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Chlorophyll's Anand Halve authors third book, Darwin's Brands

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | February 14, 2012
'Darwin's Brands - Adapting for Success' narrates the success stories of 12 brands that have stood the test of changing consumer preferences, changing competitive landscapes and category-related changes because they adapted accordingly.

"Though I finished writing this book a year ago, sourcing the pictorial support material is what took time," says Anand Halve, co-founder of Chlorophyll, a Mumbai-based brand and communications consultancy, about his latest book.

Darwin's Brands

Titled 'Darwin's Brands - Adapting for Success', the book is a compilation of the stories of 12 brands that adapted their way to success in the face of changing marketing and consumer environments. These brands include Thums Up, Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate, Saffola, Maggi, Amul, Lifebuoy, Titan, Asian Paints, Hero Honda, Maruti, Femina and Airtel. They fall under one of four categories, namely, consumer goods, home improvement/durables, media and services.

The stories are tracked through the brands' most public expression, that is, their advertising, and are put forth across 12 chapters, one per brand. The book contains 168 pages in all.

When quizzed about the philosophy behind his latest book, Halve says, "The concept I was playing with this time around was 'the lifetime value of brands'." He goes on to explain that essentially, two ideas laid the foundation for this book.

The first aspect was the fact that the most valued brands are invariably age old brands. "When you look at the most valued and respected brands of all time, notice how -- barring the technology-related brands such as Google and Facebook -- most of them are geriatric cases!" Halve exclaims.

Anand Halve

Secondly, he explains, the market valuation of most brands is a function of their standing in the stock market, which is a rather transient valuation that evaporates quickly. It was the combination of these two realities that led Halve to arrive at the Darwinian analogy of - not the survival of the fittest - rather, the survival of the most adaptable brands.

Owing in part to the reluctance of marketing companies to share data, Halve referred to data available on category-specific public domains while researching for this book (for example, TRAI/Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for mobile brands and SIAM/Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers for automobile brands). His second source of information comprised the individuals who were closely involved in building these brands, or those who witnessed the milestones that these brands crossed. The latter has helped add a lot of interesting brand-related anecdotes to the book.

Though this is Halve's third book, it is the second book that he has authored independently. While his first book, 'Planning for Power Advertising', was an independent effort, the recently released 'AdKatha - The Story of Indian Advertising' was a book he co-authored with Anita Sarkar.

While there's no specific target audience for this book, Halve specifies that unlike his first book that was meant specifically for students of branding/advertising, this offering is not an academic one.

Priced at Rs 395, 'Darwin's Brands' is available in stores such as Reliance, Oxford, Crossword, Landmark, Bookzone, Kitabkhana and Strand. It is also available on the publisher's (Sage Publications) website, as well as other websites including Flipkart, Infibeam, Landmarkonline and AmazonIndia.

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