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Breaking Taboos

BY Anjana Naskar

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Q] Tell us about Zivame’s ‘Unhooked’ campaign. What is the kind of response that you have received?
Zivame with its tagline, ‘Love Yourself Inside Out,’ really wants consumers to love themselves inside out. The idea behind the show ‘Unhooked,’ is to normalise the conversation around intimate wear, remove taboos that are associated with this category. This is also about the right intimate wear designed for Indian body profiles to improve one’s confidence. Our brand features eight women across different age groups, different body types, and different life stages. They share their experiences, insecurities, challenges, when it comes to intimate wear. It is hosted by Sarah Jane Dias and Sejal Kumar, who take consumers on an emotional journey, where they discover themselves, talk about their issues and challenges, and then find a solution. This leads to a transformation that is not just functional but emotional as well.

Q] What has been the core positioning of Zivame, and how are you communicating and engaging with your audience?
Zivame stands for inclusivity, as we celebrate every Indian woman, and provide the right intimate wear, keeping the Indian body type in mind. There is no right body for the bra, there is the right bra for every body type, and Zivame believes in that. Our brand is always keen to create a space free of judgements. Zivame is also a friend, driven to build a secure and private community that indulges in conversations to help women understand the category better. We communicate and reach out to the audiences by educating, by creating awareness about the important role that intimate wear plays in women’s life, and by entertaining. Our endeavour is to create content that is smart, educative, relatable, and also humorous to a large extent.

Q] What is the latest trend that you are observing in the lingerie segment in the country?
Today, consumers are redefining the channel preferences, and a lot of it has got to do with how the pandemic has changed the world. People are now focused on online shopping. If we speak specifically about intimate wear brands, the pandemic in the last 2 years led a lot of the trends within the consumer space. Consumers are looking for comfortable lingerie both for home, and for stepping out to go to office. Also, the pandemic has led to a pent up demand for consumers to dress up and look beautiful. A lot of our fashion styles are coming back in demand, be it the strapless bra, or just simple beautiful colours. Since the pandemic, there has also been an increased focus on health and wellness, so the sale of sport bras, leggings, or t-shirts have risen. For sleep and loungewear, we saw a massive demand with the lockdown, and consumers were basically looking for fashionable and stylish sleepwear, besides comfort.

Q] How is Zivame changing consumer perceptions towards intimate wear, and what initiative have you taken so far?
When it comes to intimate wear in India, the conversation around it was always uncomfortable. Women would hesitate to say the word bra in front of their friends or family. It is an important part of the woman’s wardrobe, but there used to be a lot of sensitivity around it. I think some of the work that Zivame has done is always to break the taboo around this category. We were one of the first brands who actually used the word ‘bra’ on national television in this campaign called ‘Salesman wali bra’. Today, our latest campaign ‘Dekho Maine Kya Kiya’ is about choosing the right intimate wear, irrespective of who you are, what body type you have, what life phase you are at. We have also collaborated with stand-up comedians who talk about the challenges that one faces with intimate wear, in a quirky, humorous manner. Another important factor is that Zivame doesn’t use glamour shots, we don’t have provocative poses, and we have always shown Indian women, so that there is always a meaningful conversation that can be built.

Q] How is the brand driving growth in the tier 2, tier 3 markets, basically the non-metro market?
We have spoken about how the pandemic has pushed consumers to online shopping, and that holds true for tier 2, tier 3 markets that were new to the online shopping phenomenon. Zivame being a specialized vertical, our platform is designed in a way that will help first-time shoppers to navigate it very easily. Of course, we have leveraged technology to a large extent to provide a good shopping experience. In tier 2, tier 3 markets, we have a lot of data analytics to understand the trend, the pattern, and we do this at the state level, as well as at the city level, so as to customize our communications.

Q] What are your plans for the brand expansion, can we expect a few more physical stores of Zivame this year? Also, what kind of growth have you seen in sales from both online channels and physical stores in the last 1 year?
Zivame at the moment has 110 stores in India. Our plan is to expand that in the coming 12 months. Growth on the other hand has been very fairly robust, and Zivame as a brand is perfectly placed to deliver intimate wear to audiences at their channel of preference, whether someone wants to buy offline, or online.

Q] Going forward, what would be your key focus areas? What marketing strategies have you planned for the brand?
The brand mission is always about being the number 1 destination for all intimate wear, not just lingerie. So we are talking about sleepwear, active-wear, shape-wear, a one stop destination for women. Coupled with this is the brand mission to normalise conversations, encourage conversations within this category, and make it really easy to discuss, talk about our problems and then find the right solutions.

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