Talk about socks as a category, and there exist only a couple of brands in organized space. It was the wish to avoid cultter, that inspired Balenzia – one of the premium socks’ brand, to take adapt licensing in its business model. In a candid interaction with License India, Rahul Gupta, Director, Balenzia talks about association with Turner International to introduce the Justice League collection. How has been the journey of Balenzia so far? Balenzia is a decade old socks brand. Given the market was very price sensitive and not very brand conscious back then, so we never pushed a lot. In last couple of years, we saw the market evolving really fast and then we made a significant push to the brand Balenzia. We are considering the brand as a start up. In online space we are probably the #1 brand on Amazon etc. We have been very aggressive online because it is easier to built presence online rather than offline, the latter being time consuming. Offline we are still trying to connect with the market. We are present at all the leading portals including Jabong, Snapdeal, Amazon etc. along with our own portal. Talk to us about the licensing agreement with Turner. We have taken the license for Justice League and it is really intriguing as it has DC Comics superhero team right from Superman to Batman, The Flash to Green Lantern and Wonder Woman to Aquaman. We love this partnership as it has given us lot of new opportunities to target youth audiences in a profound manner. How have you zeroed upon the target group for the licensed range? Not restricting this IP to kids, we have tried to cater a wider age group through this collection. We have launched an entire range under this license, which is valid for tenure of three years. We have kept the pricing very aggressive pair starts from Rs 129. According to you what is the trick to licensing? I think it entirely depends on the licensee on how well they derive the DNA of licensed IP. If done right, IPs can work wonders for licensee, depending on how they implement the license. What made you consider brand licensing as an effective retail strategy? Socks as a category is very nascent in India and disc-organized at the same time with just a handful of major players. In such a scenario, it is important for us to stand out and break through the clutter and that is where brand licensing is helping us. What we aspired was to come up with starkly different product. And the licensing deal has helped us do so. Moreover there wasn’t a brand loyalty for socks, which we saw as an opportunity.
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