Understanding brand insights and why brands work

By Ankit Bhatnagar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Marketing
Last updated : December 06, 2011
Connecting Dots, an insight-based brand solutions outfit from Market Xcel organised an introductory workshop that uncovered consumer insights and created brand ideas.

The workshop, conducted at the Indian Habitat Centre, Delhi, was conducted by Amit Shrivastava, director, brand consulting, Connecting Dots, and was attended by participants from Idea Cellular, Yum Restaurants India (KFC and Pizza Hut), DDB Mudra, NV Group and LT Foods Limited (Daawat Basmati Rice). Also present on the occasion was Priyanka Singh, director, qualitative research, Connecting Dots. The company's objective was to strike a partnership between the researcher and the strategic planner. Through the workshops, the organisers sensitised the participants in appreciating brand insights beyond what meets the eye, at a deeper intuitive level, and helped them visualise their role in creating large brand ideas.

Explaining how the word 'brand' came about, Shrivastava said that brands work when they don't create a divide between themselves and the consumers. He traced the chronological evolution of brand promotion. "Earlier, it was through the print media that brands communicated about the ingredients of their products, but with the advent of television, brands employed the emotional angle and became symbolic of self-expression," he said. Commenting on the recent flash mob that took place at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in Mumbai, Shrivastava said that it went viral, and became an instant hit online because it had no agenda and was ambiguous. "When you see strangers connecting without any agenda, you share," he said.

Citing the example of Kolaveri Di's popularity, Shrivastava opined that there's so much of polish and synthetic bling all around in the world today that anything that is an unfinished product and is raw, is an instant hit.

Commenting on what differentiates Connecting Dots from other brand solutions outfits, Shrivastava highlighted the approach of research that the company uses. "Meeting consumers is only one element of creating brand insights. Understanding the context around the problem by examining multiple perspectives is the key to getting a richer, fuller picture of the problem, as well as the possibilities. Therefore, the team is geared to look at any project from as many perspectives as possible -- parallel case studies, existing knowledge on the consumer segment, even popular culture," he said.

Keeping with the solutions-oriented approach to research, Shrivastava said that the aim of creating brand insights should be to make the process as co-creative as possible, and involve clients. Be it in unpeeling the insights or in the generation of ideas to address the problem. Insights, as he explained in the workshop, is 'a motivation that explains your behaviour.' Commenting on how qualitative researches should be done, Shrivastava offered valuable inputs. According to him, listening is of prime importance for a researcher. "You must engage in such a way that they hate you going away." While talking to respondents, don't impose your own filters and keep in mind that nothing is irrelevant, no matter how far-fetched it looks," Shrivastava said.

First Published : December 06, 2011
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