Brand New Resolutions MMXVIII


BNRMMXVIIIHere’s the good thing about resolutions. You get to make new ones regardless of having lived up to them!

ABVS is back with its 4th edition of Brand New Resolutions MMXVIII. Here goes..

Start | Looking at BRAND COMMUNITIES seriously.

We have read about them and perhaps even are a part of them. There are very few brands though that realise the goldmine that they are sitting (or not sitting) on. We live in an era of co-creation. Brands especially consumer brands today are a lot more in the perception/imagination zone than they were ever before. What has changed? The level of consumer involvement, the accessibility and more importantly the influenceablity!

In an Indian context, some brands that have already a community feel to them are Bullet (Royal Enfield) and the surprise candidate Maggi (Nestle). The community in fact rescued the brand during its quality crisis a couple of years ago. Brands like Renault and Sunsilk also have tried their hand at building communities but they were lacking sufficient amount of emotional adhesive!

ABVS hopes more brands (re)evaluate their potential and give communities a serious thought!

Stop | Randomly using SUNNY LEONE for brand endorsements.

Yes this was in the less of category last year and no I have nothing against the lady in question. These random celeb endorsements really have to stop! While it was Pierce Brosnan last year it’s Sunny Leone Dholpur Ghee TVC this year. Brand managers/business owners who chose SUNNY LEONE as their ambassador need to really think hard rather than just feed a fetish! Came across this ghee (India clarified butter) ad. What were they thinking?

BiraMore of | Re-imagination. An INDIA take on things.

The way BIRA has built it’s product and brand over the past couple of years has been amazing. The beer is giving a serious fight to some premium beer brands of international stature. The beauty of it all an Indian take has not meant “MASALA FLAVOUR”. Another example from the same category is “Amrut” a brand of Indian Single Malts that has stormed the high castle of the Whisky world. So here’s looking forward to more Indian takes that are aimed for the world.

Less of | REINFORCING STEREOTYPES

Perhaps the makers of these ads did not approach it that way. Perhaps they thought they were actually quelling the associated stereotypes. I use these two ads as examples of how stereotypes get reinforced. The problem? The messaging of these ads is nuanced.  The audience these brands target not necessarily so. In wanting to depict a new, evolving face of modern India the communication of these brands has in my humble opinion has reinforced the stereotypes.

A working woman needs to cook for her mom-in-law, that there is a difference in saying Mummy and Mummy ji, that contribution to a household has to be in cash etc. etc. Our culture code and conditioning might just filter the progressive message. It’s about time communication took stereotypes head on and not in a round about fashion.

 

 

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Brand New Resolutions MMXVII


brandnewresolutions2017

Yeah yeah someone hasn’t really lived up to his resolution of at least one post a month on ABVS. The lack of posts notwithstanding there has been a steady increase in the people following ABVS on Facebook and Twitter. So let me end the year on a thank you note and propose the customary Brand New Resolutions for 2017.

1 Start | Thinking about the environmental costs of your operations

Yes! And all aspects of impact not just the in vogue concepts such as effluents and carbon footprint. Brands as organisations need to lead the change. The long hours, the long drives it all adds up doesn’t it. How about mandatory Work from Home for 20% of the staff every day? That would take 20% traffic off the streets on a daily basis across modes of transport. How about having no fixed no long hours days in a week? At least a day in every office where things close down on time. No ACs running while for four individuals in an office of four hundred! Sure the feared loss of productivity shall be more than made up.

2Stop | Tele-calling: More importantly violating DND!

This one goes out especially for the financial product brands. I don’t know of anyone who actually has benefitted from the unsolicited advice or has actually gone ahead and bought something as a resultant of such a call. Acquaintances in the know of the business though tell me otherwise. With all due respect there at least needs to be far lesser invasion of privacy. A relook at the frequency, Do-not-disturb etc. is sure warranted.

 

3More of | Brand Extensions that are Relevant

Was heart-warming to see Paper Boat introduce Chikki.

paperboat

Not too sure how successful the exercise has been. Several factors such as pricing and distribution etc. shall determine the fate but presume its early days yet and wish the product the success it deserves.

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More of | Incentivizing Cashless Transactions

I know the Wallet companies have mastered the art of cash-back and discounts for consumers. It’s time now for the brands to give fillip to the dream of a less-cash economy if not a cash-less one. There is room for improvement and even some savings in the last mile of distribution if cash-less transactions are implemented.

5Less of | Random Celeb Endorsement

The shocker of Pierce Brosnan holding up a tin of Pan Masala in a full page ad is the example that comes to mind. panbahar

To the brands credit the category has for forever been trying to connect the habit of chewing pan masala to being classy even regal. Perhaps the Ashok Kumars, the Shammi Kapoors and more recently the Manoj Bajpais of the world were palatable. Getting Pierce Brosnan to endorse perhaps pushed the envelope a bit too far.