amanté is an international intimatewear brand, offering comfort, fashion and sensuality to the modern Indian woman. It’s a part of MAS Brands that’s a subsidiary of MAS Holdings, South Asia’s largest supplier of niche intimatewear with over 30 years of excellence. The brand’s deep understanding of body types of Indian women and learnings from across the world help in developing superior products that incorporate the latest technology, superior fabrics, constructs and designs.
In conversation with Vivek Mehta, CEO, MAS Brands Pvt. Ltd., we try to interpret the brand’s core strength and ideology, and how they are using technology to leverage growth.
Setting the priority right
The expertise of MAS Holdings, access to latest technology and manufacturing capabilities, translating to innovative product offering catering to changing consumer needs will help amanté stay ahead of the curve.
“There are a lot of exciting innovations in pipeline for 2021 to watch out for and the future looks very positive for us. While we are known largely for our fashion styles, we are now prioritising comfort to be relevant to consumer demands. A lot of data is analysed before we introduce products into the market, and we maintain an intimate relationship with our consumer base and try to understand their needs through various platforms. Our focus is on fit and high degree of comfort in all our products without compromising on fashion and aesthetics. With such a deep understanding of the intimatewear space and a huge back-end to leverage, we have stayed ahead of the curve by being innovation leaders,” Vivek highlights.
“This category is unorganised, intimate and personal. We believe that rather than shouting out loud, a personalised one-to-one communication works best. And digital space gives us a great platform to advocate the same. Consumer education is a strong focus area in our communication because most women are still wearing a wrong size bra and about half Indian women haven’t yet worn a proper bra. So, we have used marketing to educate consumers about the importance of the category, making the right choice and how it can boost their confidence in their daily lives.”
“As thought leaders, we constantly roll out content via blogs and social media, helping consumers choose the right product, get tips, hacks, etc. Today, where technology is the backbone enabling businesses reach out to consumers efficiently, we have taken all measures to stay appropriate – both online and offline and provide a seamless experience for our consumers. Our communication is dynamic, adapting to what buying trends are emerging and what consumers are seeking from their favourite intimatewear brand. For example, amanté was earlier known for fashion styles and special occasions, but today in this post COVID world, our emphasis is on comfort as that is what consumers are seeking with the whole ‘WFH’ culture. We are constantly evolving as time changes,” Vivek mentions.
Embarking on the retail journey
amanté was launched in India in October 2007 with the tagline – ‘Love Yourself’. The brand initially launched in LFS channels and basis strong response from retailers and consumers, it branched out to other channels quickly. In 2010, it was awarded ‘Innovative Product of the Year’ and ‘Product of the Year’. The brand went international in 2012, launching in Sri Lanka. Its own e-commerce enabled website went live in 2015.
“The brand initially played in the premium/super-premium space. Last year, we introduced products to cater to the masstige segment and continue to increase our presence there. Today, the brand retails in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives. Offerings include a wide range of fashionable lingerie, accessories, loungewear/nightwear, swimwear and activewear.”
“Before the COVID-19 disruption, our focus was on offline retail, but that has pivoted towards online now. However, we have adapted ourselves and have enabled our teams to be more efficient offline by following remote marketing and remote retailing. For example, during this testing period of social distancing and other safety protocols, where sales calls or meets are not happening, we have equipped our sales teams via WhatsApp, where product videos, information, latest launches are being shared regularly. Also, to keep up with the disruption, we launched an innovative mask which has a unique moulded contoured shape that lets people breathe and speak easily, while being extremely lightweight and fashionable. Our e-commerce channels have seen incremental sales owing to the lockdown and WFH being popular. To support this online growth, our marketing and communication on digital platforms has increased and is tuned to consumer buying patterns and needs. Digital has been the toolset that has supported both our online and offline businesses,” Vivek elaborated on the pandemic and its effects on the brand.
Connecting to the market
With the advantage of having a parent company with a vast experience in this space, amanté is able to bring in products that are innovative and superior into the market.
“India is a huge market and the Indian consumer has gone through a huge change. Gone are the times when lingerie shopping was more of a hush-hush or secret purchase at a neighbourhood store. Now consumers are happy to walk into exclusive brand stores in mall atriums of prominent shopping centres. The shift in mentality and category perception has evolved a lot in the last decade, if not more, which is a welcome sign of the positive mentality and breaking away from older cultural barriers. Consumers are now happy to connect with us on digital channels and we see some healthy engagement on social media as well. It is still not all in the open; there is still a level of taboo and social stigma attached with the category. However, we see this changing rapidly in Tier-1 and Tier-2 markets and in the younger generation. Easy access to technology and digital platforms is fuelling branded purchase and premiumisation in this category. The awareness journey is never over. We continue to engage with our consumers, develop an intimate relationship with them through our loyalty programmes and social media. Our brand researches indicate that consumers have a strong loyalty and affinity for brand amanté. Women who buy into the brand keep coming back, which is a testimony to the brand offerings in terms of fit, comfort and design. Our core TG is the pragmatist and discerning between 25 and 40 years, but we have people across age groups,” Vivek points out the market dynamics of the brand.
Further talking about technology and its contributions to the brand’s growth, Vivek mentions, “Technology is the backbone of any business today. amanté was born in offline channels, but we are digitally native as any new direct-to-consumer brand. We have oriented and configured ourselves to think and behave as a digitally native brand. Technology is at the forefront of whatever we do at amanté, using the latest tools and avenues to reach out to customers on various platforms. Our objective is to make the communication seamless to our consumers across channels from social media to loyalty programmes to website and other partner platforms we are present in. The key here is to keep the message consistent across so that consumers get the same brand experience irrespective of where they shop, be it at our MBO stores, online or our website.”