axe and Nivea in the category. With products for both men and women it is a destination for hair removal and grooming needs. For trimmers and beard products its core TG is between 18 to 25 years. For shaving it has a slightly older TG- 25 to 40 years. Is the campaign to help the brand reach a different audience?

“The idea of Shaves for Good is not to make it a budget brand or affordable to all strata of society. As a brand we want to spread goodness. We will continue to play in our price points in the mass premium space and our TG remains the same. But we will be venturing into tier two markets,” he added.

Though just for a month, reaching out to this different audience was a humbling experience for the brand. Lobo describes it as a ‘social experience’.

“Shaving and grooming goes far beyond just a utilitarian thing. It's more experiential. In the earlier days, the neighbourhood barber, in villages or smaller towns, used to be a family friend. Patrons would either go to his shop, or he would come home, and he knew exactly what haircut or shave they liked. They would share stories and know the customers by name. People had a similar experience at our mobile salon. They were very happy to interact with our stylists and crew, even if only for 15 minutes. It just felt like a social experience, more than just shaving or trimming. It was about being able to connect and talk. Sometimes as a brand we are not able to reach the man or woman on the street,” he said.

They have even created a film portraying their initiative and how it was received by the patrons. The film is shot in real locations and even one of the characters, the tea seller, is real.

“We were shooting in a natural environment and not in a studio because we wanted to capture the real flavour and vibe of Delhi. The only external elements are the two actors, everything else is natural. We worked with a very small team so as to not cause any disturbance. The idea was to capture the activations in a cinematic way, so that it becomes a beautiful film. The film captures the brand’s vision and is done in an aesthetic manner. It was to create an emotion and tell people about the need to give back. We asked the tea seller if he would like to experience this and he just enjoyed it. The other two characters- the policeman and the mechanic are theatre artists," he said.

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