AdAsia 2011: Social, Local and Mobile – the three big shifts
‘Decoding the new age consumer’ delved on new marketing models. Panel members Adil Zainulbhai, Laxman Narasimhan and Koichi Yamamoto examined the multiple forces reshaping consumer behaviour today.
Published - 02-November-2011
The second session on ‘Decoding the new age consumer’ was all about numbers and new marketing models. Adil Zainulbhai, MD - India, McKinsey & Company Inc, started by drawing four different existing scenarios of developing global economies, the real scenario likely to emerge and the forces that will drive the forthcoming change and volatility. He said that it was a positive sign that about 59 per cent of the people had consensus on the emerging market development scenario; however volatility of markets, currencies and prices would remain high for the next few years to come.
Key driving forces for this volatility, according to Zainulbhai, would be – global grid, pricing of the planet (in terms of natural perishable resources) and growing role of the State regulation across the board.
Laxman Narasimhan, Director, New Delhi, McKinsey & Company Inc, shared a detailed study on the multiple forces reshaping consumer behaviour highlighted that social, local and mobile are the big shifts that are happening in the current market place. “3D marketing (function, process and relationship) is dead and 4D is in with Engagement added to it; consumer decision journey has changed and because of this people have to take a look at fundamental marketing functions for ensuring performance and long terms health of an organisation,” he summarised.
Koichi Yamamoto, General Manager, Global Solutions Center, Dentsu, spoke about the shifts in marketing models ever-changing marketing environment. According to him, the pre-networked model of AIDMA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Memory and Action) had to change to AISAS (Attention, Interest, Search, Action and Share) with the emergence of digital and social media. However, according to him, the new model needed to be combined with the old one and there needed to be a shift from a funnel to a bell process. “The new model is SIPS (Sympathising, Identifying, Participating and Sharing) and with this one needs to get back to the fundamentals of communication.
AdAsia 2011 was a huge learning experience and exchange4media has put together 10 key takeaways from the mega event for those who could not make it to the congress.
Published - 07-November-2011
With the theme of ‘Uncertainty: the New Certainty’, AdAsia 2011 saw three days of heated discussions on rewriting the rules for advertising for the immediate future, which seemed to be the only way for survival. exchange4media has put together 10 key takeaways from the mega event for those who could not make it to the congress.
It was happening in India after eight years, but the choice of the venue may have reflected this. When global leaders like Harish Manwani, COO Unilever and Michael Roth, Chairman & CEO, Interpublic, spoke about massive game changers like themselves changing the rules of the game. And it was clear that the focus was on India. India’s unique market dynamics allow growth and the sweeping middle class again make India an assured market of growth.
Engaged, and Engage More...
Many global leaders and advertising professionals reiterated that ads aimed at using the engagement component in a way that was not done before. The spotlight was on the fact that marketing was out and engagement is in. Prasoon Joshi, and Joseph Tropodi highlighted the new rules of engagement. The new rules of survival for brand and marketers is to keep the consumer engaged, and work at engaging him or her even more.
The message was - ride the wave of change after change after change .....for it’s changeocracy today. The new rules of engagement were discussed that pointed out that the old rules no longer apply and advertisers and brands focus on the new rules for survival. “Leadership has to focus on ‘now’ to build future talent,” pointed out Indra Nooyi. And Swami Sukhabodhananda professed, “Uncertainty is the opportunity.”
Adapt and adapt fast
With the changing demographics and market dynamics, the only route left for brands is to adapt and adapt fast to the changing world. Adapt to survive in an uncertain world, said Indra Nooyi. The future will belong to those who adapt to change, she specified. According to her, the solution to surviving in an uncertain world was “adaptation”. “The future has never been made by predictors or skeptics. It has always been made by dreamers and doers and innovators who embrace uncertainty, those who seize the day to shape the future and show us the way forward,” she concluded.
Create Big Ideas in the ‘Now’
Create ideas that the world shares, said Robert Senior, who pointed out that “In marketing, a revolution is going on. The language of ‘new’ is now replaced with ‘now’. All ideas are not born big, but they become big, he said. But what he cautioned was ‘remember to appeal to the heart.” Produce “ideas that dare to move the people”, is the secret of success.
Ads must be Acts
In today’s evolving media landscape, ad messages have led to big social acts or movements that again can bring about and drive social changes. In contrast to the earlier scenario when advertising revolved around the creation of an ad and the crafted message, today marketing messages are participatory. Brands’ roles and meanings in consumers’ lives have more exposure, are discussed more and many a time challenged too. Chris Thomas said, “To spark conversations about your brand is the fundamental change that has happened in the last 30 years. Understand how people think. We make decisions using ‘why’ which has huge implications. Deliver the ‘why of brands otherwise you miss.”
The consumer was decoded and the DNA of the woman consumer dissected. “Women want more”, said Abheek Singh and he carried on, “There is a revolution taking place …..a quiet economic and social revolution. We researched and found a revolution is happening.” Yeonhee Kim analysed the Asian woman consumer, demonstrating that their DNA affected their shopping habits.
Build trust in a trust-deficit world
It’s a trust-deficit world. Robin Wight, Vikram Sakhuja and Michael Boneham discussed this and Deepa Prahalad, Author & Business Strategist, revealed her thoughts on whether brand trust is dead and stressed upon the different driving brand values that have changed overtime, one of the points being consumers do not look for perfection but decency and that building trust is a conscious decision that a product or brand takes. “Integrity is a relationship of trust, ‘ outlined Anna Bersnasek, and that integrity is an asset that has an economic payoff.
Sharing information cannot go wrong
‘Sharing’ was discussed at length. The revolution that is happening in Facebook, Twitter, LikedIn that is impacting brands in a big way. “Sharing has become the value-added special source for journalism,” said Kate Day. Earl Wilkinson elaborated on sharing of information which allows you to share, to remember more, search for more, explore more, read more… and media owners have noticed the power of sharing, and must use it to their advantage.
Social media is The Big Thing
In the olden days, word-of-mouth did not scale, but today it does. For instance, people’s network through Twitter can reach out to many. In social media, we’re rediscovering our source of sharing, observed Earl Wilkinson. Kate Day said, “Really good journalists are those that are good with social media”.
A single individual sharing is the oldest form of media,” exclaimed Ronda Carnegie as she spoke about TED and TED Thinking. But today, this process is sweeping across marketing and branding. And, it’s only those who make use of it in innovative ways, to engage the consumer will survive this onslaught of change or uncertainty.
The much awaited session of Day 3 at AdAsia 2011 was the valedictory keynote address of Indra Nooyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo, and she didn’t disappoint...
The much awaited session of Day 3 at AdAsia 2011 was the valedictory keynote address of Indra Nooyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo, and she didn’t disappoint. She started off by saying, “The creativity on display here is quite awesome. You can see why I’m both honoured and full of trepidation to have the task of wrapping up three days of fresh thinking.”
She further said, “I want to sit back and ask, as a CEO, how do we navigate an enterprise through a time when uncertainty is the only certainty? Especially, when we have not experienced the kind of volatility we have today in decades.”
She noted the fact that companies needed to face reality today, where there was a new, more negative, kind of uncertainty out there. She added, “I think we are now living in the midst of three inter-locking crises. The first is a crisis of leadership. At the top of some famous companies, responsibility went missing. One of the great tasks of leadership is to prepare for events, to be ready for when the storm comes. On any measure, leadership failed that test.
This crisis of leadership was compounded by a simultaneous crisis of governance. Accountability and oversight went missing too. Nobody said stop when bad practice was developing. Governance failed and it failed badly. The result of poor leadership and even worse governance is that we are now experiencing a severe crisis of expectations. Businesses, regulators and governments are now unsure what success looks like. This complex world feels out of control.”
According to her, the solution to surviving in an uncertain world was “adaptation”. “The future has never been made by predictors or skeptics. It has always been made by dreamers and doers and innovators who embrace uncertainty, those who seize the day to shape the future and show us the way forward,” she concluded.
At the end of Nooyi’s address, John Wren, President and CEO, Omnicom came up on stage and had an engaging conversation with Nooyi. On Wren’s observation that leaders often get promoted on the basis of what they have done in the past, not what they are going to do in future, and query as to how Nooyi gets leaders at PepsiCo to embrace the necessary disruption that she talked of earlier, Nooyi said, “I’m not sure we have got it right, we are still working on it. We are a $65-66 billion company, 300000 employees in 200 countries... a large enterprise. We constantly have to make sure that we are developing a leadership cadre to keep this company growing and successful. What we have done from the CEO’s office is that we have identified the 300 positions in the company that are key and lined them up for intensive training and new challenges. We have identified a backup person for each of those 300, plus three employees who can grow into that role in the next three to five years.”
Wren wanted to know how a company like PepsiCo led by managers from the West leverages its operations in India. Nooyi replied that India is a unique market, and has thrown up its own dynamics. “In fact, I look at the India business as a great learning lab to replicate this model in the West,” she added.
“In marketing, a revolution is going on. The language ‘new’ doesn’t exist, it’s been replaced by ‘NOW’. It’s time to give the power to the people,” urged Robert Senior, Creative Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi, while speaking on ‘The Pursuit of Big Ideas in the Age of Now’.
The post-lunch session – ‘The Pursuit of Big Ideas in the Age of Now’ – had speaker Robert Senior, Creative Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi, holding centre-stage as he confessed, “This is the most difficult session… I’ve just been introduced by a Ms World!”
Tracing his experiences through the day, he recalled, “I arrived with an empty cup, which is filling up.” He added, “From the time I arrived, I saw optimism and momentum… the difference is palpable. It’s so energising to be here.”
Coming that the title is a “slightly odd title” he stated that it “starts and ends with our audiences, who live in the now. He referred to a research in the US (North America) in the 1960s, which asked 12 to 16 year olds the question – “Who are you?”. The answer was unanimous – “I am a rebel”. The same study was repeated last year and the answer was – “I am creative”. He elaborated, “The generation now is film literate, much better than the older generation. They edit, they are sound engineers, send it to friends.”
“In marketing, a revolution is going on. The language ‘new’ doesn’t exist, it’s been replaced by ‘now’. It’s time to give the power to the people. People are coming together to exercise power, it’s democracy coming good, people demand action, as opposed to strategy,” he said.
He expressed the fact that, “There are 4 billion ‘screenagers’ demanding, there’s Google Instant launched –all demonstrating the essence of now. And smart brands are those that deliver it.” He demonstrated how the Era of New has transitioned to the Age of Now, where the key words are – participate, inspire and interact. The I of ROI he pointed out is not Investment by Involvement. The 3 questions that should be asked now are : Do I want to see it again? Do I want to share it? Do I want to improve it? He recalled that “there was a brilliant brief from a brilliant client – I want people to feel my end line, not read it!”
He advised, “Open up the window to the soul of the brand.” He gave examples of ads that they created, one of which they approached through an event when they had hidden cameras and filmed people capturing the moment. It was an instant hit on Youtube. “Ideas need to be there to get it going,” he said and went to say, “ideas are the prism of hope.”
“In a way, creativity is a science to be experimented through various forms,” he described like their ad on the royal wedding of Prince William. Finally questioning “Where the hell is the Big Idea? “, he arrived at the conclusion that “all ideas are not born big, they become big.” He gently reminded us, “Remember, appeal to the heart. JFK had a dream, Martin Luther King had a dream, so did Steve Jobs, what is your dream?”
“I would suggest you as a community, have a moral responsibility on the one hand and fiscal opportunities on the other; have ideas that dare to move people for if nothing else, your children would be proud,” were his parting lines.
The session on ‘Marketing to Women Speakers’ saw speakers Abheek Singhi, BCG India and Yeonhee Kim, BCG Korea, decipher the complexities and the uniqueness of marketing to women…
At Session 4, just before lunch, the hostess Diana Hayden put up the question: Does your DNA affect your shopping habits? ‘Marketing to Women Speakers’ in Asia was the topic of this session.
“Women walk more”, was the opening line of and he carried on, “There is a revolution taking place …..a quiet economic and social revolution. We researched and found a revolution is happening.” The research threw up the fact that “men don’t know women well, because they don’t listen.” He highlighted some facts like “Women control 12 trillion dollars of discretionary spends, in developed economies it’s 70 to 75% plus and in Asian economies it is lesser” and studied “the level of dissatisfaction that women have in different countries” and “ten big mistakes that men make while marketing to women”. Women consumers, on an average, are more conscious.
Does the Asian woman have a different pattern, when compared to her western counterpart? Or how different is she to her counterparts within the Asian region? Here it was taking a close look and an attempt to explore the traits of the Asian woman consumer. This what Yeonhee Kim, BCG Korea presented. “There is no one Asian woman. They control smaller proportion of spends compared to Western counterparts,” is what she pointed out. “Women focus more on personal care, household products and less on financial products,” she added. To prove her point she gave some statistics: The Indian woman spend more on food, household items; the Chinese woman on personal care products (cosmetics); the Japanese woman on travel, experience related products and so on. “If you look at the Asian countries, each is at a different stage of economic development,” she concluded the session.
Panellists at the session on ‘Conscious Capitalism’ raised some relevant issues regarding what businesses should do to adapt to conscious capitalism, what limitations they face, and whether there is a need to make a fundamental change in the organisation.
“Over the years, with the growing role of markets, it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe in a company’s social objective of profit maximisation,” began Santosh Desai, MD & CEO, Future Brands Ltd. while opening the discussion on ‘Conscious Capitalism’ on the third and final day of AdAsia 2011 being held in New Delhi. He posted questions to the panel about what businesses should do to adapt to conscious capitalism, what limitations they face, and whether there is a need to make a fundamental change in the organisation.
Anna Bernasek, Journalist/ Speaker shared her view on integrity as a relation of trust and that more integrity you have, the more transactions you have. She shared her DNA (Disclosure, Norms, Accountability) framework of understanding how to create integrity where Disclosure stands for bringing things out in the open, Norms that need to be simple, efficient and intuitive and Accountability which means providing people with the perception that if they break the rules, they will be caught.
Following this was Duncan Goose, Founder & Managing Director, Global Ethics Limited, who shared with the audience the inspiring story of how he pursued his business objectives with a conscience, without jettisoning the core tenants of business ethics. Based on the idea of connecting with the consumer on everyday purchases with a positive change input, he introduced products at a premium price segment, the profits of which were deployed in making a positive impact for a particular social issue across the world. “We helped retailers get consumers into the categories,” he said.
Replying to Santosh Desai’s question on whether the very nature of the corporation needed to be changed or incremental good is enough, Duncan said, “It has to be in the DNA of the company. It has to be of the core business strategy and the company needs to ensure that everybody in the organisation is inclined to the goal.”
As the AdAsia 2011 winds down, Alok Agrawal, COO - SW Asia, Cheil Worldwide, sums up the key points and takeaways of the congress and gives a glimpse of how the advertising and media world is set to change in the very near future…
As we round up the last day of AdAsia 2011, I too feel inspired by Swamiji to wonder. Wonder what the ad world would be like by AdAsia 2013.
But first, a quick word about AdAsia 2011. Congratulations to the organisers for pulling off a spectacular event. I have met many cynics. But I am impressed. Well thought out entertainment, culture and food themes. By and large glitch free. An eclectic mix of speakers – a Swamy to tech gurus. Statistical power houses to one of the most powerful women in the world. A
Maven of ‘NOW’ to ‘act’ors.
Now coming down to my crystal ball gazing for 2011. Let’s look at some certainties…
Tech influence is going to get even stronger as also the influence of the I. Smart phone penetration will top 30, 40, 50 per cent across all markets in Asia, including India, as tech gets more accessible and familiarity with the category grows. Smart TVs, currently nascent, will spread widely and, more importantly, the DRM issues would start getting sorted out bringing in more content to them. UI will move away from tactile to gesture and voice control with Siri, Google Voice and Kinect. Tablets would start showing up in a large number of hands.
Bandwidth will stop being an issue of availability and more about what’s being pushed through it. Connectivity across devices will get simpler, cheaper and everywhere. NFC, RFID, Blue Fi, face recognition, GPS, geo tagging – the list keeps growing.
Search, apps, operating systems and e-commerce will all get smarter and available in the local language and context. Digital displays will take over more and more display spaces. Inanimate objects will talk to us via our mobile devices. Billboards. Airports.
And all of this high technology would be available to a large part of the population.
At an individual level, the power of I would keep expanding. Larger social networks will lead to stronger group dynamics, challenging the power of all kinds of institutions. West Asia unrest is only a beginning. Participation and co-creation will be a necessity and not just one off actions. More and more people will live in the NOW.
Media and entertainment would transform the most.
Current media owners and distributors would need a serious rethink in content production, presentation and distribution. TV content is slowly moving on to mobile devices, liberating me to consume it anywhere on my time, to my choice. Production houses will need to find shorter ways of telling even more persuasive stories. UGC will be mainstream leading to a huge responsibility for someone to curate.
As print publications move to tablets, lines between print and TV will blur. And everything will be interactive. I won’t be surprised if actually some publications actually stop printing paper and just publish on apps. A lot of age old media brands will face extinction and new ones will emerge from rural centres we don’t even know of.
Clouds, apps, social networks, UI will start killing the Internet. Who wants to wade through that massive mess of information on the Internet when I can get what I need through a cleverly designed, well curated app, accessible across any of my devices via the cloud, operated with a few verbal instructions and shared across my personal networks with just a gesture.
All these certainties mashed together are going to fundamentally change the brand consumer relationships and the role of advertising as we know it.
We will have to grapple with the complexity of dealing with millions of new media channels. People, with influence in their groups.
When content owners will find it difficult to own their content. When every billboard will talk to me with personalised greetings and messages. When news will be instantly available to all, by all, who will bother with the theatrics of a news channel.
People will go to shops to experience and then go online to buy in search of a deep discount. Reversing the current habit. Stores will probably be the most impactful and influential medium of advertising. Surprise.
Ads will all be interactive. Yet how much interaction can a consumer tolerate? Print ads will talk and move. There will be a need to invent a new form of advertising. One with static, moving, gaming, interactivity and Internet all rolled into one cross device format.
The definition of a brand itself will see a radical change. Brands deliver premeditated benefits to consumers. Increasingly, consumers start defining what benefit they want from a band. Brands have competition from their own categories. Soon an app, a song, a soft drink and an e-comic are going to sit side by side on the same online store shelf fighting for that teen’s 99 cents. Consumer segmentation will pave the way for consumer groups based on social groups. Social good, honesty, customer centricity and an ability to deliver a combination of diverse benefits will be more valuable than focus, value and quality.
I wonder how much more exciting can the VUCA world get. It’s gonna be wow. And it’s exciting to be part of this evolution, no revolution. As ad people we are great at mapping and understanding evolving consumer habits. And we have great creative skills. All we need is a will to move away from mindsets and start wondering about these shifts. Ideas will follow.
Looking forward to AdAsia 2013.
(Alok Agrawal is COO - SW Asia at Cheil Worldwide.)
After three full days of listening to 50-odd speakers over 15 sessions, I would say, the future is still uncertain, but we do know that we have to deal with this uncertainty in the most creative way and without any fear, writes Madison’s Lara Balsara.
AdAsia 2011 is just over and as I get back to my routine, I have this sense of pride - India pulled it off once again. The organizers of this conference had to meet very high expectations of delegates, after AdAsia Jaipur that happened 8 years ago and I would say they have managed to meet these expectations, if not surpass them.
The Congress was a good mix of knowledge sharing, entertainment and interactions with people, a bit too hectic if you ask me, given the early start to the sessions everyday and wonderful entertainment programmes at night.
‘Uncertainty - the new Certainty’ was a very apt theme for the conference, given the current environment we live in. Renowned speakers from different parts of the world spoke on a wide range of subjects. Whilst it’s very common for most conferences to have sessions on Digital, capturing attention of the ever evolving consumer and getting senior creative directors to talk about their favourite campaigns; this Congress also covered the growing importance of building trust and integrity in all relationships; whether they are client – agency relationships or the relationship that a brand has with its consumers. Michael Roth went on to urge agencies to treat their old clients as a new client, the agency is pitching for.
Some speakers also spoke about the benefits and growing importance of brands taking up social causes seriously and how consumers respond and react to such brands very favourably. The other prominently discussed topic was that of talent and the importance of training and developing Leaders who can motivate teams and lead agencies in the future. Indra Nooyi went on to say that this is one of the most important roles of a Leader and Prof Ram Charan very succinctly put it - Put People before Strategy.
What took everyone by surprise was to see a “Swami” on the agenda. Day 3 started with a bang and the only speaker to receive a standing ovation from the audience, the Swami spoke so eloquently and shared interesting anecdotes to tell us all to stop stressing and worrying and to think about the present, and surprisingly also mentioned that materialism is not so bad, as long as you do it with a sense of purity.
Indra Nooyi posed a question to the audience and to her agency head honcho John Wren, “Has your agency changed enough to keep pace with what is happening in the outside world?”, John had to say a YES and justified that answer by giving a few examples. This is a question that can’t be answered easily and calls for introspection, because if one were to put their hand on their heart and answer this question, we know what the answer would be.
At the end of it all, after three full days of listening to 50-odd speakers over 15 sessions, I would say, the future is still uncertain, but we do know that we have to deal with this uncertainty in the most creative way and without any fear and who better than us (the advertising community) are better equipped to do so. I am glad I attended this Ad Asia and I look forward to the next Congress when it is held in India again and I hope I don’t have to wait for another 8 years!
It was yet another full day of sessions, networking and debates at AdAsia 2011. Team Vietnam set the mood for the evening and had nearly all present to don the typical Vietnamese hat…
Day Two at AdAsia 2011 took off with clockwork precision, by now the AdAsians are familiar with the schedule for the day. At any given time, the corridors of the 5-star venue were spilling with people who were making their way to the sessions or were taking a break. To prove this point, it was brisk business at the coffee/ tea counters, along with some hectic networking. A senior VP from a leading advertising agency in the city confided that he had come to the venue with the sole purpose of meeting with his client.
The seriousness of the occasion was complemented by very entertaining moments too, giving the impression that the party continued throughout the day. Diana Hayden played the perfect host and post lunch there was a spectacular dance performance.
But fact of the matter was there were loads of sharing – thoughts, experiences that led to many engaging conversations. And, one of the speakers had pointed out that “a single individual sharing is the oldest form of media”.
The reactions were however mixed on the takeaway from the sessions. Some appreciated the talks and applauded the speakers. Some perceived that the content delivered could have been better, as did the gentleman from a far-flung country, who did not hesitate to appreciate the global forum, but lamented the fact that there was nothing that he could take back and implement.
A fitting finale to the day was the Vietnamese evening. The team had everyone donning the typical Vietnamese hat.
More interactions followed, along with exchanging of visiting cards, more slapping of the backs, more clinking of glasses and sharing of notes…
So, at the end of the day it was a parting… to meet again on Day 3 and celebrate the concluding day of this ad festival.
The session on ‘Acts, not Ads’ saw Chris Thomas, BBDO India and Simon Bond, BBDO Proximity Worldwide highlight how in today’s evolving media landscape, ad messages have led to big social acts or movements that again can bring about and drive social changes.
The session on ‘Acts, not Ads’ took highlighted how in today’s evolving media landscape, ad messages have led to big social acts or movements that again can bring about and drive social changes.
In contrast to the earlier scenario when advertising revolved around the creation of an ad and the crafted message, today marketing messages are participatory.
Brands’ roles and meanings in consumers’ lives have more exposure, are discussed more and many a time challenged too.
Chris said, “To spark conversations about your brand is the fundamental change that has happened in the last 30 years. Understand how people think. We make decisions using ‘why’ which has huge implications. Deliver the ‘why of brands otherwise you miss.” Carrying this thought further, Simon explained, “When you buy a product you are buying into a lifestyle.” Then they explained ‘Giant Acts of We’ with the example of their Starbucks ad, which got people to switch from paper cups to reusable mugs.
Chris pointed out the difference between “accountability and effectiveness” and elaborated, “We must spend more attention on effectiveness to get more return for investment.” Simon added, “This is a cluttered world we live in and we must truly engage the audience. At BBDO we engage audience while we give information on experiences that change the way we think, feel and act.” He summarized, “ We are in the business of creating acts, not ads; to ignite people to drive behavioral change that lead to social movements.”
An act as a way of creating content. We were exposed to many of their acts. An Act (of breaking inertia) was seen in the Gilette ad which was based on the insight that “women were against lazy stubble”; an Act as a way of changing behavior was the Pepsico ad that helped rural communities in building schools; Acts as a way of shaping the future was seen in the Volkswagen ad that mobilised markets in China with ‘The People’s Car Project’.
Vikram Sakhuja, Michael Boneham, Sandeep Ghosh, Robin Wight and Deepa Prahalad discussed about building trust in brands in a trust deficit world. According to them, brands need to focus on psychological equity along with the fundamental market-place equity of price, distribution and media salience to achieve this.
The concluding session of Day Two at AdAsia 2011 stuck to its promise of navigating through the fog of distrust and emerge as a member of an ‘oligopoly of trusted brands’. Deepa Prahalad, Author & Business Strategist, who was also the moderator of the session, opened it with her thoughts on whether brand trust is dead? She stressed upon the different driving brand values that have changed overtime, one of the points being consumers do not look for perfection but decency and that building trust is a conscious decision that a product or brand takes.
Robin Wight, President, Engine and WCRS stated that the biological purpose of a brand is to enable consumers to make buying decisions with less brain effort and when there was trust crisis, the brain invented web to help them make the choice by consulting their community of friends. Financial services being a difficult category in terms of building trust, Sandeep Ghosh, CEO, Bharti AXA Life Insurance, talked about how they built trust for their brand by creating a brand campaign based on core consumer needs and feedback.
Subsequently, Michael Boneham, President & Managing Director, Ford India, elucidated on how Ford built trust for its brand in India, one of the points being that they now plan to bring products to India which are already present on the global platform, as it gives confidence to the consumer that those products are actually used and trusted across the world. Vikram Sakhuja raised the point that these days brand commitment levels were going down, but once they trusted a brand, they went all out. “Brands need to focus on psychological equity along with the fundamental market-place equity of price, distribution and media salience, in order to create that trust for themselves,” he stressed.
On the point of when engagement led to actual trust, Sandeep Ghosh mentioned that it was not just about the products and services, but also about the leadership and management team of the company and their responses during the moment of crisis that matter a lot.