India Brand Summit kicks off; DAKS awards announced

MUMBAI: Branding today has moved from building cultures and strenghting relationships to a money spinning operation. Are products building brands or are brands building products? This in essence was what kicked off the India brand Summit 2004.



Incepted 30 years ago, The India Brand Summit 2004 officially commenced today. Welcomed by the chairman of the India Brand Summit Rajeev Karwal (MD and CEO Electrolux Kelvinator India, this summit has come a long way from the venue in its nascent stage being the Nehru auditorium transgressing today to the Hyatt Regency. Karwal who was said to be the man who defined the dictum of branding in his own way firmly stated his belief in the power of branding. He says, " This is also relevant at a time when the market is not growing as this is the time a company must invest and vitalise the brand."



Emphasising that today's marketers had forgotten this and have become more volume driven, the point driven home was that pricing strategy-driving volumes was not going to hold stead in the long run.



The chief guest of the event; the eminent HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, said that it was the challenges of today that was going to change the fortunes of tomorrow .With global branding now sharing shelf space with home grown ones, competition has never been stiffer. Which is why he says it time for us to re-analyse our branding endeavours.

Today most companies sacrifice margins to play the volume game. Product replication is a growing phenomenon in the Indian industry with a total loss of brand identity.

Parekh reiterated, " A brand is an emotional experience. It's much more than a logo, a byline, a symbol or a slogan. Branding ignites people's passion, delivers promises, is not an ad, creates humanity and communities."

Longevity was another aspect Parekh threw light on and said it was very crucial to a brand. Trust being the other essential an ingredient must have. It's not about volumes and marketing gimmicks he says, it's about trust and emotions. A brand is the sum of all touch points a product has with a consumer.

Other guests who addressed the summit included BPCL Chairman and MD S Behuria, Standard Chartered Bank CEO Christopher M Low, P&G Chairman Bharat Patel, Forbes Gokak MD KC Mehta, Onward technologies Chairman and MD Harish Mehta and Institiute of Technology and Management Chairman Professor PV Ramana.

Some key points made at the session are as follows:

" Proliferation of information is resulting in information overload for the consumer. Innovation is the name of the game.

" The thrust in the brand building exercise has to be trust and credibility and building relationships.

" Companies that create a compelling branding experience will be the ones that drive tomorrow.

" Pricing is clearly a part of the branding strategy, but it is not the focal point that drives the brand. Pricing only drives volumes and not the brand.

" Pricing is a key element in the whole branding exercise, but if pricing translates into short-term promotional solutions, the brand will reach no where and will fail to attract consumer loyalty.

" Indian branding has not yet come of age. Although a sizeable amount of brands have managed to stand for integrity, value, credibility and in the process created some very long lasting brands. An area that needs attention is delivery.

An insightful session then led on to the 'Daks Awards for Brand Excellence 2004' applauding personalities and companies who have proven their forte in the branding arena. The list is as follows:

Life Time Acheivement Award:

1) HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh

2) Hiranandani Group Chairman Dr L H Hiranandani

3) Wipro Corporation Chairman & MD Azim Premji

Brand Builder of the year

1) Foster's India MD Pradeep Gidwani

2) NDTV President Dr. Pranoy Roy

3) HLL Non-executive chairman MS Banga

Marketing Professional of the year

1) Biocon India VP- marketing Rakesh Bamzai

Awards for Brand Excellence

1) Star India COO Sameer Nair

Best Business School

1) IBAT School of Management

Super Brand Builder of the year

1) ITC chairman YC Deveshwar

Innovative Brand Strategies


2) Cadbury Inida


4) TVS Motors

5) Dainik Bhaskar

CEO of the year

1) ICICI Bank MD & CEO K V Kamath

Creative Professional of the year

1) McCann- Erickson NCD Prasoon Joshi

Agency of the year

McCann - Erickson

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