Metamorphosis 2005! decodes 'Cool'

MUMBAI: A marketing conference organised by the ICFAI students on 15 January at the Nehru centre delved into 'What's Cool' in the current context and how a marketer should understand, identify and capitilise the 'Cool' phenomenon.



The seminar saw speakers from all walks of the industry with the likes of R Balakrishnan, executive creative director, Lowe to Kaushik Roy, marketing head, Reliance Infocomm, Sumnatra Duta CEO Radio City to Alok Kejriwal CEO Contest2Win to name a few.

While Dutta defined 'Cool' as an emotion which can be expressed in diverse ways, Balakrishnan simply put it as interesting and a breath of fresh air.

Coming to why this desperation today to be 'Cool'? Balakrishnan pointed out that there is a price to be paid for being cool. But one must know when to stop being cool to survive. Brands that position themselves as cool forget that they have to uncool things to remain cool.

Session one focusing on dissecting cool behavior had speakers like Meera Tenjuria director Aarohan Communictions and Veer Bothra project manager netcore Solutions. Tenjuria first pointed out that unlike advertising which has total control of the communication that is being sent out, public relations was a sum total of the analysis of reactions of the editorial. Cool was dissected as a mindset and a perception which need not have a direct co-relation to the product. Cool was also said to be stated in reference to the age group, industry, phase of society and cycle of rebellion .

Another point of contention was the role of the media. Media forms a crucial part of a brand strategy to create 'cool' parameters. While media reports trends, a number of times media also creates trends.

Bothra touched upon buzz marketing and the importance of word-of- mouth, which is the ultimate catalyst in boosting a brand.



While on the issue of developing 'Cool' products, speakers Ankan Biswas GM Philips and Biju Dominic VP Mudra Communications pointed out steps for the same.

1) Indentifying a need for the youth that is cool.

2) Articulating and defining the product attributes

3) Checking the environment or trend of a similar product

4) Evaluation of market forecast in terms of value and volume

Dominic also pointed out that thinking ahead in terms of 'Cool hunting' was crucial to the whole game. "The trick is really to dig deeper and do away with the peripheral."



Session three defined exploring the 'Cool and Gadget' connect with Kejriwal and Roy as key speakers. While Roy emphasised on the fact that today's youth want to be entertained all the time, and more and more people are out-of-home nowadays, Kejriwal presented three case studies on what he thought was really cool. The Apple i-pod, the segway human carrier and the Livestrong band.

The seminar concluded with an underlined thought that 'Cool' was a mindset and cool things market themselves. In essence, a product that is cool gratifies immediately.

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