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Allen Solly wears a premium garb

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In a major overhauling of its brand identity, Allen Solly, from the house of Madura Fashion & Lifestyle, has unveiled its new logo that is a blend of modernity and its Anglo-American heritage. The company has adopted a contemporary version of the Stag as its new brand mark. However, the most important change has been in its positioning. The brand is going back to its ‘Friday Dressing’ concept to woo young corporate Indians in the 22-30 age bracket.

Explaining this move, Sooraj Bhat, Brand Head, Allen Solly, says, “This identity embodies brand values of freedom and effortlessness to the core and over a period of time will become a signature for Allen Solly. We believe this will help strengthen the brand’s relationship with the consumer.”

Earlier in 1993, when Allen Solly was launched in India, the brand had brought in the concept of relaxed formal wear for corporates under its Friday Dressing positioning. While other premium brands offered a limited range of dull whites, grays and blues, Allen Solly tried to transform dreary work-wear to fashionable work casuals. After creating a market demand for its range the brand went a step further in 2009 and launched a range of casual and evening wear to target more youngsters and extend its portfolio. Soon, this was followed by a change in its retail stores.

Sooraj Bhat

Sooraj Bhat, Brand Head, Allen Solly

Going back to basics
However, yet again the brand has gone back to empahising on its original brand promise of Friday Dressing.  Bhat cites reasons, “The brand was launched as a ‘Friday Dressing’ concept initially based on our insight that consumers wanted to wear relaxed clothing to office, particularly the younger generation. We now want to go back to preserve that core of our business proposition.” He also feels that growing competition has led the brand to recreate its brand connect with consumers.  “Amidst competition, we cannot just rely on solely positioning of the product but have to extend that change to the retail channel, thus we have brought changes in the logo, retail outlets and products. The Stag represents our brand mark,” he adds.

Does that mean lesser focus on casual and evening wear? Bhat says, “We started casual wear in 2009 and by 2012 we have built it as Rs 150 crore business across men’s and women’s wear, so that’s been a very successful foray for us, but right now the emphasis is to go back to the core that is Friday Dressing.” He adds that in the last year or so there has been a change in consumer demands and the changes in the brand is in line with those. “There has been an evolution in the concept of ‘Friday Dressing’ too, we are interpreting those changes and translating them into our fabrics,” Bhat says. Thus, the brand is now focusing more on modernising the look and feel of the clothes, for instance it has introduced low waist cotton trousers akin to denim jeans to add style and comfort to its products.

The big exercise
By the first week of May, its Indiranagar, Bangalore retail outlet, will be the first store to make changes accordingly. Rest of the 130 stores present across about 35 cities will be revamped within a year. The company is also planning to open 20 to 40 new stores in the next one year. Plus, the new logo will be implemented across products, campaigns, retail and outdoor signage.

Moreover, Allen Solly has drawn up an aggressive brand strategy to consolidate its core of ‘Friday Dressing’. Its last year’s campaign on TV was woven around this new identity. The brand targets young professionals and entrepreneurs interested in casual formal wear. The company has launched its spring summer collection for the year that captures the re-emphasis on Friday Dressing.  In March, the company will launch ‘Friday Dressing’ for women, which will not be typically formal but will concentrate in providing quality products.

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