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Asia Brand Summit 2008: Consumer-centric approach the mantra for a brand’s success

Asia Brand Summit 2008: Consumer-centric approach the mantra for a brand’s success

Author | Nitin Sharma | Monday, Sep 29,2008 8:48 AM

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Asia Brand Summit 2008: Consumer-centric approach the mantra for a brand’s success

The concluding day of the Asia Brand Summit 2008 saw panelists take a look at some of the most memorable TVCs over the years, with a special look at brand Horlicks. Partho Dasgupta, MD and CEO, Future Media India, who moderated the session, was the catalyst in driving home the tools of a consumer-centric approach.

The two-day Asia Brand Summit 2008 was held in Mumbai on September 25-26. The Congress was presented by Times Now, while exchange4media.com was the online media partner and Pitch and Impact were the trade media partners.

The post-lunch session had Terry Behan, Founder, The Fearless Executive; Michel Cao-Tuan Phan, Professor of Marketing, LVMH Chaired Professor and Academic Director of Mastercard-ESSEC Luxury Brand Management Executive programme, ESSEC Business School, Paris; and Shubhajit Sen, VP, Marketing, Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Health Ltd as panelists.

Partho Dasgupta set the tone for the session with a slideshow on two Bollywood blockbusters – ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’. He also took the audience through a series of Indian TVCs. “Words like ‘Inspire’, ‘Encourage’, ‘Connect’ and ‘Motivate’ are the core ingredients that help trigger the senses of a consumer,” Dasgupta said, citing these as the first step towards success. He added, “An amicable customer service comes in next and the most important factor that will help a company in retaining consumer locality towards a brand and also increasing market share of its product.”

Terry Behan spoke about his theory of ‘Building a brand internally in emerging markets’. According to him, “There is always a big disconnect between the ‘Purchase Intention’ of a consumer and ‘Post Purchase Loyalty. So, it is essential for a brand manager and marketing team of each and every company to bridge the existing gap by creating a positive awareness about the company’s brand, having the most important knowledge imparting sessions and addressing all the dos and don’ts about the consumer-centric approach within the company employees. By doing so, the company will not only see a positive growth in sales, but most importantly, in consumer loyalty.”

He also stressed upon the need to prioritise the company’s efforts in protecting the reputation of a brand, mainly because the balance sheet would be a replica of the sales.

Sharing the challenges that Glaxo Smithkline had in keeping the 100-plus year brand ‘Horlicks’ was Shubhajit Sen. He said, “Glaxo Smithkline as a company has always focused on experiential marketing as a forte to a brand’s success, and as a result, we have not only been successful in rolling out new variants such as Horlicks Junior and Women Horlicks, but have also been able to strengthen the loyalty that the consumers have had with the brand ever since it was launched.”

According to Sen, a company needed to focus on the trends of the consumer’s life and think upon a strategy that would be in sync with the commercial that conveyed a truthful message to its TG. “Every year around the January-March period, we come up with Horlicks - the cure for ‘Exam Ka Bhoot’ campaign. By doing so, we cater to every touch point that needs to be triggered. But in all this, we make sure that we don’t spread false message that if you drink Horlicks, you will come first, rather we focus on the theme – ‘Horlicks helps you prepare better for the exam’. Our strategy has been successful as we have been able to enjoy a 4.5 per cent hike in sales over other competitors,” he added.

Michel Cao-Tuan Phan shifted the focus from mass brands to luxury brands, and said, “Touch a consumer’s heart, and you shall touch their wallet”.

Phan explained the transition phase that came about in luxury brands and how after-sales services had managed to bring about the much-needed change in how people perceived luxury brands. He said, “Earlier, luxury brands used to be ordinary goods for exceptional people, but now things have changed as luxury brands are now perceived as exceptional goods for ordinary people. And all this has changed because luxury brands are now going beyond what the customers/ consumers expect.”

He added, “Although one cannot attain ‘perfection’ in whatever one does, but what brands from all domains should do is focus on perceived service quality. Because perceived service quality is 100 times more important than service quality offered. Every company that deals in luxury, premium or mass brands must employ people who can learn to think and not just execute the customer service.”

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