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Packaging is the ‘silent salesman’: Loe Limpens

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MUMBAI: In the world where the ‘little black dress’ has created enough waves, Yellow Dress Retail (YDR) is trying to leave a mark.

YDR is an agency specialised in retail design and communication, founded in 2009 by Loe Limpens, Marcel Gort and Esther Koetsier and is part of the Dutch brand consultancy Brand Dialogue which forayed into the Indian market in 2013.

The name does raise eyebrows but the story behind the selection of the name is an interesting one. The first time the founders visited India, they met a lady with a very impressive ‘live’ story, she couldn't speak but only communicate by sign language and she was dressed in a vibrant yellow dress. Both of them were so impressed that they decided that if they ever start an agency it will be called Yellow Dress.

It recently made news for creating Flipkart’s latest DigiFlip Pro. The tablet is the first from the e-commerce portal’s private label stable and has been an instant hit especially for its innovative branding and packaging which has received great reviews.

The dual-SIM tablet, DigiFlip Pro XT712, with 7 inch touchscreen, 5 MP primary camera, Android v4.2.2 OS and 1.3 GHz processor is available only on the e-commerce platform at an affordable rate of Rs 9,999. DigiFlip Pro comes backed with additional benefits, where buyers will get shopping benefits worth thousands by shopping from the Flipkart app on the tablet.

The tablet is in response to the growing demand for quality devices at great prices. To add to its appeal, Yellow Dress Retail provided simple yet upmarket packaging for the product.

The agency specializing in retail agency, which creates store design, in store communication, packaging design and interactive design, believes that packaging is ‘the silent salesman’ as it is the real point of contact with the customer. “With Flipkart’s DigiFlip Pro tablet, we at Yellow Dress Retail have engaged with this product for creation of logo, packaging design and boot animation,” says YDR partner and chief creative officer Loe Limpens.

When asked if there is a need to have an agency specialised in retail design and communication, Limpens says, “The retail business has its own rules, speed, time to market, flexibility, specialism, etc. We felt there is room for an agency that specialises entirely on retail. And here we are.”

Business is getting better for the agency which has successful examples to its credit. Developing overall concepts for the worldwide strategic brands of Metro Cash & Carry is one of them. However, it still feels that a lot of attention is needed.

Understanding the Indian market wasn’t easy as well and it needed time, initially, to get to know the Indian market better and the challenge was to find the right people and to train them as retail designers.

The retail design agency has been working for more than 20 years at leading retailers in Europe, which gives it a lot of insight in the day to day business of retailers, price levels, speed to market and focus in retail companies. “Our experience is a subtle mix of both International and Indian markets that helps us in relating with the issues from a local and global level,” highlights Limpens.

Retail design and particularly private label is where the agency’s stronghold lies. He elaborates, “Private label development is our main focus currently, if you look at the share of private label in Europe which have around 50 per cent market share in 2025, the potential for the Indian market is enormous with a current share of 7 to 8 per cent.”

In India, the consultancy started with just three people in its office in Chennai. It currently employs eight people in Chennai and also has an office in Mumbai through the Brand Dialogue association.

Today, when the team meets its clients, most want the focus point to be on how to establish a good private brand assortment and how to secure the quality and production. In the near future, it thinks that sustainability will become immensely important for the industry.

“We have had our share of good luck in India, so we can't complain. It’s hard work but we are also on track with our objectives,” concludes Limpen.

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