The Pitch Top 50 Brands were announced at a gala event last week. A robust panel discussion took place around the theme - “Branding a Purpose versus Purpose of Branding”. The discussion was moderated by Avik Chattopadhyay of Brand Strategy Firm Expereal. The panel which comprised Gaurav Mehta of OLX, Apurva Chamaria of HCL Technologies, Sanjay Singal of Dabur, Kaacon Sethi of DB Corp, Vikas Varma of Music Fatafatti and Nitin Bahl of Motorola Solutions exchanged their views on the theme citing examples of their own brands and how it serves their respective brands’ purpose.
The discussion began with Chattopadhyay asking Sethi on the DB Corp’s motive behind their ad campaign and her views on the theme. To which she replied, “Dainik Bhaskar has missioned itself to be India’s largest circulated, most admired brand, which will continuously focus on driving social change. Every Monday, across the 61 editions, we do not print any negative news. This comes from the thought that we live in a world where news is about negative news. But also if you look at the way we want to live, we are driving social change. Then one of the things that we need to drive is positivity. And therefore, we actually live it in our brand and we call it #LiveNoNegative. It’s very powerful and all-consuming. It stems on the fact that our every Monday we wake up to a new week and it is full of negativity. How can we as a brand reflect positivity?”
On Music Fatafatti bringing in positivity to the Bengali psyche, Varma said, “We live in small world where everything is happy, everything is joyful, everything is colourful and we just add a little bit of happiness in your lives. If you are going to switch on to our channel, you are going to be happy. And that’s actually the purpose of our brand’s existence. So, Fatafatti is a brand where, whatever may be going on in this world, you switch on to our channel and you are one of the happiest. A nice little oasis. I was extremely clear from day one that no matter what happens, this little oasis will always exist and that’s going to be our purpose. Even the songs we play on the channel, you will never have a sad song playing on our channels, no matter what happens.”
Singal, on the pupose of Dabur said, “Our purpose is to bring health through ayurveda and natural products to the consumers. There is a difference between branding of purpose and purpose of branding. Branding of purpose is which shall save the career, after two years it is lost. I think the purpose of the brand will sustain only if it’s the core of the brand. Is it helping you grow the brand franchise, is it helping you grow the brand ethics? I used to work for a brand called Fair and Lovely 15 years back. We believe very strongly that CSR is not a brand job, it is a corporate job. Our brand does activities that are about brands. Let’s say Sanifresh, it is a toilet cleaning brand, so we have taken to Modiji’s Swachh Bharat Campaign. We have a campaign about helping develop toilets in villages and we have got the Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Bhopal Municipal Corporation to actually put up toilets there.”
On the CSR activities and responsibilities of the corporates and the government, Chamaria said, “Lot of us make a mistake of thinking it’s and either or situation. So, it’s a choice between equitable growth and optimum growth. It’s not really a choice. Governance is so important to be left to government. All of us as brands, as corporates, as individuals, should have a stake in the society that we live in. So, I don’t think paying tax is enough. We at HCL believe in creative philanthropy. Our approach to purposeful brand is it has to be right to your category. We are a tech company, so we have taken up stems, science and technology, engineering and maths. We have a very strong team of 32 countries that we operate. And we are doing grassroot intervention around digital literacy, around capability building of teachers. And as the environment has changed, we are going from stem to steam.”
On the purpose of Motorola Solutions as a brand, Bahl said, “Moto’s brand purpose is that we help people lead rest in the moment that matters. So, when it is the first responder who is going to a crime incident, is he able to respond, does he have the right technology with him, does is go with the right equipment in his hand so that he can communicate back to his headquarters to probably communicate what are his needs and his desires in terms of that particular moment. So, when we talk about other countries versus India, the budget for homeland security is 43 per cent of the total expense and in India it is about 3 per cent. So, when you look at India as a country, the state is a little sad. The telecom industry is in a very bad shape. So, understanding a point where a fire man or a mission critical responder is into a dire state of situation and he is not able to communicate. So we believe in a statement in the company, when nothing happens, everything else can. So, we are a plan B which cannot fail. When everything else is happening, we are on a silent mode but whenever you have a little critical situation, the only network which works is Motorola. And our purpose doesn’t get diluted in any country, it remains the same”.
On the on-ground initiatives of OLX to make the lives of its consumers better, Mehta said, “There is a term called generic co-efficient which is, in a scale of zero to one measures the spread of resource in the population. So, it’s no secret that India is not doing so well on that. In India there are people who have 32 storey houses and there are people living in a small space. This is not an equitable distribution of resources. People are getting educated, they see people around being happy consuming more, being happy with more material acquisitions. And all of a sudden you don’t have the right means to get that new thing in the market. Which is where a brand like us comes in. You might be having a lot of things at home which are not of your use anymore. And if you go out and talk to ten people, at least five might be interested in them. But not having actually the credit tools, the money to get that. Which is where a brand like us comes in. And this helps those resources to go from one place to another. And it’s the optimum utilisation of resources. We are conserving so much. All our cupboards are full of things that we don’t use. That’s a strain on our country’s resources and economy. Why shouldn’t it go to the people who need it? That’s the core of our brand.”
The event was presented by Dainik Bhaskar.