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Sustain your brand in recession:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sustain your brand in recession:
 In current market scenario it is more important to sustain your brand than make profile or increase turn over. Most the organization try to save money and resources, working on cost cutting. How to sustain your offering or brand in this economic turmoil? Different marketing gimmicks organization using to attract and retain the customers. Almost organization cut their marketing budget. But it is not advisable to cut the marketing budget. But some organization sees it as opportunity to increase brand equity, Solidify your customer base, Gain new customers, Make inroads on your competitors who have cut their advertising during the recession period. One example, which is noted by Wall Street analysts, for instance, attributes the 1975 setbacks of Avon Products and Hershey Foods at least in part to advertising cuts, and credits heavier advertising for the improved performance of Philip Morris and Revlon during the same period, but the recession has little adverse impact on disposable income.
 There are some of the things we can do to which not much effect the organizing expenses:

 • Don’t decrease the price: it is not much affects the buyer and even it damages the brand image. So don’t decrease price but improve service or provide the value edition. Give service out of track which your competitor not provide and make experience of your customer memorable. If your customer happy at end of the day you also happy. It is the user experience which makes them to be with you or shift to competitor.

  • Least costly and effective advertisement: find the least costly and more reachable media of advertising. As branding expert I suggest to go with social media to reach your target group. Don’t misinterpret it with social media advertisement. Create face book page and involve your TG with online contest, scheme etc.

  •   Use more BTL then ATL media. As BTL is cost effective and intense compare to ATL media and even you can reach specific your target segment and target region, it increase the reach of your communication. 
  • Keep your channel partner happy: it is your channel partner who helps you to puss your product, instead giving consumer scheme, give regular benefit to them if they earn then and then they support you better. Give more margins to them, keep them happy. 

It is supported by research that Recognition decreases when advertising decreases. Likewise, an increase in advertising causes an increase in recognition. Recognition decreases when advertising decreases. Several studies on this topic have been conducted by McGraw-Hill's Laboratory of Advertising Performance. A typical example: A manufacturer of electronics boosted 32 percent market recognition to 45 percent with 13 pages of advertising. When the ad campaign stopped, recognition fell to 37 percent. Steady ad spending during recessions results in higher sales. it is on example I am sharing here. So no need to cut advertisement budget as it is not expenditure but the investment which is fruitful in long run.

Personification Exercise- Brand personality

Monday, December 19, 2011

Personification Exercise- Brand personality

 Have you ever try to study personality of your brand or business, what is stand for and what does people think of it? Do they perceive it the way you want to communicate or some different image in their mind? Brand personality is emotional association with brand. Brand personality indicate the kind of relation brand have with customer. Brand personality is the way a brand speaks and behaves.

 Investopedia explains 'Brand Personality' Customers are more likely to purchase a brand if its personality is similar to their own. Examples of traits for the different types of brand personalities:

  • Excitement: carefree, spirited, youthful 
  • Sincerity: genuine, kind, family-oriented, thoughtful
  •  Ruggedness: rough, tough, outdoors, athletic 
  • Competence: successful, accomplished, influential, a leader
  • Sophistication: elegant, prestigious, pretentious

 Let see how to find out the brand personality.

  • Define the personality strait: first of all you decided how you want your brand to perceive. For that you first decided your target group. If your target group is business man who are successful, ambitious and powerful person. Does your brand have these characteristic to which TG get associate them?

  •   Brand name & logo: if my brand is human character than what would be the name of the brand? Think if you speak Mcdonal or Raymond what’s comes in your mind? this way the name define the personality of brand. 
  •  Who is my brand: what’s my brand human characteristic? My brand is he or she? If she than the characteristic should be feminine such as Dove soap a soft or Marlboro a masculine image associated with it. 
  •  How to communicate: other challenge is right communication mix to be use. From the brand name and logo, packaging esthetic should be in line with the product personality. Even media selection should as per the brand personality. If you see the product which target the youth, for example Fastrack, product design, colors are very bold and appeal to teenagers, the communication of the fastback is also attack to teenager. The media selection if you see Fastrack’s association with MTV which is most viewed channel in young generation, it’s well define the youthful connect to brand. Either if we think about some brand there is one image of that brand in our mind. Company spends lot money in advertising to communicate certain image of the brand.

Cross cultural communication and brand building

Thursday, November 24, 2011

 What make the world’s largest food join to design menu indianized way? And restrict their non vegetarian menu to chicken, fish and lamb products. What make them to switch from their USP beep product to India vegetarian diet? No one afford to lose the US$ 100 billion fast food market of India in such global competition. I am talking about the McDonald’s engagement with Indian consumer. How the McDonald adopted the
and how the how Indian TG said “I am loving it”.

 India has very unique culture, which influence the buying behavior. Growing economy of India and the buying power of Indian consumer attract the many global players. As the brand cross the national boundary, faces the barrage of challenges, one of the challenge is cultural difference. It is the skill to cope with cultural difference determines the brand’s success some time. By appropriate segmentation of target market and ethnic appeals can help to connect with consumer. This can be found out by studying rituals, taboos and behavior of target segment as she emotionally associated with these practice. To adopt the culture is more than the translation of brand’s tagline, need to think from cultural perspective and it’s require to create localized brand strategy.

 Consumption habit: The consumption habit is different region viz and which need to understand or study well.. For regional cultural impact, brand alters as per local condition. Pizza Hut’s success has increased after adaptation of Pizza as per location plat, the launch of Tandoori Pizza, store traffic increase tremendously. The culture decided the consumption pattern, as more join family culture in India so the consumption of bulk pack more, which make many company to introduce the family packs. Food preferences are region viz. any brand do well to take in consideration the cultural dimension associated with food as food is a strong cultural dimension.

Regional and cultural diversification: Company exporting abroad the translation of packing, logo and language but it is outdated. India is diverse country have dozen of language spoken and religion followed. Bru coffe used south India culture preference of filter coffee to target south market. 

Mixing certain cultural beliefs with trendy offer: There are a number of behaviors which has been associated with specific cultural belief. These has be associated with products too. with regards to cultural beliefs Cadbury‘s advertising campaign showing people of various age group enjoying chocolate, traditionally chocolate is associated with children in Indian context. You cannot rule out the totally the culture beliefs. 

 Using ethnic approach, brand can be position by many ways; According to prof.S R. Kumar this can be done by keeping in mind following points: 

  • Identifying specific behavior 
  •  Identify specific values
  • Identify certain beliefs
  • Combining elements of specific culture with changing culture
  • Capturing a sense of nostalgia
  •  Using stereotypes connected to culture
  •  Identify specific cultural traits 

So, marketer can take help of these entire factors to positioning brand. I think it is easy to coalesce with culture dimension and use it effective way to make brand success.

The power of product packaging

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Packing is a part of making mix i.e. product, price, promotion and placement and some of the marketer regard as 5th P of marketing mix. It’s also communication the brand personality, brand image. To distinguish product in shelf from competitor, marketer endow more on packaging than product inside. Attractive packaging is essential to lure or pursue the first time buyer as most of the consumer evaluate the product by it packaging. Until 1950 not much attention was given to the product packaging. Most items were packaged in functional wrappers that were designed to protect and deliver. But that has all changed. These days, impulse purchasing makes up almost 75 percent of the consumer spending, and if the package fails to project the right message, it might be left sitting alone on the shelf.

Marketer keeps in mind some of the important point while getting design the product packaging.

Identify the problem: it is essential to study the consumer perception regarding existing packaging before changing or making change in it. Does Brand need to attract all together new segment? Does it quality of packing is issue, does it design or size, does it has negative effect due some blunder of past so need to refresh the image? For example In 2003 Cadbury change its packing to resolve the issue of the finding of worms in its chocolate bar by the state Food and Drugs Administration, Cadbury India is working towards strengthening the packing of the Cadbury Dairy Milk range. Cadbury introduced sealed packaging that offers a high level of resistance to infestation from improper storage.

Change without any particular justification some time also affect brand image and sales too. The very good example of how packaging affects the buying decision. Tropicana introduced a new carton for is “pure Premium” citrus juices, the old packaging featured a distinctive logo and an iconic “straw stuck in an orange” image. The new packaging was bland and generic. No other changes were made to the product. The taste was the same and the cost was the same. All that changed was the packaging. But somehow it doesn’t work and the sale of the Tropicana gone down 20% in one and half month.

Target group and influencer group: it is also require knowing the target group’s buying behavior. Published statistics vary slightly but in general it is recognized that women account for between 80 and 85% of all consumer purchases. When certain product categories are involved women far exceed those buying percentages, like the Over The Counter pharmaceutical category and the food category where women account for 93% of purchases With this tremendous influence in purchasing, it follows that women also have a tremendous influence on packaging, including everything from the ergonomics of today’s automobiles to the closure on a bottle of vitamins. The color preference of women is different than the men. Women prefer packaging that has appealing shape, visual characteristics, functionality, and that is easy for them to handle, store, as well as open and close. Every good example is women calcium sendo packaging and Tirupati edible oil packaging. This packaging developed keeping in mind the requirement female target group.

Packaging conveys product characteristics: color, design aesthetic and material used in packaging convey the characteristics of products. GENCO found that the majority of shoppers will not buy a Product if its packaging is damaged. The study also revealed that shoppers’ trust in a product or Brand declines steadily when its packaging is damaged—up to 55% of shoppers left the brand, And 36% opted to purchase another brand. f we integrate this study’s results to understand the role of packaging in consumer processing, In a product display, consumers will notice the packaging color first, then the shape and finally the detail of a product. The distinct Cadbury corporate color of purple is thus a key selling feature. This color is now synonymous with Cadbury’s milk chocolate and as such provides the company with a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace.

ITC launches its kitchens of India brand of packaged ready to eat India gourmet recipe in the premium segment with the brand promise of a delightful dining experience. The brand had to be differentiated from other ready to eat brands in the economy segment positioned as convenience food, in addition the quality had to be in line with international standards to utilize a huge and growing export market for authentic Indian cuisine. The attractive graphics convey the theme of royal food and conforms to international labeling standards. This has helped kitchen of India to not only become the standard for the premium ready to eat food market in India, but has also helped them penetrate markets in the united states and Europe
In 2006 Heinz fridge door fit bottle launched, offering storage flexibility which increased ketchup consumption by 68% is a good example of how packaging can drive sales. so packing not only help in branding building but also help to increase the sales of products too.
According to Sis international research unique shapes, structures and delivery systems help differentiate products from competitors. Packaging is read not up and down, but at the left and right corners of packaging. Thus, reassuring claims benefit by being placed in these corners, while primary claims benefit by being in the center of packaging. Research also suggest Customers desire simplicity in messaging due to many conflicting messages, competing products like private labels, and complicated products.

CSR the new route of branding

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CSR the new route of branding

Today's cluttered market; it is very difficult to differentiate your brand from competitor when the offerings are the same. Company takes different route to stand out in clutter market. Company uses the various communication strategies which uniquely lime light the brand. Company uses various tactics but it is either failed or it is much common but the CSR branding which is not been explore much. It is easily cache attention of the people as people are now conscious about the various causes of society. Through CSR branding you can target mass. Here not segmentation as such. This concept first became popular among fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) firms such as Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL),ITC Ltd and the Procter and Gamble Co. (P&G) that advertised their company’s cause-marketing initiatives which involved donating a certain percentage of sales on select items towards a social cause.

Some of the things you need to keep in mind CSR branding such as choose the right cause which well fit with your core business, value and your TG. Tata tea campaign “Jaago re”. Company tied up with Jaago India Foundation and highlights the issue like Voting and corruptions etc. “jaago re” is apt well with the function benefits awakening effect of the tea on people. It is well connect with consumer toward product


Develop long term association with causes, so people can easily connected brand with causes, which increase the recall value of brand too. If there is no organization championing the cause you like to support, create your movement. P & G from long time supporting education of girl child by project Shiksha.

Within the area of causes you can own and grow, agree to join activity and event. Such save try and save water. Save electricity, save girl child etc. when brand communication such massages, it touch the people. Save tree campaign by idea cellular ltd “save tree and use mobile” Electrical products company, Havells India Ltd “Save energy, save Earth”.

Create as many buzz by promotions, training and involved the NGO, Volunteers. Very good example Times of India “Teach India”. it is

very good initiative by Times of India, it involved the whole Indian in this campaign which improve ration of education in India. It

attracts people to join the initiative.


It is also important to know consumer perception to CSR branding. According to the Landor Associates, Penn Schoen Berland’s second annual Corporate Social Responsibility Perceptions Survey, consumer views of companies operating across 14 industries ranging from Apparel to Telecommunications, finding that more than 75% of consumers say that it is important for companies in each of the industries tested to be socially responsible. Other key findings include 75% of those who have read about a company's social responsibility agenda on its website say that it makes them more likely to purchase products or services from that company but just 13% of all respondents have done so. 38% of respondents still plan to spend the same or more for products and services from socially responsible companies.70% are willing to pay more for a product from a company,72% say they will make some sacrifices in their spending or in their salary to support social responsibility and 55% preferring socially responsible products. However probably the most telling statistic is that of that 13% who have read a company’s CSR website, 75% were then more likely to buy that company’s product over a competitor’s. But in case of luxury brand scenario is different. The evaluation of luxury brands declined when the brand were tied to CSR.

Mascot Vs celebrity endorsement

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Does celebrity provide value edition to your brand or it is Mascot? Both the Mascots and celebrity both are very powerful tools of brand building. either it Amul Polkadot girl, Mc. Donalds’ Ronald Mc Donald, or Nerolac’s yellow Goody or Air-India’s Maharaja, these are the very good example of the Mascot which helps in brand building over the year or Amitabh Bachchan who endorses for Cadbury, Polio, Akshay Kumar for Thumps Up or Kapil Dev for Palmolive, Amir khan for Titan, Tata sky, Coca cola Marketers keep trying innovative things for products and their product marketing strategies.

Mascot is created ,can have the control on it, or modified as per requirement, but in cash of celerity you cannot control public life of celebrity. If any controversy surround the celebrity, it also effect to brand which they endorse, such as the controversy of Tiger wood, or Mike Tyson. There are many examples that celebrity endorsing the one brand and found the using competitor brand. Sainsbury’s encountered a problem with Catheina Zeta Jones, whom the company used for it recipe advertisement, when she was caught shopping in Tesco. A similar case happened with Britney Spears who endorsed one cola brand and was repeatedly caught drinking another brand of cola on tape.This immediately caught the attention of media; it creates damages the brand.Now day customer is more aware and well informed, they know the celebrity is paid for speaking well for brand or brand endorsement. So celebrity makes your brand popular or increases the brand recall value but cannot increase the sales number. In cash of sale is the product, which is real hero. Your product should be perceived only solution for their problem.

Celebrities get associated with too many products and therefore it is difficult to relate them with one particular brand,. The research says that almost 42 per cent consumers get confused as to which celebrity promotes which brand; but again, 66 per cent of people could recollect the names of celebrities who endorsed multiple brands, which is not the case with the mascots. For an example Kareena Kapoor edores the lux, Boroplus , globas, Head & Shoulders,Nutrisse Garnier, Airtel, where is Mascots’s strength lies in its uniqueness ,Mascot’s association with one particular brand so it is easy to recall.

We see cost wise, In case of celebrity it is very much expensive proposition, it is long for the campaign or contract period. But the same time, Surveys suggest that compared to any other types of endorsers, famous people achieve a higher degree of attention and recall they increase awareness of a company's advertising as well as help in retention of message in the psyche of the audience. They can also help the company in reducing their expenditure on Media and other forms of publicity. An example will bring more clarity, When S Kumars, a known textile brand entered into readymade garments business they used Hrithik Roshan, then the hottest advertising icon for their launch advertising for TAMARIND, now one of the premium readymade brands. They reckoned that they have spent 40-50 percent less on media due to sheer impact of using hottest star like Hrithik. The Ad recall was as high as 70 percent and the campaign can be termed as a great success.The cost creating Mascot is one time investment, it is sole property of the organization, it is animated character, so we can modify and adapt as per time.

The Amul polka dots girl has changed overtime, The advertising world has also observed that the popularity of any

mascot is not only based on the response they get, but also depend on the fact that these faces have a higher recall value. The Amul girl was born in 1967 is still a popular mascot. She may soon enter into the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest campaign to survive in the market. This goes on to prove that the mascots are more appropriate brand ambassadors. The impact and success of the mascot, depends on how effectively it conveys the brand values and the ideals that consumers would associate with. There is not such benchmark in cash of celebrity.

Health check up of your brand: Brand audit

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Health check up of your brand: Brand audit

When you brand sales start slaking down, consumer no more interested in your brand, or they don’t give important to your valued brand positioning. Than it is time to check health of your brand.Brand have life cycle. It start with enthusiasm and commitment, growth and saturation, decline the sale and growth, losing market share and interest of Costumer. Costumer starts attracting toward new products in market. This is natural life cycle of brand. So it is advisable to go for brand health check before it starts losing sale. Take time and examine your brand strength, weakness, opportunity and threaten your brand facing from competitor. Brand audit require following tests of your brand

External Partners and Customers

External partner play an important role in development and same way the customer. So it require know the view of them for your brand. What they thing of our brand and where they position your brand. By research and survey find out the fact regarding the brand.

Internal Stakeholders

Internal stakeholders are the involve with the brand day to day. Their view is also important to understand the health of your brand. Within the organization how the people perceive your brand, because they are directly in contact with customers. Sales team, marketing team, manufacturing team would be clear about the brand.

Know your competitor

It is also essential to know how your competitor positions your brand and what value addition they provide to customer. Along with time what type of change they incorporate to satisfy the need to customer along with changing demand. Very good example of the bajaj. The brand which ruled the Indian roads have been laid to rest. The brand which was launched in 1972 virtually owned the two wheeler segment. The company failed to understand the changing perception of the customers towards scooters. Bajaj never did anything with the product. For 40 years had the same look, same quality and style. Finally the brand died.

Brand Positioning

What the brand promises? Does it legitimate as per time and market scenario? Does it promise high value and competitive advantage? As the Rasna old position “ I love you Rasna” to " Relish a gain" as old position target kids only but the changing scenario of beverage industry The company no longer wanted to be a kid's drink.

Brand Identity

Do customers know what your brand stands for? The brand audit provides the reality check on just how well the essence or personality of the brand is resonating. Dalda woke up after having been around in the Indian household for 75 years. The iconic brand, once synonymous with hydrogenated cooking mediums or 'vanaspati ghee', has been re-launched with four varieties of refined cooking oils under the brand name, Husband's Choice. Commenting on the development, Adhiraj Sarin, managing director, Bunge India says, "Bunge understands that India, and Indian consumers have changed significantly in the last few years, and it was imperative that with the edible oil business being one of our future growth drivers, Dalda needed to reinvent itself for the edible-oil consumer. Our extensive consumer research has shown that Indian consumers, though health conscious, believe that they are compromising on taste when it comes to edible oils. Dalda Husband's Choice oils will address this concern by its upgraded product offering through added vitamins, along with the heritage of taste that it owns."

Brand Equities

It’s critical to gain quantifiable insight on important metrics like brand awareness, purchase behaviors, attitudes, values, market share, customer life value.

Brand Communications/Messaging

When brand managers think about consistency in marketing communications, they often think only about visual consistency. And while visual consistency is critical, it’s also the most obvious. Go one step deeper: what does your brand actually say? What are the primary and secondary messaging platforms that guide consistent marketing communications? If you reviewed several communication pieces carefully, would they portray a consistent message?To sustain in market long time ,It is important to deliver consistently what consumer want and require. Also need to change as per changing market trend and keeping in mind increase competition.