Being born in a typical South Indian middle class family, the name Bombay Dyeing is very common to me. I still remember the days I visited a Bombay Dyeing showroom with my parents browsing through the stack to buy shirt pieces to the whole family. I feel proud to tell my friends that I am wearing a Bombay Dyeing. It was a Raymonds for the middle class. The Bombay Dyeing written in yellow letters in a blue background triggers a nostalgia even today. It is painful to realise that it has lost its mojo and is dieing slowly.
Bombay Dyeing, the Nusli Wadia promoted brand is having a legacy of 137 years. Bombay Dyeing sells linens, towels, leisure clothing, kids wear and other products, albeit they are best known for men’s fabrics and home furnishing. The company now officially announced its exit from manufacturing and focussing more on retailing.
I personally feel that Bombay Dyeing failed to move ahead with competition. One contributing factor was the polarisation of consumer towards readymade garments. Despite the fact they introduced readymade garments they failed to amaze the youth of today. The idea of buying a fabric piece and stitching it is a cumbersome process for many and so people rely on convenience (Read buy readymade wear). The home furnishing products such as bed sheets, curtains also lost its market to the unorganised sector, as well as imports from Taiwan, China and Bangladesh. Their products were available in wide variety and competitive price than Bombay Dyeing. The stores also missed the modern outlook which eventually made the consumer stay away from Bombay Dyeing.
The middle class which is the primary segment of the brand also got evolved drastically which added to the woes. They look for best deals which enhances value and prestige to them. The pale blue, yellow combination logo as well gave a shabby look for the brand (Read the typical middle class of the yesteryears). Furthermore, lack of innovation have to be highlighted. Raymonds stays relevant even today only due to the innovation in their whole approach starting from product to communication which Bombay Dyeing missed.
Amidst all, I feel that the Brand Trust has not faded away. So a repositioning can revitalise the brand. But the biggest challenge is that it has to ensure quality in the product (Since they stopped manufacturing, they have to rely on multiple vendors). The rebranding exercise must include all elements of the brand especially the logo and store.
But whether it is death or rebirth only time can decide.