Mumbai-based Brandmark Solutions comes with a decade of experience in providing innovative POP and POS solutions to the retail industry. The company boasts of its expertise in the domain which has made its clients keep high expectations for path breaking retail branding solutions. The company was the highest award winner across various categories during the 7th edition of the POPAI OMA Awards held in Mumbai. Team Brandmark bagged 7 Gold Trophies +2 Silver Trophies + 5 Bronze Trophies at the awards ceremony.
Known for its range of innovative retail branding solutions, the company was started in 2011 by a team of three individuals Yogesh Chawan – heading design, Saad Memon – heading Operations, Finance & Marketing and Nabeel Khan – heading Strategy, Planning & Production, bringing together their respective expertise in the retail market. We at Sign & POP World got hold with the trio to know their success mantra. The excerpts are here to follow:
What does Brandmark specialise in?
We specialise in POP setup and offer end-to-end solution right from scratch to deployment. However, we are majorly into product launches. So, whatever the client plans to launch in the market, it comes first to us. Basically, it’s for our customers’ customers. We suggest the display or the packaging according to the dimension of the product based on its features. Till date, we have been instrumental in launching more than 500 products for our valuable clients. We are the winners of 57 POPAI OMA Awards and 2 Printing Awards till last year, which is the testimony of our success. As of now, we are working with a lot of renowned MNC’s including Unilever, Himalaya, Citibank, Raymonds, Nivea, Park Avenue, ITC, Britannia, Godrej, Mattel Toys etc.
What’s the frequency of launch?
Most of the brands usually have high frequencies when it comes to launching new products. They keep introducing new product every two to three months. Whatever brands create or imagine, we have to bring that into experience with which we try to create a connection for customers.
What process is involved in product launch?
We try to give a solution to the brand, which can be in the form of design, functionalities, and planogram. The complete process of developing a product starts when a client or customer steps in with a brief about their new product for which they want a brand campaign. We study and articulate on the given brief that involves a brainstorming session, following which we come up with the concept; perform competitive analysis, and also provide a value addition.
In the next stage, we prepare sketches based on the concept, which are then shown to the customers for their comments. Understanding the customer feedback, changes are incorporated and a 3D prototype is developed. Customers do have a confined budget for the end product. Accordingly, we analyze with the production team to come up with a material combination that fits in the given cost limit. Finally, after the approval of the prototype, the project goes into the production. The whole process involves 3-4 times of reworking before getting in to finalize the design and move into production.
Please share some details about a few of your most recent POP solutions.
As discussed, we are busy all through the year working simultaneously on around 70-80 projects. One of our recent projects is the Lifebuoy Sanitiser FSU, which is a larger-than-life replica of the actual product created in fibre, with niches in the centre. In the same way, the Lakme 9 to5 Aloe Vera glorifier highlights the use of aloe vera in the beauty segment. Offset-printed on acrylic, the fluorescent green aloe vera sections have been fabricated in injection moulding for meeting high quantities.
The structure for the Beer Shampoo Barrel FSU has been crafted out of pinewood in a beer barrel shape. The highlight of the job is pinewood with polish and digital print branding, of which 100 pieces have been created. Similarly, the idea behind the sample Marinekoat glorifier was to demonstrate the application of the newly launched Pidilite product, which protects woods from water and seepage. The highlight of the job is pinewood finish in offset.
Of late, what new have you added to your offerings?
We have now started incorporating customer interaction with our solutions. You can see our recent solution in particular the Lux POP unit. In this, the front panel of lotus petals gets lit up as and when someone passes by, and the fragrance of the displayed product is dispensed from the POP unit. This could become possible by using sensors along with other technologies. This feature helps brands grabbing the attention of greater number of eyeballs. More we are able to capture the senses, more is the visitor attention towards the product.
Further, we are moving towards incorporating more gadgets and digital mechanisms and are focused on bringing in more interactive solutions using sensor and touch in the POP units. As social media has become the first source of information for the millennial, we are trying to include this aspect also into our designs.
Do you follow any set standard for offering these solutions?
The industry that we are engaged in mostly deals in customised solutions. There is no set standard, design, substrate, etc. So, everyday is new, everything is new, and every product is new for us. Each project requires a fresh idea to start with, and hence, the cycle goes on right from conceptualisation to deployment. This is how our journey goes on with the only thing constant being change. We usually work for 70-80 projects simultaneously. So, if you go to any mall, superstore, Grocery store anywhere in the country, rural and remote areas, you will find something from us.
What all constitute your infrastructure?
We are based in Mumbai with an office in Malad (W) and a fully equipped state-of-the-art-manufacturing facility in Goregaon West that houses HP Latex, HP Designjet 5500, fully automatic thermoforming machines, laser-cutting machines, CNC Routers, Panel saw machines, edge banding machines, Paint booth, Powder Coating plants and many other fabrication machines used for various substrates like Wood, Metal, Acrylic, Solid Surface, FRP, HIPS etc where our skilled craftsmen bring to life our innovative designs.
Our expert handling of turnkey projects from design to fabrication and arranging for logistics to the final implementation at the stores gives us an edge over our competitors. Collectively, we have around 100 professionals associated with us. We have set up hubs at various locations mostly in metro cities with people for deployment. We usually take turnkey solution projects from conceptualization to execution at one go.
How does Brandmark help its clients in making most of its solutions?
There are many ways. We work closely with our clients, ensuring great designs, functionality and durability. Our retail branding solutions such FSUs, shop-in-shops, product display units, kiosks, etc. have been continuously writing success stories for the brand owners. For example, our custom-designed shop-in-shop programs helps the brands attract eyeballs in a designated space within a multi-brand store. We know that creating an attractive retail branding tool or product display can draw customers towards the brand, pushing them for impulse purchase thereby bringing a surge in the sales.
How responsible is Brandmark for the environment?
We are committed towards green printing, and use HP Latex printer. The inks we use are water-based, preventing the release of hazardous fumes from the solvent and eco-solvent printers. Furthermore, the materials that we use are environment friendly, bio degradable, recyclable, and mostly pinewood.
Why should retailers or the brand owners rely on Brandmark?
We are now capturing the senses. For instance, this Lux unit that we have delivered recently comes equipped with sensors that senses someone’s presence, gets illuminated and after a while, also sprays fragrance of the same Lux that has been displayed therein. So, we have started using sensors in many such innovative concepts.
Where do you people get the design inspiration from?
The inspiration for design comes from many things. In our business, in terms of POP and retail, we need to think from the point of consumers. For instance, if I am the customer, what kind of a display I would like? What kind of display can grab my eyeballs? It’s about experiencing a product for which we closely study the product, its design, its structure, its colour, its dimension, etc.
These apart, POP material designing is not just creating a unit but has a complete story behind it. Like how we would put this out? Who is the target group (TG)? What is its age and segment? If it’s for kids then it has to to remain in the reach of the TG. For women’s zone, we need to keep the height at 3-3.5 feet.
Also, there are certain guidelines from the brand owners themselves. It usually takes one week to conceptualise the POP for a product. We then also take follow-ups on our POPs in the market to know if they are writing success stories. Our aim is to entice the customers with our creations in such a way that it can push them to go for purchase. In short, our motto remains as to promote impulse purchase.
While delivering these innovative solutions, what are the major concerns at Brandmark?
Industry is continuously evolving with new technologies coming in. However, the cost has been the most challenging part of the retail industry. To match the quality expected with the cost of the project has been the toughest challenge so far. It is very unfortunate that the cost expectation from the client is going down. Brands need to understand the costs of the material used in the product. People are not conforming to the prevailing standard and are tricking with the specifications to get the projects.
Most of the clients fail to identify these wrongdoings due to the huge volume of the project. This is a very serious concern and the brand owners or retail market need to understand this and take corrective measures. Meanwhile, the implementation of the end product in the market is critical and really a daunting task. On ground level, there are difficulties related to installation, which needed to be addressed for a viable solution.
What are Brandmarks expansion plans?
North America is likely to continue to be at the forefront of global demand and Brandmark is now seeking to launch its US operations which we strongly believe will be a significant step in the growth of the company. The company’s US office will be headed by only of the most senior and experienced Brandmark Team member- Saad Memon . The company plans to recruit more people locally in the coming months while expanding its local operations there.