Cogito Consulting, the consulting arm of FCB Ulka, is charting a success story. In addition to the principal responsibility of the consulting company, which is to do projects for clients in the areas of branding, brand architecture, marketing and distribution, and providing points of view in terms of arriving at the right product pricing, Cogito also develops a knowledge base, which eventually helps clients across industries.
Kinjal Medh, COO of Cogito, said, “We work on a project basis and till date have worked with big names like Wipro, Tata Motors, and NDDB. We also have a few international clients. The name Cogito is derived from ‘Cogito-Ergo-Sum’, which means ‘I think, therefore I am’. The unit has multiple roles, one of which is to be the knowledge bank within the agency. The second is to provide consultancy to clients – who need not necessarily be clients of FCB-Ulka, and the third area is be to develop insights into consumer behaviour.”
For instance, the brand consultancy division recently conducted a study in India to understand the impact of choice on Indian consumers. The study assumes particular importance given the fact that over the last decade, Indian consumers have been suddenly exposed to a wide variety of choices in several categories. Their behaviour, when faced with a wide array of choices, would be of great importance to marketers and advertisers to formulate their communication strategies. This Cogito study goes some distance in trying to understand consumer behaviour in this environment.
Another study conducted by Cogito has tried to analyse the sea change that Indian economy has witnessed in the last decade or so, particularly the emergence of the spin-offs of liberalization, the move from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market. Thus, expenditure on indulgence such as entertainment, holidays or even personal grooming has gone up significantly.
Also, because of easier availability of credit, people are planning for major investments, such as housing or insurance, much earlier in their lives. Given this paradigm, how do younger individuals differ from older individuals while considering purchases, investments, expenditure on health, education, insurance, and financial planning in general?
Thus, the key objective of the project was to study the purchase and investment behaviour of young people in the early stages of their careers, typically between the ages of 25 and 35 years, and those of people between the ages of 45 and 52.
Cogito also tired to fathom the effects of promotions on car purchase, with 30 new car models slated for launch this year. While several marketing chieftains had already drawn blueprints for promotions-led push, this study dwelled deeper into the activity.
“Today these kinds of studies make much more sense as the level of competitiveness has gone up to an extent one couldn’t have thought of 10 years back. We, on our part, have developed proprietary tools internationally, which are used to give the right understanding of the market to our clients. For example, the ‘Chess’ tool that we have developed helps us understand the competitiveness in the market. We have done some work with this for Tata Motors, too,” Medh said.
With the Indian market opening up, the role of such consulting firms has become a lot much important. Ackowledging this fact Medh said, “Yes, that is correct. Till now, the growth has been encouraging for us, but now we want to push the boundaries. The market has not reached maturity levels yet and there is a still a long way for us and the client to go.”
Certainly this 20-member Mumbai-Delhi team of Cogito, which was set up three years ago, is aiming for a multiple array growth and not a linear one, and has a lot more up its sleeves when it comes to scanning the market. As Medh said, unless a brand offered value better than the competition, it was a tough market.