Brands need to constantly engage with consumers

MUMBAI: Brands need to hold on to consumers through a constant engagement process. Digital conversations are important but not many brands are using it enough.

A panel discussion at The Mindshare Brand Equity Compass looked at strategies and trends for marketing through brand involvement.

For finance, there is an attempt at consumer involvement but penetration is low. The category, especially insurance, should try to market itself throughout the year to engage consumers continuously and not only appear at the end of the financial year where people invest for the purpose of tax saving; it should convey to the consumer that it cares about their health in good and bad times.

Prozone Enterprises president Vishal Mirchandani gave the example of Shoppers Stop which built consumer involvement through a loyalty club. The retail chain even involved customers in product launches; it used focused group discussions to change logos.

Many Indians are open to brands engaging with them. The young consumer is impatient but willing to spend. Experiential marking can help like Axe does with dance parties.

The digital medium can allow brands to build a powerful continuous relationship with the consumer. However not many brands are being built around digital or are using digital as a significant part of their strategy. There is an opportunity to learn, explore and propagate in the digital space.

Nokia India head - activation, media and online marketing Viral Oza spoke about how Nokia did an initiative with Kolkata Knight Riders and their fans on the mobile. It asked fans to send in their advice on how the team could improve the team?s performance. While 180,000 fans registered, the initiative got six million responses.

Nokia, Oza said, uses Twitter and Facebook to have a continuous dialogue with consumers. The company realised that online care issues had to be managed;it would help if marketers looked at themselves as consumers also.

Aditya Birla Financial Services Group CMO Ajay Kakar said that his company did not make the mistake of treating cricketers like demi gods. In the spots, they spoke about their real life situations. "It is about using the celebrity in a relevant manner," he added.

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