RadioandMusic
| 22 Jun 2018
Imagine Marketing looking forward for growth in 2015 with House of Marley, JAM and Boat

Imagine Marketing co-founder Aman Gupta:

Journey with Audio products

I started my journey with audio products in 2003, when I brought Sennheiser to India. It was an unknown brand in India then, but today it is what it is because of all the efforts put in for the product. In 2010, I was associated with Beats by Dr. Dre in India. In 2012, I was with Harman, when the Bluetooth and headphones markets were growing. At that time, the opportunity came our way, so we partnered with Kardon Company.

After that, I partnered with Sameer Mehta, the investor of Imagine Marketing. Together, we started the company Imagine Marketing. It has been a year since we have started. 

For us the year has been good, with three globally renowned brands namely, House of Marley, JAM and Boat.

Challenges

This year, I was working on my own set-up so things were different. In established companies, things are more organised; there are different teams for everything. In a start-up you are doing everything on our own. The interesting part, however, is that you explore new areas that you never intervened before. I developed a better idea of the logistics department when I had to deal with issues related to logistics.

The market is moving very differently and you have to move with the market, but the challenge remains the same. With the start-up, there was not any big name associated with it and we had to start building the brand, which I enjoy doing.

Brands

House of Marley is a movement; it is built on principle like superior quality, earth-friendliness and commitment for global charity causes. Part of the profits goes to ‘1Love’. The wood that is used is FSC-certified wood or recycled material. Bob Marley is associated with brand so the sound has to be of superior quality. House of Marley brings premium products. There is huge potential that needs to be explored in the audio product segment. We will be launching House of Marley products in the general trade now and will make the product available with other online stores. In the coming quarter, we will launch more Marley products across the country.

Since, we have launched the brand exclusively under Amazon; we will continue to partner with them. ‘Get Together Bluetooth Speaker’, ‘Liberate Bluetooth Speaker’ and ‘Liberate XL Over Ear Headphones’, which are priced between Rs 7,990 to Rs 19,990, are three products launched on Amazon through a strategic partnership with Imagine Marketing. We will also launch the Home audio product on Amazon.

From the first week of January, we will be able to do lot of online and offline promotions and we believe that it is an ideal time to launch the product.

There has also been a good response from other stores for JAM and Boat.

We have been building the brand- JAM in India for couple of months. We have had to build it slowly and gradually to keep a strong hold in the market. We are giving all the products the time they need. We do not want to dilute our focus so we have given every brand its own time. Every brand has its life-cycle. There is no point of launching brands and not being able to focus on the same.

Growth

It is all about growth this year as we have just started. We have the base as zero and there is great potential for us to grow. Online space is the space to be in. We were the first few brands in India to launch an audio product exclusively with an online store like Amazon. The Bluetooth product that was priced for Rs 20,000 went out of stock in the first month. The response we received for the Marley products was a true surprise. In the first few months, it is usually about experiencing the product but here people purchased the product in the first month of its launch.

Trends in the industry

Smartphones are changing the face of the industry. Most of the products that we are dealing with are compatible with the smartphones. The various portable and audio segments have seen grown and it continues to grow.

There is a changing behaviour in consumers and brands today. There is a huge demand for luxury brands in India which is why many brands want to expand here. There are brands that wanted to be associated with us but in the end, we cannot just partner with brands, they need to have a long time association with these brands. We do not want to work as agents for distribution but we want to build a brand in India in such a way as they are directly present in India. I have been in brands side in my previous job profile so I keep that in mind when I deal with my clients.

Partnership

The Amazon partnership for House of Marley worked really well and in terms of JAM we worked very closely with the outlets of Croma retail. There are many partnership opportunities available but we have to make a decision on how and where we want the product to be displayed. We will continue to have product level partnership in the future.

Target for 2015

Next year, in the first quarter we will focus on House of Marley and then move to JAM. We plan to get the top three speakers in the country next year.

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Imagine Marketing is a start up focusing on marketing and distribution of premium global brands in India. It is founded by two entrepreneurs- Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta. Gupta was the former sales director of Harman International and has been associated with Sennheiser, JBL, Harman/Kardon and Beats by Dre in India. Mehta brings with him rich experience in distribution and retail and also serves as an executive director at Kores India Limited. Imagine has Sales and Service offices in Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai with micro distribution network across India.

Gupta spoke to Radioandmusic.com’s Jescilia Karayamparambil about his 2014 journey.