Pop culture no doubt plays an important role in a brand’s virality. It’s up to the brand to leverage the enthusiasm around pop culture and yet remain authentic and resonate with what it truly stands for. In an interview with Storyboard18, Johnson Verghese, Managing Director, Fossil Group India, talks about Fossil’s innovative and creative product offerings and shares why Fossil chooses to incorporate pop culture in its limited editions.
Pop culture has a massive impact on how brands are marketed today. Fossil is taking a step further and creating limited-edition products. How is this helping the business as well as the brand’s overall imagery?
Pop culture today encompasses everything from movies and TV shows to music and social media. It has become an impactful cultural component that resonates strongly with our audience. Our limited edition collections and collaborations are a reflection of these evolving consumer passion points, as we are creating products that offer our consumers fresh and relatable experiences. These collections help us to showcase our commitment to creating products that excite our audience and engage with their interests. Our limited edition collaborations like the Batman X Fossil, Harry Potter X Fossil, and the recent Star Wars X Fossil collections have been popular among fans of the respective series in this regard. It also highlights Fossil’s creative innovation as a global brand, so our consumers can always expect us to push the envelope and deliver uniquely interesting products that allow them to express themselves.
Today, who are Fossil’s consumers? What are some of their interesting traits?
Our consumers do not fall squarely within any single category, and this is by design. Fossil creates products for consumers across categories and demographics, with a focus on wide and creatively distinct product ranges that allow people to express themselves. Through our collections, we actively curate products that match the various modern trends and styles that are popular among our consumers. This combination of variety and creative design is what has helped Fossil become one of the leading brands in the fashion watches and accessories segment of the Indian market.
That said, we can certainly highlight a few common traits about Fossil consumers that attract them to our products. Fossil customers tend to be fashion-forward individuals with an interest in the latest styles, and they value aesthetics, functionality, and quality in equal measure. These are the hallmarks of Fossil creations, letting our consumers wear them as an expression of their personality.
Has the consumer set changed over the years?
Our consumer set has certainly expanded over the years as we have grown our footprint in India. In 2022, we completed 15 years of Fossil in India, and have made products available for delivery to over 20,000 pin codes across the country. Through this journey, we have served a variety of consumer groups from business professionals and personal shoppers to younger consumers buying their first timepiece. We value the association we build with our consumers with each Fossil product, and so we endeavour to have them last through the different style and lifestyle evolutions of each consumer over the years.
How involved is your marketing team in the process of developing special edition products?
Our marketing team is extremely tuned in to the prevailing pop culture and consumer trends, and we ensure an open flow of ideas and discussions between our teams when it comes to the conceptualisation and ideation of our products.
What’s next for Fossil in the brand collaboration space? What can we expect to see more?
We’re thrilled with the response that our brand collaborations have received in the past. Our Fossil x Smiley, Fossil x Maui & Sons, and Fossil x Jeff Staple collections let us showcase a creative set of designs that also let our consumers flaunt their unique interests and styles. We have a set of promising new ideas that we are currently working on with exciting brands that share Fossil’s values and are looking forward to sharing them with you in the future.
From a marketing lens, what are the key elements of Fossil’s strategy? What will be the focus area? What is working for the brand so far?
Fossil is an experience-first brand, and our core marketing philosophy is built around this central idea. We have built a strong brand identity for ourselves in India over our 15 years of operation as an innovative and distinctive brand with great designs that let our consumers stand out from the crowd. We will continue to build on these aspects of our brand identity through our creative designs and innovative product offerings over the coming seasons, along with new brand collaborations and limited edition releases that excite our consumers.
One of our recent successes is our Gen 6 watch series, which has attracted Indian consumers looking for new experiences – particularly the large community of early tech adopters. Additionally, our creative designs like the Fossil Ring Watch and the Fossil Rock Candy collections have also been received well by consumers looking for novel styles and statement pieces. Going ahead, technology and innovation will continue to be one of the central pillars of our marketing approach, and we are also focusing on including new styles based on youth trends and preferences for our younger audience.
India is an important market for us globally, and we are dedicated to bringing our great brands, stories, and style to the marketplace. We recognise the importance of creating exceptional content at scale and leading with a digital-first approach, which allows us to connect with consumers in new and innovative ways.
In the category that Fossil is in, influencer marketing is an important piece. What’s Fossil’s influencer strategy like?
Fossil is actively involved in the influencer marketing space. Our most recent launch of the Fossil x Star Wars collection in May 2023 saw very strong influencer participation. We are always keen to work with influencers who are passionate about our products and share our values, and we also value the organic connection they are able to create between Fossil and their communities.