IPRCCC 2018: Panel discussion on branding and what it was 30 years ago

At the e4m IPRCCC media experts, Sanjeev Handa of Maruti Suzuki, Senior Editor Madhavan Narayanan, Indian-Australian Influencer Raj Suri, and Samir Vora of Daily Hunt discuss the topic

Panel Discussion IPRCCC

At the ninth edition of exchange4media IPRCC Conference that took place on December 13 at the The Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon, media veterans took over the podium to highlight their views on ‘how corporate leaders are custodians of the brands reputation.’

Watch the video here, and scroll down to read the full discussion:

Moderating the Session, Madhavan Narayanan, Senior Editor, Writer, Mentor, Consultant put up a question to his fellow panellists on how the whole concept of branding has changed? How is branding today different from what it was 30 years ago? What has been the peculiar change over the years?

Adding to which, Sanjeev Handa, Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications, Maruti Suzuki added branding has not changed much. “Branding to me as I have seen in 18 plus years of my career, it hasn’t changed much.  Branding might have changed for the eminent writers who have now moved on to version 2, version 3, 4 or 5, which are all technological sides. Now if you go to essence of branding it hasn’t changed much. We tend to live with the legacy we have been carrying for long, for example, have I changed my name or has Maruti Suzuki changed its name and the answer is no because that marks the eminent essence of the brand that keeps its customer connected,” said Handa.

Contributing to Handa’s reply, Raj Suri, Indian-Australian Influencer, Brand Consultant, said, “The branding has not changed much although we are and will always re-invent which is a contradiction. For example, today most CEOs are also a CMO. These CEOs are not on social media but if you see back in Australia there are many CEOs who are very active on all those social media platforms and are talking about philosophy which is totally in sync with the company terms they are working with.”

Suri further concluded his answer by giving an example, how social media has played an integral role in bringing out the change in branding.
“Let me give you an example if a CEO posts something on his social media from his personal life, a message is directly delivered to his team mates about his personality which is a win-win situation for the team mates to know more about their CXOs,” added Suri.

Samir Vora, CMO, Daily Hunt, also emphasised on how indulgence of social media has played a critical part in this whole scenario of changing era. "In some ways I believe that brands have not changed much,  but if you look at the general picture, I think brands have so many movements that I think it has to be true especially when we all know there has been indulgence of social media in defining branding,” explained Vora.

Moving on to the next question which Narayanan further emphasised and talked about the gap between the brands and millennials. “What challenges did a brand face or from a CXO perspective how difficult it is to communicate with the newer generation?” asked Narayanan.
Coming from an automobile industry, Handa prompted on the importance of a newer content presented in different way to the millennials. “The challenge is to communicate with the younger generation who are often called as Millennials. They don’t want to grab a snackable news but they want it to be served differently. Despite of the fact that we are living in an attention deficit era, millennials are attracted to the conventional yet newer forms of producing content,” added Handa.

Adding to the same, Suri said, “According to an Australia data it says the real growth engine is in small business. Let me give you an example of a client, they started as a real estate company, these guys were built on social media, they started talking about the properties, they were not controlled by the topic. They started from bottom and went up to build the principles.”

He concluded his statement further saying, “When you have not grown up yourselves as millennials, you are under-estimating yourself.”
Further talking about the brand’s image and reputation, Vora gave the instances and couple of examples of brands who stood out and spoke about their image and work. “There is a fabulous example of Zomato and their series of advertisements which was loved by few and criticised by few. But the brand stood for themselves, spoke about their work, cleared the misunderstandings and delivered what they wanted to,” he added.

Further discussing about how the trust is maintained among the multiple stakeholder, Vora added, “Trust becomes a very important factor. From a content relationship point of view we only work with the branded ones. It is important when brand goes on digital it is very important to work with the right publishers.”

There has always been a window between CXO and the employers, to maintain that gap, the employers and CXO needs to be on the same page for better understandings.

“2018 has been a learning and what have saved us is the fact that we were transparent, communicated very clearly for both internal and external stakeholders. For CXO the authenticity and trust will have connection with the customer directly. Today’s world is tech driven, people have actual and virtual presence, for CXO to be successful it is important that CXO has to make sure that virtual becomes the real,” said Vora.

Adding to the same, Vora added, “I have been lucky to work with Umang Bedi. For him his employers come first because if employers are happy then customers are happy and by product becomes successful automatically.”
 

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