Havells skincare appliance range to be backed by a strong phygital strategy: Ravindra Singh Negi

  •  February 22,2021 By IndianTelevision Team

NEW DELHI: Lifestyles are changing, people are evolving, and the intent along with the capacity to spend on luxury products is on a rise within the country. This has led to a massive uprise in the popularity of personal care and skin care appliances, which were once limited to just trimmers and hair dryers. Now, there is a vast range of products to choose from for very targeted needs and a number of brands barraging the category with new, high-tech products. A 2019 report by GMI states that the global personal care appliances market will grow at six per cent CAGR till 2025. India, too, is expected to witness a huge surge in the demands for such products. 

And what, probably, has pushed this market further is the Covid2019 scare that engulfed the whole country last year. While people have started to go out in the world, paying for personalised beauty and skincare services, there is still a lingering discomfort and hesitance, considering the times that we live in now. Taking that into account, electrical appliances company Havells marked its entry into the electric skincare segment ahead of Valentine’s day this year. The launch range of products includes nail shiner, callus remover, facial hair shaver, pore cleanser, facial cleanser and multi-purpose skincare device. 

“The last eight to ten months have completely changed the way consumers look at grooming and accessibility to such services. Despite the salons getting opened, people still are a little hesitant to step out because of the fear of the virus. Additionally, more than convenience, people also want to have more control over their personal style and their looks. Therefore, we figured out that it is the right time to introduce our skincare range of products,” Havells India president-electrical consumer durables Ravindra Singh Negi told Indiantelevision.com. 

The homegrown company had forayed into the personal care appliances market back in 2017 and soon happened to create a niche for itself in the highly crowded market offering trimmers and hair styling products. 

Negi shared, “We had no prior association with the category when we launched our trimmers and haircare products back in 2017. Initially, we tried to build the brand saliency and popularity using traditional channels for both promotion and sales, but soon we realised that the audience that we are targeting is primarily on digital platforms. So, we very efficiently adopted a phygital strategy that got us immense traction from the market. We are spending 70-75 per cent of our marketing monies on digital, followed by some occasional on-ground activations and partnerships.” 

For example, the brand ran digital campaigns like the highly successful Havells #SchoolOfGrooming during the pandemic to familiarisepeople with the various aspects of self-grooming. According to Negi, the success of the campaign also reflected on the sales and they witnessed a five to six per cent spike in the sales of trimmers alone. 

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Naturally, that’s the same strategy the brand is adapting to popularise its skincare appliances range too; a strong presence on digital platforms for marketing and sales. 

“We want to be omnipresent on the digital journey of any customer as the youth of today is highly active on platforms like social media, they are getting highly influenced by that,” said Negi. “Apart from that, we are planning to partner with a lot of colleges and universities for their annual fairs and set our presence on their premises. Our sole focus is to bring something different to the table and connect with the audience where they are most active.” 

He added that the skincare range of products, right now, is only available on digital platforms and after they get a sense of the market, they will bring them to retail stores as well. 

On being asked whether it will be challenging to get successful in a category that is highly dominated by pocket-friendly Chinese and Korean brands – already quite popular among the Indian youth online – Negi highlighted that what Havells is bringing to the table is not just innovation but also a sense of trust that the consumers have in it. 

“It is not just about the pricing, it is also about the whole packaging. Havells is a trusted name in the market. Also, if you end up facing problems with a product, you can always fall back on around 700 service care centres that we have established across the country. Which other digital-only brand will provide that,” he remarked. 

Up next for the brand is venturing into the rural markets. “We will be testing the markets with one type of trimmer. If we get some success, we will be expanding our presence there.” 

However, Havells first priority for the time-being is to double business growth. “Our focus is on getting more and more consumers to the category. And we realise that there is a lot of scope for improvement in creating products that are relevant to the consumers, have more features, and are technologically advanced backup up by a robust after-sales strategy. All that will be worked upon in the year,” Negi signed off.