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Consumers, not companies, own brands: Subhinder Singh Prem, Reebok India

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Consumers, not companies, own brands: Subhinder Singh Prem, Reebok India

Amidst the all-youth focus at the e4m Youth Marketing Summit in New Delhi on January 28, 2011, Reebok India made some key points on youth marketing with its focus on ‘making the consumers young’.

Presenting a case study on Youth Marketing with a key consumer insight, Subhinder Singh Prem, Managing Director, Reebok India, observed, “Youth marketing is not only about targeting those who are between the age of 20-30, but about reaching out to those who feel young at heart. Youth is a feeling which makes people live and enjoy their life more, and that is the driving force for marketing at Reebok.”

He cited the example of Reetone shoe campaign on Facebook, where women were encouraged to upload a video of butt-shaking. “The campaign worked well for us as it offered the mid-aged women a platform to be acknowledged for their youth,” he said. Singh advocated a youth-centric approach among marketers, as the youth target group in India constituted half the country’s population. “Every second Indian on the road is below 25 years. A marketer can’t afford to grow sustainable without taking along this chunk of consumers,” he said.

Singh said that the changing consumer behaviour of this young generation had made marketing, and being in sync with what consumers want, challenging. “Today, a brand is owned by the consumers and not by the company or a marketing head. Consumers are the true drivers of shaping a successful brand.”

He also gave the example of Reebok’s initiative of helping consumers get their pair of shoes exactly in the design and the colours they wanted. He elaborated, “Marketer needs to understand this psychology, and design their product in a manner that can help consumers realise that marketers have solution for their individual needs.”

Singh concluded that marketers need to engage and talk to young consumers to understand their specific needs and then devise a product and add value-proposition accordingly. Today’s young generation is technology savvy and very quick in picking new things. “The marketing appeal should be relevant and compatible,” he said, adding that marketers should approach them as a trusted partner, as the Gen-X is already loaded with lots of information and cannot be “taken for a ride”.

Subhinder Singh Prem was speaking at the e4m Youth Marketing Summit. The event was presented by UTV Bindaas and powered by Mudra Concrea in association with Tuborg.

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