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AND: How The Brand’s Messaging Evolved With Its Consumers
Brand Breakdown is Shopflo’s monthly 4-part newsletter, in which we deep dive into an Indian D2C brand, and understand its constituent elements to figure out what makes it tick ⏰
A brand that has found residence in the urban women’s closets, AND is a trailblazer that brought global contemporary silhouettes to India. This week we look at how AND’s messaging shines through their social campaigns that have been indicative of the aspirations of women at the time.
A brand’s identity hinges on the stories they tell and the themes they maintain through its communication. A consumer’s opinion of the brand is consciously and subconsciously formed through what they read/see about it. Today, a brand’s voice is most loudly heard through social media and marketing campaigns.
Along with the garments that they create for each season, the AND team also takes a lot of effort to ideate the campaign that will accompany it. The evolution we see in their communication over the years is reflective of the times they were released in and is an extremely telling way of understanding the priorities of the consumers at the time.
They started releasing campaigns in 2013, and from that time, each successive campaign has spoken to the cultural shifts in women’s idea of empowerment, and what they are looking for in the brands they purchase from.
The Glamourous Woman
AND’s style at the time was one that appealed to young working women, because of the brand’s portrayal of that generation as one that works hard, and parties harder. They had two main types of collections in stores: workwear that was made more feminine and stylish, and party wear that was young and glamorous. AND also had shows at the Lakme Fashion week and social events that featured celebrities like Priyanka Chopra and Gul Panag.
This linking of the brand to high-profile names while keeping the clothes affordable to the middle class, is what made AND so appealing at the time. You could be wearing what Priyanka Chopra was wearing without paying through the nose.
The Sophisticated Woman
In the next 3-4 years, the young women that bought from AND grew older. Their priorities changed, and along with it, AND’s campaigns as well. Designed to cater to this new demographic, AND signed on Kareena Kapoor as the brand ambassador and kicked off each new season with a major campaign launch.
The message was still to working women, but now it grew to focus on women who manage to effortlessly balance work and families without compromising, and look great doing it. The collection became more sophisticated, and the silhouettes more elegant. The brand moved away from the bold prints and styles of the previous seasons to colour their social media with richer, muted tones and pastels.
The Aspirational Woman
Come 2018, along with the #ANDiRISE campaign, which included the release of a series of empowering ads featuring transgender model and activist Anjali Lama, army officer turned model and director Nikita Sahay, and protest rapper and content creator Sofia Ashraf. This campaign also included a series of short interviews conducted by Anita Dongre of international swimmer Rujuta Bhatt, and architect Namrata Kalia amongst others.
The brand had realized that they were losing base with their original, younger audience who were increasingly migrating to brands like H&M and Zara that were fast establishing themselves in the Indian market. This campaign sought to attract the younger consumer base again, and celebrate everyday women who rose above adversity to live their happiest lives and tell their stories.
The Relatable Woman
With time, aspirational content started losing relevance and consumers grew to look for relatable characters and stories. Identifying this shift, AND changed its marketing strategy to release a series of campaigns with relevant, relatable content. An Instagram campaign featuring the designers of AND put faces to the people behind the clothes and humanized the brand for its audience.
The #ANDyouLEAD campaign was a series for workwear that was released in 2021 after the pandemic as we were slowly beginning to go back to work. A series of videos by influencer and content creator Nupur Singh made the brand more relatable to her vast following.
In all relationships, communication is key
In a crowded digital landscape, brands can often drown under all the clutter. Staying true to your brand’s vision while identifying and changing the brand’s tone to suit social sentiment is a mean feat. Listening to your consumers and incorporating their feedback without compromising on the brand’s values is a delicate balance. AND was created to make comfortable, wearable clothes for working middle-class women. Two decades and a wide variety of campaigns later, it still continues to do so.
In the next edition of this month’s brand breakdown, we’ll look into AND’s brand ethos and the practices they follow to help the brand achieve its sustainability goals.
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