‘If a brand stops being a challenger, it loses its DNA’

Srinivas Murthy, Coca-Cola, spoke on ‘Contesting in a cluttered market: Creating fresh brand strategy’ at the Pitch CMO Summit, presented by Jagran Group.

e4m by Ashish Jha
Updated: Nov 30, 2011 7:54 AM
‘If a brand stops being a challenger, it loses its DNA’

Speaking at the Delhi leg of Pitch CMO Summit 2011 on Friday, Srinivas Murthy, Vice President – Marketing (Flavours & Thums Up), Coca-Cola India, spoke on the topic ‘Contesting in a cluttered market: Creating fresh brand strategy’. Taking the audience through the journey of Sprite, a sparkling drink of Coca-Cola, he elaborated on ‘why and how’ a brand should evolve with fresh strategies to keep itself relevant among today’s fast changing consumers, especially the youth.

What made the sparking drink to evolve, according to him, was its evolving character and increasing love for the drink among teenagers, the core TG for Sprite.

“The youth today have a very high level of aspiration and they are also thinking very smart,” he said. Accordingly, Sprite evolved itself and its refreshing communication is always based on mundane situation which today’s youth identify with.”

Murthy said that by keeping a product true to its brand message is very important and most effective way to make it a part of consumers’ life.

“In last 12 years, Sprite has evolved while provoking positive and progressive thinking among teens. This has made the brand a fovourite not only among the teens in urban and metro areas but also among those in rural areas,” he said, adding, “Soon after the brand was introduced in the Indian market, it became the market leader in the category by making a strong connect with its TG.”

Once a brand succeeded in the market place, the next challenge is to for a brand is to “widen share and lead over the nearest competitor,” said Murthy, as he felt that, “If a brand stops being a challenger it loses its DNA.”

But he quickly added that widening a TG did not mean to target a product to everybody. “For Sprite, we have a very particular TG which is teenagers. We believe that making a product for everybody is not a right marketing strategy as it overall results in a lower brand connect,” he said.

He also highlighted how ‘University of Freshology’, while reflecting on present style of living of today’s TG, has resulted in yet another level of brand connect for Sprite.

While Jagran was the presenting sponsor of the Pitch CMO Summit 2011, in association with Zee Bangla, the other associate sponsors included Times Television Network and Open magazine.


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