Pushing the envelope of activewear: How Blissclub stepped into judgment-free communication

Sneha Medda
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Sneha Subramanyam walks us through Blissclub's marketing strategy, which involved keeping community building at the centre to gain loyal customers.

The sportswear and athleisure market has been on the upswing in India, even outperforming fast fashion, ethnic wear and formal footwear since the onset of the pandemic. As per Statista’s report, in 2021, the Indian market was valued at Rs 158 billion and it is predicted to grow to Rs 402 billion by 2025. Although the growth has been promising, for a really long time the sportswear sector in the country has been restricted to certain body types. New-age D2C wellness brand Blissclub’s founder and CEO Minu Margaret realised this deep-rooted flaw in the sector. 

Blissclub started off as a small community on Instagram and WhatsApp groups during the pandemic. It catered to Indian women and offered sportswear for their different body types. The brand used WhatsApp as their initial mode of communication, where they targeted women across the country via 11+ WhatsApp groups. Today, the brand has 198k followers on Instagram and recently raised $18 million in its Series A round. 

In conversation with Social Samosa, Sneha Subramanyam, Director of Brand, Blissclub shared the idea behind launching the brand. She said, “Blissclub’s premise is to engineer sportswear for Indian bodies, rather than looking at a standardized size chart.”

We take a closer look at Blissclub’s marketing strategy and how the brand is making conversations around women’s sportswear in India. 

Campaigns that don’t shame

Blissclub, as a brand, primarily focuses on building activewear that's functional,  comfortable and as always, for every kind, shape and size of women. These ideologies are mirrored in their campaigns as well. 

Traditionally, activewear brands have had a preconceived way of communicating with their audience, which was limited to portraying fitness in a way that shamed (directly or indirectly) their audience for not going to the gym or sweating it out. 

Blissclub has been trying to break down these stereotypical walls and approach their audience with relatability. 

“The people that we're speaking to, are dealing with their own challenges. And as a brand, we are trying to solve these problems for them,” said Sneha. 

Also Read: Case Study: How the Too Yumm! influencer campaign gained over 307Mn+ views

One such example is their campaign titled - ‘Everyday Asanas with Aditi,’ which simply talked about the numerous yoga stretches and asanas that women practice throughout the day, without even realising. 

This witty campaign series highlighted and celebrated the unusual workouts women do like stretching a bit extra to get the pack of chips or squatting down to redo the plant set-up. 

Similarly, their first product drop saw a series of films titled ‘Moving it with Blissclub’ that understood the modern working women’s problems and reassured her that a simple task like decorating the Christmas tree or playing with a kid counts as working out as well.

The brand is also known for being age and body inclusive as it displays their products on everyday, normal women in their campaigns, which seems to resonate well with the audience. 

“If we don't consider individuality, then we won’t be able to build a brand that caters to different types of women,” said Sneha. 

Ergo, celebrating individuality and catering to different body types and sizes have been at the centre of its marketing strategy. 

Digital at the forefront

Their digital communication spreads across channels, with Instagram and Youtube witnessing a healthy amount of engagement. 

Talking about how digital takes the lion’s share, Sneha mentioned, “Up until December last year, when we opened our first offline leg, 100% of our budgets went to digital-only. As any other D2C business, we invested primarily in digital in the first couple of years.” 

The brand’s extensive digital media marketing focuses on engaging with the consumer on different platforms.

Reaching through influencers

Influencers and content creators play a definite role in the brand’s communication. With influencer marketing being at the core of the brand’s conversation, Blissclub has built a strong community of creators. 

Sneha also attributed Instagram and YouTube influencers as being the biggest part of the brand’s growth journey last year. 

The brand collaborates with lifestyle, fitness and other influencers on a regular basis, which has worked well for the brand.

Along with regular collabs, the brand also joined hands with social media influencer and content creator Kusha Kapila for one of their products. According to Sneha, this collaboration worked best for creating awareness for the brand. 

Apart from influencers, the brand also features their customers on their social media. By doing this, the brand stays true to its ethos of catering to all and every woman of India. 

The guidebook to movement

The brand’s YouTube plays as a guidebook for new audiences getting into fitness with an equal dose of fun and wit. 

Through " target="_blank" rel="noopener" title="">beginner lessons on various activities, " target="_blank" rel="noopener" title="">yoga lessons, " target="_blank" rel="noopener" title="">vox pop and more, the brand connects with new learners. 

One such segment titled #BacktoWork focused on simple and everyday movements and coined them as relevant exercises. 

Community building that extends to WhatsApp and Meta

Sneha mentioned that the brand has a safe community that they have built on over 13+ WhatsApp groups that act as platforms for women to have open conversations, discover trainers, accountability partners to work out with and more. 

She further added that these groups, unlike other brands, where most of their platforms are there to gain visibility for the brand or push content onto consumers, Blissclub is a safe environment where everyone is equal.

Apart from having a community on WhatsApp, the brand also has a loyal community on Meta. 

“Google, meta, influencers and online marketplaces have been our 4 primary channels of advertising and gaining discoverability,” Sneha told Social Samosa. 

Blissclub’s next step

The brand’s TG is millennial working women and to reach this audience better, the brand forayed into offline markets last year. The brand aims to focus on retail expansion moving forward, said Sneha.  

Bliss Club’s communication has always focused on women who move and has always carried this message forward with each of their marketing modes. Being body-positive and catering to every type of woman, from working women to homemakers, has been their core message as well. This has helped women across the country realise the lack of representation in the activewear sector and has pushed an envelope in the industry.

marketing strategy Digital Marketing Instagram Meta whatsapp fitness D2C Blissclub Sneha Subramanyam