Mumbai: In tough times, marketers must focus on a brand’s core promise and leverage assets at the lowest possible cost. They need to invest in a few power brands that transcend categories and consumers, said Girish Shah, head of branding at Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-Adag).
In volatile economies, brands are the least volatile assets and tangibly have a value proposition such as cash in the bank, said Shah, adding that the vision of the founder and brand must be seamlessly integrated. R-Adag’s core driver across categories is “enabler of dreams”.
New Lessons: A shopping market in Noida, UP. According to an executive at the forum, companies should not only look at the product and corporate brand, but also track their employment brand and investor brand. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
Shah spoke at the inaugural Brand Finance Forum in India titled “Wealth Creation in the 21st Century” held in Mumbai on Wednesday. Brand Finance Plc., a UK-based brand valuation consultancy, organized the forum focused on bringing brand value to the Indian boardroom.
The consensus was that the customer should be kept at the centre of brand building activities. Companies should not only look at the product and corporate brand, but also track their employment brand and investor brand, said Satish Pradhan, group human resources head, Tata Sons Ltd.
“For companies, which have cash in the bank, this is probably a good time to invest in their own brands or to buy brands,” said David Haigh, chief executive at Brand Finance.
It’s vital to have a business strategy first to build brands, he said. Some of the best brands have had problems: Rolls Royce went from manufacturing cars to aircraft engines and turbines and then divested its car brand, said Haigh.
Haigh said now’s a good time to launch a VFM (value for money) brand. For Indian companies, it’s imperative to get a set of brand attributes to add value.
There are emotional and functional perceptions about a brand and changes in market sentiment must reflect in brand strategy, he said.
On the chief executive officer’s (CEO) role in brand value governance, he said that for visionary brand leadership a CEO must have charisma, advance innovation and accountability, and align business and brand strategy.