Mumbai: Puma’s Ferrari Formula One Team shirts come with an inbuilt sales pitch. The 12-sheaf price tag includes messages such as “So, you’re interested in Puma? Nice move. You are obviously smart, confident and know what you want in life... So buy this, it suits you.”This innovative tag has other helpful messages including an illustration of a car flying off a cliff into the water, with the message “Cheer up, it might never happen.”As the Indian market gets more brands, they are using tags not only to tell prices but also talk about the brand, the product, and in Puma’s case, even to “eat more greens”. Also, as an increasing number of products get sold surrounded by competition, manufacturers are using various elements of packaging to sell. “You may take six-nine months to research a collection but the consumer takes a few seconds to decide if they want to buy the brand,” says Anindya Ray, vice-president at Arvind Brands Pvt. Ltd. “It (informative tags) also helps in terms of justifying the cost of the product and helps tell the consumers about it.” Arvind Brands undertook a large branding and packaging exercise and will unveil new tags and packaging for several of its brands, including apparel brand Cherokee. A range of crushed T-shirts from the brand will come in 3”X3” shrink-wrap boxes with tarot-card price tags. “We did these stylised tarot cards that try to make a big deal around the future that awaits you in the pack,” says Anirudha Mukhedkar, founder, Restore Solutions, who did the branding exercise for Arvind. “Taking these pains over a tag indicates how serious the brand is about the products it makes. Consumers sense this commitment and passion, and are willing to pay a premium for it.”In fact, brands may now be spending 5-10% more on tags as market research has shown consumers attach higher value to products with more tags. “It’s a great collateral to reinforce the brand outside the store environment,” says Tim Etherington, creative director for India at Fitch, a design company of communications services firm WPP Group Plc., who says tags have now emerged as an important part of a marketer’s arsenal. Several international and Indian brands, including veteran fashion designer Ritu Kumar, use price tags to communicate brand philosophies such as environment consciousness, fair trade or support to craftsmen. Kumar uses jute string to tie tags that used to be handmade and sourced from a women’s self-help group in Jaipur till recently. “This is a designer label so I wanted it to have some soul,” Kumar says. But some experts advise caution. “Young consumers may consider it (multiple tags) an irritant, something that detracts rather than adds to the brand,” says Darshan Mehta, chief executive and managing director of Reliance Brands Pvt. Ltd, citing the examples of youth-oriented premium denim brands such as Seven and Sixty that have minimal or no tags at all.
by Saumya Roy and Gouri Shah