boAt is often regarded as India’s fastest growing audio & wearables brand. The company has become really popular in the last few years and gained further recognition when one of its co-founders, Aman Gupta, appeared as a “shark” in Sony TV’s smash hit show “Shark Tank India”. Reports suggest that the sales of boAt headphones have gone further up a notch, courtesy of the investment-raising show that had rocked the TRP charts and social media trends in early 2022.
I this post, we will ‘dive’ into boAt and take a detailed look at the company and its marketing strategies through a thorough case study.
A Brief History of boAt
boAt began its journey in the year 2016 when co-founders Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta decided to offer fashionable audio products at a price never seen or heard before. The two co-founders started out with a capital of INR 30 crore. BoAt wanted to create value for the users so they started looking to solve common problems reported by the youth. It was the time when Apple users were suffering because of their charger getting damaged without any apparent reason. So they decided to make Apple charger that could withstand wear and tear for long, and they were quite successful at that.
Later, the company went on to add a number of quality products such as earbuds, headphones, smart watches, wireless speakers, etc to its product range. As of December 2020, boAt was already selling 14,000+ products in India every single day. BoAt’s both audio and wearable range offer top-notch quality whilst keeping the price affordable. Established audio electronics brands like JBL had to drop down their prices in order to stay relevant in the target industry.
- Kanwaljit Singh of Fireside Ventures invested INR 60 crore in boAt in the year 2018
- Warburg Pincus, a New York-based private equity fund invested $100 million in boAt for a significant minority stake
- The company raised INR 50 crore from Qualcomm Ventures at a valuation of INR 2,200 crore
boAt Revenue and Marketing Performance
The company struggled in the first two years of its operation (2016-2018), mainly because of the lack of funding. However, once the company raised INR 6 crores from Fireside ventures, there was no looking back. According to filings with the Registrar of Companies, boAt’s FY2018 revenues grew by 4 times to INR 108 crore.
Fast forward FY-2019, boAt became the leading ear wear brand with a 27.3% market share. In FY 2020, the fashionable audio brand generated revenue of INR 500 crore. This was a staggering 108% increase from 239 crore in FY 2019.
When boAt started off, it was just available on popular E-commerce stores like Amazon and Flipkart. However, its products are now available in 5,000+ retail stores. boAt has reportedly served more than 20 million customers so far!
boAt Marketing Strategies
The company knows just too well the likes and dislikes of their target audience and the places they visit often- social media, Google, gym, etc. In a nutshell, boAt has targeted the youth of the nation very well as can be seen from the below mentioned marketing strategies:
1) Presenting itself as a lifestyle brand
boAt has never portrayed itself as a consumer electronics company. Rather, it has always taken immense pride in presenting itself as a lifestyle accessories brand. Doing so creates an image in the mind of the user that boAt products can be used at all places whether you are sweating in the gym, or commuting in a bus.
This intent of the company was also visible at the Lakme Fashion Week (2009) in Mumbai, where all the models sported only boAt products.
2) Digital Marketing
Over the years, the company has spent a lot of money on online marketing, as they have targeted the youth. BoAt has mainly run its campaigns on Google and social networking websites like Facebook and Instagram. Interestingly, all customers of boAt are referred to as ‘boAtheads’. The company has also appointed youth icons such as Kiara Advani to win the trust of the customers.
3) Expanding Range of Products
Some companies launch a product, gain success and then fizzle out as they fail to expand their catalo. Expanding your product range over the years is a good marketing strategy in itself and boAt has been exceptional at that. The company first made indestructible apple charging cables and chargers. Tasting success, they did not stop at that introduced ear phones, which was followed by wireless speakers and headphones. With this continuous, well-thought expansion, they were able to capture a large share of the market, owing to which its popularity grew by leaps and bounds.
4) The Perfect Targeting
boAt products offer affordability without cutting down on style. This was not a common thing 7 or so years ago, when the market had either premium brands or cheap ones that did not offer an X-factor. The blend of two was rare. BoAt addressed that gap with its products that attracted the youth. The brand ambassadors were also carefully chosen which had a great face value among the millennials, especially from industries such as Bollywood and Sports (Cricket). In terms of quality of the ear wear, the products could be worn without any fear of damaging them even while gymming or performing high-intensity exercise in the outdoors.
boAt has made a huge name for itself in the last 4 years. It’s reputation and popularity was bolstered after the appearance of one of its co-founders, Aman Gupta, on Shark Tank India season 1. On the marketing, pricing and styling front, the company has left no stone unturned in outsmarting the existing competition. The impact has been such that renowned brands like JBL had to cut down on its prices in order to stay relevant in the industry.
The future of the company looks quite promising, courtesy of a dedicated R&D team, millions in funding and the zeal to stay appealing to the youth. Notably, Aman Gupta’s present net worth is INR 10,500 crore.