Consumers love at most five brands, the rest are picked up as per preferences, which suggests the days of brand love are almost over, said Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive, ITC's Foods Business & Member of Corporate Management Committee of ITC Ltd.
“It's the time of brand preference where consumers don't really stick to one brand but keep on changing their choices,” Malik said quoting a study during a panel discussion on Day 1 of Goafest 2023.
Other experts on the panel were Rohit Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer, Swiggy, and Prabha Narasimhan, MD & CEO, Colgate-Palmolive India Ltd. Titled “Brand Love Suffering At The Altar Of Short Term Sale”, the session was moderated by independent journalist Anuradha Sengupta.
The panel emphasized the importance of brand love as it creates strong emotional bonds with the audiences, driving customer loyalty, advocacy, and higher engagement, resulting in sustained business growth and a competitive edge in the market. They also discussed technological advances that have taken place over the last few years and the cyclical impact it has on the audience and in turn, the brand and love for it.
Prabha Narasimhan said Colgate has enjoyed brand love for more than 200 years and yet their marketing strategy focuses on some short-term and long-term goals.
Kapoor, however, retorted that newer brands like Swiggy, especially those in the eCommerce space, can’t rely on long-term strategies as they sometimes have to take a call on an hourly basis. Equating marketing concepts with marriage goals, Kapoor said, “You need trust, respect and a lot of other stuff to make a marriage work. But on a daily basis, you have to prepare breakfast, drop kids to school and finish chores. Your marriage can’t last long unless you manage daily chores.”
Citing the example of Swiggy’s quick marketing strategy on the day when Virat Kohli made 159 runs against Pakistan in a one-day match, Kapoor said, “A junior member in the team suggested that we offer every food item at Rs 159. Within 15 minutes, we got 45,000 orders and we had to stop that offer.”
The concept of a single-brand custodian is also getting blurred as most brands involve several agencies and creators, the experts said. According to Rohit Kapoor, the concept of a single-brand custodian is not relevant anymore as a bunch of creative people now contribute to building a brand.
Malik said, “It's a great time for marketers today. We are all enabled because we are able to make decisions with utmost clarity. However, while data helps you, it also makes you vulnerable.” He also insisted that brand purpose doesn’t always mean a “social cause”.
With regards to the synergy between teams and departments at the brand’s end, Kapoor flummoxed the audience by saying, “CEO and creatives have too much distance between them. This needs to be corrected.”
The experts on the panel agreed that they need to keep learning from and being challenged by the agencies.