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Five steps to build a strong brand: Kantar Millward Brown

MUMBAI: Curating the top 50 most valuable brands list in India was an eye-opener in many ways, said Kantar Millward Brown MD Dinesh Kapoor, referring to the valuable insights that brands can gather from the data available to the agency.

Studying the multiple variables that determined on what spectrum of the Top 50 chart it would rank, or whether it qualified at all, revealed the need of the hour for CMOs across categories to build a valuable brand.

This brought Kapoor  to enlist the ‘must dos' of building a strong brand in India. While the core principles echoes what gurus have passed down to the generation next for decades, it’s been adjusted to suit the current socio-economic and political flavour of the country, and how consumers are reacting to it.

Meaningful: With a fast paced economy, some marketers may forget the simplest and essential rule in the book, i.e, to build a meaningful brand that meets the consumer’s need and makes their life better. 

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Differentiate: When there is competition, and several new products are being launched in every category, it is essential to have a USP, or point of difference. Brands that improved on differentiator grew by 81% higher than brands which failed to differentiate, read a report by Kantar. 

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Innovation: Citing examples of Bajaj Auto, Kotak, and Airtel, Kapoor  explained how differentiation made on top of innovation adds more value to the brands. While Bajaj V launch was a differentiation based on creativity, Kotak tried a unique proposition with its revised interest rates. On the other hand, Airtel has stayed ahead of the curve by setting trends. It is noteworthy that the emphasis to be different is far greater in the Indian market than the global or other Asian markets. 86 per cent of brands that grew on innovation also grew on differentiation, informed Kapoor.

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Advertising: Appealing communication is a pillar of brand-building that helps the brand stay salient in the minds of the consumers, says Kapoor. Brand value growth is even greater when meaningfully different brands build salience with great creative advertising.

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Brand Love: What comes out of the heady mix of the above mentioned variables is an increase in the brand love index that further helps to multiply a brand’s value.

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What makes brand value an important trait to vie for is its direct relation to how the brand performs on the stock market.

“It's not an assumption that a highly valuable brand is more likely to do well on the stock market. We have substantial data to back up the statement that strong brands generate superior shareholders’ return,” shared  Kapoor, adding that a stronger brand is more likely to withstand a tough market situation, and augment revenue growth during favourable times. 

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