Moderated by Rahul Mehta, President, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India & MD- Creative Garments, the panel had distinguished panellists including:
Gaurav Mahajan, President – Apparel, Raymond Limited
Manish Mandhana, Managing Director, Mandhana Industries Ltd.
Natasha Shah, Founder, The Nature’s Co
Rafique Malik, Chairman & MD, Metro Shoes Ltd.
Wayne Harper, Senior Technical Director, Asia Pacific, Zebra Technologies
The moderator of session, Rahul Mehta, President, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India & MD- Creative Garments, gave a great start to the day with his witty comments and skilful moderation.
The session started with a discussion on what defines a powerful brand and the difference between a brand from a label. Manish Mandhana, Managing Director, Mandhana Industries explained that definition of the brand comes from the popularity of the label that you create. It is creating a strong fundamental story about the label.
However, he cautioned that it is not a process that can happen overnight and one needs to be very consistent and has to come out with a strong USP.
Speaking about the rise of Metro as a powerful brand among intense competition, Rafique Malik, Chairman & MD, Metro Shoes said, operational efficiency and excellence, consistent delivery of products and maintenance of quality over the years is what helped him take the brand to new heights. He said that being sexy can take you to the top for a while but continuing there really requires good service.
Mandhana added that often association of a celebrity to the brand helps goes a long way in seducing people to make the first purchase. However, unless retailers provide a great environment in the store for the customer, provide a quality product and service, you can seduce the customer to come to the store to make a first time purchase, but it cannot sustain a brand.
Wayne Harper, Senior Technical Director, Asia Pacific, Zebra Technologies elucidated parameters by which one can measure the strength of brands. The basic parameter he said was understating how long a brand can sustain the customer loyalty and how much you are able to repeat a customer from coming back to you.
Rafique suggested that no company has any product to offer which a competitor cannot offer to the customer and hence products have now become a commodity. He emphasised that it is not discount coupons or advertisements alone, but consistent service is what enables brands to remain powerful.
Natasha Shah, Founder, The Nature’s Co, warned against crossing the thin line between passion and seduction to entice the customer. Explaining this, she said that passion is internal what the owner feels and seduction is communicating that passion to the consumer.
Building powerful brands is not necessarily about the product, but about how one is able to engage the customer. When a customer buys on the basis of trust and that is where seduction comes in and for this matter, whether it is lingerie or a pair of shoes or a software service, does not make a difference.
Advertising is critical for differentiation and seduction and plays a major part in creating a brand. It plays a key role because the loyalty of the customer is very short lived and hence brands need to keep on hammering them to be in the minds of the consumer. However, building a powerful brand is much, much more than advertising.
As brands grow, one needs to keep changing but some of the fundamental aspects need to be kept constant to enable to brand to stay at the top.
To sustain a powerful brand, you need to have a powerful story and use seduction in good measure, of course.
Sanjay Thampy, http://sanjaythampy.blogspot.in
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