Brands will emerge winners only when they are able connect to the target audience at the point of sale. In a cluttered market, where 90 % of the products are still sold through traditional kirana store, it becomes a big challenge for brands to communicate. With distance between consumers and brand getting narrower, brands need to focus more on its packaging and related elements as a way to reach the consumer.
There are several critical elements in packaging that attract consumers like shape, size and graphics of the packaging. Shape and size address the utility, handling comfort and storage requirements of a consumer. Graphics define consistency of brand colours, brand element detailing, brand message and clarity of information on the pack.
Since all these elements directly speak to the consumer, a lot of focus is now on pre-media. The primary goal of pre-media is to bring consistency in branding across different pack formats, multiple retail and packing locations. The red colour of Coca-Cola, the purple of Cadbury, the Gold of Five-Star chocolates, Blue of Pepsi, the Yellow and Red of Maggi are what reach consumers first. Consumers find comfort in associating with reliable brand colours. For brands, it becomes the starting point of engaging consumers with their products.
While brand owners today understand this concept, India throws up a lot of unique challenges at them. With a large geography to cover, logistics is a critical challenge. Brand owners address these through multiple packing locations – which create a tremendous challenge in brand image consistency.
The solution for this is to create a right pre-media strategy that organizes communication. Pre-media, through merging production challenges, legal limitation and brand identity elements, helps brand to achieve consistency on the retail shelf. By working as partners to consumer brands, pre-media players also help brand owners to manage critical production networks. A proper pre-media strategy helps brand owners to control cost of production and pass over the value saved to the consumer.
For global majors, India is a land of unique opportunity and challenge. Efforts to bring global brand standards has already picked up in the last few years. This is also pushing home-grown players to better their standards. Today, winning depends to a large extent on communicating with the consumers in a consistent manner. Brands are realizing this, and pre-media is playing a critical role in helping brands achieve their goal.