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BW Businessworld

‘Voice Of A Brand Should Be Consistent’

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Dairy major Amul recently won the best marketing campaign award at the World Dairy Innovation awards. Draftfcb Ulka, the creator of the campaign, is no doubt, proud. In a chat with BW’s Abraham C. Mathews, the global CEO of the creative agency Carter Murray talks about the importance of promoting local creativity.

How different is strategising for brands in India, with its own set of cultural tastes and sensitivities? 
Part of being in the creative business is you have to celebrate local creativity. Looking at the specific nuances of India and the trends and insights that make India different, we absolutely need to have our own strategy for India.

For example, when we did a campaign for Amul, the way it was communicated in India was different from how it is done in the rest of the world. Most people would be shocked to know that fresh milk is delivered to homes every day, not just to the affluent, but to households with extremely low income as well. So the discussion around milk would sound extremely strange if you were not from India. But it certainly resonates with people here.

How are brands planning their strategy for social media today?
Certainly, social media has had an impact on our lives, consequently on people, brands and products. But don’t think of it as the be-all and end-all. As an agency we have the ideas, insight and creativity to help our brands move forward, but what we have to still get right is understanding people.

Quite a few clients use social media as a customer relationship tool. They use social media as a place to listen to what people like and what they don’t and react to it.  Some brands use it as a social awareness tool. Some as a strong tool for advocacy, which is what it is meant to be. 

Social media can be a double edged sword, right? 
We tell our clients that what you do is just as important as what you say. Make sure that when you say something, you deliver on it. That’s the key. The other thing is that the voice you have as a brand should be consistent, from the CEO talking about his company to the voice or the tonality you use on social media. At every single touch point, you want to have one brand that stands for one thing.

It is important to make sure you are open, and that you share information with people that is appropriate. For me its common sense. We are not building spaceships. We are trying to understand how to connect with people. You need to engage in conversations. It’s okay if people don’t agree with what you are doing, but it’s important you get out in the market and say what you stand for.    

How do you measure the value of brands?
One of the advantages of technology and data is that we are able to measure data a lot more than we could in the past. With new tools like Net Promoter Score, a way to evaluate customer loyalty, we are in a better position to measure brand value.  

How often do you think brands should reinvent themselves?
I think the secret is in staying the course and being consistent in what you stand for. It’s like if you show up in different type of clothing every day, people wonder what type of a person you are.

That said, one of the things that has come out of the likes of Google is that you have to always stay fresh, and present yourself in an engaging way. But the core of who they are never changes. You should work out who you are, your positioning, and you should stick to it. But I think how you bring it to life, or express it can change.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 28-07-2014)