“Just go to Khaadi, I am sure you will find something there.”
If you have a fashionably inclined circle of friends, you would know that Khaadi is held as synonymous with reliability in the world of sartorial fashion. Whether you want a quick retail fix or a last-minute jora to alleviate the pain of a planned dress gone wrong (darzi disasters happen!), Khaadi is the ‘I’m sure you will find something there’ brand.
So, what made a reliable brand with an expanding global footprint and a loyal customer base, shake the boat and change its logo?
“The craftsman’s hand is still an inherent part of Khaadi. The two hands that symbolised our heritage in handloom craft are now joined together and connected with the brand logo. Khaadi has expanded in scale, is more industrial, and proposes to go beyond Pakistan. Yes, our roots have been in craft and are still valued. Their expression has transformed to reflect the next journey,” is how Tinath Saeed, Manager Corporate Communication, puts it
The creative team at Khaadi and an international specialist design and branding agency joined hands to ‘refresh’ the Khaadi logo for a new, brighter version. The objective is to visually communicate Khaadi’s contemporary identity while keeping the brand’s root strengths intact.
A couple of years ago, Khaadi decided to remove the brand name from the logo. The new logo, brings the brand name right back. According to the team the thought behind this was rooted in the brand's ambitions to expand to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across Pakistan, where the brand name recall may not be as strong as it is in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. “In our observation, there was a need to differentiate the brand and create a new retail experience positioning the consumer at the centre. This involved addressing our designs, merchandising, branding and the final frontier (the store) – this is where the rubber hits the road!”
It is no secret that Pakistani consumers are rather uncomfortable with change; good or bad, the first reaction to anything different is met with raised eyebrows. “Change is usually a bit uncomfortable. We expect there will always be that emotional attachment to the past. But change is hinting at many more evolutions unfolding within, to stay relevant, respond to consumer wishes and innovate with confidence - why stagnate?” says Saeed.
Something as drastic as a logo change is usually powered by a significant shift on a strategic level. Considering that Khaadi has become the desi girl’s Zara in a decade, could this change herald the coming of a new era of desi fast fashion? If Khaadi is your ride or die, you must have noticed that the answer to that question is yes. The brand that is known for your everyday work kurtas, two and three pieces has now added a western line with breezy dresses, t-shirts, and kurtis to cater to younger customers and fast-fashion lovers. The new look of the brand was communicated in the new campaign ‘Wear Yourselves’ which shows a group of relatable women shutting down beauty, fashion, and size stereotypes. The best thing about the campaign is the fact that it doesn’t look forcefully feminist and uses the art of subtlety to communicate inclusivity so deeply rooted in Khaadi’s DNA.
“The new brand asset identity launch started with an ode to our back story, beautifully encapsulating our four root strengths (colour, design, fashion and retail experience), followed by our new Mark of Expression reveal. This culminated into our Winter thematic with a refreshed brand story of ‘Wear Yourself’”. Saeed adds that Khaadi has started harmonising its brand identity and assets across the customer experience and the change in logo is only a precursor for other touchpoints to unfold, including a new store launch.
Taniya Hasan is a content marketer.