How it all Started
How does one build a community whose market revenue adds up to more than three of its competitors combined? BOAT, founded by Aman Gupta, created a strong positioning in the ear wear market by roping in celebrity brand ambassadors. It came to notice whilst there were other competitors only because it leveraged aspirational value for its brand. In the 2000-5000 rupee category, BOAT became the only brand that delivered value to the customers. Brands such as Apple or Bose were seen as premium and a significant segment of the population was looking for headphones or speakers that were reasonably priced.
As more people chose BOAT over JBL or Bose, its sales increased manifold. People who had tried its products were in awe of the value for money that it provided and started recommending it to the rest as well. As we are all aware, word-of-mouth marketing works like a charm, and BOAT too managed to propel itself ahead through its wearables.
What helped establish Boat
Perceived Value played a pivotal role in propelling BOAT to become a successful brand as mass consumers are inclined toward products that are endorsed by ambassadors. In FY 2021 itself, BOAT earned a profit of 78.6 crores. BOAT always positions itself as a brand that the millennials can identify with. Tying up with Masaba, Bira, Guru Randhawa, and cricketers creates a pull that resonates with the generation of today. The idea behind the name BOAT has to do with its tagline. Its tagline “Plug into Nirvana” conveys the sense of leaving one’s worries behind. Usually, when people ride into the water, they leave their troubles behind.
Boat and its values
The idea behind using a BOAT product is to allow yourself to be carried away by the pull into a zone of your own. By keeping its pricing relatively subsidised as compared to the other names, BOAT distinguished itself as a brand that the generation of today could connect with. A fundamental understanding of what consumers want is key to selling your product. Aman Gupta understood this pretty well and pivoted everything around what the consumer actually wanted. BOAT changed its content every week so as to keep its relevance fresh. They studied the elements and the individuals that were trending every week and introduced them into the
products in some form or another. The craze that the millennials and Gen Z harboured towards such figures was then manifested in the form of collaborations. The founder believes that CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) will lose their relevance soon if they are not quick to adapt to changes. His Marketing team is solely handled by people who are 25 years of age or less so that they can bring to the table what the old marketers cannot.
Very few CEOs carry the vision that Aman and Sameer saw. Hardly anyone would be willing to take a risk when it comes to their market models.
Creating a Pan-India pull
BOAT also saw to it that the different corners of the country were covered in terms of making its presence known. A lack of visibility in the Southern part of India would work against the brand. It thus relied on the form of marketing that strikes a chord with the generation of today- Influencer Marketing. It has also roped in Southern star, RASHMIKA MANDANNA for its wearables category and to create traction in the South.
From Kiara Advani, Diljit Dosanjh, Jacquelene Fernandez to Hardik Pandya and Neha Kakkar; BOAT has roped in everyone who the youth of today connect with.
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This is how Boat stood out
Experiential Marketing is a form of marketing in which consumers are provided with an experience that is unforgettable. BOAT understands this well enough to act on it. It organises concerts and tours with photo booths and Nirvana zones. Two-way communication attracts a major chunk of consumers to these events.
A lot of communities spend mindlessly on consumer building. Billions of dollars are spent on Marketing, Branding, and Advertising. They need to understand that the initial product has to be right. That builds credibility and also creates word-of-mouth marketing. It is pure psychology to recommend products that have an appeal to the ones we interact with. This creates an organic pull that works wonders for any commodity and everyone wants to own a piece of it. Founders Sameer Gupta and Aman Gupta did not even draw salaries for the first couple of years and spent the revenue that they were collectively generating on expanding and experimenting with their products.
BOAT also tied up with anything and anyone that was trending. Be it AP Dhillon, Masaba, or the latest revered cricketer, BOAT went after everything. This made it a household name and even the segment that was remotely aware of the brand came to know about it.
Pivoting strategy after strategy saw to it that the brand sustained.
A Culture that persists
BOAT has always worked towards building a culture of inclusivity and flexibility. It wants to move away from an environment where people get together just to discuss stuff that others are discussing. It wants to bring employees together only when each one of them feels strongly for a cause. Aman Gupta has revealed that he has never shied away from using social media platforms for his business. From hunting for ideal investors on LinkedIn to marketing the brand for corporate hiring, he has done everything.
The company kept acquiring cutting edge technology brands such as the Singapore-based KaHa Pte Limited in January this year for enhancing the design, algorithm development & electronic firmware for its wearables category. E-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart are again important channels for the brand. Both Flipkart and Amazon contribute 75.02 percent of BOAT’s revenue through operations.
All in all, BOAT knows how to penetrate markets by experimenting and pivoting.
It has moved its manufacturing to Vietnam from China and has also installed supply chains in India. BOAT constantly re-strategizes so that it can keep up with the evolving trends.
BOAT speaks the language that the generation of today identifies with. Its extensive research in the field of ear wearable technology did not go in vain as they were successfully able to create a pull for its products. BOAT believes in new-age thinking and the power of communities. Its biggest takeaway lies in the fact that it does not copy the other brands. BOAT’s marketing strategy was unique and spontaneous. Their power of observation worked wonders for the community. The CEOs would keenly notice everything that clicked with the youth of today and then bring it to their brand. This created a magnetic pull that was unstoppable. People were drawn towards it like anything.
An appeal for any commodity is the primary factor that leads to its sale. A well-defined target audience is a leading factor that helps promote a product and generate ample traction.
BOAT is a prime example of a brand that has created a name for itself in the youth wearables category. It has built a online community too for those who are on the lookout for reasonably priced wearables that also promise superior quality. The brand has a positive image for it has been known to delve into consumer psychology to provide them with what they’re craving.