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Brand conversations: Brand propositions to tangibly power marketing strategy

Read suggested brand proposition directions to explore adding to marketing strategy that could enable greater future tangible value.

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brand proposition

Deeper insights into the post-covid situation can provide opportunities that brands could leverage in their favour and in ways like never before.

Here are 7 suggested brand proposition directions to explore adding to marketing strategy that could enable greater future tangible value:

1. A partner in crisis is a partner for life: As the say, ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating.’

Can one ever forget the hands that reached out to us when we were rescued out of some place in a crisis? Can we ever forget someone who was there to provide for us at a difficult time, when everyone else abandoned us and everything else seem to have disappeared?

Many of us may have witnessed how in the lockdown days the local grocer was like a superhero and risked everything to deliver our essentials to our gates. Specific to FMGCs, we also knew brands that were available to meet our needs on a daily basis, no less than superheroes for us. Interestingly, the brands also received our gratification as a quantum leap in their sales.

On a lighter note, recently on The Kapil Sharma show someone mentioned that the couples that were able to survive each other through the long and difficult lockdown period are likely to remain partners for life . There may be some wisdom in that statement for us all.

A brand that can realistically claim to have been noticeably present in the most difficult phase to customers, has a great advantage. The customer values such a brand and in addition to rewarding it with greater loyalty, and over time could be willing to accept a reasonable price premium for it.

2. Rekindling moments of happiness and laughter:

With everything that could have happened in the months gone by, people are starved for the little joys that they once enjoyed in their lives. Any interaction that can provide the much sought-after genuine happiness and laugher will be seen as a noble deed, indeed.

Providing this joy that’s been a scarce commodity, could be a justified opportunity for a brand to build a premium, with a greater chance of happily being accepted by customers.

3. The value of safety and immunity: The lockdown phase saw a rapid increase in building awareness and significance of hygiene and safety among people. We saw how important sanitisers and disinfectants became as they literally flew away from the store shelves. Some brands were quick to latch on this and lost no time in making the required enhancement to their business in order to address this need by either providing greater safety or stronger immunity.

Customers are well aware that this safety comes at a cost and if they are convinced that they stand to benefit from this, why should they not be willing to pay a small price for the same. However, the trap to avoid here is not become generic or trivial but actually be able to convincingly bring alive the value to customers.

4. Be REAL to be seen as responsible & to be respected:

The new reality I believe somewhat marks the end of tokenism, as customers have no patience for gimmicks that have no meaning. Anything brand promise that fails their trust, runs the risk of becoming an experience that will long last in their memory. At the same time, the customer is much better-informed today. The information overload and the need therefore to make independent analysis in all that people faced in this year, suddenly induced substantial awareness and maturity. Interestingly, some brands displayed a high level of maturity, moving out turf and territory, in building the larger concepts of safety, health and hygiene to consumers and asking them not to be restricted in their usage to ‘their brand only’ but whatever was easily available.

Customers have great regard for such brands that walk the talk and act responsibly. Leader brands that feel a sense of responsibility and chose to give back to restore what was lost will enjoy great respect. Unlike earlier times, efforts in the direction of building back what is lost will not go unnoticed. Except, that this needs to be real and substantial enough, going beyond mere symbolism. This will win genuine admiration and support in minds of customers. Their support can bring unprecedented brand value that can be encashed for decades.

5. Ride on the cultural shifts: The lockdown period propelled the healthy trends which taught family members to share household responsibilities, to be self-reliant and to move away from regressive role classifications. This is a great space for certain categories to bank upon and build their brand, especially if the brand already stands in support of such equality. And for being progressive in action, the customers will always have greater regard for such brands and hold them in higher esteem.

6. Ride the trends to build strong brand engagement and experience: Another interesting trend that we saw develop especially in India was how concepts of self-service and D-I-Y (do it yourself) flourished almost organically. The dependence on expert service providers or technicians in a way reduced to some extent especially when it came to durables. The common source of guidance was the ‘How to’ videos that everyone reached out to on YouTube and increase fundamental knowledge.

This in entirety created democratized and de-monopolised brand participation for customers. It’s a trend that should be leveraged in the future. What it tells customers about the brand is that its ease of use and how it works well for to meet their needs, using with their participation. And we know that increased brand engagement and superior brand experience working together, always enrich brands.

7. Fighting together to defeat fear:

We know that the pandemic and its aftermath continue to have a somewhat crippling effect in people’s minds. This is a fear that subtly continues to loom large and has become something people have reconciled themselves to live with. It seems to have them live a life that has conceded to the situation. Brands that are about having courage to pursue life dreams and ambitions or about fighting fear, must take it upon themselves to demolish this monster in the mind of people, step by step.

What this would provide in terms of a result can be really defining for a brand and can create huge turn arounds, a lot of them leading to tangible gains.

In conclusion, I must admit that to my great delight, we can already see several brands have lost no time in adopting the new realities. Hence all the more reason for measurement metrics to evolve to capture all that these brands are now incorporating. Research that provides deeper understanding could help in verifying if this will be justified for the consumer and will surely bring better results.

Note: Views mentioned are meant to inspire thought and not intended to be critical of any existing initiative. Routes are suggested and may require appropriate ratification.

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.

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Deepak Netram brand proposition

Deepak Netram

The author is Marketing Consultant, Dreamforce Associates, enabling brands to enhance festive outcomes. He can be reachable at

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