Monday, February 13, 2006

Vimal suitings : Where art Thou ?

Brand : Vimal Suitings
Company : Reliance Industries Ltd
Agency : Mudra

One of the oldest and most respected iconic textile brand of India is languishing some where in the attic of the mega corporation Reliance. The brand which started of as a Saree brand developed itself into a mega textile brand for women , men and even for furniture ( Vimal Harmony is one of the largest furnishing brand).

Vimal suitings was launched in 1980 after the successful Vimal range of sarees. At that point of time Reliance was a predominantly a textile company. This brand was carefully positioned as a premium men's suitings brand. The brand which was handled by Mudra, was promoted heavily by Reliance. At that time the major competitors being Bombay Dyeing and Raymonds.

According to the case study of Vimal available in Mudra Website, the Vimal Suitings brand was developed in 4 stages . The first stage involved convincing the customer about the quality of the brand explaining the technology behind the making of Vimal in advertisements. The second stage involved creating a personality of the brand using living legends. In the ads, living legends like army veterans, experts in various fields were used as models to build the character of the brand as a credible brand. The third stage involved promoting the brand as a fashion brand or Style guru. The ads showed Kabir Bedi and the likes catched the imagination of the TG. The 4 stage used cricketer as models to appeal to larger crowd. May be Vimal was one of the first brands that used cricketer as models ( correct me if I'm wrong).

I would add the fifth stage as letting the brand die without giving it any marketing support.

The brand was targeted at the young ambitious who are challengers to the CEO's . The brand personality was stylish, and aspirational. Vimal was promoted using the famous tagline " OnlyVimal " created by Late Frank Simoes. The tagline is said to be personally approved by Dhirubai himself. The brand was a premium brand and the ads were catchy. Reliance also opened exclusive Vimal showrooms as a part of promoting the brand.

Later in the 1990's the Reliance business model changed. The company changed from textiles to petrochemicals and Vimal was not fitting into reliance business plans. It was the only retail brand of Reliance ( now we have RIM) and company never focused on Vimal.

As far as a marketer is concerned, Vimal was a great brand with huge potential ( whether it fits into Reliance plan is another issue). 90's also saw the shift in the consumer's preference towards readymades. Although reliance had a readymade brand "Reance" it was a half hearted move which resulted in a flop.

Vimal was known for its quality and style. Still people remembers its simple baseline " Only Vimal". Lack of marketing support had virtually killed the brand. Now the position that Vimal occupied is now owned by Raymonds and Reid & Taylor.
News reports suggest that Reliance may revive the Vimal brand owing to their retail foray and the opening of the textile sector to the global markets. Vimal have already being messed itself up with the launch of V2 brand which is cheap and available even in grocery stores. What a way to mess up a brand ! Vimal have stopped marketing sarees and is said to be concentrating on suitings. Suitings are becoming more popular because of the increasing globetrotters and professionals.

Reviving Vimal will be very difficult since this brand has lost its touch with the new Indian consumer.

Oh Vimal!


  1. Vimal, the apparel brand of Reliance Textile Industries, has gone through a complete makeover. With a new look, new logo and new offerings, the brand has been given contemporary appeal, but in resonance with its heritage and DNA. The red colour in the logo has been retained, given its long-time association with brand, and also because it is the symbol of celebration and warmth. The design, with minimalist letters, which are placed farther from each other, conveys a new, open spirit, and the bold and clean lines denote the new thinking.

    With its wide range of fabrics, Vimal enjoyed the status of a brand of ‘fashion for everyone’; this will now be highlighted in a more contemporary and trendy manner. Taking the premise a step further, it has placed in line a range of products for men in the ready-to-wear segment, which is a new segment for it. The men’s range, which will offer shirts, trousers, suits and jackets, will be available under three sub-brands, each appealing to different segments. Vimal Red, which has been popularly priced, is targeted at the youth; the range will comprise basic formals for daily wear. Vimal White, a trendy range of apparel, will enjoy higher pricing; it will comprise innovative formals. Vimal Black is priced in the premium segment and will retail only exclusive, finely crafted apparel, designed in the Italian fashion, by Maurizio Bonas.

    Vimal Red and Vimal White will be available in exclusive Vimal stores and also in stores that stock Vimal. Vimal Black will be available only at the exclusive stores. The brand stores, which are being transformed in line with the brand’s new identity, will offer a whole new retailing experience. Custom tailoring and styling will also be on offer.

    Group leader Mukesh Ambani’s wife Nita Ambani has been involved in all aspects of the brand’s re-launch. “We are all very proud of this moment of reviving the Vimal brand, which I am sure will regain the market leadership and top-of-the-mind recall it enjoyed,” she says.

    Six months ago, Grey Worldwide was finalized as the new creative agency for Vimal; the media duties are with Vibrant, which is Reliance Industries’ media AOR. When this announcement was made, the size of the business was contemplated to be in the region of Rs 40 crore.

    Popular actresses Jaya Prada and Sridevi were the early endorsers of the brand’s sari range, while Kabir Bedi, Deepak Malhotra, Milind Soman, Ravi Shastri and Allan Border used to endorse the menswear range. At that time, the brand – both creative and media duties – was handled by Mudra. The tag line, ‘Only Vimal’, was conceptualized by Mudra. However, from 1998 onwards, the brand hasn’t seen a lot of advertising, although it was very much in the market. With its re-launch, one might see a brand ambassador being appointed, too.

  2. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Just looking at the new logo and advertisements lead me to the Vimal Showroom only to be disappointed to find only very old range of clothes.

    I however bought a trouser at a premium price. however using it turned me down completely.

    The pockets were the first. Short pockets dont match with Indians mostly stuffing everthing in it. Secondly the pocket cloth was of lowest quality. (it seems reliance is outsourcing trouser making) The pockets tore within 1st month of use (unstitchable later as the quality was very bad).

    The trouser lost is gleam / finish within 3 months of use (once a week).

    Though other brands are a bit overpriced, vimal has a reckoning and may work again.

    But if such bad quality promoted, I would not be surprised to see it dead.

    Bad Taste, No Focus, Outsourcing without quality control. wish you a good journey vimal.

  3. Vimal was definitely a premium product at the time it was at the peak. But slowly the brand value of Vimal went southwards.

    Even if it’s being revived, but the real question is can it be revived up to the stage, it was earlier enjoying?

    You can get vimal product in any small shop for a cheap price. Will it let vimal to gain that position again?

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    We are looking for sponsorship for my team from your Organization to support my Football club in Mumbai.
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    Awaiting your kind reply...

    Thanks & Regards,
    Kshama Patel

  5. i am in bhilwara
    many pepole make a cloth but dupalicate salevage ur brand name vimal EXAMPLE.......vimal body care, vimal fashion ,vimal syntex & other
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  6. Glad to know there is a suiting company having my name :)

    Make me famous :D

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  8. Anonymous12:26 PM

    Name of the vimal authriesd dealer shop in dehradun


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