It is not easy to stand out in a market full of fashion retailers, but Nidhi Agarwal, founder and CEO of Kaaryah, turned that notion on its head and tasted success. With her unique selling proposition and a clear vision on what will make Kaaryah tick, the three-year old company is taking over the wardrobes of women across India who are looking to purchase western-wear that fits their silhouette.
Nidhi Agarwal tells us why she doesn’t believe in sending out bulk e-mails and how Kaaryah maintains its relationship with customers.
What exactly does Kaaryah do?
Kaaryah is a brand of western-wear for women. We focus on providing the best possible fit. About two years back we realized there’s a large unmet need in the Indian market for women’s western-wear. We realized that six sizes for this variety of market is not enough. So, we went ahead and studied 1500 women and arrived at our own 18 sizes, which are generally proven to fit the Indian woman very well.
There’s a lot of competition in the retail e-commerce sector? What sort of marketing hacks do you employ to stay ahead of competition?
For us it is very important to have genuine conversations with our consumers. It’s not just about generating sales, but creating brand affinity, which basically means creating genuine relationships where you have conversations that are meaningful and pointed towards what their questions are. So from that point of view, we are not really big believers of sending bulk emails or text messages. In fact, every time you go and purchase a Kaaryah product, we have a detailed conversation with our customer, to understand why she’s shopping, what she’s shopping for, and what she’s looking at. Even if you look at the way we’ve approached our entire purchase cycle on the website, you will see that she is free to take a personal advice or a personal boutique for herself, given the options we have and given what she is looking to get.
What kind of content do you use in that case?
A lot of our content is blog related. A lot of it is users taking pictures of themselves in Kaaryah clothes and demonstrating how they look on regular people, and not just models. We believe that women are independent and so the tonality is focused towards posts and campaigns that demonstrate that. We actually did a campaign called ‘Beautiful In Every Size’. This was to reiterate the fact that you don’t have to be a size zero to be pretty, you are beautiful in every size. And given that we have 18 sizes, we curated models internally, who wore our clothes to showcase that you can look beautiful in every size. You don’t have to fit a size, your clothes have to fit you. The other thing we did was a ‘Dress The CEO’ campaign, where we picked women who were in high positions in the Indian industry- Shereen Bhan from CNBC, Madhavi Jha from Honeywell, Vidya Pillai who is a national snooker champion, and showcased how these women were genuinely picking Kaaryah as their first choice for whatever reason they were.
Do you stick to one channel to spread brand message or use multiple channels?
Much like sales, marketing communications has to address the customer where she is listening. You have to go and demonstrate your product where she is buying. Marketing communications has to talk to the customer where she is most able to or willing to listen. From that point of view, spreading yourself too thin, especially for a startup, is not an option. Having said that, we do believe that conversations vary given the channel of communication so we deploy ourselves across two or three main channels, because that’s how much we can afford right now. But I am a believer of concentrated marketing with a clear vision on ROI. Given how digital marketing can actually be performance-based marketing, we monitor ourselves very carefully.
What do you feel about the power of new-age content marketing?
I think it has become very pointed. That’s the one big evolution you see. Where it used to be paragraphs, it’s now listicles, articles are now blogs, and advertisement in terms of graphics have become Facebook posts. So all of it has evolved to becoming very crisp and pointed and that goes towards the entire approach of brand creation in India. We have seen many brands emerge from India because the time is now, and we weren’t ready for it about 10 years back.