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Sustaining A Brand

Since the book is centred around the idea of growing brands, it has a fairly long-term view and runs down the idea of tactical, short-term and promotional advertising. It does make sense with the data shared along with the arguments. But one is not fully convinced

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There is no denying that today brands touch all of us in almost all aspects of our daily lives, giving all of us a sense of intimacy with the brands. However, this intimacy doesn’t necessarily mean that we really understand brands. Most business leaders struggle with this lack of understanding and seek assistance from various sources. This book is another such source and an excellent one.

The author’s introduction to the book candidly informs as well as cautions about what to expect and what not to expect from this book. The book stays true to that description and goes to lengths to explain “how to do” – not leaving the reader only with “what to do”.  

Author Paddy Rangappa, a seasoned marketing executive (P&G, McDonald’s), talks of  “how can you grow your brand by making emotional connection with people through relevant consumer insights and using these insights in your brand strategy and advertising?”

The most important part in this statement is “relevant consumer insights”. We all know that the most effective advertising is based on some extremely deep consumer insights. However, we are also acutely aware of  how hard it is to come across a real one. The author has attempted to establish a process through which marketing and brand management teams can develop, evaluate and select the best insights to address business challenges.

One could argue about the sanctity and effectiveness of the suggested process, but it has been well supported by success stories of  various well-known brands. These examples make it easier to understand the concept and process and also make them relatable to one’s own observations and experiences. It would have helped greatly had there been more Indian stories, particularly from segments other than FMCG.

It is asserted that the foundation of brand growth is sitting on consumer insights and thus, a big deal and it is the most important job that agency and marketing teams should work on together. Thankfully, it  has also been pointed out that we don’t need to search for too many insights. It can be a simple observation of  human behaviour, which doesn’t necessarily have to highlight a problem, but be a joyful statement as well.
Good advertising can be interesting to create but its primary purpose is profitable and sustainable growth of  the brand. Thus, it is suggested that the evaluation of  insights be based on their identification, relevance and inspiration.  An excellent insight should lead to identification of a human revelation that is relevant to the category and can inspire ideas across media and over time. All these three criteria are equally important for the selection of the right insights that can be taken forward to develop action plans. There is a template for developing the insight action plan.

Since the book is centred around the idea of growing brands, it has a fairly long-term view and runs down the idea of  tactical, short-term and promotional advertising. It does make sense with the data shared along with the arguments. But one is not fully convinced.

In the last section, we are introduced to the craft of CRAFT: conviction, resources, approach, foundation and teamwork. The book points out that P&G has used this framework to  launch and grow its portfolio of  iconic brands across the globe.

The CRAFT approach is fairly clean and practical, but not new. However, the framework is used extensively in  many strategic and operational matters in advertising and across other businesses.  Still, the credible manner in which it is explained in the context makes it very useful for marketing, advertising and branding professionals.

The Indian consumer markets are still in their infancy and there are very few brands in each segment. With the inevitable proliferation of multinational brands and new launches by Indian companies and startups, the market is going to become very crowded and competitive. Books like these will be of great help for young professionals who will be wading through these waters in future.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Harminder Sahni

Sahni is Founder and Managing Director, Wazir Advisors

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