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Aug, 11 2014

International fashion with a new look

International accessory brands see a lot of potential in India. These foreign labels have rapidly started expanding their footprints via the franchise route on Indian shores. Read in detail about the pros and cons of running a successful international fra

In India, accessories are no longer viewed as an added expense. Accessories are now a necessity and a must to complete any look. Fashion accessories come in a variety of product types; the term is extremely vast and covers almost any accessory related to fashion. In India, with the rapid advent of fashion weeks, fashion magazines and satellite television, the audience at large has been exposed and now conscious of the trends from across the globe.

For both men and women, fashion is no longer related to clothing. It has transformed from just a pair of jeans and trendy top to a matching bag, the right earrings, latest stole or the scarf and the choicest pair of sunglasses. However, when it comes to luxury brands, the Indian customer still enjoys the experience of shopping and loves to physically see the options available. The actual experience of the look and feel of the product cannot be replaced. Hence, one of the successful mantras that most of the Indian and international brands are following for many years in the country is the franchise concept. The progress of the mall format and structure has been successful in promoting the concept. Franchising as a business option is also a viable method to assist brands in extend their presence in more cities. Indian brands like Baggit, BIBA, D'damas and Forest Essentials are some of the best examples who have successfully created a benchmark in this sector due to its strong franchise model all across the country.

Seeing the scope of expansion in the Indian market and the successful franchise model followed in India, international accessory labels have rapidly started expanding their footprints via the franchise route on Indian shores. International franchisors have the scope to explore the large consumer base in India and are inspiring more and more players to look into such opportunities in Indian market.

While looking at the franchise route to expand their presence in the country, international labels should keep a few key things in mind. Being a part of an expensive and exclusive market, at times, it may be difficult on part of the franchisees to meet target sales. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the franchise owner must prepare a market plan as per the local needs to inspire the local customers. Initial investment in education and awareness has to be done to reap long term benefits of the overall sales. Along with this, there are three things that a brand expects from a franchisee.

First, there has to be a constant exchange of information between the customers and the brand to understand, gain insight and modify marketing strategies according to local preferences while maintaining a certain standard of brand decorum. This is possible only when the brand guides the franchisees into setting up a two way communication model that is easy to implement and also assists in collation of relevant data. It is recommended that the franchisees be trained in doing this as they are the ones on ground and are interacting with the customers' day in and day out. Once you set this up and the insights actually start getting implemented you will start seeing the benefits in the sales numbers.

Second, the franchisee also needs to maintain and deliver the standardized service that is in accordance with the brand. The international standards of brand values and promise have to be upheld by the franchisee very strictly and at all times. Each franchisee is responsible for the brand's first impression on the customer. The responsibility of the franchisee is very important here and needs to be taken up seriously. Hence, it is recommended that the selection process for franchisees must be done very carefully.

Finally, the franchisees have to keep themselves up to date as per the latest trends in the industry. This also includes information about the brand and its releases in the international markets. This again has to be a two way process. The brand initially looks at investing and putting up a smooth communication channel that allows the brand to seamlessly share information about its marketing and promotional initiatives along with latest, new and forthcoming launches across the globe with the franchise owners. Via this process the franchisees will be able to confidently talk about the brand and its pursuits.

When promises are kept on both ends and the relationship is nurtured at every phase by both parties, it sets the stage for a strong and confident franchise model for a brand  national or international, and benefits both immensely.

For both men and women, fashion is no longer related to clothing. It has transformed from just a pair of jeans and trendy top to a matching bag, the right earrings, latest stole or the scarf and the choicest pair of sunglasses.

International franchisors have the scope to explore the large consumer base in India and are inspiring more and more players to look into such opportunities in Indian market. Franchise owner must prepare a market plan as per the local needs to inspire the local customers.

There has to be a constant exchange of information between the customers and the brand to understand, gain insight and modify marketing strategies according to local preferences while maintaining a certain standard of brand decorum. The brand should guide the franchisees into setting up a two way communication model that is easy to implement.

Journey of the Founder and Owner of handbag brand Baggit, Nina Lekhi started way back in 1985 with Baggit. Nina did courses in foundation art, texile, interior decoration. She is a strong believer of 'Beauty without cruelty' which motivated her to put together a cruelty free brand. Baggit has its presence in 61 cities across India with 34 exclusive outlets and presence in 300 multi brand retail stores.

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