Asia Brand Congress 2008: ‘Brand pull still works’

Asia Brand Congress 2008: ‘Brand pull still works’

Author | Swapna Rahul Shah | Monday, Sep 29,2008 9:38 AM

Asia Brand Congress 2008: ‘Brand pull still works’

The concluding day of the Asia Brand Congress 2008 saw eminent speakers representing their brand or company and speaking on their journey that turned their company into a brand in the market. The day also saw experts speaking on brand communication that engaged and inspired consumers. Experts also showcased ads to elaborate more on it.

The two-day Asia Brand Congress 2008 was held in Mumbai on September 25-26. The event was presented by Times Now. was the online media partner, while Pitch and Impact were the trade media partners.

Companies turning into brands in the market

The third session of the day was chaired by Amit Shukla, CEO, Sieger Solutions Ltd; Rajiv Jaitly, VP-Sales and Marketing, DB Corp Ltd; and Thebeetsile Ikalafeng, Founder, The Brand Leadership Goup. Session chairman was Arun Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer, Zapak Digital Entertainment Ltd.

Mehra gave a presentation on ‘Marketing in today’s complex world – Reaching out to the consumer’. Sharing his experience of marketing the Zapak brand, he said, “We did small things to create awareness of Zapak in the market initially. We created a viral or communication that would go out and ignite people on the Internet. We also did outdoor ads. Then we launched the Urinal TVC that worked very well for us. We believe in innovation and the same brought us impact. We believe in letting people become ambassadors for the brand, hence we came up with people blogging on Zapak, We also had people making commercials for us, wherein they made their own version on how Zapak could be integrated, which was uploaded on the campaign done recently. We need to look at trendsetters and get associated to reach more people in the market.”

While giving a presentation on ‘Launching minus launch schemes: The DC Experience’, Shukla said, “Deccan Chronicle has been leading newspaper in Hyderabad and neck and neck with the leader in Chennai. There was one more city left, that is Bangalore, and we decided to get the Bangalore market as well. So, what we did was communicate the brand essence to consumers through outdoor and radio advertisements, and through a seven-day free sampling offer. The lesson we learnt was – brand pull still works. Consumer schemes and trade schemes are not very necessary. Take the risk and bet on your brand. Finally, we have been able to get the Bangalore market.”

Jaitly spoke on ‘Reinvigorating your brand strategy and communicating it across the business’. He said, “An organisation can only walk the talk when its manager deliberately shapes its internal reality to align with its brand’s promise. You have to have a connect with consumers constantly, because consumer influences have changed over the years and, therefore, we have to relook at re-representation of a brand. We have to look at consumers’ demands. We have to go beyond to provide consumer what they are looking for.”

He added, “The role of a brand is to implement a company’s business strategy in the market place, which creates long term value/ potential for a company. In our case, Bhaskar needed repositioning and we understood that. We relooked and understood the category need and the Indian market, and worked towards it.”

Representing Africa, Ikalafeng said, “We have been able to change the perception in Africa. Things that we learn during world planning are clear and distinct value of proposition, unity in diversity, leveraging power of brands, managing or shaping perception.” He spoke on the topic ‘Whats the big deal with the brand: Issues, Insights and Trends on Building Great Brands’.

Brand communication matters a lot

The last session saw speakers such as Anil Singh, Managing Director, Procam International and Sanjay Purohit, Director – Sales and Marketing, Cadbury India Ltd. Session chairman was MG Parameswaran, Executive Director & CEO – Mumbai, DraftFCB Ulka.

Parameswaran reviewed the ‘Hari Sadu’ TVC of Naukri. He said, “In this ad, you will see how much an employee can get tired of the boss. This TVC sends across the message that an employee cannot get tired of organisation, but definitely can get tired of bosses. This TVC had a huge response.” He further said that brand communication had to be very strong to engage and inspire the consumers further.

According to Purohit, “Brand communication constantly engages and inspires consumers. Brand communication needs to be based on four types of universal truths – cultural human truth, societal truth, individual truth and product truth – and you also have to look at universal human truth – emotional and functional benefits.”

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