Every campaign by Benetton India is followed by a sentiment analysis: Sundeep Chugh

Guest Column: MD & CEO Benetton India on how brands are rising above transactional relations to create stronger emotional bonds with consumers

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Nov 20, 2018 8:10 AM Updated: Nov 20, 2018 8:10 AM
Sundeep chugh

Value for money, performance excellence, convenience are no longer sufficient to create a distinct brand identity. The millennial consumer can harness the unlimited power of technology with the click of a button to view a plethora of product and brand options, download discount offers through multiple platforms and examine peer reviews before selecting a product from the convenience of his home, work, car or just about any physical space.

Thus, it has become imperative for brands to create a compelling story that resonates with the new millennial audience who view their brand choices as an extension of their personality and belief system. The younger generation is not afraid to take a stand and voice their opinion on larger social issues and that is what they have come to expect from the brands that they endorse as well. While building an emotional connect can be tedious, its impact is much more profound and long term, as the brand does not simply gain loyal consumers but active brand advocates who continue to influence other consumers through word of mouth, social sharing and referrals.

United Colours of Benetton, has been at the forefront of this revolution. The brand was built on the premise that garments are a lot more than warps and wefts, but in fact represent different colours of every consumer’s emotions, convictions and beliefs. Taking this thought forward, the brand has fearlessly addressed social issues that continue to plague humanity globally. However, with over two decades of dressing up Indians across the nation, the brand has come to realise that not only are the consumer demands unique but so are the social issues that inflict the community at large. Hence, as the brand secures a stronger foothold in India, it also strengthens its commitment to voice these issues, by launching a thought provoking platform – United By, which aligns with the global social campaign structure, resonates with the brand’s philosophy of embracing diversity with unity while addressing evils that fester deep within the social conscience of the nation.

In 2016, the first campaign #UnitedByPlay, was launched on India's Independence Day. The video showcased the two biggest influences in a country that is obsessed with hero worship– cricket and religion and the power of sport to unite across religious divides. #UnitedbyPlay was followed by an emotional video #UnitedByFaith that was released last year again on Independence Day depicting the endearing story of an unsung hero - Noorul Hasan, a Muslim resident in Lucknow who gave up a part of his house to restore an abandoned old Hindu temple that he shared a wall with. Building on the momentum, Benetton India once again took a strong stand for unity and created another soul stirring video for its campaign #UnitedByHope that showcased a social experiment to highlight different perspectives of two generations as they explore the concepts of religious diversity and national unity.

Over the last few years, Benetton India has called upon the evils that have destroyed our social fabric and has dared to become a voice that questions all that divides us. Thus through its eye opening campaigns #UnitedByDon’ts and #UnitedByHalf, Benetton has questioned the rights and safety of women in India. Both these videos force the nation to reflect on gender inequality that continues to thrive in our society. Each of these campaigns champion a hard hitting issue, but the narrative is woven with compassion and sincerity that compels the viewers to reflect on their thoughts and actions. #UnitedByHalf speaks for a gender equal society where women are not seen as better halves and definitely not the weaker halves. The campaign aims to change societal mind- set and celebrate women as equal partners. A society where women are not denied their voice or their opinion whether at home, school, or work. The campaign is part of Benetton Group’s Women Empowerment Programme aimed at supporting the empowerment of women worldwide.

As a mark of a true fashion leader, Benetton India does not shy away from standing up for those who create the master pieces that give every fashion label its true competitive advantage. With its campaign #UnitedByPurpose, Benetton India aspires to create a platform for local artisans across India, to allow them to showcase their craft to a wider segment of consumers. The brand launched the first special capsule collection under the initiative, with its Autumn Winter ’17 collection. 

The success of the campaigns is reflected in their strong media footprint but most importantly in the conversations initiated by each of the chosen themes and videos that carried on long after the campaign launch. While social equity is becoming a buzz word across brands, consumers are becoming increasingly vary of brands that choose to appear socially relevant with one off campaigns with no follow through.

Thus, creating an umbrella platform, United By, helps Benetton India garner a stronger brand connect as well as campaign recall as every subsequent campaign follows the same nomenclature. Besides, carrying the same underlying thought or issue across multiple campaigns, aids in creating a larger impact as well. The final verdict is always that of the consumer. Every campaign by Benetton India is followed by a sentiment analysis to gauge the actual impact.

With a 98% positive sentiment, viewers, both consumers as well as non-consumers, have validated the brand’s effort to rise above a simple transactional relationship and create a more meaningful voice - a voice that identifies and brings together all the diverse pillars of our society- religious, social and economic, to create something bigger, more powerful and all encompassing – a united nation. 

The theme for e4m’s South Conclave is  ‘Emotional Connect and Distracted Consumer’. Industry leaders gather at the exchange4media Conclave South 2018 to give more insights about the process of creating emotional connect. 

For details, click here: https://e4mevents.com/conclave-south-2018/

(The author is MD and CEO, Benetton India)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

 

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