Benita Chacko

We want to tell women that if we can fit into a certain product, so can you: Clovia’s Neha Kant on ‘Nothing But Real’ campaign

Through the latest campaign, featuring the employees of the women’s innerwear brand, attempts to highlight body positivity.

In its latest campaign, Clovia, for the first time, showcases their leadership and other team members flaunting their own range. Through the ‘Nothing But Real’ campaign, the women’s innerwear, activewear, loungewear, and personal care brand, attempts to make the products more relatable and in the process, highlights body positivity.

The leadership team, including the founder, Neha Kant, is seen in the brand's loungewear, nightwear and athleisure wear range. This campaign takes a step towards uplifting women’s confidence to break free from the inhibitions attached to shape and size. It breaks the socially constructed notion of beauty standards and attempts to transform the image of real beauty.

Neha Kant
Neha Kant

“During our product development process, many of our team members said that our new product range, athleisure and sleepwear products, are not for them, as it will not suit their body type. They felt it is more suitable for the young influencers who have maintained their bodies in a certain shape. This shoot was done as a challenge by our design and marketing team to showcase how Team Clovia designs for all body types. Clovia collects extensive data on Indian body types and creates fits that perform and flatter both,” said Kant.

Though this campaign showcases the brand’s new product range, their core category remains undergarments. Indian models are reluctant to be featured in these products due to the cultural associations. Eventually they have to rely on international models, but since they don’t have the typical Indian body type, women here do not relate to them and feel that these products are not suitable for their body.

“It’s every girl’s right to fit. Though lingerie was not our cup of tea, when we launched our sleepwear and athleisure line we felt that this is the moment when we can tell our women that if we can fit in it, so can you. Each aspect of this product has been built to be perfect for different Indian body types,” she added.

We want to tell women that if we can fit into a certain product, so can you: Clovia’s Neha Kant on ‘Nothing But Real’ campaign

The campaign will run only on the digital medium and will include only images. Clovia’s immediate audience is more on their personal screen than on family screens and so they will be focussing on that. “55% of our customer base comes from tier-two and tier-three cities. Even in metro cities there are women who have non-metro sensibilities- those are the women we target,” Kant said.

They plan to release a campaign film closer to the festive season featuring some of the employees.

“‘Nothing But Real’ is not just a campaign, it's an idea that will form the base of our communication. Our film, showcasing our activewear range, will be about real situations that women face during physical activities," she added.

Anmol Rodriguez in Clovia's Sleepwear
Anmol Rodriguez in Clovia's Sleepwear

The brand had roped in a real woman for their earlier campaign as well. Anmol Rodriguez, an acid attack victim, had modelled for their sleepwear range.

However, many brands across categories like apparels and personal care have been speaking about body positivity in the past, like Dove’s ‘Stop the Beauty Test’. Clovia’s competitor Zivame also addressed it through their ‘Fit for All’ campaign. Is Clovia’s entry onto the bandwagon a bit late?

Akanksha Patankar Mirji
Akanksha Patankar Mirji

Sharing her views on the campaign, Akanksha Patankar Mirji, a brand and corporate communication specialist, said that the subject of body positivity will never go out of style.

“Body positivity is a subject that has been under discussion for a very long time. No matter how much you speak about the subject, it will never go out of style because for centuries, people have had thoughts on the opposite end of the spectrum, which is ‘I don’t look good enough.’ It has taken so many years to even get to bringing this up as a discussion. Women completely resonate with this subject,” she said.

Appreciating the campaign for its simple messaging, she said, “It is very interesting that they don’t just include the employees, but the management also comes forward and puts themselves out there. They are showing that they have that belief in the brand. It’s a bold move by the management. They're taking the bull by its horns. You're not just showcasing young employees, but you're showcasing yourself.”

According to the consulting firm RedSeer’s report - ‘Female innerwear’s USD $12 billion opportunity’, the female innerwear segment makes nine per cent of the broader apparel market and is said to be the fastest growing in the category. It has grown from USD 0.5 billion in the 1990s to USD 6 billion in 2020 and is expected to touch USD 11-12 billion by 2025. The top brands in this segment (2019) include Rupa, Amante, Lovable, Jockey, Enamor, Pretty Secrets, Bewitch, Zivame, Clovia, Triumph, Dixcy, Lux, Shyaway and Bodycare.

With multiple local and international brands entering into the market in the last decade, the lingerie segment has seen some evolution. Yet it remains largely unorganised and fragmented. 60 per cent of the market is unbranded and fragmented and the top 10-15 players form less than 10 per cent of the market. Clovia forms a part of that pie. Currently, the online penetration of this category is at 2.5 per cent and Clovia enjoys about 20 per cent market share in that space. The Red Seer report predicts a 2x growth in the branded products category by 2025 and also expects it to overtake the unbranded segment thereon.

“No brand is distributed across the country making themselves available in every nook and corner. Clovia’s distribution is far-reaching with 1000 pincodes and 650 cities catered every month because of our being online. It is only about four quarters away from becoming the national number one brand,” she said.

Broadly there are four types of players operating in this space: Offline branded retail (eg Enamor), online fashion marketplaces (eg Myntra), broader ecommerce platforms (eg Amazon) and digital first omnichannel category. The last one can again be divided into two- those with brand focus (eg Clovia) and those with marketplace focus (eg Zivame, Nykaa). While Nykaa hosts many lingerie brands on their platform, it also has its own lingerie segment- Nykd.

In the absence of a national brand in the sleepwear category and with the entry of Clovia in this segment, Kant said that their competition here is with people’s old t-shirts and pajamas.

“This space is completely open for anyone like us to come in and rule. Same is the case with the athleisure range. There are a few international brands that have done massive advertising in India. But, the price points are usually prohibitive and they are available only in select stores in the city. So Clovia has a significant competitive advantage with its product-price proposition,” she said.

They also have offline sales from their 14 stores and six more will be opening this month.

When Clovia launched in 2015, it found it difficult to market itself as there were a lot of inhibitions and taboos surrounding the category. Publications were also hesitant to carry lingerie ads and some of their Facebook ads also got blocked. Things may not have changed much since then. A case in point being that many Bollywood A-lister actors have turned up in underwears and vests to promote them, but no Bollywood actress is seen endorsing female innerwear.

“In one of the first Bollywood associations we did, the actress just showed the Clovia box, and she wouldn't even take the garment out to show her social media followers. Even bloggers and influencers would say lingerie is not our category. But now some bloggers and influencers are associating with us. We have also associated with Bollywood stars through stylists. The biggest change is that customers are able to speak openly on social platforms about our products and write to us openly on Instagram,” she said.

Currently, it spends about 12 to 15 per cent of its revenue on marketing.

While people shop for several products online, there is some amount of apprehension when it comes to lingerie due to fitting concerns. Clovia has put in some measures to address them. They have a pictorial tool that helps identify the bust shape. They also provide a bra dress tool that provides pictorial assistance on what kind of bra can be worn with a certain kind of dress.

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