The second and post-lunch sessions of the eighth CII Marketing Summit 2007 brought in insights on retaining brand image, factors that drive the Indian market, and the rise of the new consumer segments. The sessions also brought to the fore some new brands to be launched as well as associations to be formed.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Chairman and CEO, UB Group, who spoke on building a brand luxury, said that the brand was not a commodity but a personality that could communicate to the consumer and vice versa. He also said that luxury had different connotations for different people. “Luxury is aspiration which one looks forward to. Aspiration is youthful, lifestyle-oriented and colourful. Everything that contributes to lifestyle is in sync with what consumers aspire for,” he said.
Dr Mallya also cautioned that to retain the brand image intact over the years, it was essential to refurbish the brand every 2-3 years. “There is a need to create excitement about the brand. One cannot allow it to stale, but make it look young. At Kingfisher, we keep a close track on the emerging consumer trends and their spending habits,” he added.
Mallya also hinted at the launch of a new whisky brand called ‘Poison’ that would be stylish and aimed at the Indian youth, as also a premium beer brand ‘Kingfisher Ultra’ to compete with ‘Budweiser’. He also spoke about re-branding Air Deccan and about his company’s necessity to acquire Whyte & Mackay.
In the third session titled ‘What drives the Indian market? Value or volume’, Bijou Kurien, President and Chief Executive-Lifestyle, Reliance Retail, observed that consumers in India opted for a mid-way between value and volume. Citing statistics and case studies, he explained that India was a country with cultural, political and economic diversity and could not be bound by one criterion. Other speakers like Captain GR Gopinath, MD, Air Deccan, and Andrew Horne, MD, Xerox India Ltd, spoke on a similar wavelength.
Biren Ghose, CEO and President, Kahaniworld Inc.; Vijay Singh, President-Strategy and Corporate Development, STAR India; and Suresh Seetharaman, President and Founder, Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation, spoke on the rise of new consumer segments in the fourth session.
Ghose, who termed the New Age youth segment as ‘screenagers’, said that this segment collected content from different sources at one go, and were much ahead of their times. He stressed on how they had to be handled and taken care of. “The kids are significant target consumers who are neglected and need attention like their adult counterparts,” said Ghose.
Virgin Comics will soon be launching animated films like ‘Sadhu’, ‘Shakti Line’, ‘Game Keeper’, ‘Virulence’ and ‘Snakewoman’. It is also coming up with a 10-movie deal with Studio18 and another four-movie deal on super hero series with UTV.