Monday, November 01, 2010

Crusoe : Who Are You Inside ?

Brand : Crusoe
Company : Jagannath Textiles Company
Ad Agency : Black Swan Life

Brand Analysis Count # 465

It feels good when an Indian brand attempts something ambitious with careful thought and matches it with smart execution. One brand that caught my attention recently was Crusoe.

Crusoe is a premium inner wear brand from Coimbatore based Jagannath Textiles Company. The brand was soft-launched in South India on January 2010 and is slated for a national launch.

Jagannath Textiles Company is a Rs 300 crore company specializing in manufacture of quality yarn. The company later moved over to value added products like home-textiles and apparels.

Crusoe is the company's offering in the mid-premium segment of the highly competitive Rs 1600 crore Indian organized innerwear market. The brand will be fighting for its pie with a host of brands like VIP, Rupa, Amul Macho, Jockey etc.

Crusoe is positioned differently from the rest of the crowd. The brand chose to appeal to a higher level attribute from the launch phase itself ( Laddering ). The brand is calling itself an " Innerwear for Inner-Self ". Crusoe has adopted the tagline " Who are you Inside ? " which is a question that the brand asks its TG.

The brand website - crusoeworld gives the following insights into the tagline :-

Clothes don't just cover you up,
Clothes are a cover up.
Most of the times, it's how
you want the world to see you.
At other times , it's how the world sees you.
But underneath all those layers,
When you are in your bare essentials,
When all you have to impress is you ,
Ask yourself one question.
Who are you inside ?

The concept of ' Innerself ' ' True Self ' & ' Breaking Free ' etc is not a new idea. Many brands have dabbled with the theme before. Crusoe has executed the concept very well and related that to the product - innerwear. The brand is running a series ( 8 nos) of print ads featuring the theme. The brand has also invested in OOH media . The theme also distantly resembles one of campaigns of Kamasutra condoms ( What do you want to be tonight ! ). But the brand scores in the execution and the ads are striking.

Crusoe has three product line extensions - Base, Nxt, and Xtreme each catering to different price points. Xtreme is the premium line in the range of Rs 350 +.

Crusoe directly competes with premium brands like Jockey , Hanes etc . While Jockey talks about fun, Crusoe takes the opposite pole of serious contemplation. That was a smart marketing move on the part of Crusoe to think differently from the rest of the crowd. The mass market segment of the innerwear market is still stuck with humor and sex. Crusoe is a welcome relief.

As a customer, I am impressed with the thoughtful process that the brand has undertaken for their campaigns. The brand has to tread the thin line between aggression and profitability. To make a serious dent in the market, these start-up brands have to invest heavily in brand promotion as well as channel penetration. Experts tell that channels ( distribution) decide the fate of the brand in the innerwear segment.

Crusoe is an interesting brand to watch out for. If the brand is able to consistently invest in distribution and continue its current promotions, we will see the emergence of a powerful Indian innerwear brand.