The two-day Brand Summit 2010, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), got underway in Bangalore on February 19, 2010. The focus in the fifth edition of the Summit is on ‘Marketing Disruption: How will brands woo consumers in the age of discontinuity’.
Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group, held the audience’s attention with his three keys to building a successful brand strategy, which included understanding of brands and consumers as they existed today, building brand equity through information and analytics, and creating future equity through consumer insights. He stressed on building an emotional connect with the consumer and added that creating customer equity was not a static process as customers were constantly in a state of flux.
He also spoke about rejuvenation of brand Godrej and making it relevant to the young consumers. “For a successful brand, the combination of creativity and analytics works, which further helps in enhancing the brand experience,” Godrej added.
Besides Godrej, the inaugural session of the Summit also had addresses by industry veterans such as Tim Love, Chairman and CEO, (APIMA), Omnicom Group Inc; and Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman, Brand Summit 2010 and CMD, RK Swamy BBDO, among others.
In his address, Love stated that now was the best time to be in the advertising business as it was a time of changing ideas and innovations to understand and reach the consumers successfully. He added, “In the era of technological discontinuity, businesses should treat advertising and marketing communications as prized possessions, something which, if carefully nurtured, can provide them with disproportionate competitive advantage. They should adopt a new frame-of-reference, broader than themselves, and a strategy of superior collaborations.” His mantra was “think like the Sun, which will broaden the reference point and make it more relevant”.
Speaking on the topic ‘Disruption by the New Age Customer’, Dave Evans, Consulting Director, 20:20 Social, presented his views on the millennial customer, whom he described as someone driven by values, believed in shared values and peer communities, was discontent with status quo, but at the same time had a love affair with social media. According to Evans, it was a generation that was hooked to the Internet, however, the main challenge for the marketer was to find out where to interrupt this media and reach the consumer. He noted, “If there is a challenge, there is also the reality that the millennial have high expectations and aspirations, and they love to share the moments of triumphs, which is testimony to the fact that there are many existing communities. Transparency, relevance, brevity and participation (before the sale) are the keys to engaging with this group.”
Arun Tadanki, MD, Yahoo! India, spoke at length on marketing to this New Age customer, who was spoilt for choice, experienced an explosion of information and looked at value for time. He pointed out, “With time, the profile of the consumer has changed, thus the task of a marketer to reach him has to be done differently. While there are statistics that show that the amount being spent by prospective consumers on new media is very high, the marketing budget allocated to this media is still low, with so-called mass or traditional media still ruling the marketing spends of a client.”
He debunked certain myths that said that the Internet was a niche medium. “The Internet is all about youth, the medium is fragmented and is good only for lead generation. One can do online advertising with a small budget,” he said and stressed on the fact that the amount being allocated to online advertising did not do justice to the medium and that there was need to explore the medium to its full potential.
Andrew Robertson, President and CEO, BBDO Worlwide, USA, noted, “There is need to rethink the way one thought about media. The need is to create an experience that is sufficiently engaging. It’s a time when the message is the medium, unlike the belief that medium is the message.” He also stressed that there should be segmentation, but as little as one could and not as much as one could. Besides, digital should not be seen as a platform, but should be the language, he concluded.