Pitch CMO Summit: A brand stands out if it believes in personalisation: Rajesh Menon, RCB

Menon, Head-Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) & New Business at Diageo India, spoke on the topic ‘Royal Challengers Bangalore: Building a Connect with Fans & Brands’

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: May 31, 2019 8:22 AM  | 4 min read

Some of the best minds from the marketing world came together at the Bangalore edition of Pitch CMO Summit 2019 held on Thursday. The industry stalwarts spoke on ‘Demystifying Brand Building Experience’. The eminent speakers shared insights on the process of brand building and the elements that make a brand stand out from the rest.

Rajesh V Menon, Head-Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) & New Business at Diageo India, spoke on the topic ‘Royal Challengers Bangalore: Building a Connect with Fans & Brands’.

“What could have been a better time to speak about brand RCB than today when the ICC World Cup 2019 kickstarts,” said Menon starting his session.

Menon feels that a brand stands out if it believes in purpose, personalisation, partnership, reach and renovate.

Sharing the incredible journey of RCB, Menon said, “In India, cricket is religion. If we had to build brand RCB, we had to resonate with and talk to the young India. We have a passionate fan base and the brand resonates with each of the fan. And to live up to the expectations, RCB has to be consistent in its communication.”

Menon explained what made fans choose the brand, how the brand became huge and made connect with its fans. “It is imperative to note that biologically we want to form groups to survive. And today, we form groups around sports. Brand RCB has given a voice to the fans and helped them build their self-esteem,” he said.

According to Menon, fandom acts as a bridge between the brand and society. “When our society is divided and we can’t even reach out, it is the fandom that acts like a bridge. Fandom is very critical for any brand,” he said.


How the brand was built

Menon said that Indian youth is moving beyond the traditional narrative and hence it is important to tap the cultural narrative and blend it with the beliefs of the brand. “It’s all about pushing one’s boundaries, making it big in the world, figuring out the narrative where there is no template of life and no roadmap. Having said that, we need to know that consumers too face anxiety. And RCB’s belief of liberating from the fear of consequences, breaking out of template, believing when no one does, when there is no evidence yet, no precedent, walking when no one else walk with you, has connected the fan with it,” he said.


Team jersey No 12 for fans

Menon explained how RCB kept the millions of fans in mind and came up with a campaign, rolling out new team jersey No 12. The jersey was for each of the fan to let them know that they are now team members.

According to Menon, Virat Kohli gave the jersey as a tribute to fans. “We pushed boundaries and built emotional connect,” he remarked.


Unified platform bringing fans under one umbrella

“We felt we need to build a unified platform and integrate all fans. The integration helped us achieve a two times surge in the fan base. Directly dealing with fans, we received queries and suggestions. One of the feedback that we received was that fans can’t make it to the stadium as they are pet-parents. The challenge was duly accepted and the RCB stand created a pet lounge.”

The brand also launched a series of campaigns, such as RCB Diva, for higher consumer connect. Talking about the insights behind the campaign, Menon said, “We wanted to talk about women behind famous cricketers and the team players of RCB and bring them to light. This property was a hit among its fan base.”


Green agenda

Keeping the clean India and green India initiative in mind, RCB recycled the team jerseys. “Once the matches are over, we collected the trash from the stadium and recycled it. As a result, we made jerseys of RCB players,” said Menon, concluding his session.


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