Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Otto : The Symbol of Success

Brand : OTTO
Company : Pothys Group

Brand Analysis Count : # 493

Otto is the readymade brand from Pothys Group. Pothys is one of the most reputed textile retail group in South India. The brand Pothys is a known name in Silk sarees and commands tremendous brand equity across South India. 

Otto brand of men's wear started off as a private label has now moved to become a brand ( theoretically). The brand which was available at various retail stores in TN has now moved to other markets as well. Advertisements of this brand has began showing in various media across markets other than its core TamilNadu market. 

What is striking about the current campaign of OTTO is its celebrity driven brand strategy. OTTO although was in the market since 1997 is now upping its ante across various markets this season. The brand has roped in the Tamil Superstar Vikram as the brand ambassador. Print ads featuring the star is now running across Kerala where the shopping season has started coinciding with the Onam festival.

Watch the television campaign here : OTTO shirts

First it is one of those rare instances where a retailer upgrades a private label to a brand and puts that brand through other retail outlets.In that way Pothys deserves to be appreciated for the risk it has taken to build a brand in the hyper competitive readymade market. 
Having said that , the brand had fallen prey to the celebrity endorsement trap where more than anything, celebrity over shadowed the brand. It is true that celebrities like film stars command huge respect and credibility in markets like TN, AP etc and the endorsement by a star like Vikram will take the brand to new heights, in the long run it is not a good strategy for the brand.

The brand seems to be heavily depended on Vikram to deliver results. There is no mention of product features, USP, positioning or differentiation. The brand also did not try to leverage the equity of its parent Pothys. By not addressing these critical brand building basics, OTTO has lost valuable opportunity to build an image for itself that would sustain even after the contract with the celebrity is over. The brand name OTTO is a German term meaning Wealthy. 
The brand has chosen a positioning loosely on being a success symbol. The brand has the tagline  " Symbol of Success " and uses the celebrity as the proof. But given the power of the celebrity, OTTO could have done better if it had a proper brand building strategy aimed at long-term. Ideally the brand should have done these things 
  • Identified a strong sustainable USP 
  • Positioning statement 
  • Endorsement by parent brand Pothys
  • Campaign combining product feature + Positioning 
But the current campaign focus on earning short-term brownies riding on the popularity of Vikram.


  1. The recommendation provided by you are correct according to me except the one when you say that OOTO should have kept the parent name-Pothys.
    I feel, its correct for a successful brand like Pothys to create a different brand altogether for a new segment of business.Becasuse if the men's segment also has the same name - Pothys, this might dilute the brand originally known for silk sarees. Women typically will no more see Pothys as their brand had Pothys branded the men's wear as well. This is typical line extension trap which i think Pothys brilliantly avoided.

  2. Yes you are right in assessment, the tag line could have been incorporated as Symbol of success in the end with different shirts as a slide. This would have ensured long term brand building


Your Views are Important. Please share your views as comments.