India Brand Conclave: Brands need to be clear & vocal about their identity: Panel

A session chaired by Dheeraj Sinha, MD – India & Chief Strategy Officer, South Asia, LeoBurnett India saw industry experts shed light on the formula to make a brand successful in the present market

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Nov 29, 2019 4:12 PM
India Brand Conclave

We are in a growth market and people have this thing in mind that whatever we put in the market will succeed. To demystify this myth, a panel discussion was held on what is the formula to make a brand successful in the present market?

On the panel were Karthi Marshan, CMO, Kotak Mahindra; Prachi Mohapatra, CMO, FBB, and Vivek Srivasta, Head Marketing - Passenger Cars, TataMotors.

The panel was chaired by Dheeraj Sinha, MD – India & Chief Strategy Officer, South Asia, Leo Burnett India.

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Sinha threw the discussion open by saying that learning is always greater than success and shared three major learnings from the Indian market.

Play like a leader, borrow from culture and always remain relevant to the mainstream Indian culture, said Sinha.

In India no matter what is your brand ranking, be it 6 or 5, you have to play like a leader. The top 2 to 3 brands own 80 per cent market share across categories. But to survive and woo more and more consumers, it is important for a brand to always have a leadership quality, Sinha said.

While explaining his second learning, he said to stay connected with the Indian audience it is utterly important for a brand to borrow from culture and give back to culture, like Amazon’s Apni Dukan.

Talking about advertising, Sinha said if you are not owning the course of the category, you would not succeed. It is important to have some emotional connect or to be sensitive, he said stating the example of Sensodyne which entered the market with a really sensitive ad film and turned out into a Rs 500 crore brand.

No matter whether you are the sexiest global brand, in order to survive in the Indian market you need to be very relevant to the mainstream Indian culture, he contended.

Taking the discussion ahead, Karthi Marshan, CMO, Kotak Mahindra, shared some examples from his story at Kotak.

“Well, Kotak owns only 2% market shares in the banking industry, still it is one of the top three banks in India,” he said.
Marshan said he feels that in the banking sector, trust and credibility comes with time. The older a bank is the more customers it would have.

He shared how Kotak celebrated its 25 years as a milestone. Interestingly, Kotak didn't celebrate its 25 years by advertising their products or services but just ran a few campaigns to highlight that the bank is now "25" and it perfectly worked.

While Marshen talked about having a trust built among the consumers, we also had FBB’s Prachi Mohapatra on the panel where "latest trends" come before trust.

Asked what has been the journey of FBB when it comes to building a brand, Mohapatra said, “We are a young brand just 10 years old but perceived as a traditional one.”

Further, she talked about FBB’s journey. Unlike Marshen, Mohapatra believes it's not just the age that matters for a brand the most but the segmentation.

She insisted on the importance of finding the right customer. “FBB is not an age-wise brand, we are the first choice of fashion enthusiasts and all credits goes to our segmentation.”

Talking about FBB's motto, Mohapatra said that fashion is not about the apparels, it's about your entire look. Hence their purpose is "Fashion for Everyone".

Sharing his experience of the India market, Vivek Srivasta, Head Marketing - Passenger Cars, TataMotors, said that it was important to have a crisp and clear brand message. At the same time, products should also match the brand message, he said.

"Communication can create an aura, trust of the brand happens physically. We have over-engineered our cars, as a result, they are very safe. India is the leader in a fatality and one of our products is the first and only 5-star safety rated car in the country.”

Together the panel concluded that for a brand to succeed it needs to be clear and vocal about their identity and remain true to their consumers.

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