After having had brand experts like Prof Lynn Upshaw and Clyde Fessler of Harley Davidson in 2005, Jean Noel Kapferer in 2004 and Al and Laura Ries the year before that, this year’s edition of the CII Brand Conclave features Prof Kevin Lane Keller, one of the international leaders in the study of brands, branding and strategic brand management.
On Day One of the two-day Conclave, Keller gave his perspectives brand equity, models of measuring brand equity and an integrated approach to branding. He drew liberally from his experiences on brands like Starbucks, Accenture, IBM, and Visa to exemplify his contention.
“There have been definitive paradigm shifts in brand management and the focus is now more on building brands through performance and integrated communication,” Keller said. He went on to elaborate how in recent times there had been major shifts in brand management towards holistic marketing.
According to Keller, holistic marketing spanned across internal, integrated marketing relationships and performance marketing, and was focused on leveraging the lifetime value of customers. According to Keller, the new four Ps of marketing were – People, Processes, Programs and Performance.
He stressed that the value of a product or a service was not essentially a function of its pricing. The worth of a product or service became vital when the customer wanted something that balanced both value and price for a ‘unique marketing experience’. He further said that the three factors crucial for creating credibility and an appropriate brand personality were expenditure, trustworthiness and likeability.
Keller also presented his approach to positioning brands capped by his Brand Resonance Pyramid terminology to bond with customers at multiple levels.
He then presented a module on building Brand India. Through all conceivable contact points – direct and indirect – encompassing what people read, heard, saw or experienced, conditioned the brand image of India. According to Keller, while this was still a far cry in India, “often the image of a country can be influenced by a strong brand that achieves global leadership”.