‘Kaya hasn’t just gone through a cosmetic change’

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Suvodeep Das

Suvodeep Das, Head, Marketing, Kaya

Kaya, a skincare services brand that underwent a rebranding exercise lately, is looking to shed it’s ‘clinic’ image. Suvodeep Das, Head, Marketing, talks to Pitch about its marketing strategies and the thought behind rebranding. Excerpts:

Why did you feel the need for rebranding?

Since Kaya was launched nine years ago, consumer needs have changed. At that time there were only three to four premium skincare brands. Now there are 3X or 4X… India has become richer and younger… Kids born during the initial liberalisation phase are in their 20s today… we need to be in a position to target and attract them as well. That’s why we went for rebranding.

Besides the new logo you have a new positioning – When I look into the mirror, I love what I see. What’s the thought process behind this?

It’s not just a mere cosmetic change of a logo redesign or repositioning. We have redesigned our clinics too with chairs, uniform and the like. However, the shift is on and will take some time.

As a part of our consumer research, last year, we got some interesting feedback. While all agreed that Kaya was gold standard as far as skincare is considered, and that when they had any skin related problem, Kaya was on top of mind. Yet there was a set of consumers who did not think of Kaya because they associated it with a solution for a skin problem. We needed to change that as we wanted to attract a larger segment of audience.

In what ways are you looking to expand your TG?

While our consumer in our communication has become younger and in in her twenties, our core TG remains the same – 21 to 45. We’ve taken up an imagery, which appeals to both segments. It appeals to a younger segment and also to the older segment who aspire to look young.

Are you looking to expand your base of men consumers too?

About twenty per cent of our consumers are men. We reach out to them in two ways. One is through corporate contact method, which again has two parts, one is through alliance – We have alliances with American Express, Citi Bank, HSBC and the like. Their privilege customers get special offers from us. We also go to corporate offices, where our dermatologists go there with a skin analyser. Secondly, a lot of our male consumers come through referrals. We have referral benefits for our customers.

In the process, are you looking to expand to Tier II Tier III cities as well?

We have clinics across 26 cities and many of them are in Tier II and Tier III cities like Jalandhar, Guwahati, Nasik, Vizag, Coimbatore. The need for skincare is spread across the country and whenever we go on TV, we get inquiries from these cities.

So are you looking at a franchisee model to expand?

No. We have 83 clinics in India and we own all of them. We will want to stick to our present model as we feel that the basic pillars of Kaya are efficacy and effectiveness. We believe that we need experts to deliver that. It is important that we own every link in the chain so that the service quality is standardised.

The format in which our business operates, we don’t have any competitors of scale – no national chain that competes with us. There are local chains which have two-three clinics in a particular city.

Can you throw some light on your media mix?

Usually our mix has TV, print, online, outdoor – in that order. However, for this campaign where we highlight the change, we are not going on TV, in Phase – 1. Our focus would be on print, online and outdoor. Our 70 per cent of advertising budget is focused on print, 20 per cent online and 10 per cent outdoor. Here onwards we’ll be communicating about individual packages and services as well. Until now, we had advertisements more about Kaya as a brand.

Can you tell us more about your online plan?

Usually, our online budget is 10 per cent and the rest equally divided between TV, print and outdoor. For this campaign we have made an exception. Digital, overall has gone up to 10 per cent from 5-7 per cent in 2010. The advantage for a brand like us, is that our entire TG Is online. Skincare is a very high involvement category. So before they make a purchase, they seek a lot of information. Therefore, for us online presence becomes very important.

In all of our media mix, we pay more emphasis on niche vehicles than the mass vehicles. So, while the mass-niche ratio in a usual FMCG is 70-30, for us it is 50-50.

Are you looking to add packages that are lighter on the wallet?

We have a an Aqua Radiance package for an affordable price of Rs 1,600. However, the it isn’t actually a price point thing, and is based on consumer needs. It added beautifully to our strategy of a beauty service brand rather than a problem-solution brand.

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