In today's complex scenario of 360 degree communications , Brands and Brand Building is taking on a new meaning. To be able to get insights into Brands and their Brand building strategies, exchange4media brings the freshest and in depth perspectives from marketing and brand honchos of leading brands in this new section BRANDSPEAK.
"In this segment there is a skew
in the Indian market. Here investment is done predominantly
by males. Also, a person seriously starts looking into investment
at an approximate age of thirty, when he has investable surplus"
In Brand Speak
this time we speak to Ambareesh Murty, Vice President
- Marketing, Prudential ICICI, Asset Management. Murty
has spent six years in FMCG marketing before he moved
to his current assignment. His previous job was with
Cadbury's, where he handled 'Temptations.'
In his present role at Prudential
ICICI Asset Management, he talks to exchange4media
about the dimensions of a finance brand, the market
psyche, its positioning and the challange of creating
a 'state of need' for investment.
What major differences have you
noticed in FMCG marketing, and marketing of a financial
FMCG is a low outlay area. FMCG products,
specially chocolates come in impulse purchase category.
Usually 15 to 20 rupees is the maximum outlay that you
would want from a consumer in one go. In gifting yes,
it is higher, but only to the extent of 100 to 150 rupees.
In case of a financial product, it is a totally different
ball game. Minimum outlay is 3000 - 3500 rupees. While
you would be making million - two million transactions
in FMCGs, here you would need to make only 10,000 transactions.
And hence, the probability of holding on to your target
group through direct contact is fairly high. The need
to use the other mediums beyond TV is fantastic here.
||How has the journey been for Prudential
ICICI so far?
joined hands with ICICI in 1997-98. It started small with
an asset base of about 100 crores. Today we have crossed
the 10,000 crore mark and we have the customer base of
about ten lacs, so the numbers have grown substantially.
If you ask me, one of the fundamental reason being
the focus Prudential ICICI has put on building its brand.
If you look at financial services category, you realise
that advertising outlays in general don't tend to be
very high. In Prudential ICICI, there is definite focus
on advertising to build the brand.
|| How important is it to
be a well-known brand in this sector?
important. Most important thing that people see is longevity
of the company's offerings. Secondly, it is very important
to have good brand name to develop trust in people's
minds. You are actually going to invest your money into
it, so the brand becomes very important. The brand,
more so in financial sector, stands for trust and care.
And it is extremely important to get people to invest
If you look at the standard pyramid, at the first level
you build brand awareness, we have already attained
that, we have been in India for five years now. And
one of the things right at the top is getting the consumer
to invest in your brand.
As Prudential ICICI was new, we started off with building
basic awareness. Has the brand been able to build realistic
expectations? Has it performed up to the expectations?
How many have considered it? It is like an education
||Are you happy with what communication
done for your brand?
Today, we are fairly high on awareness,
among our target segment we are well entrenched. Let
me explain the thought behind our advertising. There
is a skew in India and investment is predominantly done
by males. Also, a person seriously starts to look into
investment at an approximate age of thirty, when you
have investable surplus. We have a 70% brand recall
Recently, we conducted a research among the investing
public. About 11% of the investing public knew Prudential
ICICI top of mind. It is a fair indicator of the share
that the brand enjoys in the market. On spontaneous
level we are at 30%. I do believe that we have grown
to a fair degree on various parameters. From here we
will grow further.
||Is push not very important
in the financial sector?
definitely is! It is always a mix of both. In any industry
push is important. Today, India is in a scenario where
intermediaries play a massive role. Be that in retail,
be that in financial sector products or any other category.
But what brand building does is, to make the customer
open to the idea of investing in a particular brand
and a particular category. Mutual funds category in
India has been through a lot of ups and downs. People
have come on thinking that mutual fund was an option
to make a quick buck, rather than looking at it as a
long-term investment proposition. And it has had a negative
||How is your message different
from other players in the market? Does it help you in
positioning your brand differently?
a couple of big players in the mutual fund area like us,
who do not sell on the basis of short term returns, it
was very important to understand what should our advertising
be like. We might be doing 42% returns or 50% dividends,
we never advertise on that basis. Prudential does not
We try to talk about two things - what is the main
stamp of our brand, that is trust. And what is the main
proposition of the brand - it is taking care of your
investments, this year we modified the campaign to make
it more relevant to the customer.
Another thing we needed to convey to the consumer was
the long-term benefits. If I fulfill your need over
a long period of time, it does not matter whether my
returns are great or not so great in short term. You
should not invest because I am giving 30% and the other
guy is giving 28%. 2%, at the end of the day, is not
going to be such a big amount.
recent campaign, 'aap hi ka paisa hae' has been
very well accepted. It is about how to get the maximum
value out of your money. The campaign was actually taken
across the board. We ran a restaurant promotion, which
was actually a database building exercise. In top 15
restaurants in the six metros, we did tent card on each
table. People were supposed to fill in the details and
answer some simple questions, and we had draws every
hour, and when a person won, the desserts for the entire
table were on us. We took the proposition of more value
for your money and that you would get something extra,
on to the restaurants.
It was a fairly successful campaign and we got a good
response. Our brand track also showed tremendous increase
after the promotion.
||What media vehicles would
you use to send across your message to your target group?
have a very synergistic view on media planning. We try
and be there in all the mediums at the same time. We believe
that it actually gives us synergies. If you feel that
your target audience is male thirty plus, you get him
wherever he is. You want to target him at home, you will
use television and print, maybe he travels a lot during
weekdays, so use outdoor and radio and maybe again print.
And as research shows that 60% of all surfers check net
from office, so you get him in office through the Web.
On weekend, again you get him through television advertising,
you get him through in-cinema advertising, and through
magazines. Research shows that weekend reading of magazines
is far higher than weekday reading of magazines.
If you want to use one medium, sheer outlays that you
need to put to create enough impact tends to be very
high. So, if you say that I would have presence six
months an year and be present in all the mediums vs
I will have a presence all the twelve months, and half
of that time I would not be present on other media,
and measure the effect that you would have in terms
of increased brand recall and other fronts, first option
works far better. So media multiplier works.
||How important a role does
advertising message play in positioning a finance brand?
very important aspect where an agency comes in is to move
away from only obvious benefit to a benefit that addresses
particular needs of a customer. For example if you plan
to invest in equity, the obvious benefit would be I would
take care of your investment you don't need to worry about
taking calls on stocks etc. That is what we as a mutual
fund are supposed to do anyway- so that is the obvious
What is not so obvious is that a person from 25 to
35 age group is willing to take a high degree of risk.
But he also wants a high degree of returns, because
he is looking at a number of things, he is looking at
building assets for himself, at taking a new house,
maybe buying a second car and henceforth.
Over a period of five years, equity outperforms all
other investments, so he would get a far higher accumulation
of wealth five or ten years later than he would by investing
in any other financial tool. So this is a need state
that 10 years later he will get a larger chunk of money.
From the obvious reason for investing to a 'state of
need' that leads to investment, is the jump an agency
has to take.
||How do you decide on your
brand communication strategy?
present our annual plans in the beginning of the year.
There we talk about the industry scenario, who is the
customer, where is he, what do we need to communicate
to him, when do we communicate to him. We follow it up
with a basic activity plan and ballpark estimates on what
we could be spending and activity plan, and then it is
followed by monitoring the campaign, which is actually
the brand track.
Our brand track, SRM by NFO MBL helps us track on various
factors, for instance, awareness levels of Prudential
ICICI Vs competition, market share of Pru ICICI vs competition.
It also helps us track levels of category involvement
- financial category vs other categories.
We set benchmarks on various parameters - how much
social awareness do we desire, for communication we
set benchmarks for execution cut throughs, branding
cut throughs of communication and more. In this way,
we know which communication is working and which is
not, and what are the changes that need to be brought
in the communication.
We follow it up with calling the agency for the annual
||What comes first - Creative
decide both more or less simultaneously, and call both
the agencies at the same time. We go into fairly large
details as to what we want to do. What is more, creative
and media both can give inputs in the other's area. Innovative
ideas come out across the mediums, which then need to
be fleshed out and further thrashed. This interaction
is very important to us. It is this interaction that gives
us the most.
Our annual plans are synergistic. Everybody works together.
Fine tuning of course, happens at a later stage. Last
year before the football world cup we had taken an excellent
property and because the property was so good, we tailored
a creative around it. This kind of tweaking happens.
||Why did you not consider
Cricket World Cup?
don't promote ourselves only as a tax saving scheme, hence
we are not advertising right now. Our new advertising
cycle will start from somewhere in April, when there will
be less clutter in the finance category advertising.
Secondly, Cricket itself is a risky proposition, and
for us to advertise, we have to be present both on print
and television. As I said earlier, we recognise the
importance of being present on both the mediums at the
same time. If we are not present in one, we won't be
present in the other.
with Ambareesh Murty on Brand Speak
Barista store is our brand. Our brand is also
the customer sitting in Barista. And there is
a very close correlation and fit between the two"
Basav Mukherjee, Head Marketing, Barista.
we look at the market then female segment is very
important to us. An Indian woman will always prefer
modern scooters and scooterettes for their use.
Motorcycles, because of their shape, are a problem
for them and they also do not like geared, old-fashioned
scooters. I think we would have a 40% share of
Firodia Motwani, Jt Managing Director, Kinetic
is the technology advantage and not the lower
rates that is attracting more and more customers
to Reliance India Mobile"
-Kaushik Roy- Head of Marketing,Reliance India
continually introducing new products, expanding
our target base and with Amitabh Bachchan endorsing
our product, we are confident that Parker will
be a Rs 100 crore brand by next year."
-D.K. Jain - Chairman and President, Luxor Writing
Instruments Pvt. Ltd.
is one of the last great commodity frontiers in
India; it has remained so because this market
is very fragmented, very unorganized. Tanishq
has successfully taken on the challenge of transforming
this frontier into a reliable consumer space by
bringing to it all the virtues and benefits that
Bhatt, VP - Retailing, Tanishq
basic philosophy of 'Vardaan' is that it can deliver
the same level of satisfaction and pleasure that
a person gets from a normal bidi but without the
ill effects of tobacco."
- Kartik Raina, Chief Operating Officer, Dalmia
people who have already experienced the lifelike
sound of Bose are the biggest advertisers for
us through the word of mouth. Besides
some routine advertising we believe in letting
people experience the products."
- Ratish Pandey, General Manager,Bose Corporation
India Pvt. Ltd. - July 10,03
have been in this job for 30 years and I can confidently
say that the kind of challenges that Eveready
has faced, its difficult to find a company that
has gone through so much and yet managed to remain
- Roshan L.Joseph, Director Eveready Industries
India Ltd. - June 27, 03
50 per cent of the better-known liquor brands
in India belong to Shaw Wallace. In that respect,
there is no change in the positioning of the company;
we are consistently focused on offering powerful
brands that set new yardsticks for the industry
to match." -
A K M A Shamsuddin - President Shaw Wallace -
May 17, 03
branding techniques have ensured that Zip is not
seen as an ordinary phone instrument, we have
been able to allot it certain personality traits.
Consumers perceive the Zip Fone to be friendly,
trustworthy, smart and young"-
Shishir Lall, President,
Zip Telecom - May 08, 03
provides us with an ideal platform to capitalize
on the trend of increasing health consciousness
by offering a number of new food products that
are able to cater to needs in this area"
Arvind Mediratta, Head-Marketing, Marico
Industries Ltd. - April 17, 03
are a lot of juicewalaas in city markets, so juice
is not something Indian consumers had not seen
before. And, we felt if we give them juices in
a packaged form, which is more hygienic, it should
Amit Burman, Chief Executive Officer, Dabur
Foods Ltd.,- April 08, 03
service industry demystifying each product to the
customer and demonstrating real benefits meaningful
to him, therefore, assumes greater importance"
- Tulsi Mirchandaney,
Sr. VP-Mkt & Projects,Blue Dart - April 01,
has captured market share amongst the young and
young-at-heart, upwardly mobile, sporty, fashion
conscious and those who follow the latest trends
- Kapil Kapoor, MD, Timex Wathes Ltd - March 22,
demand of tyres in a particular market is determined
by the vehicular population in that market. However,
the ownership patterns are now slowly changing,
specially in the metros, affecting the marketing
strategies of tyre majors"
- Neeraj Bhatia, GM (Marketing), J K Tyre - Feb
"Loyalty clubs and home to home promotions are more
interactive and give greater time to talk to the
consumer. I believe it will build brand shares faster
than usage of other media vehicles"
- Kartik Raina, MD, Dr.Morepen - Nov 28, 02
"We are trying to position Liberty as a more vibrant
and contemporary brand without leaving the current
comfort, durability and value planks."
- Adarsh Gupta, Executive Director, Liberty - Nov
"Advertising does help in building brand recall,
but advertising alone does not sustain a brand"
- Vikram Bakshi, MD, McDonald's - Sep 02, 02
are both clear and consistent in our positioning.
The tagline is "Hungry Kya" and the business model
is delivering hot n fresh pizza in 30 minutes, guaranteed.
We have no plans to change this successful positioning
in the Indian market."
- Arvind Nair, CEO, Domino's Pizza - August 19,
activity like product demonstrations and cooking
classes etc are certainly important for product
categories like microwave ovens where there is still
a fair degree of concept selling happening"
- M B Lee, VP-Marketing, Samsung India - August
advertising ban would not hamper our plans to a
large extent because there are a number of alternative
media through which you can always address your
- Abhishek Khaitan,Executive Director, Radico Khaitan
- July 08, 02
expect our agency to give us best value for money"
- Anand Bharadwaj, EVP (Marketing and Marketing
Services), Electrolux Kelvinator - June 24, 02