Monday, October 16, 2006

Singer Sewing Machines : Facing a Crisis

Brand : Singer
Company : Singer India ltd
Agency : JWT

Brand count : 141

Singer is a 130 year old brand in India famous for its sewing machines. Singer came to India in 1870 and is a Pioneer in developing the product category : Sewing machines.
Sewing machine was once a must in every households in India and was even a part of one's dowry. Those aged >30 may have noticed the dusting old machine at their homes. This once popular small durable is slowly fading into history.

Sewing machines are losing popularity in India because of the changing demographics and lifestyle. With the couples working and the evolution of Nuclear Urban Families (NUF) , the relevance of this category itself is now in doubt.

In olden days the brand was an example of Craft and Frugality. Craft in the sense that it showcases the talent of the Bahu and Frugality in saving the stitching costs. Now with the popularity of readymade clothes , this category has been thrown out of Urban households.
Singer is one of the largest manufacturers of sewing machines in India . The brand is credited with pioneering the installment culture in India by offering sewing machines to rural households on installment during 19th century. Still rural India contributes to the sale of sewing machines where it is used as a wage earner.
The marketers of sewing machines have tried to create more interest in the urban households by introducing electronic sewing machines ( userfriendly) and coming out with " Sew yourself patterns" encouraging the homemaker to experiment and create her own fashion wears. But these initiatives were not successful and it has forced these players to diversify into other small appliances.
The basic issue with the machine being less popular is
a. The task is tedious.
b. It takes training to make a good stitch.
c. No longer an attractive pasttime.
d. Machine not user friendly.
This product category is failing because it failed to change with the consumer.Although there were innovations, the product was such that the users had to be trained in using this product.
With the urban women not getting enough time to engage in attend classes, the category began to lose popularity.
Unless the manufacturers address these issues , the product category will be limited to industrial sewing machines and customers in the sewing machines. The category is already a century behind the new generation. I bet that an urban 15 year old may not have even touched this machine. May be the marketers have to comeout with an automatic computer aided machine that prints or stitches with the click of a button or something like that which is fast and easy to use.Other wise this category will fade from the households forever.

Source : businessline,myiris.com,wikepedia agencyfaqs.com