Archive for the 'branding' Category

SWOT Analysis for a Great Marketing Campaign

Posted by on Sep 24 2012 | branding, Social Media

It would be just relevant to talk about SWOT at a time when brands are flooding in the digital space to leverage on the online customer base. For every business with its online presence, it is important that it is making the best use of the social media space. In case, if things are not looking up, then, it is time to sit back and do the SWOT analysis.


  • Efficient media planning to work out the social media campaigns are in place. This allows the management to assess the situation and then go ahead with the launch.
  • Deep market reach is crucial. The number of customers who are actively involved with the social media platform will help boost the business.
  • Thorough understanding of the media tools and the metrics to measure the success of campaigns are acquired.


  • The problem with not having the right resources which help build the analytics behind a campaign can be a major problem.
  • Another hindrance could be with maintaining the effectiveness of the campaign on the networking site. If the right impact is not made, the campaign loses its grip.
  • Not having the support of the collaborative team on the subject of social media campaign can be a hurdle too.


  • Moving out of the comfort zone and interacting more on the digital space is important. It acts like food for thought for business to connect on different platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.
  • Exploring the customer base is another option to go for. Promotional offers help grab attention and drive traffic to the source.
  • It becomes absolutely essential to have partners for sponsorships or shared spaces on the digital medium. This gives campaign a broader coverage.


  • It is important to question the strategy before taking the plunge. Is the campaign going to benefit the existing company profile?
  • Though trying to make a mark in the space, the unavoidable threat remains from an established player. So, check if you are better equipped to take on the counter attack?
  • Campaign sustainability is a big issue. The slightest of fault in message strategy will take the toll on the brand.

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5 Tips for a Healthy ‘Brand’ life

Posted by on Sep 18 2012 | Advertising, branding

A business plan with a dream to take on the world by storm sounds mighty but it is totally accomplishable, if we have to say so. All we need to do is to get the basics right. The practice and success will always lie with the initiator.

Can’t do without it: There are some bare minimums of everything in this world. So, it is with a brand. The brand offering a product or service must connect with the consumer on the very bottom-line of ‘need’. If the consumer cannot do without this product, it is launched right.

The cherry on the cake: Everyone loves the cake but it is always nicer with a dressing. The consumer likes to see the added ‘value’ with the product. If the brand has to survive, it needs to keep exploring on the benefits apart from the offerings of the product.

Engage and shoot: Not literally. But don’t lose the sight. The consumer is a tricky being. If the business would not engage and talk, the former tends to move. So, keep them kicking with campaigns offline and online.

Change is the only constant: It is better to adapt than be late and forgotten. In the age where people are rushing in with their labels, it is good to keep the brand updated every once in a while. This can be done by product innovation, advance strategy of advertising and promotions.

Miles to go: The consumer–brand relationship should be fostered keeping in mind that a satisfied consumer always talks in favor of the brand and help build more. Social networking sites are turning out to be the best platform for consumer interaction spot. It is also working as the grievance redress cell.

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Changing Trends in Advertising in India

Posted by on Sep 12 2012 | Advertising, branding

The Indian landscape is certainly one of the most diverse and abundant in the whole world. Here, the old intermingles with the new with an innate harmony. While India has underwent rapid urbanization, a majority of population still lives in rural and semi urban areas. In accord with these changes, advertising has also evolved to cater to the unique India demographic.

The Feel Good Factor: Ads that simply purported to the various the benefits of the product are fairly outdated. Now, people enjoy advertisements and seek for an entertainment value out of them. The advertisements are not focussed around the features of the product but how that product adds value to your life. The shift of emphasis has been from people’s mind to their heart.

Brand Value: Advertisers are not satisfied with the consumers making a single purchase; they are more interested in getting them to buy again and again. The centre-stage attraction of advertising is not the product now but the brand. Brand building has emerged as the foremost aspect of advertising.

The New Media: Internet is well on its way of becoming fairly ubiquitous throughout India. The sheer popularity of social media among the Indian youth has given advertisers a platform to effectively connect with a segment possessing a formidable purchasing power. Naturally, the share of online advertising in the overall advertising budget has augmented significantly. Social networking websites and video sharing websites have also emerged as test platforms for large advertising campaigns.

Targeted Approach: Advertisers now can’t afford to the stick to the “one for all” approach.  Ads are now specifically aimed at a key demographic rather than at the whole masses. Ad campaigns now consistently tap on niche markets to better establish the brand and more dedicated brand following.

Advertising has become more challenging than ever as the Indian consumer is now inundated with multifarious brands and products. As India moves towards becoming a more consumerist society, advertising also adopts to the change with innovation and creativity.

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Minimalist Advertising: Volkswagen

Posted by on Aug 03 2012 | Advertising, branding

I still am in the process of figuring out what is it exactly known by? I think the marketers too are discussing a jargon for it or better yet a lingo to go by. But I guess the term more popular is minimalist advertising. And which one of the brands wins the race?

Quite a few of them are the contenders here. I will give it to Volkswagen.

They sure have come a long way from their ‘Lemon’ days. Remember a small black car and an elaborate ad copy talking how Volkswagen takes care of delivering only the best product to their customers. The one which is not worth never makes it to the world outside. Superb idea. What could hold a consumer’s attention and empathy, more than assuring them of how they are being thought of and taken care of.  So, here was Volkswagen talking at length about their brand and its quality standards to keep that consumer under its arms.

That was then. Now, things have changed. It’s more than change, it is revolution. They don’t talk much now. What is characteristic of a Volkswagen advertisement is that they take the crux out of the machine, as in the idea on which they would like to market the car a.k.a USP of the product and build an advertisement around it. With every new machine, they break the mould (the one surprisingly made by themselves). It’s like breaking one’s own record. Well, they do match their promise of the product in real. No kidding that. But beating other automobile brands in terms of advertising is just another feather in the cap.

What’s striking about a Volkswagen ad is the large section of the visual that captures the eyeballs. More often than not, it says more than what meets the eye. Yes, the remainder of the missing information is beautifully woven into a single sentence of the ad copy. The words are carefully chosen to express the most of information about the machine in the best and least of vocabulary available. It’s a success, all of the time.

Only a crystal clear brand strategy can bring about a consistent brand message that flows through each of the variety offered under the name of Volkswagen. The effect remains the same because the message is always powerful just like the product. So, with Volkswagen there’s no pomp and show, only the real deal. The message can be layered with a metaphor or a simile but it still talks of the ground reality, the fact what is going to be presented in the form of the product. Thus, the minimalist advertising strategy wins by giving the sense of more though saying less.

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Amazing Spider Man: Brand ‘Webb’ Sells… and How!

Posted by on Jul 12 2012 | branding, Cinema

Ok, for all those Spiderman fans out there, this reboot is definitely worth a million drools….no, not for the Lizard Man! It is for the all-new avatar of Peter Parker, adeptly played by Andrew Garfield. The swings, the webs and the zaps are all there – and in a brand new package.

So, what is it that makes one say, “Move over Tobey, your character’s been web-jacked”? Well, it’s a well-concocted blend of more realistic results of action sequences (remember the bruises that actually show till the day after?), the depth of emotions (scenes with Aunt May, Uncle Ben and of course, the love interest, Gwen Stacey, played by Emma Stone), and to top it all, the deliberately depicted inadequacies of the super-hero before he dons his role as the saviour of the city.

The story delves right into the root of how it all began. From the dilemma of separation from his parents at a young age, to growing up with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, dealing with the trauma of his parents’ mysterious disappearance, and the wound that this childhood circumstance leaves in a young Parker, the drama unfolds and does so adeptly. The emotional confabulations, the romantic impasses and the ever-raging inner turmoil are beautifully executed through the boyish charms of the dashing Garfield. A budding photographer cum scientific genius-in-the-making takes on the ambitious and almost evil-incarnate Dr. Connors, the Lizard Man. While good triumphs, it always has a cost attached to it – which unfortunately is in the form of human lives lost (viz. Captain Stacey).

So, what makes this whole package so sough after? Is it the stunts? Is it the raw emotions? Or is it simply brand ‘Webb’ that makes it all so delectable?  The flick is worth watching to find out.


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Sports Branding: Hinting Sales

Posted by on Jul 04 2012 | branding in the brand management class of my M.B.A. last semester, I always found the subject interesting but never in the world did I take it to be something so deep. Well there were a few roots and branches but deep…Nah! Something happened when I started observing how brands work strategies to deliver their message across countries, breaking barriers of language and races. So, I thought of sharing this very engaging story of two brands, better known to the world as Nike and Adidas. Both of them started off with shoes and are now into everything sports (apparels, bags, accessories).

The story though is not plain and I will not talk about how they came into being (I know you can Google that). The interesting facet to their rivalry is the sports that they both religiously follow and endorse and manufacture for. Yes, you guessed it right. Soccer, it is. Now, I would suggest go check the recent commercial for these two brands. Nike breaks the scene with a very energetic and on-the-edge-of-your-seat ad where players, professionals and just about every man who gets hit (with the ‘soccer’ idea) rushes to the field. It culminates where a puzzled player enters the scene in a discomfortingly unfit soccer jersey. So, the ad is all about adrenaline and more of it. Talking about one of the Adidas commercials, this ad features players at a restaurant/diner and the food on the menu is ‘the shoe’, which is immaculately cooked and served ‘fresh’.  A lovely concept of depicting what an original, fresh, and right out of the ‘oven’ dish would feel like.

Apart from how both the brands have played with the idea of sports and the product associated with it, one very important fact is none of them overdid it. For Nike the whole concept was to put the spirit of the game at front (though everywhere across the field the viewers see the players’ feet and hence, the inevitable, shoe). While for Adidas, the idea was to put across the image of a shoemaker who believes in delivering authenticity with every single piece. In both the cases, the shoe is not glorified, it remains there as part of the whole play. It is understood for anybody and everybody, who has followed these two brands that they would be talking about the ‘product’, but here, goes the smart marketing. They say, yes, we are marketing our product but you won’t know it because we are not talking straight. We are just hinting; a good concept, indeed. We can expect that coming from brands that have stood the test of time, have evolved and keep upgrading themselves with every passing minute. So, what is the take home for brands that babble too much? Just keep producing quality and advertise subtly. The essence lies in knowing what is intended and if you have to say that aloud, it is no more fun.

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7 Useful Online Marketing Tips

Posted by on Jun 20 2012 | branding, Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

To build a brand, online marketing is one of the key tools in the advertising process. Here are a few useful online marketing tips that can you can use in your brand building process-

  1. Go Viral - Viral marketing has proven to be beneficial as a launch pad for many new brands. All you need to do is to make a video on a topic relevant to the brand personality, its goals etc. The video goes viral on many social media websites and relies on its likeability power. A rather informal way of communicating, the main objective of this approach is to redirect the viewers to the brand’s website and inform them of the brand’s presence.
  2. Chase the Social Media- If your brand is not present on Facebook and Twitter; you might be from the 20th century. An informal and interesting way of interacting with your customers directly, it makes it easier for many people to know about you. Make a brand page, get the timeline and get started. Talk to the people, hold contests, upload the photographs, get a celebrity to endorse your page and your brand and you will soon rise up in the success graph.
  3. E-mail marketing- Sending out emails to your customers is a sure shot way of grabbing attention. Since this activity is known and already practiced, why not sell the new wine in old bottle. E-mailers are known to be boring and irritating and to actually make it work; you need to be unique and different. Use an attractive template with an informal language so that the readers connect with them.
  4. Banners and Print ads- Remember that tiny ad you saw on the right side while you were reading your emails on yahoo? Well, those are the ads online. You can post ads of your website or brand on any website you feel already attracts the traffic. Make your ads creative and leave a sense of mystery in their content or a picture to redirect the reader to your website.
  5. Blogging- Blogging about your brand is an excellent idea. Set up your blog and invite your existing customers to read and follow it. The content may not necessarily be about your product, but also the interesting facts relevant to the industry etc. E.g. giving fashion tips to the young lads if you are into fashion business.
  6. Submit Articles- One of the effective ways of marketing online is submitting written content on the various article submission websites. The articles can be on subjects and topics related to your industry and about your products. They divert traffic to your website and help in better SEO (Search engine optimization) of your website.
  7. Form groups and forums- A lesser known marketing habit, you can make use of forming groups and forums on yahoo and Google and add your customers. This will update your customers about the ongoing discussions and the latest from you. In return they will be engaged in your brand and will also do some word of mouth publicity for free.

With various platforms of interactive media being launched each day, one has ample options to explore. So, reach out and make a difference!

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The Game of ‘Outplay’: Competition driven by Smart Consumers

Posted by on Jun 06 2012 | Advertising, branding

Blame it on Unilever (then Hindustan Lever) to bring about Lalita ji, to a very naïve and non-experimenting Indian consumer circle. The brand (read Surf) was smart to connect the idea of a good product with the buyer’s intelligence. And so the revolution began. The consumer understood the fact that with liberalization, the market would offer choices and that would make the former more stronger, which in turn would allow him to have the last say in where the money goes.(Trust me, that’s all we think). That was the beginning of problems for brands and their marketers.

Now, it was no more the fight of getting a chunk of that cake (read market/economy/capital) but also how long the cake lasts. The longer it is there, the sweeter it is. So, the idea was not just sales, but, sales based on long term relationship with the consumer. The consumer on the other hand was having the best of times and they still do. Before anybody could realize or let alone picture the future, the market was flooded with brands in just about all categories (and it’s growing exponentially with the retail arena). Hence, the inevitable competition. Thankfully, for a market like India, a marketer could pick and choose a category (based on socio-economic/income group distribution). Here, lay the catch. A well-read consumer (or forget that, just think of someone who is biased with feedbacks from others) would turn out to be a very tricky customer and in Indian scenario they play(ed) a dramatic role.

So, with total pun intended, this ‘smart’ consumer knew his way out and he wanted everything; economy, luxury, value and style too. Thus, the brands just had to play their cards right. Say for example some brands relied on innovation (and it’s not always about the technical ones) and have come to be known for that e.g. Pepsi, some played with the sentiment e.g. Titan, Asian Paints, some relied on offering quality e.g. Amul, Colgate. These were just a few but miraculously the ones those survived the market wars and emerged triumphant. The ones who could not, just took a bit too long realizing what the consumer wants?

Well, if nothing else, the current players take a lot of interest in consumer understanding based on extensive research tools and pay heed to what is being asked out of them, which eventually shows in frequent upgradation of product quality and variety. And the consumer seems to be having the biggest grin of the century. So much for Lalita ji, I say.

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