Samir Virani, It's Our Studio
Incepted in 2011, the brand It’s Our Studio has has come a long way and carved its own positioning in the market as a brand that adds zing and quirkiness to daily lives. Samir Virani, CEO, It’s Our Studio tells VM&RD about his brain-child.
Could you first give a short brief about the brand?
It’s Our Studio is about products with a difference. They are simple products used in day to day life but designed such that they speak fun and quirkiness. Lives today are quite monotonous and such products bring a smile on the face and take that one moment off from the daily rut.
So tell us a little about the genesis of the brand?
I started it’s Our Studio on the e-commerce channel in 2011. I felt the need for a good online store for fun,quirky and innovative products. E-commerce is a tough market to get into but I believed that itsourstudio.com could make a difference there. I wanted to create something which has a long lasting value and which I can be proud of. The idea triggered when i had got customized gifts for a few friends.
So what has been the growth graph of Its Our Studio?
In 2011, we started with about 20 products and in just a span of three years, we have crossed the 400 products mark. These statistics are themselves proof of how well the brand is doing. Also, it is our online success that has urged me to dive into the brick and mortar stores and we recently opened our flagship store in Mumbai.
Who is your target audience?
We operate with the tagline ‘Something for Everyone’. Since they are day-to-day products, anyone from a 6 year old to a 60 year old is a customer for us.
What is your competition in the market? How does your brand set itself apart?
There are lot of companies selling similar products, but very few have made their mark. Chumbak and Happily Unmarried owners are friends of mine so I do not really see them as a competition, but from the market point of view, they would be considered so. At It’s Our Studio we believe in delivering quality products. It is just that virtue which has helped us come so far.
What other sectors does your brand operate in?
We do a lot of bulk orders for corporates. Also, since I have been in the entertainment industry for such a long time, I have good connections there and we do a lot of work for them as well, like, brand merchandising, promotional products, product conceptualization etc.
In the entertainment industry, what portfolio do you have?
We have worked for films like Don 2, Jannat 2, London Paris New York, Dhoom, Gunday and Shaadi Ke Side Effects. The work profile would depend on their requirements. It is usually film merchandising and conceptualizing press kits or making freebies for production houses.
Who designs your products?
We have in-house designers who do a lot of designs. We also import products from Europe and America. But all products are hand-picked by me .
How important is store design in your opinion?
The design of a store represents the brand. What you are trying to portray to your customers has to be evident from the design. If it is a fun brand, vibrant colours and graphics would be the store’s design language. People have to know they are in the right place.
So can your tell us about the design of your own store?
The store design sets quite a happy mood. It complements the products on display. It speaks a language our taget customer understands. Use of colours and graphics reinstate the brand identity. I have used blue, green and yellow as the primary colours. They are contrasting colours and their shades used add the fun element in the design. Wooden textures give the finishing touches and balance out the vibrancy created by the colours and graphics.
Who has designed your store? What was your design brief to the designer?
I was very clear on the kind of interiors I wanted. So I have not taken any professional help for the store design. My products speak fun and quality. That is what gave me the lead for the store design.
What are your expansion plans?
We are working on more stores across India and by the end of this year we would have 1012 stores.
How do you promote It’s Our Studio?
We do online branding, send out emailers etc. We also have traffic pole kiosks as promotional gimmicks. But, our maximum publicity happens via word of mouth
Samir Virani CEO, It's Our Studio