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Triumph to launch EBOs this year for a more global experience, says Ankur Damani

All retail companies are formulated with the vision of making the lives of their consumers who use their products better. However, very few brands manage to make a lasting impact. One such company is Triumph International, a premium intimate wear brand. 

Formed in 1886, Triumph goes over and beyond fashion, consciously working on the science of wearing correct bras and their impact on women’s health. The global brand, which has a huge presence in the premium segment in India, is constantly building on its history of being a legacy intimate wear brand. Inspired by the individuality of its audience, Triumph is creating products after being tirelessly in conversation with the women who wear them. 

In a freewheeling chat with Surabhi Khosla, Editor, IMAGES Business of Fashion, Ankur Damani, Country Head, Triumph International, details his brand’s strategies for India while also outlining the exciting future which lies ahead! 

Excerpts from the conversation…

Can you please tell us about the rich legacy of Triumph and how you leverage this history and heritage to resonate with modern customers?

Triumph is a 138-year-old brand and we have a very, very rich heritage and legacy. We are market leaders in the premium intimate wear segment. This segment is all about personalisation and trust and the fact that we have been market leaders for almost a century and a half indicates that consumers trust us. Our fits are also some of the best in the countries that we operate in. 

Triumph to launch EBOs this year for a more global experience, says Ankur Damani Every lingerie brand generally has three core values – quality, fit, and comfort. Being an international brand, how do you ensure that these three values remain consistent across countries, across markets?

One of the things that a lot of international and local brands get wrong is they do similar products for different countries, different regions, different consumer segments. Brands – especially intimate wear brands for women – need to realize that women come in different shapes and sizes across the globe. This is something that Triumph got right early on. Consequently, we have a completely different size and fit range for Europe Vs Southeast Asia Vs the Indian subcontinent. 

Aside from this, quality is something we absolutely don’t compromise on. We have our own factories and manufacturing units and I am proud to say that we are a ‘Make in India’ brand. Over 90% of our products which are sold in India are also manufactured in India.

What are some of the product innovations that you have introduced which have put you a cut above others?

It’s important to note that a brand which is nearly a century-and-a-half old doesn’t really stick to what they started with. So, we have become leaders in innovation. Over the years, we have developed new bra types and fits. The latest innovation in our products is the Smart Series, which is an intuitive design that takes the shape of different women body types. 

And, of course, we have some global ranges. But in terms of the fit, and not just the fit, but feel as well, you know, the kind of quality of our fabrics, the kind of engineering that goes into it, I think that’s a lot of detail. And triumph globally is known as the synonym for fit because we play a very, very important role in the construction of the bra. So 

We have a revolutionary construction design which takes the shape of different sizes. Aside from this, we keep innovating in terms of fabric as well as style. We use 3D designs to make products which are almost like made to measure products. 

So, a lot of research goes into providing products that best fit the end consumer and we also work closely with consumers to understand what they want.  

Aside from product innovations, what are the other technologies that you’re bringing in, in terms of product supply chain?

One of the things where technology plays a very important role is, in terms of consumer insights. We do a lot of backward engineering in terms of what the consumer is actually looking for and we start from the backend. One of the good things about manufacturing our own products is that we can completely translate our market findings into our end product.

The other place where technology plays a big role is in terms of personalization. We tailor requirements in terms of our insights from different pin codes as well as consumer preferences. Our loyalty program gets tied into Artificial Intelligence both online and offline, which helps us understand what the consumer prefers, their likes and dislikes through which we are able to offer personalized products. Consumers suffer from scrolling fatigue these days and there are a lot more abandoned carts than there used to be. What we’ve seen is that through personalization, the conversion increases almost 2X. 

Where does the majority of your consumption come from in India?

We are a premium position brand, so our consumption is primarily in Tier I & II markets. However, we have noticed that with spread of e-commerce as well as social media and influencers, we have been able to reach a much larger consumer base, and demand from semi-urban Indian cities has increased a lot. 

Since we are on the subject, how heavily do you depend on social media for experiential marketing in India?

Intimate wear is a lot about education. We conducted a research wherein we realized that a lot of women across the globe don’t actually know their bra size. So we started a Bra Fit Challenge. When consumers walk into our stores, we challenge them to guess their correct bra size. 60% of the time, women are wrong and then our experts educate them. We also help them understand that over the years, their body changes and what they may have bought last year may not fit them this year. This education is something that we are working on imparting in our stores as well as through influencers online. 

Triumph to launch EBOs this year for a more global experience, says Ankur Damani Social media plays an important role here because when women see ads or posts talking about correct sizing, it makes them pause and wonder whether they too are wearing the right size. This helps us build a level of trust with our consumers as well.

Tell us about your competition in India in the premium space?

In the premium space, we are the largest selling brand. Our closest competitor would probably be Marks & Spencer, but they operate through their own stores and through the online channel while we have more than 1400 points of sale including departmental stores. So that’s a big differentiator.

Other brands like Clovia, Zivame, Jockey and Enamour all operate in a very different space from us. They are mass value brands with a much larger distribution network whereas we operate in the premium space.

What about sustainability? Is this an important goal for you?

Sustainability is a very sensitive and very serious goal for us. While I don’t want to go into specific numbers, I want to tell you about some of the areas where we have undertaken sustainability include raw materials used, packaging and minimizing wastage. 

Finally, what are Triumph’s plans for the next couple of years?

We have our franchise stores – 18 as of now – but we plan to open 15 to 20 EBOs (Exclusive Brand Outlets) this year. This is one way of taking the entire global experience of Triumph first hand to the consumer. This will be a big growth area for us.

Aside from this, there will be a lot of new innovations and fabrics which consumers can expect from us, global products coming into India, as well as newer technology for enhanced production locally.

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