<p>Brand management is nothing but the art of creating and sustaining the perception. </p><p>It may sound simple, but it is challenging, especially for a market as diverse and as fragmented as India. It won’t be an understatement to say that this is probably the only KRA of any marketer, regardless of their position.</p><p>A marketer has to deal broadly with two types of mindsets: India and Bharat. </p><p>The Indian mindset is mostly relevant to the upper pyramid of the income group, where the inclination is toward global aspirations, while Bharat is more grounded and more practical with their expectations.</p><p><strong>Indian Mindset</strong></p><p>This is a right-brain-heavy mindset, where the urge is to satiate desires of luxury, art, comfort, and social validation. </p><p>Expectations range from exotic ingredients, cruise control, best-in-class, and so on. One considers self as a global citizen and wouldn’t settle for anything but the best. </p><p>Usually, brands competing against global players or adopting a global concept for Indian markets deal with this Target group.</p><p><strong>Bharat Mindset</strong></p><p>It’s a left-brain mindset where the expectations are very rational in nature. The idea is to make the most of the buck. This could be in the form of more quantity for less price, better mileage per liter, magical pricing (Rs. 2, Rs. 5, Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50), etc. Almost all consumables fall into this category. </p><p>Getting hold of this mindset is slightly tricky because you need to strike a balance between quality and quantity, as the consumers won’t accept anything substandard.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Methods of Brand Management </span></h2><p>Once you have acquired this customer, there is a fair chance to upgrade them to large packs. Hence most FMCG companies offer a slice of their quality products at an affordable price point, even at slim margins.</p><p>As a marketer, your role is to identify where your offerings fit and chart a marketing plan accordingly.It is very much possible that the same company might offer different solutions for each mindset. </p><p>Automobile companies have different offerings for different price points, each delivering different values.FMCG companies might have the same product operating in both mindsets, e.g., a shampoo offered in sachet at Rs. 2 gives convenience to Bharat mindset of trial and one-time solution, while the same in a 500ml pack is bought to suit the hair type and fix a hair problem.</p><p>There is a fair possibility that the same person might have an Indian mindset for specific products or services while a Bharat mindset for something else.</p><p>As a marketer, your role is to be a customer custodian and deliver the desired perception.</p><p>Here are my three recommendations to help you step into your customer’s shoes:</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Recommendations for Brand Management </span></h2><p><strong>Travel how they Travel</strong></p><p>It is essential to understand how your target group commutes. Is time more important to them or money? </p><p>Not only that, but what media they consume on the go will also help you choose the right media. How they behave as a group will eventually help you decide the right stimulus.</p><p><strong>Eat what they eat</strong></p><p>Food is another way we express ourselves. It is more of an expression of who we are.</p><p>Does your target group satiate their hunger pangs with fruits or junk? Whether they eat out with friends or family? Whether they eat out every day while at work? What topics do they discuss? How important is hygiene for them? </p><p>The list can go on, and you will end up learning their behavior better.</p><p><strong>Shop how they Shop</strong></p><p>It is a must for every marketer to conduct mystery shopping themselves to get the actual feel that a customer gets. <br />Something that has helped me is my discussion with retailers as they deal with customers and brands and often suggest gaps that a brand works upon. Being in this environment will also help you decide the tone of your communication.</p><p>I hope this helps you understand your customers better and create value for your brand.</p><p> </p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="linkedin.com/in/amit-vyas11">Amit Vyas</a></em></span></p><p> </p><h3><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Amit Vyas</span></h3><p> </p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. What are essentials of good brand?</span></h2><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">A good brand identifies the problem to be solved and makes customer’s life easy. Bigger problems build stronger brands</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Actively listening to customers and making the most of constructive feedback will keep the brand relevant</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Check at every touch point of customer interaction will help deliver a consistent brand image</li></ul></li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;"> </p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. What are some of the innovative branding strategies?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">I would like to mention how Cred has cracked the code on branding. First and foremost, they solved the problem of credit card payment by shortening the transaction time followed by curating content more relevant to their bigger portion of audience.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Cred’s app gives you a slice of gamification, making those boring credit card payments interesting and rewarding.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Their recent campaigns with India’s Javelin icon Neeraj Chopra, music artists of 90s and cricketers of 90s, including the famous “Indiranagar Ka Gunda” ad featuring cricketing legend Rahul Dravid has helped the brand communicate its benefit with an angle of fun.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Above all, their recent OOH campaign with a simple and clean communication quoting “Download Cred” in plain white and black background was very soothing to eyes, given the clutter around.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"> </p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What factors determine brand value?</span></h2><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li>Brand’s share vis-à-vis overall category size</li><li>Number of competitors in the space</li><li>Brand’s grip over Product, People and Processes</li><li>Scalability with respect to scope of diversification </li></ul></li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;"> </p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What is the strongest measure of a brand's value?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The strongest measure of a brand’s value is the trust it has garnered within its internal and external stake holders. Does the brand deliver what it promises? Does it have a sizeable pool of loyal customers? All account for a better placed brand.</p><p> </p>
KR Expert - Amit Vyas
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