A Marketing Wiz Test Drives Our Tyre Belt

(Guest Post by Vishal Sampat, Marketing Consultant with a keen interest in human behaviour. When he is not helping brands connect with consumers, he prefers to share his life's experiences in words and pictures.)

When the lovely folks at Voylla asked me to check out the men's biker jewelry range at their online store, I was thoda lost. Flashes of Bappi Lahiri and BR Chopra’s epic dramas came to mind – I wondered what would a jewellery store have for me.

I mean, I have an office job on weekdays, while weekends are spent in meeting interesting people. I wouldn’t dare to walk into a meeting with bling that suggests I get paid too well to be there. Neither would I want to glitter more than the lady across the table. With few expectations, I logged on to www.voylla.com. As directed by the team, I went straight to ‘Dare’ their name for the men’s jewelry range. Pictures of Roadie Rannvijay posing away in subtle accessories cannot be missed. I thought visitors would be asked to do push-ups to qualify entering the site, but it wasn’t that bad.

All this while, I was thinking of jewelry in the traditional sense, but what I came across on Voylla was very refreshing. Chains, pendants, bracelets, rings and so much more. It reminded me of my college days when I would experiment with such accessories. They’ve got the range quite sorted – there’s stuff for different occasions, devotions, personalities and budgets.

The variety can overwhelm if you don’t know what you’re looking for. I came across a ring that looked like a bike tyre, which took me on a trip.

Blog-Resize-2 Down memory lane to Ladakh. And then I started looking for more biker stuff – and  pressed the brakes when I saw this crazy belt – that looked like a tyre. Yes, a tyre!

Blog-Resize-1 I know what you might be thinking…most of us already have a tyre around the waist – what’s the need for another one? Valid point. But the novelty took over logic.

I ordered the ring and belt after checking out more on the site. And Voylla – delivery was quick in 3 days – i hope it is just as quick for all orders. The box looked neat and packaging was good. I unboxed it and kept it aside for Friday – safest to wear a rubber tyre around your waist and walk into office. Because that’s what it is – a bicycle tyre trimmed from the edges. And the ring is cool – most comfortable on the thumb.

So I waited till Friday morning and picked the belt along with denims. In hindsight, I should have planned it the previous night. Slipping the think tyre belt under the loops took 20 minutes. And I shoving the tyre through, might have done some irreversible damage to the loops. But anyway, I should have realized that it is not a tunnel.

And maybe – just maybe – I should have done tummy exercises that day. I would have one tyre less around my waist.

Anyway, I walked into office with usual swagger. Through the day, i got raised eyebrows, giggles and some wise-cracks. From “Bro, kya raste pe leta tha kya?” to “Stepney leke ghoomta hai kya?” and “WWF jeeta kya?” it was an amusing sight for most and novel for some.

And then there were the guys who walked up out of curiosity to ask more about it. The more observant ones noticed the ring and really struck conversation around it. We discussed accessories, bikes, Ladakh and other trips. What most people loved about the belt was the buckle – made from links of a cycle chain. It really brings the whole piece alive!

The day went well and I reached the mall for an evening movie. I passed through the metal detector and the guys who frisk got some amusement out of the sight. They took a few extra seconds to glance – hopefully only at the belt. “Rubber hai”, I clarified. A betel-stained grin acknowledged my experiment.

One of the unsolicited suggestions that came through was to use it as a weapon in a street-fight. I nodded with reluctant agreement. I know - the fight would be over by the time I took the belt out of the loops.

Happened to meet the Voylla Team at a recent launch of their new range. Was eager to share my feedback on the products and I was happy to see them listen with care. Maybe a little slimmer and curvier would work better for guys with my kind of build.

Overall, it’s really refreshing to see so many option in men’s jewelry and some wonderful experimentation around it. I think I’ll pick up something new from Voylla every month –bracelets next.

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