To address the general perception of the corporate world about India as a land of low-cost productions or the home to redundant manpower or a nation suffering from unhealthy political dominance over economic and commercial activities, Brand India needs to develop an image that would reflect the true potential the nation treasures. “Image management is the need of the hour for India,” observed European brand management expert Jean-Noël Kapferer, while speaking at the CII-organised Brand Conclave at Kolkata on July 7.
Considered among the four fastest growing economies of the world, India is often compared with the neighbouring state of China – more because of certain similar attributes like surplus labour force and geographical expanse. “Under such state, it is most important to retain the brand identity to score higher on the loyalty and trust factors in the global marketplace,” said the master brand manager.
Advancing further with his model of brand building, author of the best-selling ‘Strategic Brand Management’ explained the importance of both immaterial and material factors that would translate into a successful brand and image building exercise for the country. As he put it, to develop the most effective platform, Brand India needed to portray its unique features in defining the identity and reflect the competitive advantages in its positioning as a potent business brand.
“Brand is a contract. The brand image depends largely on the uniqueness and the tangible or intangible promises that add value to it. India needs to meet these parameters to build an image that would reflect lots more than the commonest attributes the world believes about the country,” advised Kapferer, a professor of marketing at the HEC Graduate School of Management in Paris.
Presently serving as an active consultant to a number of European and global corporations, Kapferer has mentored some of the leading international brands like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Benz, BIC, BMW, Chanel, Salmson, Caisse d'Epargne and Galderma. He has also authored some of the best-selling titles on branding.