Shoppers Stop - Analysis

Delhities were greeted with a fake front page ad last week (the kind of advertisements only the mighty ones can afford) - Shoppers Stop advocating a message of 'Start Something New' in an a classy b-w ad. It drew corollaries from Manmohan Singh's and the Indian Cricket team's success.

I was curious because it looked silly. So I did a bit of research on this to figure it out.

Business Objective

Being in the retailing business, Shoppers Stop has been a pioneer - and that's not just a juicy compliment. They were the the first in India (since 1991), they have a fruitful IT setup, and they have constantly expanded their product line, encouraging even unconventional tie-ups like Om Shanti Om movie clothing line. They have also pioneered in developing their B2B sourcing technique. Some online interviews revealed that they intend to rapidly expand to over 50 stores in 2 years, from the current strength of 22 in eleven cities.

The original logo now functions as the Raheja group's logo for retail stores. I was surprised to know about their diverse investments. Apart from Crosswords, they own other speciality store brands including HomeStop, mothercare, Brio and desicafe'.

Old logo

New logo

The Ad Campaign

The current campaign speaks of a logo change and a untenable 'Start Something New' tagline. Such rebranding campaigns communicate an underlying reason for the change, benefits (if any) to the consumer. This campaign seems to starkly lack that. Here's the comment from Ravi Deshpande, the man who suggested the idea:

"Shopping is a treat. It makes you feel like a new person. I felt that this could be made into an idea like “start something new”, so that life is looked at completely differently, something as different as responding to the environment and its issues, saving trees, recycling, being a child again, or just doing nothing. All of this with a fashionable twist to it."

Here's one of the Print Ads (source Agencyfaq)

In the formal rebranding ceremony held on April 24th, Shahrukh Khan tries to dispel the same cynicism evoked within viewers - "Its not just a logo change. Its much more". They have also plonked a CSR angle - "Think Green - Awareness for the environment". Don't see anything useful happening here (source video)

As a contrast, the AXIS Bank rebranding campaign focussed on a single message - we are still the same, using twins and other analogies. Or my favourite Vodafone campaign, used the pug and colours to simply imply change - Hutch is now Vodafone.

I am sure the management of Shoppers Stop have got strong business acumen. I just feel they have been a little confused about the utility/objective of the ad campaign and hence the poor output. Lets wait for the consumer response now.


Detailed information on the Ad campaign (agencyfaq)
Shoppers Stop business investments in IT (DNA)
Interview with the CEO, Shoppers Stop (pdf)
Shoppers Stop homepage


  1. Damn everyone is changing logos .. check my blog

  2. Hey Iyer.. The idea of the commercials review is well implemented in this post.. definitely write more on these lines, maybe you can start a parallel blog for this.

    Ab the Shopper's Stop campaign(with my limited print media exposure to it).. The logo in the first place was better earlier - but logo is the kind of thing on which people can fight about forever!! ask us :)
    I never realized their objective until i read the idea of this guy; I like the idea but its definitely not been communicated well in the campaign. Also, it doesnt go with the overall image of Shoppers Stop, and i don't understand why they would want to change attributes of a brand thats doing quite well as of now.

  3. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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