The two-day Asia Brand Congress 2008, being held in Mumbai on September 25-26, brought branding under the scanner. 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 last session of day one saw speakers like Ashutosh Tiwari, Executive Vice President (Strategic Marketing: Godrej), Godrej Industries Ltd; Sarmad Ali, Managing Director (Marketing and Advertising Sales) Jang Group; and Robert Campbell, Managing Partner/Creative Strategist, Sunshine, give their views on their brands.
Tiwari, while speaking on ‘Brands: Beyond propositions & transactions for business value’, said, “Brands are not about identity systems or philosophy, marketing, transaction, and propositions only. A brand is about relationship building with the consumer.” “First establish a franchise and then choose your consumer segment, build a relationship - that’s how brands work,” he stressed, adding “The moment you think of market share, you go away from your consumer.”
He further said, “Customisation has to be done to strengthen the relationship with the consumer. It is not about core business or core competition, but it is about the core consumer. Justify your product to the consumer, explain to them what the product is and that is how business value is created.”
Speaking on the topic ‘Geo: Winning the share of Heart’, Sarmad Ali said, “The Jang Group launched its TV network, Geo TV on August 14, 2002, and during these six years, we have been able to change the attitude of people with the help of content shown on the screen.”
“Geo has continuously connected with the audience and has engaged them in various ways. Geo has thus captured what no other brand in Pakistan has ever been able to do – that is ‘the share of heart’. Geo has become a brand and a lovemark of Pakistan,” Ali added.
Robert Campbell spoke on the topic ‘How to talk to human’. He said, “Our job is to attract consumers to our brand (rather than a competitor) and fulfill on-going business needs and goals.” Speaking on the rules of the game, he said, “Trust is the single most important word in the advertising language. Nowadays, you need to deliver a brand experience, and not just a brand position. Don’t get lost in the detail. Find out what everyone else is doing and then do something different. Don’t be afraid of making sacrifices. Look at culture and life, and not just the category habits. Engage don’t enrage.”
He further said, “Advertising is not about executions, it is about an idea that can go and grow anywhere – from packaging to products to promotion to communication. If you want to embrace its power, you have to let go of your old evaluation criteria and develop new methodologies. Think culture, not just category – who cares about being number one in a category no one cares about. Sales doesn’t always equate to brand adoration. A true brand is one that has an unnatural hold on the emotions of society.”