The launch of stores will be accompanied by the official Web site beinghumanonline.com exclusively selling the merchandise. Currently, T-shirts under the label are sold through bookmyshow.com, and watches through another partner via beinghumanwatches.com.
Offline, T-shirts are currently sold through Cotton World outlets, but that will cease once the Being Human stores are in business. Since December 2010, Cotton World has sold around 65,000 Being Human T-shirts. Rotomac has launched a “Being Human” line of pens, ranging between Rs 20 and Rs 120. A collection of accessories is to be launched under the label after the stores are operational.
Speaking to Business Line, Ms Saldanha said, “Being Human is a lifestyle brand – unlike other NGOs, the pitch here is not to ask for donations, but a part of each purchase goes to a worthy cause supporting the underprivileged. Right now, it exists as different brands to different people, more so because it is promoted by a celebrity; a campaign to define the brand – ‘Join hands, change life' will be launched in the next few days.”
The online campaign will lead up to the launch of the exclusive stores and clothing line. An extensive outdoor campaign is also being planned, and will feature – who else – Salman Khan. Mandana Exports, which owns the rights to the clothing merchandise, will handle the retail presence, expansion and promotion, with Customer Centria responsible for customer engagement and loyalty, said Ms Saldanha.
“We started with tacking the issue of piracy of Being Human merchandise. The intent is to leverage the huge fan base of Salman Khan – and of Being Human (online) - for the benefit of Being Human, maintaining the line between Bollywood and Being Human,” she added.
The fight against “unofficial” Web sites championing Being Human is going on. Being Human has over 7.5 lakh fans on Facebook, several of whom have been wooed from such sites and Facebook pages initiated by fans of the NGO's promoter.