The Background Work

Having collected contact data, we were good to go with our Email and Whatsapp campaigning. Slowly, our marketing efforts started yielding results as we had stringers across India showing up to try the new Kizuna Premium Japanese Badminton strings. These orders for sample pack, though small in numbers, were spread across the country which assured us of our possible reach. Thus, we overcame the barrier of breaking into the first mover’s clan.

                Now came an unexpected challenge. We were sure that the biggest task would be to get these stringers to try our strings in the first place. Once they were made to understand the potential of the string and how good it was compared to it’s the competitors in the market, we were sure it would sell like hot cakes. Contrary to our expectations, not all first mover’s came back for repeated bulk orders. On enquiring, we got to know that some of them faced the issue of snapping of strings (the thinner ones) while gutting. Now this was unexpected to say the least. On consulting with our Japanese R&D team, we got to know that Kizuna strings are generally on the softer side compared to the string dominating the Indian market. Coupled to this was the minimal gauge of our premium strings like Z58(World’s thinnest string of .58mm), D61 (.61mm), inappropriate method of pulling crosses and the poorly managed clamps of stringing machines. Thus, on confirming with our customers, we concluded that most of the stringers in the market were not well equipped to handle such thin gauges.

                After quite some brainstorming on how to educate them to deal with these strings, we came up with an idea to caution them of the nature of these thin strings and how to go about them. Thus, we decided to place a caution notice in each of the orders just to give them a heads up on the required delicate handling of these strings. To supplement this, we also sent them tutorial links to pulling crosses and servicing of clamps. We monitored this process and took regular feedbacks from our customers for close to one month. Not surprisingly, we found that none of our stringers faced the issue of snapping while stringing. Thus, we dodged a bullet and incorporated these measures into our regular operations.

Follow this space for regular updates on Kizuna India’s journey in India.


Data is the new Oil


Kizuna India is not a name that we expected people of India to even have heard of faintly, let alone recognise as a badminton strings firm. We were clear about one thing from the outset. The task of taking the brand name KIZUNA to every player and more importantly, to every stringer in the country was going to be an uphill task. We were pretty much game for it as well. Our brainstorming sessions yielded fabulous ideas like email campaigning, whatsapp campaigning, telecalling etc. But what really bowled us over was the basic question. Who are we going to campaign? How do we get their contact?

                Having been in the sports business was a boon for us as we already had quite a few good contacts from sports retaining. However, these were mainly spread across the southern states. But to market Kizuna as an all India brand, we clearly needed a solid data of contacts from across the country. The first way to go about it was to get our existing contacts to spill out contacts of their fellow dealers. Now, the next step was to use the omnipotence of internet to our advantage by getting dealer contacts of our fellow-companies in the badminton industry. We literally struck gold with this one. One of our colleagues was given the sole duty to pull out the contacts of each of these from the internet. This took us to a new dimension of data collection. Having seen the enormous possibility of the internet as a source of data, we took things a little further. We slowly started covering every single city in India looking for stringer contacts one city at a time, one state at a time. Add to this, the inputs from Facebook, Instagram, Indiamart etc. Parallelly, we listed Kizuna badminton strings in Amazon to create awareness among the potential market buyers about the presence of such a brand. Amazon gave us Rs 2000/- worth of free advertising which fetched us around 2,00,000 views on our listings.  Eventually, they went on to become some of our great unpaid brand promoters after seeing the potential of the string. They led us to their stringers which just meant one thing for us. MORE DATA!

                Thus, we built our treasure of data. These were the ammunitions we desperately needed. Once we loaded these into our arms of mailchimp and whatsapp, we went all guns blazing with our marketing. Follow this space for more updates.

company Marketing

The first move in North- East

Kizuna Logo in Japanese.

Having made our presence felt in the virtual world through Social Media handles, Website etc, we kick-started our email and Whatsapp campaign promoting Kizuna India Badminton Strings. Fortunately, we din’t have to wait long before we got our first order from UP from a small stringer. Despite the meager number, we were happy as that was our much anticipated first breakthrough in the giant market that India is.

We kept the campaign running in the hope of diversifying our reach in this enormous country. That’s when one of our previous customers, with whom we share years of business relation got in touch with us about the string. Being a player himself, he realized the impact that a product of this reputation would have in the current market and gave us the contact of a stringer from his hometown in Lunglei, Mizoram. We promptly approached them and passed on the information about the product. Now, expecting them to buy from us solely on the basis of a 15 min phone call would be wishful thinking. This is where our well-wisher played the facilitator and assured them of our reliability and his long term experience dealing with us. Our Social Media presence and Website added extra confidence and pushed them to take the first jump of faith.

                Thus, a bit of marketing, phone call on Product info and adequate assurances from someone well known got us our first dealer in the North East. We would like to see this as just the tip of a massive iceberg. North East has always been a sports friendly market and perhaps, one of the least tapped ones with immense potential hidden. Sang Sang Sports Co of Lunglei, Mizoram holds the key to the treasury chest that the North East badminton market is. Watch out for more updates as the story of Kizuna India unfolds.