Authenticity, consistency and consumer empathy help build strong brands
In the fourth episode of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2, seven brand leaders shared their mantra for building durable brands.Updated: Sep 24, 2019 10:04 IST
“Go back to the basics of marketing that delve on simplicity, customer empathy and offering unexpected value; bring in fresh ideas by building a diverse team and switch to servant leadership to build a sustainable brand,” said Apurva Chamaria, Chief Revenue Officer, RateGain.
Chamaria was speaking in the fourth episode of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2, which focused on building durable brands.
HT Brand Studio Live is a series that gets the brains behind India’s top brands to decode marketing innovations and more. It is anchored by Rameet Arora, Chief Operating Officer, HT Digital Streams, and co-hosted by HT Brand Studio and DMAasia.
“In order to build strong brands that survive through generations, it is important to listen to your consumers and respond to them in a manner that they don’t lose trust in the brand. The best way to do that is being authentic and engaging in honest conversations with them,” added Juhie Gorwara, Head Group Marketing and E-commerce, Philips Indian Subcontinent. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara, concurred that it is essential to strike an emotional chord with consumers, especially to tide through rough weather.
Watch | Sanjiv Kapoor of Vistara interacts with Rameet Arora of HT in Episode 4, Season 2 of Brand Studio Live
“You should create a strong emotional connect so that they [consumers] stand by you during downturns. If you mess up, it is important to accept it and assure your customers that you will make it up to them. It is essential to deliver on this promise,” he said.
Authenticity also goes a long way in maintaining legacy.
“Today, more than ever, it is important to have authentic conversation with your consumers, create genuine content to educate them about the brand category and consistently deliver quality products. Consumer loyalty will follow,” said Smita Murarka, Head-Marketing, Amanté, MAS Brands.
Further, brands should have a strong sense of purpose and adhere to their core philosophies.
“In order to build a durable brand, you need to stay true to your core philosophy but its avatar needs to change in tune with times. As a car brand, we have a strong commitment towards ensuring safety of people. We introduced the idea of wearing seatbelts for safety in cars many years ago. Now we are investing in technology and R&D in design safety systems that are smart, interactive and can help humans remain safe in testing situations,” said Sudeep Narayan, Director- PR & Corporate Communications, Volvo Auto India.
Consistency is another important pillar for building durable brands. But brands also need to reinvent themselves. How can one maintain the right balance?
“From Swarovski figurines that were loved by our grandparents and parents to jewellery that can be adorned by millennials for travelling to personalised T-shirts with Swarovski crystals for Gen Z, the brand has stayed relevant through generations by constantly reinventing itself. The consistency lies in the fact that the brand has been loved across generations. But what has been loved of the brand has changed from time to time,” said Konia Khanna, Head of Marketing, Swarovski India.
Technology is an important enabler for brands to stay relevant.
“The brand has to utilise technology to innovate and undergo transition. It is important to steer clear of ‘me too’ products. Design is the piece on top of technology that drives it,” explained Ali Rizvi, National Sales Manager, Garmin India.