The second edition of 'Brandwidth', a seminar put together by Bangalore-based brand consulting, advertising and PR outfit, brand-comm, was an attempt to capture a cross-industry perspective on key issues relating to branding. The daylong event on Saturday at Bangalore featured talks by leaders from several industry segments.
In the first session of the day Subroto Bagchi, COO, MindTree Consulting, highlighted the significance of identifying the DNA of the brand in his presentation on 'Corporate Branding'.
He said, "When in the process of setting up the company (MindTree), I was in Paris and Shombit Sen Gupta asked me 'What's the DNA of your company?' When I asked him what he meant, he said I had no right to think of being in business if I didn't understand the DNA of the organisation I wanted to build."
He explained that later, the DNA was arrived at as 'imagination, action and joy'. The elements of the DNA should be tested every step of the way in building the corporate brand, explained Bagchi.
'Inclusion' of the internal stakeholders was another critical aspect highlighted. The speaker extolled the power of volunterism and cited the Missionaries of Charity as an example.
There was a need to meet the stated and unstated expectations of constituents, he shared, adding, "We will see increasingly, the volunteer worker emerging as the driver of corporate structure. Gone are the days when you could make people march to a beat. We need to unlock value propositions when attempting to lead knowledge workers. The concept of loyalty without volunteerism is getting out of date."
Without naming the brands, Bagshi took the example of two airline brands, one of which was attempting to get high on advertising and the other was top of mind for its 'value' proposition. "When you try an create a corporate brand, you need to create enormous value. The most important aspect is to precede that brand with value. You cannot simply spend a disproportionate amount of money on building the brand through advertising alone. You need to build in the value first," he asserted.
This value, he contended, also needed to manifest itself as content that would drive the corporate brand – an aspect 'not very noticed in India today'.
"It becomes critical as content outlines its creator. Content doesn't come from an ad agency or a PR agency, and is inherently necessary. Content is about expressing the values you stand for in many different ways so people can understand what you are. Most managements don't understand the power of the intranet. It's not about the logo being there. The thought leadership will come through with the content," he explained.
The challenges in building an institutional brand were many, Bagchi said, and underlining the challenges was his opening quote: "If you can create one institutional brand in your lifetime, you can consider it an achievement."