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BW Businessworld

The Flat India

Citing the Royal Enfield example here, he notes, “Our brand purpose is to encourage, enable and kickstart the active and lifelong pursuit of exploration. We promote riding at every level. We call it ride, ride more and ride pure.”

Photo Credit :

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Every brand markets itself but only iconic brands create com- munities and tribes. And only these are privileged to build culture. If you are able to build a sustainable culture, then that is the work of a genius,” Shubhranshu Singh, Global Head — Brand & Marketing, Royal Enfield, makes this comment while delving into what goes towards creating iconic brands.

“The more central a brand is to a consumer’s way of life, the more bonded the customer community or tribe is going to be. The brand’s stake on a community has to be a strategic point of view. It is central to the brand’s idea of creating value,” Singh explains.

For him, there are four components that go towards creating iconic brands — brand purpose, consistency, collaboration and consumers.

Citing the Royal Enfield example here, he notes, “Our brand purpose is to encourage, enable and kickstart the active and lifelong pursuit of exploration. We promote riding at every level. We call it ride, ride more and ride pure.”

Royal Enfield sees itself as a motorcycling brand, and not a motorcycle company.

Experiences

With an online community of over 4.5 million riders, giving it more than 7.8 million captive social media audience, Royal Enfield’s investment in digital was early and augured results.

“We have upped digital investments because we want to experiment continuously. We want our digital assets to give great logged-in experiences. We are enhancing our consumer’s understanding and upgrading it. We are also building a frictionless and intuitive experience,” elaborates Singh, as he reflects on some of the points that guided the brand’s strategy to stay relevant in tough times.

Singh reminds that the company was not immune to “forces at large”. “When the thawing began, there was huge interest from Tier 2, Tier 3 and rural markets,” he notes, elaborating, “But in a country where 40 crore Indians are under 20 years of age and have universal access to smartphones, the complexion of demand and how brands and consumers interact, has changed.”

The Eye Opener

Royal Enfield saw a surge in search in the year gone, and very deep engagement from smaller markets.

“Digital behaviour went through a quantum shift. Much of the due diligence and decision making is happening online. We launched the Royal Enfield app, a make-it-yourself configurator and so on in line with this. Another decisive shift is that it is a flat India. Anyone, anywhere is equally clued in. All of this was an eyeopener for all brands,” Singh comments.

Singh, who featured in BW Top 50 Marketers 2021 for the marketing leadership he demonstrated in the year gone, reminds that it is important to recognise that the emotional distance and exposure levels between a metro to the smallest village has reduced.

He says, “As long as consumers have access to internet, and there is a two- way communication, it is all the same. Even in affordability, the creamy layer is thickening but the bottom layer is also rising fast — this was perhaps the biggest learning of 2020.”