Feb 2, 2009

Business - Eyewear company Oakley keen to enter India

Anjali Soni

International eyewear company Oakley is exploring the Indian market for foraying here. Scott Bowers, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Brand Development, Oakley Inc, was in the country recently in this regard and he said, “This is my first visit to India and I am here to do a market survey to sense the kind of awareness people have about the brand. As of now, the eyewear brand is available at Sunglass Hut in Delhi. We are targeting the metros and are in the process of tying up with various opticians to mark our presence in Indian market.”

Oaklay is also embarking on various initiatives to increase its brand awareness, including online activities.

Although Oakley is known worldwide for its performance in premium sunglasses, goggles and prescription eyewear, it is mostly known for its sports eyewear. The target audience for this premium product is the energetic and sporty youth in the 18-28 age group. In India, the sunglass range would be priced between Rs 4,000 and Rs 20,000.

Internationally, Oakley’s consumer list includes basketball star Michael Jordan, cyclist Lance Armstrong, Formula One World Champion Lewis Carl Hamilton, and India’s Yuvraj Singh.

Speaking on the promotion plans, Bowers said, “Oakley has its in-house creative and media agency. We are not using traditional media, but will be doing various online activities. We will be launching the Oakley India website soon. Post March, we will embark on our marketing strategies for the brand. We want to educate the retailers and consumers about every aspect of our brand. We will be doing demonstrations of our sunglasses at various malls. We also plan to have a formal clinical set-up, where physical demonstrations would be conducted for the retailers. Our global market share stands at 15 per cent.”

He further said, “Through this awareness campaign, Oakley intends to reach out to its consumers. The idea is to educate consumers about the brand’s high definition optics that allow people to have perfect clarity while keeping harmful sunrays at bay. Oakley lenses are impact resistant against heavy objects at low speeds and light objects at high speeds. Its unique hydrophobic coatings help make lenses immune to moisture build up and have an anti-smudge system that repels dirt, dust and oils.”

Talking about the effects of the economic slowdown, Bowers said, “I am cautiously optimistic, because no one really wants to invest heavily these days, but the companies who do invest intelligently, will come up as pretty strong brands.” He is eyeing the Commonwealth Games in 2010 to promote the brand as the country would be swamped by athletes of different games.


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