The right fit

The Smart Manager - - Editorial -

Let’s step briefly into the past. Most spe­cial oc­ca­sions—a wed­ding, a pro­mo­tion, go­ing abroad for higher education, a re­tire­ment party—in­volved the pur­chase of a new Ray­mond suit. A visit to the lo­cal show­room usu­ally in­volved por­ing over bales of fab­ric, dis­cus­sions with the sales­per­son and fam­ily to iden­tify the right shade, and then tak­ing it to the fam­ily tai­lor who would then mea­sure and stitch a fine suit for ‘the com­plete man.’

Cut to the present. A cus­tomer strolling into any of the brand’s new-age stores can choose the right fab­ric/ap­parel through de­vices such as the iPad. Un­der­stand­ing the need to of­fer a one-stop so­lu­tion, the brand now of­fers tai­lor­ing so­lu­tions too; one can even se­lect the style of cuffs and col­lars to stitch a cus­tom-made shirt. Of­ten, three gen­er­a­tions can be seen shop­ping for their wardrobe needs at the same store.

How has the brand man­aged to achieve this? Thought lead­er­ship, as one of the ar­ti­cles in this is­sue ex­plains, is the abil­ity to spot pre­vi­ously un­seen or hid­den re­la­tion­ships in com­plex sit­u­a­tions. Brands to­day are in an un­en­vi­able po­si­tion. On the one hand, they have to main­tain their ethos to re­tain their ex­ist­ing cus­tomers, while on the other they need to em­brace newer re­al­i­ties to grow their mar­ket base. They need to stay true to their prin­ci­ples— en­dur­ing ideas that pro­vide clar­ity on what the brand stands for, to both the com­pany and its cus­tomers.

As you read through the cover story, you will see that Ray­mond’s lead­er­ship po­si­tion and suc­cess for the most part is be­cause it did not wa­ver from its brand prom­ise. A sim­ple strat­egy but one which many oth­ers failed to un­der­stand and im­ple­ment.

What are your views? Do write in with your com­ments to poorn­ima@thes­mart­man­ager.com.

Happy Read­ing! ■

poorn­ima subra­ma­nian | se­nior edi­tor

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