Contemporary & culture oriented - Building brand Suta...

Paawan Sunam
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Suta marketing

Co-founders ‘SU’jata & ‘TA’niya Biswas are on the way to make sarees a part of the everyday wardrobe for young, urban women, and change the attire's perception from only being apt for festive occasions amongst this target audience. We unfold this synergy and drape our heads around Suta's marketing strategy.

In conversation with Social Samosa, Sujata & Tanya describe Suta’s marketing strategy, a blend of traditional heritage and contemporary ethos, that also draws its roots from the product itself. It was conceived when an interaction with weavers in West Bengal lifted the veil off the mystical process of how a saree becomes an entity that reverberates the warmth and love, which Su and Ta wanted to share with the world.

They also share the role of social media in building the brand's popularity and acting as a democratic marketplace, along with revealing how a Pinterest post led to Suta being discovered by a popular filmmaker from the Hindi Film Industry and opened the pathway to several organic placements in movies & shows, and organic celebrity endorsements.


Social Networks - Democratic Marketplace

For the brand Suta, social media platforms are more than building brand awareness and fostering a community of loyalists. It is a democratic marketplace that significantly contributes to sales and revenues, and the Founders also mention, "Interestingly, Suta started out on social media. Our first products were advertised and sold via Facebook."

The brand expands its target audience and reaches new potential consumers and like-minded people who appreciate the brand's work and believe in the same ideals.

"This community remains a constant driving force and motivator for us, as a brand. Our Suta Queens are our strongest advocates and contribute significantly towards spreading the word about our brand, accomplishments, and products within their circles," they add.

By curating content that showcases the seamless integration of sarees into everyday wear, they have established their own aesthetics. The conversational captions can be perceived as a Sakhi (friend) talking to you, and not a brand promoting a product. The posts often feature women adorning sarees in various settings, such as workplaces, casual outings, and social events. This strategy aims to dispel the notion that sarees are reserved only for special occasions.

Additionally, they frequently collaborate with influencers and fashion enthusiasts who embody the brand’s philosophy.

When Suta started building its social media presence, it started out as the idea of this page being accepting like a community. They also blend the traditional roots of a saree with the contemporary outlook of a modern woman, marrying the culture with the trendy.

“We are mostly trying to create content with this value addition. Our brand is a chaotic brand. There are no particular colours. It’s like how your food also changes according to seasons, you change the color palette as well. We want to be open because we are also influencing someone with the content submissions and people are strong,” shares Taniya.

Pinterest, one of the underrated platforms in the social media ecosystem in India, has been efficiently used by the brand.

Sujata mentions, "Pinterest is an often overlooked but incredibly effective way to make your brand more visible among newer audiences. Our Pinterest photographs serve as quick styling guides for customers whose aesthetic aligns with ours."

It was also the platform where a renowned Indian Filmmaker discovered the brand and put the word out to source the product.

The engaged community of 551K followers on Instagram, 214K followers on Facebook, 41.8K followers on Pinterest, and nearly 6K subscribers on YouTube are not just appealed by the stories the brand tells, but also get their queries resolved, resulting in converting interest into quick order conversions, and prompt addressal of concerns they might face with the ordering and delivery process.

Inclusivity Beyond Identity

Suta recently launched a campaign that highlighted a new collection designed by Harshavardhan Rai (aka Rai-OTT), Design Lead, Suta for Pride month, and also reflected the Drag community’s admiration for the saree.

The co-founders further mentioned, “We are a brand that is a lot about the community, people talking freely and openly and we have been celebrating inclusivity as a company. We thought what better way to do this than by collaborating with Drag Artists.”

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Taniya states, “We are also telling people that whoever you are within – binary, non-binary, whoever you are – we are a community and we are together. This is an extension of our launch, which has more to do with whatever you want to be - you can be and dress as you wish, that was the message.”

The brand wanted to celebrate individuality and self-expression. People don't talk about these topics as much in social circles or family gatherings. People are even scared to ask questions and don't start a conversation.

The Founders mention Suta also consciously makes efforts to be inclusive in the visual imagery and the products are also modelled by employees with different body types and from different age groups. "Once again, this helps to allay any misgivings customers may have about whether or not they will be comfortable wearing a new Suta creation," they add.

Organic Celebrity Endorsements

We are aware of the potential of celebrity endorsements, more so in the realm of Fashion. The Founders state that Suta has harnessed that influence through organic love for the brand, and the product being picked up for its quality, and not any monetary transactions. Recently, Tapsee Pannu shared a still of her upcoming release – the sequel to the romantic thriller Haseen Dilruba, Madhuri Dixit Nene had donned a Suta saree in a web series, and so did Tisca Chopra.

"Instead of pursuing high-profile endorsements driven solely by popularity, the promotions by celebrities are more of a testament from people who appreciate and resonate with the brand’s offerings" shares Sujata. These celebrity endorsements have seen actors, social media influencers, and influential personalities from diverse fields.

The wave of social media posts with celebrities donning Suta sarees, range from stills of popular actors in their projects or themes around just sharing an everyday moment. She mentions, "These organic endorsements may or may not lead to a spike in engagement, but they make up for a credible testimonial that helps the brand in the long run."

The brand has created ‘Suta Spotted’ to feature celebrities wearing their sarees. It all started when the brand itself had just started out, when Suta was still operating out of a small garage in Kalina (Santacruz East), in Mumbai as it didn't have an office space, and only had a single employee. It was a post on Pinterest that caught the eye of the popular Hindi Film Director, who sent his stylists to locate Suta and source the exact same saree-blouse set for a movie he was making.

"That director was Karan Johar and the movie he was making was Lust Stories. Thanks to the power of social media, our products were noticed, sourced, and appreciated by one of the biggest names in the Hindi Film Industry. There’s been no looking back since – Suta products have been worn by many stars on and off the screen, and we can only thank and credit social media for enabling this."

The founders brought in their passion for sarees and made the brand an extension of their personality, making Suta into a Rs 50-crore brand.

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