The only brand that was dominating the entire market until Nike and adidas burst out in the Indian market was BATA. It had a good market share and people had an urge for BATA. But the story no longer remained the same when Nike entered India with “just do it” attitude and Adidas telling customers “Nothing is impossible”. BATA was lagging the cool attitude that Nike and Adidas were urging the consumers to be and hence BATA lost the market. Now coming back to the present scenario the sportswear brand FILA is expected to create a similar affinity with its renewed vigour in the Indian market.
The tagline is expected to be a cool one since it is not yet decided. Gene S Yoon, Global chairman, Fila said “”We don’t have a tagline so far and that will be an issue we will discuss in the next global partner meeting. I think ‘Makes You Look Better’ is a good line, as it expresses what we have been trying to do as a lifestyle brand”.
Let’s take a close cut look on the history of FILA. The brand FILA was formed by the FILA brothers in Biella, Piedmont making clothes for Italian Alps. With this small startup and just one product line FILA has grown to an extent competing the giants in the market and includes footwear, apparel & Accessories in its portfolio.
The brand FILA have got an extensive presence in Korea, USA and Canada. China is the promising market and as far as India is concerned it is getting good attractions with revenue of Rs.150 crore in the year 2011.
Yoon convinced Fila to shift their shoe manufacturing to Korea and he was soon assigned with the entire responsibility of sourcing Fila’s shoes for Korea. Within a year Yoon was asked to become a licensee by Italian managers for FILA apparel in Korea and the rest is history. FILA’s business soon started outgrowing in other markets out of Korea.
In 2007 the global FILA brand and all its subsidiaries were acquired by FILA Korea. FILA has also tied up with largest retail chain in places like US, Europe and Russia to devise the marketing strategies and for the product development. In India, FILA work with cravatex Ltd, a company which is into the manufacturing and distribution of various sports and fitness equipments for home as well as commercial use.
“When I started owning the brand Fila, I was not financially strong. Similarly if the brand has to grow in other markets, then giving autonomy to partners in each region is important,” explains Yoon.
Currently there are 40 outlets across India and is expected to go up to 100 by 2014 and also there are some plans to push the brand in mom-and-pop stores.
Well, in this case the only thing that FILA has got to do is to be aggressive in branding since it matters a lot to compete with the giants like Nike and Adidas and capture the market with the cool attitude.
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