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Built to Love

September 2011

By Anushka Sharma, Delhi

A new book that’s just hit stores here in Delhi is aptly-titled Built to Love. Authors Peter Boatwright and Jonathan Cagan argue that inspiring emotions through branding and advertising is superficial and clearly not enough. You have to create products that can inspire emotions – products that are built to love. The book is dotted with anecdotes about such products and a common thread running through them all is: personalizing products and services goes a long way.

There must be some truth to that. There seems to be a subtle but prevalent leaning towards products designed to be personalized or customized. Home store Good Earth is a necessary stop every time you’re doing up your home – or simply just want to pick up something new for your nest. They have stores across Mumbai, Bangalore and even Singapore, but their flagship store in Saket, New Delhi, is quite a stunner, especially after the redesign done in the last few months. It boasts 18,000 square feet of furniture, linen, and porcelain pieces—all beautiful and desirable—but you don’t just pick them up from shelves. There are sections and corners set up as living rooms, bedrooms, patios—even bathrooms—each with a characteristic style, look, and feel of its own. Whether it be through crystal chandeliers, colored glass windows, latticework screens, rich velvet upholstery, paisley motifs, domed arches, or portraits of Mughal kings and queens, Good Earth as a brand sells the grandeur of royal Mughal India – not only in its products and via the opulence and elaborate excess its store exudes, but also through its logo and promotional activities.

On the other hand, fabindia, another quintessential home store, has built a brand more on the lines of Gandhian, India. Their khadi silk kurtas, sarees, table linen, curtains and basic dark teak wood furniture may be simple, yet they bring India’s weaving traditions and textiles into the marketplace. Fabindia also revamped its store in Greater Kailash, New Delhi, with the same theme: customized home store solutions divided into sections, each section creating its own mood. With a typical, vibrant color palette, all its products have a basic simplicity with a minimal decorative element. The store also offers interior design assistance to guide you through the process of home decoration.

Personalization and customization are not limited to just home and design stores – a hip new salon, b:blunt, known for its celebrity and Bollywood hairdos, opened its first store in New Delhi just last month. Their “Blow-out Bar,” an exclusive parlor where you can do a whole makeover before a party or night out, is a personal space in which you can style your own hair, nails, etc. – it is an absolute hit. Separated from the main salon with curtains, it’s a space that you can hire for an evening, and you and your girlfriends can use it as a dressing room with some expert advice of course, by beauticians, hair stylists etc. So whether it’s do your hair, nails or just draping your sarees or gowns – it’s your personal space for the evening.

It only goes to reinforce what the book, Built to Love proposes – that branding, products, and marketing campaigns that inspire dreams, create emotional experiences, and allow consumers to personalize their shopping experience—and the products they are shopping for—are winning fans over left and right.

Design & Luxury
Fashion & Style

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