In India’s highly competitive footwear industry which is growing at an exponential rate, very few Indian brands have risen to the challenge head-on like lift sports. Rather than take a low-cost, low-quality approach, the young brand has harnessed the opportunity of the modern digital age of direct-to-consumer selling and won over thousands of customers with its ability to deliver high-quality footwear. quality at an affordable price.
Since its inception in 2018, Elevar has maintained a unique approach to creating innovative, stylish and affordable products for Indian millennials by blending cutting-edge design with performance-driven engineering.
Much like how OnePlus challenged Apple in the mobile phone category by offering similar product features at more affordable prices, Elevar similarly uses world-class materials that Adidas and Nike incorporate into their high-end flagships. range. Specifically, the R&D team at Elevar Sports has designed its shoes with the best sole cushioning and the best materials in its category:
Ultra-Responsive Cushioning Technology: Their RYDEFOAMTM sole is made from ETPU, tiny pellets of thermoplastic foam that feel soft like a pillow on your feet with high energy return rebound.
Amazing fit like a sock: The AEROKNITTM upper is designed by weaving strong yet flexible strands of fabric together to create a breathable upper that strikes the right balance between stability and flexibility for your foot.
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This same ETPU material and 3D knit uppers are used by international performance footwear brands such as Adidas and Nike and are priced at INR 12,000-18,000 in India. This price ends up being beyond the reach of the average Indian and hence most of the customers end up buying older ranges with older and inferior materials from these brands. Elevar’s value proposition is to provide the same features and materials as leading international brand shoes at a third of the price.
It is able to do this by disrupting traditional market norms. Older, more established shoe brands end up paying a hefty markup to wholesalers and retailers, in addition to spending heavily on larger-than-life marketing campaigns. By selling online directly to the end customer, Elevar is able to eliminate all middlemen and pass the savings on to the customer. Additionally, Elevar focuses its marketing efforts on more direct online advertisements rather than huge celebrity endorsements or offline events and sponsorships. The end result is to reduce markup costs and invest them in manufacturing affordable world-class products.
While many national brands may compromise on quality to save on cost, Elevar follows a quality-first approach and never compromises on the materials they use. The brand follows a 3-step quality control process:
1: Products are first tested at the factory itself based on strict internal guidelines established during the design process.
2: Additionally, the brand uses third-party inspection agencies that visit suppliers and inspect batches before shipping.
3: Elevar also uses an in-house quality control team that inspects each product when it arrives at its warehouse in India.
Rigorous quality process results in customer convenience when shopping online – Elevar offers a one-week, no-questions-asked return policy so customers can receive their products, try them out in the comfort of their own home and return them in case they don’t. t like the product. In addition to this, Elevar offers a warranty against manufacturing defects for up to 3 months from the date of purchase.
The minimalist yet fashionable designs of Elevar products are highly versatile and find use in fitness-focused activities such as running, gyms, dancing, and even more casual pursuits such as coffee tours and outings with friends. The brand offers products for both men and women. Elevar’s current product line includes:
~THE ARC RACER: a versatile sneaker available at the price of INR 5490. This highly versatile product is designed to be worn all day, making it comfortable enough to take from the gym to the coffee shop.
~The FLYBOLT: a performance-oriented racing silhouette priced at INR 4490. The shoe is a sleeker, more aerodynamic model equipped with sole cushioning technology that makes you FLY. This is an excellent but affordable short and long term option.
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Through an obsession with quality products, Elevar has managed to build a strong community:
- He has over 100,000 engaged followers on his FB and Insta account.
- Over 50,000 people have purchased Elevar products.
- Elevar has delivered its products to over 10,000 PINs across India.
- Elevar has an NPS score > 50 on all of its products.
- Nearly 80% of people who have reviewed its products give it 4 or 5 stars.
- Elevar’s return rates are half the industry average for its footwear products.
With disruptive positioning and a strong track record, Elevar is one of the fastest growing D2C brands in the country. Elevar’s early successes were noticed by prominent investors – recently Kalaari Capital & Dream Capital (the investment arm of Dream11) invested $2.5 million in the young brand.
So far, the brand’s marketing efforts have remained conservative and primarily focused on performance marketing, as Elevar has steadily grown through word of mouth. However, with further additions expected to its product portfolio in the coming months, the company will be looking to increase marketing budgets in tandem to tell its story to more and more customers. These are exciting times for the brand as they look to convince the Indian public to look inward rather than outward when it comes to footwear.