Friday, May 31, 2013

Is your brand recharged?

While a “new look” is important, it is equally important to offer value to the customer either by way of a sharper focus or a clearer position. Recharger Brands have to constantly keep examining and contemporising themselves for consumers, who are constantly looking for newer and smarter options, is what Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder and CEO, Brand Comm has to say about ‘Rechargers’, one of the ten categories of the Pitch Brands 50 –Awards For Excellence in Marketing, presented by ABP News, in partnership with Percept.

According to Sridhar, the recharged brand is one that has rejigged itself and has done changes to it over the years while retaining its original characteristics and properties, making it attractive to an increasingly demanding younger audience.

While more than 25 brands made it to the shortlist after going through investigative –scrutiny of the Pitch’s editorial team, 10 were selected to go to the next level. While the jury has locked five winners, let’s take a quick-peek look at the 12 names that went to the jury.

One of the brands that made it to the shortlisted list of Rechargers is ‘Cinthol’, which revamped its identity with its adventurous -‘Alive is Awesome’ campaign with a new range of soaps, shower gels and deos.

While it is important for brands to renew themselves,  Sharad Sarin, senior marketing professor, XLRI says that they should not lose their basic tenets and core brand properties in the process. “Brands that take up challenges and follow different kinds of approach in terms of marketing actually succeed in revitalizing their brands,” says Sarin.

Another shortlisted candidate is ‘Philips’ for its efforts to position itself as a master of youth-centric products in 2012 with more than 23 youth-focused products such as the AquaTouch (dry and wet shaver) and BodyGroom (a body groomer for men), targeting young males who represent a Rs. 1,500-crore market. The company has also introduced youth-focused products in the lighting category, with LivingColors lamps.

While the jury was chaired by Ramesh Jude Thomas, President, Equitor Consulting, other jury members included marketing professionals and professors such as Rahul Sen, International Brand Advisor; Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder and CEO, Brand Comm; Subroto Chattopadhyay, Chairman, Peninsula Foundation; Sunil Gupta, Marketing Partner, South Asia, Results International Group; Ashok Pratap Arora, Marketing Professor, MDI.

Another brand getting in the Recharger’s list is Kurkure. With just one celebrity in its campaigns for long which was Juhi Chawla, the salty snack brand from PepsiCo now features a star-studded family including Parineeti Chopra, Kunal Kapoor, Boman Irani. The modern, eccentric and ‘nationally-integrated’ family reiterates the brand philosophy, ‘Tedha Hai Par Mera Hai’ and its essence, ‘Twist on Tradition’.

Rechargers get highlighted once again with yet another product which is Dish TV. From ‘Ghar Aayi Zindagi’ campaign, it has paved way for ‘Dish Sawar Hai’. On the other hand, D Décor Home Fabrics that began operations in 1999 as a B2B operator has pushed away its image to occupy the consumer’s mind as a B2C brand and hence makes its way in the ‘Recharger’s List’.

Subroto Chattopadhyay, Chairman, Peninsula Foundation says, “In order to be relevant, a brand constantly needs to revitalize itself so that it continues to be preferred by consumers. Citing the example of Mahindra which is another shortlisted candidate, he says that it is a perfect example as it brings in better suspension designs and better performance.”

Mahindra’s previous word mark was grey in colour; whereas the new one is a dark shade of red. This will be used as part of the product’s name for Mahindra’s mobility offerings and as an ‘endorser’ for Mahindra’s non-mobility offerings.

Another brand marking its presence in the list is Kaya Skincare which underwent a rebranding exercise to shed its ‘clinic’ image. Not just, it recharged itself with a new logo, but also impressed customers with redesigned clinics, stylish chairs, uniform and the like.

Apparel retail chain Provogue’s has also made it in the list with its latest print advertisement that says, “You’ve changed. We’ve changed”. The company is changing the look and feel of its stores by changing the colour from ‘white and red’ to a more contemporary black. It is also launching new consumer products and new fabrics to win back customers who are spoilt for choice, in terms of global and domestic brands.

Two other shortlisted brands in the Recharger’s Category are Canon and Tuborg. While Canon digital shifted its target audience from all- age group to the youth, Danish brewing company Tuborg has adopted a new visual appeal with the fresh and edgy look that includes a changed logo, a new visual identity and a re-designed bottle which is a part of the brand’s global initiative.

In case of another shortlisted candidate which is automobile brand ‘Hero’, AR Rehman’s ‘Hum main hain hero’ campaign helped in reviving the brand after its split with Honda. The company was able to strike the right chord with the consumers with an emotional appeal.

Getting in the Rechargers list is PepsiCo’s 7UP, which has continued to build on the theme of mood upliftment with its new tagline ‘Mood Ko Do Lemon Ka Lift’.

Abraham Koshy, senior marketing professor at IIM Ahmedabad says, “Just like one can’t wear the same clothes for years, in the similar way, brands also have the tendency of fading away after a point of time. A recharger is a brand which makes appropriate changes in brand visual and architecture, like in case of Kurkure, where the communication came first through Juhi as a mother and then was taken up by the Kurkure Family.

While Pitch has already unveiled three of its ten categories for Pitch Brands 50 Awards, which includes Rechargers, Ageless Brands, Bottom of Pyramid, seven are still left to make their way ahead. Do visit this page for unfolding the remaining seven categories and the shortlisted brands that might just become the top 50 brands of the year 2012.

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