Tuesday, February 07, 2012: 08:38:29 PM

Retail Guest Column

Marketing is not a cost, but an investment - Amit Dhanjani, GAS India

Brand marketing reaches new heights with brand opting for innovative and sleek strategies

Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome!

That the new-age Indian is brand conscious is a well documented fact. The scores of international premium landing on Indian shores recently stand testimony to this fact.  A surging, consistent demand for premium and luxury products is bound to be met with strong supply from brands.  What sets one brand apart from the rest is the focus on its marketing strategy.

 
Not so long ago, the avenues available to brands for marketing were restricted to newspapers, magazines and for a select few, television.  The attitude that brands carried towards marketing was, ‘a necessary cost; a hit to the bottom-lines’. Today, an average house-hold is hit by four newspapers, and over a hundred television channels everyday, which results in high levels of consumer saturation and resultantly very low levels of brand recall.  Brands can therefore, no longer resort to traditional methods of marketing.  The challenge is to think outside of the box while keeping an eye on the bills that creative marketing usually rakes up.  This is where a paradigm shift is required in the minds of brand managers – marketing is not a cost, but an investment.  The return this investment brings is both tangible, in the form of higher sales as well as intangible, in terms of brand goodwill, higher levels of recall and positive brand association.
 
Today, brands have crept into daily television shows, blockbuster movies, outdoor and indoor events and parties.  The strategy may be in-your-face or subliminal, the end result is an Indian consumer who feels the need for a premium brand and creates the means to acquire the brand.
 
The boom in the Indian retail sector is also an added advantage. Brands now have the choice between the exclusive outlets and the multi-brand retailer, which also ensure that brands get their due exposure. The retailers today are closer to the brands than ever before thereby allowing brands the chance to get a better insight into consumption patterns and consumer behaviour. The retail is no longer just the seller but an integral part of the marketing of a brand.
 
An innovative approach
 
At GAS, we prefer to focus on the innovation and different ideas to promote the brand. In 2010 we had announce our Stand Up for Simplicitycampaign which used the web and social networks as its main means of dissemination, The campaign was the ideal follow-up to a course to reclaim simplicity, a concept that has always been part of the company’s DNA. In our current SS12 collection GAS has close ties with creativity led us to embark on a new adventure as patron. Won over by the irrepressible creative force of the graphic designers as part of the Graphic Design Worlds exhibition at the Milan Triennale, GAS has now created ad hoc graphics for a capsule collection of T-shirts with a high degree of creativity.
 
The simplicity of a small campaign often highlights the product itself, which often gets lost in the fanfare surrounding a large marketing campaign. Besides this, we also rely on traditional methods of billboards advertising and magazine coverage.
 
Amit Dhanjani is the head of Marketing and Communication at GAS India

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