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"Do what floats your boat"

“When you take a boat, you leave everything behind. You plug into a new zone”, says 36 year old Aman Gupta. The name intrigues many. Why a boAt to name a speaker and the explanation cannot get any better. Plug into Nirvanaa and enter a world of pure bliss.

Music and millennials are inseparable. Aman and Sameer, the founders of this now-iconic brand realised this simple logic early on and today boAt is a household name for millennials.

The Journey:
So what do you say about a brand which became a market leader in the audio segment in just over six years? We need to first understand what made them enter this market. This reason isn’t too hard to guess really. The rising number of millennials heading for a vacation pre-covid led to the thought of earphones. And then of course the pandemic ushered in this tidal wave of work-from-home, the unending Zoom meets and the like, the natural outcome being an excessive demand of earphones.

A Wearable Brand:
Catchy way to define! A brand quick to climb the layers of competition and remain on top. In a world of omnipresent tech solutions, this in itself calls for an applause. So when Amar Gupta and Sameer Mehta joined hands and founded BoAt in 2014, the first approach was a catch. Let’s make these brand-arrogant iPhone users angry. Ah well, not their words. But what would you say when the nail hits home and make some rather obvious statements about iPhones and their chargers! This was a start waiting to happen, wasn’t it? Breakage of iPhone chargers is so well known, so the duo began their rather humble journey by selling quality chargers through Amazon and Flipkart.

Today, boAt boasts of a range of products including speakers, wireless earphones, smartwatches, home audio devices, mobile accessories, earbuds, wireless headphones, wired headphones, wireless speakers and more. Then boAt has forayed into personal grooming – men’s with misfit, audio wear and into “fierce women” segment with TRebel. boAt continues this journey by launching many limited edition collections. 

Courtesy and quoting them: “An analysis of existing players revealed a simple truth. There was a palpable gap in the economy segment offering a quality product. As per Finology, while Apple and Bose ruled the ultra-premium segment, JBL stays in the premium segment. At a 10-15K more economical price, we find a Sennheiser. Now the gap between Sennheiser and cheap low quality brands was a void. Yes, a MiVi was there, but that was about it. And that’s where our Aman-Sameer’s business idea found a solid ground.”



The Start:
boAt signified a wearable product with a touch of fashion and trend, catching the attention of youngsters. They were good-quality and affordable. One way of “measuring” success was when super-premium brand, JBL, had to bring down their price to remain relevant. Kanwaljit Singh of Fireside Ventures was the first to invest 60 million in May 2018, about a couple of years after the start-up was floated.

In three simple words, their marketing strategy always stood on three pillars: to bring to the millennials affordable, durable and fashionable audio products and accessories.

boAt Sails:
boAt understood well the pulse of young blood and what binds them. Social media, gym, fashion, new age entertainment. The approach of boAt has always been to appeal to the millennial audience. How?

            1.Position itself as a lifestyle brand: Participating in fashion shows, youth events and entering the minds and hearts of the young was boAt’s path to success. Not as a consumer electronics product, but as a lifestyle accessory, connecting to the youth as they go about their lives…at work, at leisure, in the gym and so on.
            2.Digital ambassadors: True to its audience, the brand is active on social media, using celebrity youth icons e.g. Kiara Advani, Kartik Aryan, Jacqueline Fernandes, cricketers like Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer as well as content creators like Prajakta Koli, Harsh Beniwal, and Bhuvan Bam and musicians e.g. Harry Sandhu, Neha Kakkar and Diljit Dosanjh as brand ambassadors.
            3.Usage of digital tools: Being a youth targeted brand, boAt has used well all digital tools like social media marketing, hashtag marketing, e-mail and mobile marketing and storytelling techniques to remain relevant to their audience. Using Meme Marketing, engaging, powerful, funny has been an the ideal tool to connect to millennials.
            4.Communication: “Do what floats your boat” strikes the right chord with Gen-Z. Roping in the right faces as influencers only helps them spread the message to millennials. Have you heard that upbeat music video “I am a rebel” for their range of TRebel…you would know exactly how comfortably boAt is making its mark across the youth.
            5.Exclusive branded items: Exclusively made for the IPL teams, this was a real-time hit for cricket fans. Besides these, their connect to Independence Day (True Sound of India), Masaba collection, boAt Sunburn (Experiential connect for concerts) has been a great way to connect and remain relevant.
             6.Community Connect: Be #AmboAtHead, upload stories and images and belong.

Online selling being the goal, boAt has been quick to take feedback, adapt and connect with the right audience in the right language. After Aman and Sameer made it to the Shark Tank, boAt steadily climbed the popularity charts.

As per, boAt is globally the fifth largest wearable brand and India’s number one earwear brand.

The one philosophy of boAt’s success has been their appeal to the youth. It is one thing to attract the millennial and quite another to remain relevant and grab their eyeballs and market share. Nirvana is the moksha of life and boAt promises to take one there. Its doing everything right so far. Let’s see how the future unfolds.

Gargee Ghose

Brand Building & Digital Content Specialist. Passionate about pets and wildlife.