Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sparx Shoes : Add Sparx to Your Life

Brand : Sparx
Company : Relaxo Footwears
Agency : Arms Communications

Brand Analysis Count : 424

Sparx is a brand from Relaxo Footwears which is India's second largest footwear company. The company which started its operations in 1976 is famous for its hawai slippers. Relaxo footwears has a turnover of around Rs 400 crores.

Sparx is the foray of the company into the high end sports shoe market . The sports shoe market is worth around Rs 400 crore and is expected to grow very fast owing to the changing lifestyle and demography.

The Indian sports shoe market is now dominated by global icons. The fight is intense between Nike , Adidas and Reebok and the new generation is lapping up these brands . It is in this market that a domestic brand is trying to make its mark.

It is true that in the Rs 10,000 crore Indian footwear market, there is plenty of space of various brands and Sparx is aiming for the same segment that the global icons are fighting for.

Sparx is relying on the celebrity power to position itself as a premium sports shoe brand. Premium interms of image and not interms of price. The brand is using the Bollywood hero Neil Nitin Mukesh as the brand ambassador . Sparx has adopted the ad slogan " Add Sparx to your life" and the brand has the tagline " Go for It" . The brand could have added some more imagination while selecting the taglines.

Watch the TVC here : Sparx

The ad which looks nice,definitely gives the brand a premium look . But there is no Big idea. The theme is old and often used by lot of brands in the past. There is no positioning nor a differentiation . What the ad generates is a fair amount of brand familiarity.

The question is whether brand familiarity is enough to generate sales. To a certain extent it helps. Shoes is an experiential product . The customer has to first try it out and feel the comfort/design etc before the purchase. So if the brand is familiar, consumers may try it out and if the product is good, they will buy. But a brand cannot just rely on familiarity to promote its purchase. It should offer a compelling reason for the consumer to reject Nike or Adidas and go for this brand ( assuming that Sparx is aiming at that segment).

If the brand is looking at a segment that cannot afford global brands like Nike, then the current strategy works. Sparx brand is priced around Rs 1300-1500 range but the problem is that with a little more money consumers can trade up to a Reebok or a Nike. That calls for a serious look at the marketing basics of Positioning and Differentiation.

Sparx is a brand from a very established footwear maker. It has the resources and the reach which are essential pre-requisites for success in the Indian market. The brand has evoked lot of curiosity with its association with the celebrity. Its success will depend a lot on how it takes the communication from curiosity to engagement.