'Influencer marketing helps in shaping a brand's perception among consumers'

Rajesh Ramakrishnan, MD, Perfetti Van Melle India, delivered a keynote speech on 'Building brands through the power of influence' at e4m’s Influencer Marketing Conference

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Sep 20, 2021 1:15 PM  | 4 min read
Rajesh Ramakrishnan

At the inaugural edition of e4m’s Influencer Marketing Conference, Rajesh Ramakrishnan, Managing Director, Perfetti Van Melle India Pvt Ltd., spoke on - 'Building Brands through the Power of Influence'. 

Ramakrishnan started off the session by stating a quote that says, “Tweet others the way you want to be tweeted.” He explained that it really underlines the power of social media which can either work for you or against you.

“What it shows is that it can really help in shaping the way brands are perceived by consumers and one way to shape that perception is by the use of influencers.”

Speaking about what influencer marketing is? Ramakrishnan shared it's about the collaboration with people who can exert a significant influence on potential consumers or customers. “We develop trust with influencers and consider their views to be credible. Therefore, obviously, brands go about leveraging influencers and their follower base. I think it can be done at multiple levels in the funnel of purchase. At the top end of the funnel, we could actually leverage that to create awareness and consideration at a very fundamental level, or at the bottom of the funnel, we can leverage influencers to drive advocacy and convergence for our brands.”

Talking about some key considerations to keep in mind while using influencer marketing, Ramakrishnan said, “Like any other marketing, it needs to be insight based. The other thing is it's not divorced from the rest of the brands’ strategies. So it does need to be in line with the brand strategy and the core proposition of what the brand stands for. The third, which I think is a critical aspect is how can we seamlessly integrate the brand stories into daily conversations? And the more we are able to seamlessly do this, the better the chance of brands becoming a part of mainstream conversations. And last but not the least, what is the right fit between the values that the brand stands for, versus the values of the influencer?”

He shared some examples where Perfetti Van Melle India used influencer marketing across its various brands. For instance, the company used influencer marketing for one of its popular brands- Centre Fresh. He shared that during the lockdown period the sale of gums took a backseat because people were not going out as much and doing a lot of stuff virtually, as opposed to meeting face to face, and therefore, this whole thing of fresh breath, the need for it, and the social confidence that comes in was a little bit underplayed during this time. “So we said if people are meeting virtually, how can we leverage that and do something which will still showcase what the brand stands for, by leveraging some really big influences like Rohit Saraf and Vedika Pinto and we came up with the idea of doing a long-form film which really showcased social media propagating what brand stands for.” The brand launched a film- Keep It Fresh- a digital film showcasing lockdown romance supported by music from artist Taba Chake. 

The company also launched another digital film for its brand Centre Fresh Mints with Bollywood Actress Sanya Malhotra on Women’s Day. The digital film narrated the experience of a girl who spots a guy and wishes to strike a conversation. The film highlights the brand proposition of fresh breath confidence to approach the opposite gender. 

The brand did another influencer campaign leg for ‘Stay Fresh Behind the Mask. The digital campaign on Centre Fresh highlighting the importance of fresh breath for oneself while wearing the mark. The influencer-led videos showcased the necessity of ‘staying fresh behind the mask. The campaign was done with Aisha Ahmed, Vikrant Massey and Sanya Malhotra. 

The advertiser did several campaigns with influencers including Say Hello Emoticons for Mentos, Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly, Post-meal Companion for HappyDent, Chupa Chups etc. 

“Influencer marketing can be a very powerful tool for marketers to further build their brand especially in today's world where a lot of it's driven by digital medium,” said Ramakrishnan. 

He mentioned three important points to make an influencer marketing plan more successful, “firstly, have an insight before going for influencer marketing and find the relevant influencer for brand and ultimately anchor it on our core brand proposition.”    

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