Re-imagining the core business: Raymond
Raymond has been an iconic mens’ fashion brand in India for several decades now. Several generations of Indian men grew up with Raymond as their gold standard for tailoring & formal fashion. The brand was built with a dinstinctive positioning that spoke to the ‘Complete Man’; not the macho stud, but a more refined, caring & softer archetype that other fashion brands carefully avoided. The signature music was classy, international & complemented the brand world beautifully.
But the 2000’s saw Raymond on the defensive. It had over-relied on advertising to create emotional “sizzle”, but lacked anything new and interesting in terms of the product “sausage”. The brand was losing relevance as consumers moved to newer, more exciting brands that moved with the times, tapping into louder & brasher fashion codes. Tailoring, at the heart of Raymond’s proposition, was also dying a slow death. Ready to wear clothing seemed to be not just easier but sexier and more contemporary. Raymond looked on like a gentleman, unwilling to jump in, get his hands dirty and fight for survival.
However, in the last few years new brand leadership working with an exciting new agency has breathed life back into what was looking like a brand in long term decline.
Going back to go forward: emotional sizzle
The new team has boldly re-interpreted Raymond’s communication for a new generation with very different fashion sensibilities, by looking forward at new insight areas. But commendably, they have also looked back to find core brand properties that could be refreshed, including the consumer target, ‘The Complete Man’ slogan, the theme music and the overall brand world.
Going back to go forward: product sausage
Raymond realized that it also needs to re-invest in the product in a tangible way. The first move was to demonstrate its superiority & range in fabric, through the ‘Colours of Wool’ campaign.
Raymond then tried to get consumers to see wool in new light; not only as a warm fabric, but also as a fabric that keeps you cool in Summer. The ‘Summer of Wool’ campaign was a moderate success, but got people thinking of Raymond as an innovator again.
The boldest step, however, has been to re-commit to a business model that everyone believed was broken – tailoring. Raymond has reinvented ‘Made to Measure’ a service cum retail concept that has not just brought back the dying craft of bespoke outfitting, but has done so with a strong sense of technology & modernity.
Going back to go forward: stretch the core
Having reconnected and reinvigorated its core tailoring product offer, Raymond is now starting to stretch into ready to wear. Earlier attempts to compete in this category used alternate brand names, like Park Avenue and Parx. “Raymond Ready to Wear” demonstrates confidence in the mother brand’s potential to add value in the category, interpreting it in a uniquely Raymond way. As they say in the video below, “To create a legacy is to shape the future”. Blending the best of technology with bold confidence in the brand, Raymond is on its way to imagining a brave new world for itself.
Raymond is a remarkable brand that is proudly marching ahead, even as it respects its own past. Instead of following others it has instead chosen to dig deep, find its soul, and re-express it for a brighter future.