Ubaid Zargar

How Bombay Design Centre is going about modernising Camlin's brand legacy

  • Kokuyo Camlin partnered with Bombay Design Centre for a digital transformation aimed at brand revitalisation and modern consumer engagement.

  • The collaboration navigates the challenge of retaining Kokuyo Camlin's legacy while emphasising the brand's utility and relevance in today's context.

  • The brand sees digital as a crucial avenue to engage consumers and fulfil their needs beyond the product, especially among younger demographics.

  • The agency has introduced a website showcasing over 2,000 products, a planet-friendly digital theme park, and an online art community, contributing to Kokuyo Camlin's digital footprint.

Legacy brands, while possessing established heritage and recognition, often face the challenge of adapting to contemporary trends and maintaining relevance in a dynamic market. A design agency serves as a catalyst for this transformation.

Kokuyo Camlin, an Indian multinational stationery manufacturing company with a 92-year legacy, is embarking on a digital transformation to attract modern consumers in India. Playing a pivotal role in this journey is Bombay Design Centre, a design agency that joined forces with the brand in 2020.

Rishi Kakar, chief of marketing and strategy at Kokuyo Camlin, is all for redoing Camlin’s online footprint. The agency of choice for the brand is Bombay Design Centre. 

How Bombay Design Centre is going about modernising Camlin's brand legacy

The collaborative efforts between Kokuyo Camlin and Bombay Design Centre encompass community development, website design, content creation, and brand communication. The objective is to revitalise the brand and propel it into the digital age. 

Kakar says, “Bombay Design Centre has been our agency of choice. Our collaboration with them began with a research project, evolving into a series of successful digital campaigns, including the development of our website. We have worked together as a true partnership keeping the interest of the consumer and brand as paramount.”

With the brand’s nod of approval, here is how the agency is materialising Camlin’s future-proof identity. 

Brand Distinction and Digital Presence

One of the first milestones of the collaboration was the launch of a campaign aimed at establishing a brand distinction between Camel and Camlin. The awareness campaign clarified that Camel represents art supplies, while Camlin caters to stationery needs, both falling under the umbrella of parent company Kokuyo Camlin.

Kokuyo Camlin website before the makeover
Kokuyo Camlin website before the makeover
The Website now
The Website now

As per Ankur Rander, CEO, Bombay Design Centre, the agency, with a keen eye on the digital horizon, created a user-friendly website showcasing over 2,000 products for both Camel and Camlin. The e-commerce-ready platform, awaiting the green light from the business team, follows a content-commerce-community model. 

He says, “The website is built on content, commerce, and a community model. Customers visit for the community and inspiration, and they also have access to their product needs. We program-manage the community.” 

How Bombay Design Centre is going about modernising Camlin's brand legacy

Engaging learning content and digital innovation

The agency is aiming to consistently add to Kokuyo Camlin's digital presence by crafting learning and inspirational content each week. Disseminated through social channels and the website, this content adds to the brand's narrative of connecting with audiences on a creative level.

“The agency's innovative spirit shines through with the introduction of a planet-friendly digital theme park designed for children aged 4–8. This mobile web-based experience has already captivated over 50,000 users, fostering creativity and playfulness in the younger demographic,” Rander reveals.

Screengrab from the website
Screengrab from the website

In a bid to enhance the brand's visual identity, the collaboration includes creative and product photography of over 2,000 products. These captivating displays of art supplies create a visually delightful design experience, redefining the way consumers perceive Kokuyo Camlin.

Additionally, Bombay Design Centre showcases the brand's essence through digital films. This storytelling offers a glimpse into the craftsmanship and passion that goes into creating Kokuyo Camlin's iconic products.

Retaining the brand’s 92-year-old legacy

The question of retaining Kokuyo Camlin's legacy while navigating the path of modernisation is a matter of contemplation. According to the agency, the brand's extensive history goes beyond being a mere product; and the plan is to capture that.

In their pursuit of modernisation, the agency aims to make the brand useful and relevant in today's context. Bombay Design Centre has initiated new ventures to foster connections among artists. One such initiative is the Camel Online Artists Community, a hub that boasts over 1.3 lakh registered artists. 

A screengrab from the portal
A screengrab from the portal

Described by Rander as potentially the largest online art community in India, this platform invites artists of all types, from hobbyists to professionals, to connect, share their artworks, and receive feedback from their peers.

Rander says, “We directly engage with artists in their studios and bring their stories to the rest of the artists through the brand's social media. Every week, we release new inspiration and learning content. We hold workshops for the community now and then. Bombay Design Centre built the strategy and designed this community program along with Kokuyo Camlin.”

The road ahead

The agency and the brand are gearing up for a bigger initiative on a larger platform, aiming to connect with young artists and their parents. The idea is to plug the idea of art and art forms into their lives. 

“Our goal is to enhance the art community by translating our digital engagement into a tangible, on-ground community. The brand is embracing digital transformation to reach new audiences, especially in the digital space. While evolving its strategies for younger demographics, it remains committed to preserving core values and ensuring continuity in its identity,” says Rander. 

Kakar puts his faith in the brand’s ability to contribute to an artist’s or a student’s life, in order to stand out from the competition. He says, “If we are able to contribute to the journey of an artist through more than just products, we will build a greater connection with them. With students, we are committed to building better products that recognise their needs from a functional and emotional standpoint and help them win. Digital is increasingly emerging as an important way to reach out to consumers and engage them through branded content that fulfils their need beyond the product.”

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