The 17th Asia Brand Congress 2007 began in Mumbai on September 25. The two-day event had some of the best brand managers in the world converging under one roof to share their views and form opinions on the importance of branding. This year’s theme is ‘Communicating a brand that connects, engages and inspires audiences’. The event is presented by Times Now, while exchange4media.com is the online media partner and Pitch and Impact are the trade media partners.
The welcome address was delivered by Sunil Lulla, Chairman, Asia Brand Congress, Director & Group CEO, Alva Brothers Entertainment along with Naveen Kshatriya, CEO & MD, Castrol India Ltd and Regional VP, BP Lubricants.
Lulla said, “In my mind, Mumbai stands as a brand in itself and is a city where everything is possible. And I guess that is why for the last 16 years Brand Congress that ran across the country has now been transformed to Asia Brand Congress and by next year it will be the World Brand Congress. That is the change that we have seen over the years.”
Stating that brands did not belong to individuals, but to the shareholders, Lulla said, “The recent financial developments clearly indicate that the brands that have been cherished and are reputed can change the future. For instance, brands like Tata, Mahindra & Mahindtra and Arcelor Mittal are a clear indication of brands that will head in the future.”
Speaking at the event, Kshatriya said, “With technology and development being very dynamic, the cost of goods has gone up. However, the strategy and challenge for a brand is its communication and brand development.”
Citing Castrol’s example, Kshatriya said, “With increasing competition and the number of multinational companies foraying into India, it had become a challenge for us to differentiate our category and hence, we changed our communication to ‘Castrol, it’s more than just oil; It’s liquid engineering’. Hence, in India we roped in Rahul Dravid and then John Abraham to communicate this message.”