Accessorising has always been a very important part of fashion. Belts, bags, shoes and jewellery add incredible value to a person’s look apart from helping underline individualistic style. Over the last decade, the accessory market in India has grown considerably, transforming from need-based products to want-based products. As Indian consumers and their fashion sensitivities are evolving, so is the demand for fashion accessories.
Betting big on this ever-growing demand, Kompanero is going into expansion mode. The brand started its retail journey from Bengaluru in 2014 and since then there has been no looking back. The story, which began when Indranath Sengupta and Aloke Sengupta launched a small store, has become one of the bigger retail successes of recent times, reaching overseas.
Currently, the brand has more than 400 stores in Australia, over 50 stores in the UK and is slowly spreading its presence in the US, Japan, Korea and Italy. It has even made recent inroads into Canada, Romania and Sweden.
In India, Kompanero currently has a base of 27 EBOs and is present in all premium malls and airports in Tier I cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore). It is now expanding its footprints to Tier II cities such as Guwahati, Chandigarh and Kochi. New stores in cities it already exists in are also in the pipeline, including in the West and North at ITC Royal Bengal in Kolkata and ITC Maurya in Delhi.
In addition, the brand is proudly expanding business in the Global Retail Market with its first flagship store being launched in Central London at Covent Garden.
Kompanero as a brand is known for its vintage touch, their USP being the creation of a range of leather products with a distinctive weathered look, vintage appeal and a contemporary design inspired by the concept – ‘Leather being a Timeless Companion’. Each bag is put through an aging process to give this distressed look, and hence each bag is unique and gets better with the age. It is a very unique feature and there are very less brands in the industry that get better with every use and Kompanero is one of them.
Kompanero believes in innovating, and the outcome of this broad vision can be seen in the form of new products like:
– The brand has come out with laser-etched designs in its Utopia Collection
– It has introduced innovative weaves in its Apache Collection
– The brand’s Minimalistic Zen – Collection that has no reinforcements or linings and is made up of almost monolithic structured bags, with just asingle piece of leather
– Kompanero’s Time-Traveller Trolleys are made from high-grade single sheets of aluminum
– The brand has also introduced leather sneakers which can be used to jog, walk or play
“Our latest AW ‘19 collection is contemporary, modern and classy. The brand’s new ‘Mandala’ line is inspired by Mandala art, an ancient art form based on complex, abstract circular designs.
The bags in this range are hand-painted, premium Italian leather priced between Rs 6,000 to Rs 13,000. The Macramé range boasts an elaborate woven pattern of lace like webbing and is entirely handcrafted Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000,” says Indranath Sengupta, Director, Kompanero.
“Then there are our Tessere bags, which are woven with a two-tone effect and embroidered shoulder straps (Rs 12,999). Our collection, Amalfi, mirrors the fun vibe of the colourful and pretty coast in Italy. The bags are of minimal design with a pop of colours, all around the corners and are perfect for casual occasions (Rs 4,500 to Rs 10,000). Finally, the brand’s Coachella range embodies the spirit of the Coachella music festival and celebrates youth. These bags have special eyelet weaving and are a perfect accessory for concerts and outdoor events (`4,500 to `6,000),” he adds.
Kompanero’s upcoming store locations include:
– Covent Garden, London, UK
– International Airport, Chennai, India
– RMZ, Bangalore, India
– Leela Palace, Bangalore, India
“We are planning to up the store count with 10 more stores by 2020. Our target group is niche. Much of our audience is the travelling working professional class, which is why we prefer to be present in premium malls and airports. Also,lately we have been increasing our brand presence in premium hotels like ITC and Leela Palace with 2 newly launched stores in a bid to cater to our premium clientele,” explains Sengupta.
Marketing Strategy: ATL and BTL
With the upcoming new stores and End of Season Sale’19, the brand is focused on integration of both ATL and BTL promotional strategies.
“There is a good mix of newspaper adverts, OOH, radio. At the same time, we keep activities like branding and activations at malls and airports branding, magazine advertisements and PR events and activities going. Kompanero’s social media game is on point as we are investing in high fashion unconventional shoots, which can be seen on our social media page. Our prime target group is the customer above 27 years age group. These primarily comprise of urban audiences with an edgy style, from both Tier I and II cities,” says Sengupta.
Kompanero Tribe is a loyalty program started by the brand to make itself more sustainable and holistic in approach. “It is a carefully curated program keeping in mind the benefits a consumer can derive at every purchase. We are continually innovating when it comes to brand campaigns. Our social media campaigns are not typical, bold and are different from each other, but what they have in common is the use of channels to raise brand awareness and stand out of the competition. We always strive to curate products which will make our consumers come back to us as the products are unique and not available anywhere else in that season,” concludes Sengupta.