Silicon city Bangalore on Saturday (December 14) was witness to a one-day seminar 'Brand Storm - Smart ideas build great brands,' hosted by Integrated Brand.Comm Pvt. Ltd. The summit, packed with over 125 delegates, threw up interesting brand insights from a cross-section of speakers.
True, the speakers sizzled. At one end, there was the radical J Ramachandran, BOC Chair Professor of Business Policy, IIM-B - who chose to completely dismiss the idea of smart brands and made a case for a distinction between 'successful brands and great brands' - and on the other, there was the more moderate Shripad Nadkarni, vice-president - marketing, Coca-Cola India, who was obviously riding high on the 'Thanda matlab…' wave.
Mental gears shifted effortlessly from how brands need to evolve and how employees are the real brands of a company, to the raison d' etre for celebrities.
Among other speakers to articulate their points of view were Bhaskar Bhat, managing director, Titan Industries; Dr Bob Hoekstra, CEO, Philips Software Centre; S Ghosh, CEO & executive director, Saatchi & Saatchi; R Balakrishnan (Balki), executive creative director, Lowe India; Raghavan Srinivasan, executive director, TN Sofres Mode; Vasant Nangia, CEO, Oyzterbay; and Rekha Menon, country manager, Talisma Corporation.
With a panel like this sparks were bound to fly. Nadkarni, in the true spirit of cola wars, missed no opportunity to take potshots at competing brands. He came up with the suggestion that often a smart and great idea based on true consumer insight can actually change the language of the brand. Which is how Coke has evolved from being a laid-back brand to an attitude brand - by talking in the 'real language of the people'.
On his part, Balki admitted that the latest Fair & Lovely 'matching-matching' commercial for the removal of dark circles was made keeping in mind the tremendous criticism the earlier "kaash ek beta hota" (wish I had a son) commercial had received. He insisted that ads work when they are able to address the real problem effectively and that there is "nothing like a brief" and that smart ideas often happen when someone at the client or agency end hits upon the 'real' problem with the brand in question.
Saatchi & Saatchi's Ghosh spoke on the much-discussed issue of celebrity endorsements. Having used Shah Rukh Khan and Peity Zinta for Santro, he had the FRED (familiar, relevance, esteem and differentiation) principal in place. Celebrities do not work if there is no connect between the brand and the celebrity, he said. And added, celebrities are of no use if they are smaller than the brand, if they do not command consumer faith and are unable to break clutter.
In sum, the seminar (which seeks to be an annual feature from Brand.Comm) attempted to address 'serious' brand-related issues. Incidentally, Brand.Comm, the four-year-old outfit headed by Ramanujam Sridhar, is planning to step into the arena of corporate training - specialising in brand management and marketing. "We operate in three domains, namely, brand consultancy, advertising and public relations. Training is the next logical step," he said, adding, "we have already taken on a training project for NDDB." Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!