Desi Brands Cash in on Foreign names

Amidst the tough competition from global brands, several desi brands seem to have found out a way to make a place for themselves. The new trend being followed by a handful of Indian brands is to name their labels in such a fashion that it sounds international. Sample this: Munich Polo. Do not mistake it as an international brand for it’s an India-based children’s wear brand. Although being Indian, in order to make an impression on the minds of the customers, Munich Polo has positioned itself as a German brand. Its website uses German language and also depicts the rich cultural history of Munich.

According to the brand, it uses Munich’s rich heritage to draw inspiration for its apparel designs. To add further to the trend, the brand uses fair-skinned children as models to give the brand an authentic German look and feel. What’s more Munich Polo recently launched its premium kids’ wear stores in New Delhi. And Munich Polo is not alone, there are other too who have established themselves as foreign brands, Da Milano, Franco Leone and La Opala are just some of them.

Experts say the trend will gain momentum as more and more Indian brands will try to look and sound foreign to make the most of rising aspirations of foreign-label. Take Da Milano for example, a high-end leather accessory label it presents itself as an Italian brand. Similarly, Franco Leone the Delhi-based premium footwear brand too bears an Italian name. Vikram Bhamri, Director of Franco Leone points out that his father had bought the brand from two Italian designers called Franco and Leone. Hence, the brand was named Franco Leone. He also said that keeping names which sounds international makes a lot of sense. It gives the business a boost. According to him, it is the Indian mindset that plays a major role. In India, people love and easily accept European and American fashion because it is aspirational. Franco Leone has Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor as its brand ambassador.

Veteran adman Piyush Pandey thinks that a foreign brand can be a double-edged sword. If it doesn’t deliver its promise, it is doomed to bomb. He says that consumers cannot be fooled as they are not stupid. If one claims to be an Italian brand and doesn’t deliver the Italian quality, consumers won’t buy it. Pandey points out that there are international brands with Indian names too. But, only names cannot be sold, it is the quality that matters. Just by labeling brand with foreign names, Indian brands will not become a foreign brand and vice-versa. For example, French jewelry house Boucheron that has a perfume exotically branded Jaipur. Calling it Jaipur doesn’t make it an Indian brand, he said.

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