I am currently working as the Head – Marketing & PR, Brand Director, Exclusive (Bentley India) Motors, where I am responsible for Brand Development, Brand Strategy, PR /Media Relations, Corporate Events, Shows and industry associations with organizations for mutual business benefit.
2) The unique aspects of your marketing and branding strategy?
At my leveI deal with my marketing and branding startegy in a different way from other people in my fraternity, as in conjunction with working on a marketing plan in line with the brand vision, I go deep into the brand values and work from grass root or basic levels to establish the same. This essentially involves getting active in each and every aspect of the marketing acitivity plan, not only at the higher overseeing level.
I always try and do things differently to reinforce the brand values, like do marketing events never done before for the brand, do direct marketing exercises in an innovative way, do different PR exercises, engage with the media in new innovative ways. This is important to keep the brand and the marketing plans exciting and fresh with the different target audiences, which includes customers, prospects, media, business partners, employees, amongst others.
3) The characteristics of a strong brand? Your advice on how to build a strong brand?
The way to build a strong brand is to interact directly with all your target audiences, especially your prospects and customers. You have to get involved personally and educate the target audiences about the brand values of your company and product. You have to create innovative ways of making sure the target audiences engage and get involved with your brand, For eg. through conducting quizes and awards around your brand is one method.
4) Has the age of the internet changed the way we build brands?
Oh absolutely, the internet has definitely opened a whole new world of online marketing and brand building methods. The world has truly gone ʻdigitialʻ and with the increasing use of smartphones, there is wider outreach to consumers globally in ʻreal timeʻ.
5) Has the internet changed consumers? Made them more price sensitive, less loyal,more demanding?
The internet has truly changed the way a consumer purchases a product.Today, the internet has given consumers much more information, and many more options to buy a product at competitive prices, before making the final purchasing decision. With information now available free online, consumers have definitely gone more price sensitive as they have multiple brands to choose from before buying a product, making them less loyal than before. Today brands have to compete much harder to retain customers due to the onslaught of the internet.
6) How challenging is it to build a brand in the very diverse Indian market place?
It is ʻinterestingʻ rather than ʻchallengingʻ to build a brand in the very diverse market place.
In India, in some markets, the consumer sentiment canbe conservative, and some consumers do need hand holding before they make the final purchasing decision, especially in high value purchases. Therefore, one needs to ensure that the USP and the unique brand values are communicated in a convincing way, making your product an aspirational buy.
7) Brands you admire and why?
I admire the brand ʻPatanjaliʻ as thery I feel they have marketed themselves to a mass market in innovative ways, capturing a large market share in a short span of time. They idetified their market and then went for the consumer outreach in a concerted way, reinforcing their brand values at every stage.
8) Complete the sentence “The future belongs to those incorporate new and innovative brand building and marketing methods to reach out and interact with current and new target audiences”