The After Dark brand was founded in 1988, originally only an export business, selling nightwear to Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. In 2016, with the onset of Shopify’s entrance into India and the widening of the direct-to-consumer revolution, After Dark decided to sell locally to their home country. Prerna Vaswani, the daughter of the founders of the company is leading her family-owned business into the digital economy.
That’s not the only reason we love After Dark. In addition to their direct-to-consumer journey, we also love their Instagram, and their beautiful nightwear fashion.
After Dark uses Instagram for brand marketing the way Instagram was intended to be used. Lots of lifestyle shots, high-quality images, relevant to their audience with stay-at-home and Indian culture being featured.
Lifestyle photography means each photo tells a story about the product and brand. Whereas most stores will use Instagram as sort of a product catalog of their products, , flat-lay products, on white backgrounds, After Dark features people and the settings just as much as the products themselves. It gives their audience a glimpse into how these products will fit into their own homes, and more over inspires their audience for their home life as well. I wouldn’t be surprised, with Instagram posts like the one below, people following them just for the beauty of their shots, even if they aren’t in the market to buy a new set of pyjamas (yet).
Which really brings me to the main selling point of Instagram. Not everyone in your target market is ready to buy your products today, or even this month. But when you get their follow, as long as you’re putting out great content, perhaps at the right time and place they will place their order. Maybe for their wedding night, for a gift, perhaps if their current pyjamas get damaged or lost, or a new gorgeous style you introduce in the future.
Their Nightwear Fashion
And speaking of style. After Dark really adds in the fashion ingredients to the whole nightwear category. I never considered nightwear as a fashion-friendly product category, but with After Dark’s styles, it’s hard to look at my old fashioned pyjamas the same way again. Why can’t all pyjamas be this fashionable?
For example, their Flash Pyjama Suit. I could wear that to my work-from-home COVID Zoom meetings and my team would never be able to tell.
Or this one for women, the Nora Pyjama… Maybe there is an idea for a new collection here? “The Work From Home Collection”
We love this about After Dark because this is one of those stores that changes our perception of what the product should be. Just like when Tesla drivers take a test-drive of the electric car and claim, “this is how all cars should be,” or Netflix users who cut their cable TV cord. After Dark is giving it’s customer an “AHA!” realization and introducing a new lens with which to look at pyjamas.
Direct to Consumer Journey
As mentioned in the beginning of the post, After Dark didn’t go direct to consumer until just a few short years ago. For over 30 years, they were factory suppliers for western brands in Europe and America. We love it when creators and artists go direct to consumer.
When you produce such high quality products for other brands, it make so much sense in today’s world to go straight to your local customers as well. We love this drive and vision, and it’s completely attainable these days with platforms like Shopify, and apps like Shop Phone.
I’m looking forward to seeing more about their background, history and artisans (like this post here of Sanjay). In addition to more of these stories, I’d love to see behind the curtain to their design process and how they come up with their new collections. Stories like this create a deeper connection with their customers. Customers these days are increasingly buying brand stories just as much as they are buying the utility of the product.
You can visit the After Dark website here: www.afterdark.co.in
After Dark uses our Shop Phone app for Shopify to help them recover abandoned checkouts, and welcome new and VIP customers: Shop Phone Shopify App