At a time when pre-existing 'relationships' seem to decide everything, Delhi witnessed a fresh new approach to bringing together marketers and service providers through partnerships on a platform where presenters made short, sharp pitches to the assembled audience. The Brand Partnership summit saw a healthy turnout, indicating the viability of this new concept. Brand Stand was one of the key partners for the meet. Brand Stand is a single source networked destination media company, offering varied locations and audiences for brand promotions.
The conference revolved around the concept of the value brand partnerships bring to marketers and customers in the short as well as long run. With over 22 brands making individual presentations on current or upcoming partnership opportunities, the event served as an opportunity for brands looking forward to leverage and benefit by uniting forces. The brands included Exide, Free-Culture, Kidzania, Avon, Adani Wilmar, Quicko, PVR, Frankly Me, Oxfam, Smile Foundation, Godatu, Brandstand, Joss-Box, Ye-Paisa, Cosmic, Carzonrent, Instream, Dabur, Mediawide, Samms Juke-Box, Shrusti and Marketing-Buzzar.
To uncover the nitty gritties of brand partnerships, a panel comprising of Rajesh Kumar, Head of Marketing, SAP India, Kulpreet Yadav, Bestselling Author, Literary Industry Expert, Kishore Chakraborti, Vice President, McCann Erickson India, Amit Nandi, Senior Vice President, Bajaj Auto Limited, Nilesh Pawaskar, President at e Book Publisher Limited, Rajiv Dingra, Founder & CEO, WATConsult, Prasun Kumar, Sr. Vice President - Marketing Reliance Communications and Sumit K. Ghosh, Chief Marketing Officer at Hero Realty Ltd. discussed the topic 'Hyper impatient consumers: Can one-brand-engage-all live for long?' The panel was moderated by Dilip Yadav, Initiator of Open Knots.
Dilip began the panel by asking the panelists to highlight what makes brand partnerships work.
Emphasising the importance of brand positioning viz a viz its competitors Nandi said, " All marketers know for a fact that customers have a very limited attention span. With increasing clutter across mediums, it is necessary to set your brand apart from others. Having said that, there is no one way of doing things. The brand partnerships are driven by consumers or the demand itself."
Highlighting the changing rules of marketing, Chakraborti said, "The consumer has become far more demanding now. B Schools need to start emphasising on the fact that marketing is the biggest collaborative activity, it's no longer a war."
Bringing in the perspective of how technology companies undertake brand partnerships Kumar said,
"It's no longer a black and white world. In technology, the company itself is the brand. Large companies identify areas where they collaborate, the areas they don't and stay away from. Brand partnerships are all about delivering one plus one. The opportunistic approach to serve the customer goes deeper."
There is always a clash between rules of partners and rules of control in brand partnerships. There is always a trade off between the two and marketers usually first start the partnership, discover value and then decide.
Talking about brand collaborations for E-commerce sites Dingra said, "Brand partnerships build new opportunities. E-commerce brands especially in case of apparels, ask brands to put in half the money in promotions for the website. This way the brands get exclusive partnerships. There have been a lot of social media campaigns where three or more brands are tweeting about the same hashtag. The Google Online Shopping Festival is one such example where competing brands promote the same festival with each other. They benefit by attracting a large customer base."
Ghosh, representing the realty sector on the panel said, "We haven't seen many brand partnerships in the realty sector because of two reasons mainly. The first one being, we do not treat our partners the way they should be. Instead we treat them as vendors. The second being, there is an increasing need to be customer focused. We haven't thought about the customer at all. And hence, the industry is in a bad shape now. Corporate brands like the Mahindra's, Godrej, TATA's, etc. are entering the sector now. There is a need for organised corporates here as they know how to treat the customers well."
Talking about an untapped avenue, Yadav brought out the benefits of collaborating brands with publishing. He said,"Storytelling can be easily used to build trust into brands. Literature plays a huge role in creating perceptions. But its an area completely unexplored in India. The publishing industry hasn't had any such partnership in the past. 'Word of Author Advertising' can create great opportunities but remains unexplored in India. Unlike newspapers and magazines, novels and books stay with the consumers for a long long time."
The day concluded with concurrent meeting sessions of brands on round tables.